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 Post subject: Radio With The Best AM Reception, Sound And Widest Bandwidth
PostPosted: Aug Wed 01, 2012 5:32 am 
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Of all the Radios made during the golden era 1930s which radios stands out above the rest for Am quietness highest fidelity widest bandwith Variable tuning selectivity and the most most gangs.

Were the The larger floor standing radios better than the midsize ones?

Most am radios that were made after fm was introduced the Am took a back seat to fm and the Am was mediocre at best.

Philcos, Zenith Scotts RCa Ge

If you have a top 3/5 list please mention which specific make and model and reason for your choices.

Reason for asking is because im looking to buy one .


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 Post subject: Re: Radio With The Best AM Reception, Sound And Widest Bandw
PostPosted: Aug Wed 01, 2012 8:11 am 
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The big Zeniths sure sound good but you will have a hard time pinning down a "best", like, what is the "best" car of all time? And some of your answers might involve very expensive rare radios. I am talking way over a thousand if you can find one. Like some top companies flagship cost-no-object class consoles, you might even get into 5 figures.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio With The Best AM Reception, Sound And Widest Bandw
PostPosted: Aug Wed 01, 2012 12:13 pm 
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You mention "variable selectivity" which is probably the feature which will stand the best performing AM radios over the rest.

Radios such as Philco's "High Fidelity" series. 200X, 201X 680X, 37-116, 37-690, 38-116, 38-690 all have variable bandwidth IF systems and are amazing performers! *Notice, I left out the 116X as it does not have the variable selectivity feature.
There were others in the 1930s with this feature. Sparton used it on their 1936 Triolian 1466 and 1476 as well as the 11 tube models 1166, 1176, 1186, 1196.
Zenith used it on the Stratosphere models 1000Z, 16A61 and 16A63.
Capehart used it on their 400 series for 1936 1937. Probably other years, but these years I know they did.
Even some Colonial made Sears Silvertone radios in the mid 30s have this feature.
I've seen this feature on German made Grundig Majestic radios.
It is a good gauge to find the best performers, especially with AM reception.

Even in the 1950s and 60s you can find amazing performing AM radio receivers especially in the HiFi market.
One example is the Fisher AM-80, which unfortunately is a bit rare. However, there were many well made AM receivers with at least a "Wide-Narrow" IF bandwidth switch. These are the ones designed for High-Fidelity AM reception.

There are some with this feature more aimed towards SW reception in crowded bands such as the Zenith Transoceanic Royal 7000. It was used to help tune in stations with adjacent station interference.
You will find this on many communication receivers with Shortwave reception. Generally, these are not High-Fidelity tuners. However, even here you will find exceptions such as the Hallicrafters DD-1.

I'm also pretty sure Scott and McMurdo Silver models have this feature.

-Steve

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-Zenith
-Sparton
-Pre-War FM
Consoles and floor models, the bigger, the better!


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 Post subject: Re: Radio With The Best AM Reception, Sound And Widest Bandw
PostPosted: Aug Wed 01, 2012 2:18 pm 
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Thanks Azen im getting a better idea now. i think im going to lean on a radio that strictly plays Am and omits all the other bands.

Which of the models you mentioned syrictly has All the nice AM reception features wideband variable bandwidth and all the other goodies and is Just AM.

I read somewhere many zeniths were overrated but philcos were less show but top nocthc technical build quality.

Azen could you kindly narrow all those models you mentioned down to top the 7 seven. thanks

the fisher am80 i have one its in the shop at the moment ive never used it before since bought it 5 years ago needs work.
im reading its not variable bandwith.

Lastly antyone know who can repair these type of radio and bring them up to original functional condition including aligning them

many thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Radio With The Best AM Reception, Sound And Widest Bandw
PostPosted: Aug Wed 01, 2012 3:05 pm 
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The Fisher AM-80 has a "Narrow-Wide" switch on it which changes its IF selectivity. Yeah, only two settings, but at least it has a wide bandpass with a 10KHz whistle filter.

The 38-116 and 38-690 seem to be the favored ones amongst the Philcos.
I'm trying to remember if any RCA's have this feature?
Sparton, I would say the 1166 or 1466
Zenith, well, anything there your talking high dollar. Same with Capehart, Scott or McMurdo Silver.

Your best bet for 30s radios would probably be the Philcos.

There are probably plenty of them that I am missing. But any of the high-end radios made before say 1965 will probably have high quality AM reception. Even the better quality kits from Heathkit and Eico will hold their own. Though kind-of low end, I recently picked up a PACO ST-45 AM/FM kit receiver which I was amazed at its AM performance! No, it doesn't have variable IF bandwidth though...

Hope this helps.

-Steve

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-Zenith
-Sparton
-Pre-War FM
Consoles and floor models, the bigger, the better!


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 Post subject: Re: Radio With The Best AM Reception, Sound And Widest Bandw
PostPosted: Aug Wed 01, 2012 4:53 pm 
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Amradioman wrote:
Thanks Azen im getting a better idea now. i think im going to lean on a radio that strictly plays Am and omits all the other bands.

Which of the models you mentioned syrictly has All the nice AM reception features wideband variable bandwidth and all the other goodies and is Just AM.

I don't know if you'll find any radio from the 1930's that contains those high-end features and is "AM only". What would be the point for a manufacturer to have produced something like that?


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 Post subject: Re: Radio With The Best AM Reception, Sound And Widest Bandw
PostPosted: Aug Wed 01, 2012 5:03 pm 
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Yes, Jim is right. Most all of them are AM Broadcast/multi-band Shortwave and a few with Longwave.

The Philco 200X is the only one with the variable IF selectivity feature I can say off the top of my head that is AM Broadcast band only.

-Steve

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-Zenith
-Sparton
-Pre-War FM
Consoles and floor models, the bigger, the better!


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 Post subject: Re: Radio With The Best AM Reception, Sound And Widest Bandw
PostPosted: Aug Wed 01, 2012 5:25 pm 
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If you're talking about the best of the pre-war AM/shortwave radios with variable selectivity, it's probably these:

Zenith 1000Z Stratosphere
Philco 37-690
Philco 38-690
Scott Philharmonic
Scott Allwave 23
McMurdo-Silver Masterpiece V
McMurdo-Silver Masterpiece VI

The McMurdo-Silvers have a 2 or 3 position switch rather than continuously variable selectivity. The Zenith 1000Z Stratosphere will set you back around $50K or more. The Philcos are probably the most bang for your buck, though a Scott AW23 just sold on eBay for around $1500 a few days ago. The Zenith 16A61 and 16A63 Stratospheres also had variable selectivity, though they're expensive and reportedly not super-great performers.

Bob

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 Post subject: Re: Radio With The Best AM Reception, Sound And Widest Bandw
PostPosted: Aug Wed 01, 2012 6:39 pm 
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Location: columbia mo
I've always thought it would be an interesting exercise to side-by-side field test all these ultimate Holy Grail receivers in one interference-free location using the same antenna to conclude on an empirical basis what they "get." Thorobreds all, I'm beyond specious "boasts" that a particular ultimate receiver "gets" Nashville at night via the skywave 400 miles away. A test using WLW at my home 425 miles away on a winter day at high noon shows a 14 microvolt/meter signal and the Cincinnati broadcaster can be received and understood on a "barefoot" GE Superadio I/II with better results with a passive tuned antenna [Terk, etc.] alongside. Then it would be interesting to see how well any of the thorobreds listed above would perform under the same conditions.

Some of us remember reliable trans-continental reception at night which is all but impossible today due to the politically expedient flooding of the AM dial with too many stations, allowing so-called former "daytimers" to operate at night, albeit with reduced power but no DA protection, breaking down the clear channels and suffusing this already tormented spectrum with the senseless injection of noise from the IBOC system nobody seems to want.

Any test of the thorobreds would begin with a 540 to 1700 kilocycle band scan of the "standard" broadcast band conducted at high noon with no static or thunderstorms present using a calibrated field intensity meter such as the Potomac Instruments FIM-21/41. This would establish a chart of field intensities measured in millivolts/microvolts per meter recognizing the fact that ground wave levels are greater during cold weather with snow on the ground than on a dry summer day.

From this would come a list of low field intensity marker stations to go after to see how each receiver performs and what length of antenna would be required to grab a particular broadcaster.

For the upcoming RadioFest, here are a couple of distant AM band test stations for receiver performance evaluation during the daytime while scoping out various transistor sets for sale and working in the parking lot. The list includes WMT, Cedar Rapids, Ia. at 600 kc and WKZO, Kalamazoo, Mich. at 590 kc. both of which are audible at Willowbrook on a properly functioning Zenith Royal 500-H. To test selectivity *and* sensitivity, try fishing KTRS [née KSD], St. Louis, Mo. at 550 kc against adjacent channel WIND, Chicago [tr: Gary, Ind.] at 560kc. Since most transistor portables have antennae with directional properties, it helps if you null WIND by turning the receiver around.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio With The Best AM Reception, Sound And Widest Bandw
PostPosted: Aug Thu 02, 2012 12:30 am 
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My vote would go the Scott Philharmonic. With three RF stages and the ability to peak the IF transformers as well as coupling between them it allows one to select bandwidth versus sensitivity easily. One way you get the full fidelity audio for music, when peaked the IFs are so sharp they are on the verge of breaking into oscillation. Ideal setting is somewhere in the middle.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio With The Best AM Reception, Sound And Widest Bandw
PostPosted: Aug Thu 02, 2012 12:52 am 
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50k for a few hundred dollar overhyped zenith? thats nuts

the fisher am80 has broad sharp and narrow switches. according to the wobbulator a souped up Philco 37-116 sounds better than the fisher

http://www.pavekmuseum.org/Wobbulator.html


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 Post subject: Re: Radio With The Best AM Reception, Sound And Widest Bandw
PostPosted: Aug Thu 02, 2012 1:09 am 
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If your willing to include tuners, there aren't to many radios that can match the bandwidth and audio fidelity that the Miller 570-T has. I used this tuner, hooked up to a Grason-Stadler 162K (McIntosh MC-40) amplifier and a Energy PRO22 speaker, and boy, does it make Rush Limbaugh, Dennis Miller, NPR, and the news sound great.

Image

http://www.indianaradios.com/Miller%205 ... 0Tuner.htm

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 Post subject: Re: Radio With The Best AM Reception, Sound And Widest Bandw
PostPosted: Aug Thu 02, 2012 1:29 am 
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AM radio man,

There were a number of sets that you may be interested in which were optimised for the ill fated Apex band. This was experimental Hi fidelity broadcast from the mid 30s until after the war, with most stations in the upper 30 mHz range. There were a number of sets that could receive these including the:
M.Silver V & VI
Philharmonic A.M.
Airline 62-197
Zenith strat and 15U2xx series

I'm sure there are others, but most of these had variable IF and tweeter options to take advantage of the band. Others that would fit the bill other than the H.F. band include:

Scott Phantom & A.W. 23
Atwater Kent 112
Philco 200, 680, 38-116 & 690 series
RCA 816

Everyone has their favorites, and there are a few table models including a few German models, that rival the sound of a console.

Happy hunting, Bill

www.billsradioden.shutterfly.com

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 Post subject: Re: Radio With The Best AM Reception, Sound And Widest Bandw
PostPosted: Aug Thu 02, 2012 1:48 am 
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sofaslug wrote:
If you're talking about the best of the pre-war AM/shortwave radios with variable selectivity, it's probably these:

Zenith 1000Z Stratosphere
Philco 37-690
Philco 38-690
Scott Philharmonic
Scott Allwave 23
McMurdo-Silver Masterpiece V
McMurdo-Silver Masterpiece VI

The McMurdo-Silvers have a 2 or 3 position switch rather than continuously variable selectivity. The Zenith 1000Z Stratosphere will set you back around $50K or more. The Philcos are probably the most bang for your buck, though a Scott AW23 just sold on eBay for around $1500 a few days ago. The Zenith 16A61 and 16A63 Stratospheres also had variable selectivity, though they're expensive and reportedly not super-great performers.

Bob


Im referring the ultimate AM regardless of era


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 Post subject: Re: Radio With The Best AM Reception, Sound And Widest Bandw
PostPosted: Aug Thu 02, 2012 2:16 am 
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Amradioman wrote:
sofaslug wrote:
If you're talking about the best of the pre-war AM/shortwave radios with variable selectivity, it's probably these:

Zenith 1000Z Stratosphere
Philco 37-690
Philco 38-690
Scott Philharmonic
Scott Allwave 23
McMurdo-Silver Masterpiece V
McMurdo-Silver Masterpiece VI

The McMurdo-Silvers have a 2 or 3 position switch rather than continuously variable selectivity. The Zenith 1000Z Stratosphere will set you back around $50K or more. The Philcos are probably the most bang for your buck, though a Scott AW23 just sold on eBay for around $1500 a few days ago. The Zenith 16A61 and 16A63 Stratospheres also had variable selectivity, though they're expensive and reportedly not super-great performers.

Bob


Im referring the ultimate AM regardless of era


Since your original post referred to radios "made during the golden era 1930s", I assumed you were limiting your search to pre-war sets.

Bob

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 Post subject: Re: Radio With The Best AM Reception, Sound And Widest Bandw
PostPosted: Aug Thu 02, 2012 2:22 am 
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Thank you all for your deep knowledge i appreciate your input and expertise.

im 50 60s tube and 70-80s solid state guy. but i loved am since was a kid because of the oldies music played on those am bands. hated the noise though and low fidelity. Dont like all the garbage music played on fm except the classical and some jazz stations. The oldies talk shows news and rare music on Am still cant be beat.

Still have yet to find a decent more modern tuner that has a wider bandwith and variable if such as the 1930s radios. 50-7500 bw

Ham radios like collins hammarlund etc seem interesting but not made for quieter highest fidelity music.
Am i wrong?

vince


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 Post subject: Re: Radio With The Best AM Reception, Sound And Widest Bandw
PostPosted: Aug Thu 02, 2012 1:51 pm 
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I have a Hamamrlund SP-600 JX-17 receiver connected to an antique wall mount jukebox speaker with 10" speaker inside and it sounds great.

I have a Magnavox CR-198C console that sounds great on AM and aldo a RCA K-80 console which also sounds great on AM. I thought that the upper limit for Am audio was 5 KHz?

Another console that sounds excellent with wide bandwidth is a mid 50's Zenith console I have. I had to add a capacitor to limit the highs to remove the 10KHz whistle.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio With The Best AM Reception, Sound And Widest Bandw
PostPosted: Aug Thu 02, 2012 2:05 pm 
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Indiana Radios wrote:
If your willing to include tuners, there aren't to many radios that can match the bandwidth and audio fidelity that the Miller 570-T has. I used this tuner, hooked up to a Grason-Stadler 162K (McIntosh MC-40) amplifier and a Energy PRO22 speaker, and boy, does it make Rush Limbaugh, Dennis Miller, NPR, and the news sound great.

Image

http://www.indianaradios.com/Miller%205 ... 0Tuner.htm




Nice looking tuner by the way

it doesnt matter which electronic type it is, tuner radio or receiver unit. im after that which gives me the
ultimate AM performance in all aspects Sound of Music, Reception, Widest bandwidth, Selectivity etc


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 Post subject: Re: Radio With The Best AM Reception, Sound And Widest Bandw
PostPosted: Aug Thu 02, 2012 2:09 pm 
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Sorry i forgot to clarify the Am tuner with the best sound.

Best Sound meaning Music highs lows and especially the mids detail warmth and reasonably deep bass


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 Post subject: Re: Radio With The Best AM Reception, Sound And Widest Bandw
PostPosted: Aug Thu 02, 2012 5:36 pm 
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In this quest for an AM receiver with the best bandwidth and audio quality, have you taken in consideration of the IBOC digital sub carriers that many stations now have? That digital hash now blankets the AM bend and you may not be able to tune it out on your super wideband AM receiver. It'll also come through the speakers in full fidelity. I think most stations cut it out during the night time, though.

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