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 Post subject: Sony TR-55 Ebay bargain
PostPosted: Feb Wed 23, 2011 11:45 pm 
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Location: Melbourne, Australia.
One of the rarest transistors came and went this morning. At $1500 it represented a great bargain to the big transistor collectors. Somebody got a fantastic deal.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&hash=item483f3dbce2&item=310298655970&nma=true&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&rt=nc&si=TsclrVeaST%252FCdU9Nc1DoXBsLWJQ%253D


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 Post subject: Re: Sony TR-55 Ebay bargain
PostPosted: Feb Fri 25, 2011 5:22 pm 
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crvee8 wrote:
One of the rarest transistors came and went this morning. At $1500 it represented a great bargain to the big transistor collectors. Somebody got a fantastic deal.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&hash=item483f3dbce2&item=310298655970&nma=true&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&rt=nc&si=TsclrVeaST%252FCdU9Nc1DoXBsLWJQ%253D


Yes the seller got a fantastic deal. Just a plastic radio, first or last is just creating hype for those with more $$$ then common sense. :) JMO


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Fri 25, 2011 7:58 pm 
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If this radio was a bargain at $1500, I'm curious what price it would normally sell for.

Dave


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Fri 25, 2011 9:34 pm 
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Not so rare but very collectable Sony TR-6's sell for around 2-3K, so I would have been expecting this to go for at least 5-6k being Sony's first transistor radio made in 1955 and sold in very low numbers. Michaeljpro would probably have a better idea of what it would be worth.
What would seen like a cheap plastic radio to some, this is usually the most sought after transistor radio by most collectors, so I can understand tube radio collectors thinking what a lot of $$$ for some cheap plastic radio. But, likewise transistor radio collectors probably think the money spent on a lot of tube radios a waste of money as well like catalin radios etc. It all depends what you are in to.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Sat 26, 2011 12:46 am 
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From what I've seen, the Regency TR-1 appears to be the most sought after Transistor set, given it's position as the world's first commercial Transistor Radio. Even though the TR-1G and TR-4 models come up less often, they don't command the price the TR-1 does.

The Sony TR-63, as their first imported set to the U.S. appears to be either equal, or right next in line.

The Sony/Hoffman TR-6 comes up so seldom that it's difficult to determine the market value of it. Here's one for auction right now;

http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-Sony-Hoffma ... 5929175656

I'd love to have it, but it'll most assuredly go for over $400.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Sat 26, 2011 4:03 am 
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the tr-55 is the holy grail of transister sets. the tr-1 seems the most sought after cause its american, from my understanding these were in japan only and there are only a few 100 left.
the seller is right in wondering how it made its way to tennessee, it would be a great story to see how it made it to the states.
its got to be in the $5k at least range.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Sat 26, 2011 6:17 am 
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bullseyeguyz wrote:
the tr-1 seems the most sought after cause its american

National pride is probably part of the reason, but from all I've read about it over the years, the fact that it was the first of it's kind causes it's desirability over all others.

bullseyeguyz wrote:
the seller is right in wondering how it made its way to tennessee, it would be a great story to see how it made it to the states.
its got to be in the $5k at least range.

And that by itself would put it out of the range of 95% of the collectors, I would think.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Sat 26, 2011 8:43 am 
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The TR-55 is much rarer than the Regency TR-1. Yes, the TR-1 was THE first, beating the Sony TR-55 by about half a year but there are far more TR-1s on available to collectors today. The TR-55 was only released in Japan with limited release in Canada and perhaps Europe.
I believe only 50 units were imported into Canada through GENDIS (General Distributors). Only a handful of TR-55s survived, it is perhaps one of the rarest transistor radios. Due to the unstable/fragile nature of the plastic used in its case, most TR-55s have suffered cracks, chips and stress fractures. The example in the recent auction was in terrific condition. The price should have reached a much higher amount based on past auctions and private sales I've noted.

I was fortunate to have acquired a TR-5 (a "re-designed" TR-55) a few years ago. It has a few cosmetic issues and is just as rare as the TR-5.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/transistor ... 555111543/

If you'd like to view all my Sony radios please click on the link below....many early, rare Sonys with some detailed descriptions.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/transistor ... 555111543/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Thu 24, 2011 3:38 am 
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The TR 5 has sold in a range of $8k to 15k. I once bid 11k but did not get it - someone just outbid me.

I suspect the radio went for much higher and the $1500 was for eBay commission purposes


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Thu 24, 2011 3:40 am 
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Sorry meant TR-55


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Thu 24, 2011 9:42 am 
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I just checked my "Collectors Guide to Transistor Radios" by Bunis, and the TR 55's value is listed at "$1500+".

For the edification of the "tube guys", lol, this is a primary resource for Transistor set values. It was first published in 1996.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Thu 24, 2011 2:08 pm 
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That book is pretty unreliable on many levels.
1- the book was published 15 years ago, predating Ebay.
Ebay has changed radio pricing (for better or worse) but at least it's a better indication of what people are willing to pay.
2- I'm uncertain as to where the authors got their prices from. When glancing through the book it seems rather arbitrary to me. In most cases the estimated values are just plain wrong.
3- The info in the book is grossly incomplete and in many cases just plain wrong. Wrong dates of manufacture/release and too many "important" or historic radios completely left out.
It would be an interesting study to compile a list some of the book's info and values and compare that to what we know now, 15 years later.
It was a good reference point for me when I was beginning in the hobby but I quickly abandoned it when I discovered how "off" it was. I mean no disrespect to the authors, I realize when they wrote the book there was much less information available.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Thu 24, 2011 2:15 pm 
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I like the book but must admit have not looked at it for a while. I remember perusing it when I first started collecting and reamin of all the radios I wanted to buy.

It was a great reference, with some mistakes and, not surprisingly grossly inaccurate prices.

But sadly, its one of the few books we have to refer to. No one has created anything new except for Eric's color updates

We are sorely in need of new books.

It is interesting to hear the price for the TR-55 is $1500 plus, I cant beleive that the seller so so stupid as to use that as a basis for setting their price. A simple search of the internet shows how highly prized the radio is. But maybe someone did get lucky, someone probably reading this


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Thu 24, 2011 2:15 pm 
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I like the book but must admit have not looked at it for a while. I remember perusing it when I first started collecting and reamin of all the radios I wanted to buy.

It was a great reference, with some mistakes and, not surprisingly grossly inaccurate prices.

But sadly, its one of the few books we have to refer to. No one has created anything new except for Eric's color updates

We are sorely in need of new books.

It is interesting to hear the price for the TR-55 is $1500 plus, I cant beleive that the seller so so stupid as to use that as a basis for setting their price. A simple search of the internet shows how highly prized the radio is. But maybe someone did get lucky, someone probably reading this


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Thu 24, 2011 8:22 pm 
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I referred to it for two reasons; primarily because it seems to be, or maybe more accurately has been, the standard by which many collectors go by, and secondly that it's estimate of value just happened to coincide with what the subject of the OP actually sold for. The books preface clearly states that it is intended only as a guide, and recognizes that trades involving auctions can vary greatly depending on condition, etc.

I have a number of Regency TR-1's, and I can tell you that Bunis's valuation from 15 years ago still holds fairly accurate for this particular model, judging by maybe 80% of eBay trades.

Of course we all know that on any given day, a radio of any type that sold for "X" the previous month could easily go for X+ or X- in a comparatively large fashion on eBay, given the various factors involved, such as two bidders slugging it out, someone all of a sudden really, really needing it, or the opposite, like the ending time at midnight to 3 am EST, only one photo in dim light, etc.

There are other reference books on Transistor values, such as "Transistor Radios, 1954-1968" by Norman Smith, and "Transistor Radios" by Lane.

I've never compared the valuations between the three of them myself.

"Made In Japan" by Handy, etc., shows lots of pretty pictures but gives no prices.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Thu 24, 2011 10:25 pm 
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Prices are a moving target. Even in the last few years prices have changed as well as what is being sold and how.

I find much more Buy it nows and fewer variety of radios - it seems a little less frenetic and interesting or maybe its that I am following auctions slightly less.

Back to the TR 55. I recall there being one on eBay about 5- 8 years ago based in Vancouver. There was a reserve and bids went to 13k before auction end without ever reaching reserve.

On the other hand, one TR 55 just sold for 7.5k today.

Pearlescent TR 1 have appeared more frequently and I recall go for around 3- 5 k depending on weather


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Thu 24, 2011 11:48 pm 
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I don't recall seeing a Pearlescent TR-1 on eBay over the last 10 years...Maybe I wasn't looking hard enough, lol.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Thu 24, 2011 11:54 pm 
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Oh yes, i was drolling but for some reason i for once showed self restraint. Ones I recall were a few years back a pink and also a blue one close together.

I think there was a clear case one too - at some point

And perhaps one other pearlescent before that


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Thu 24, 2011 11:59 pm 
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Oh Michael

I am starting to think TR5's are rarer than 55's. I've seen a whole lot more TR55's around


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 Post subject: caught one - some led lights plus elmo
PostPosted: May Tue 10, 2011 12:38 am 
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http://www.youtube.com/user/RADIODADIO666


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