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 Post subject: ADMIRAL "ALL WORLD" MODEL 909 TRIO
PostPosted: Jun Sat 06, 2015 11:42 pm 
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Joined: Apr Fri 30, 2010 7:16 pm
Posts: 634
Location: Valencia, California
I am a collector of late 50’s to mid 80’s portable multiband transistor radios. As many of you know there are many, many makes, models and examples in this category. Naturally, some are more attractive than others and some perform better than others but one of my favorites is the Admiral “All World”. It’s interesting to speculate as to what the first example of this type was……some evidence that the Magnavox “Intercontinental”; Model “AW-100” was first but the Zenith “Transoceanic”; Model “Royal 1000” was right in there within a few months. Among the 100+ radios in my collection, I have always appreciated the Admiral “All World”; Model “909” which was also within a few months of the first two. Curiously, many of the features, construction and design cues are shared by the Zenith and Admiral radios which makes one wonder who was “first”, who copied who or were the similarities just coincidence?
The design is dramatically similar to the Zenith 1000 in its first iteration. Oh, did I mention that there were three versions of the “All World” “909”? Everyone who knew that…..raise your hand. I am attaching a few pictures to attempt to show the differences/similarities.
• The first was the Model “909” which was an all metal construction with a bronze colored Tolex cladding augmented by chrome and bright accents. It is 9-band equipped capability (LW/BC/2-4 MC/4-9 MC/ 31 Meter/25 Meter/19 Meter/16 Meter/13 Meter), battery only, dial light, external antenna (Ferroscope) equipped and had a folding, non-removable front cover and a fold-down rear cover…….similar to the “Royal 1000”. It also featured an ADMIRAL logo on the speaker grill.
• The second was the Model “909A” which was also the same 9-band arrangement, and had an identical appearance, construction and features of the 909 but the folding front cover was abandoned in favor of the single cover and no grill logo.
• The third was the Model “909B” which was again the same 9-band arrangement and basic appearance and construction features as the first two, same single front cover as the “909A” but eliminated the grill logo, dial light feature, external antenna (Ferroscope) and added an AC Charger that would power the radio and “charge” normal carbon batteries.
• All models came with a zippered clear vinyl dust cover, User Manual, Service Manual and a User Manual/Shortwave Log that was clipped inside the front cover. A plastic-cased Earphone was optional as was the plastic-cased AC Charger for the “909B” model.
I have researched these radios a bit and have been able to collect much of the literature and options but would welcome any insight or expertise anyone may have on these radios.
Of worthy note, when Zenith came out with the “Transoceanic” “Royal 3000” series, Admiral was right there with the “All World” Model “Y1009A & B”. I have included a couple pictures of the “Y1009A” and the appearance and construction was basically the same as the “909” series but included FM functionality and the “Tolex” cladding was replaced with a rubberized type paint that performed very poorly over time. The front cover was a carryover with the exception of substituting the Admiral logo for an “AM/FM” badge. It still utilized the “AC Charger” option/feature that was introduced on the “909B’ model.
From 5 feet away they all appear the same but there was evolution occurring as this type of radio gained popularity. Unfortunately this series of radios marked the end of USA produced radios for Admiral as the subsequent models were redesigned and produced off shore and became just another radio till its demise.
From my experience with these radios, and their competition of the day, I have found that AM and shortwave performance is at least as good as the Zenith models if not notably better which makes me wonder why they did not see the popularity that Zenith did?
I welcome any thoughts, additions or corrections from the readers and would be happy to share and exchange any information that will add to the history and understanding of these Admiral “All World” models.
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Last edited by Froggy115 on Jun Mon 08, 2015 9:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: ADMIRAL "ALL WORLD" MODEL 909 TRIO
PostPosted: Jun Mon 08, 2015 1:37 am 
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Joined: Aug Sat 16, 2014 2:19 am
Posts: 1181
Location: Palos Verdes, CA
Thanks for your posting of the Admiral Model 909 transistor radios. Do these Admiral radios have plug-in transistors like the Zenith Royal 3000?


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 Post subject: Re: ADMIRAL "ALL WORLD" MODEL 909 TRIO
PostPosted: Jun Mon 08, 2015 3:53 am 
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Joined: Apr Fri 30, 2010 7:16 pm
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Location: Valencia, California
Yes, the transistors are plug-in/socketed configuration........Admiral used RCA transistors for the most part as far as I can tell.


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 Post subject: Re: ADMIRAL "ALL WORLD" MODEL 909 TRIO
PostPosted: Jun Mon 08, 2015 3:57 am 
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Joined: Apr Fri 30, 2010 7:16 pm
Posts: 634
Location: Valencia, California
By the way........as can be seen in the pictures, one of my radios is using a non-original battery pack that I made up. If anyone has a original battery pack in their spare parts, I would certainly be interested in buying it to make the radio more complete and original.


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 Post subject: Re: ADMIRAL "ALL WORLD" MODEL 909 TRIO
PostPosted: Jun Mon 08, 2015 5:05 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 5561
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Hello Bob,

Thanks for the interesting post & pics---wasn't even aware of Admiral's involvement with transistorized multi-band sets in the 1950's ! They actually look more "modern" externally than their Zenith counterparts...

John


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 Post subject: Re: ADMIRAL "ALL WORLD" MODEL 909 TRIO
PostPosted: Jun Mon 08, 2015 6:36 pm 
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Joined: Aug Wed 26, 2009 1:50 am
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Location: Mesquite NV 89027 (from Coventry, UK)
Very attractive radios. Thanks for posting the photos.

Colin


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 Post subject: Re: ADMIRAL "ALL WORLD" MODEL 909 TRIO
PostPosted: Jun Mon 08, 2015 11:44 pm 
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Joined: Nov Fri 20, 2009 4:01 am
Posts: 192
Location: mid-michigan
Thanks for sharing your Admirals. I have a bunch of shortwave portables but no Admirals----yet.


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 Post subject: Re: ADMIRAL "ALL WORLD" MODEL 909 TRIO
PostPosted: Jun Tue 09, 2015 12:36 am 
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Joined: Apr Fri 30, 2010 7:16 pm
Posts: 634
Location: Valencia, California
Thought I would share a few magazine ads on this model.......
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Last edited by Froggy115 on Jun Tue 09, 2015 12:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: ADMIRAL "ALL WORLD" MODEL 909 TRIO
PostPosted: Jun Tue 09, 2015 12:43 am 
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Joined: Apr Fri 30, 2010 7:16 pm
Posts: 634
Location: Valencia, California
Here are a couple magazine ads for the Admiral "All World" Y1009B (AM/FM) version..........interesting that the 9-band model cost $275.00 and the later 10-band model was only $200.00. Maybe the Zenith competition and other brands was starting to be felt at Admiral?
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Y1009 Ad.jpg
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 Post subject: Re: ADMIRAL "ALL WORLD" MODEL 909 TRIO
PostPosted: Jun Thu 11, 2015 4:33 am 
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Location: Central Pennsylvania, USA
I've viewed this thread at least ten time over the last few days, and must say that I am amazed at the quality of the design and construction of these radios - at least as well executed as the early solid state T/O's, maybe even better! (and it hurts to say this, as I am a long-time Zenith fan!)

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 Post subject: Re: ADMIRAL "ALL WORLD" MODEL 909 TRIO
PostPosted: Jun Thu 11, 2015 5:34 am 
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Joined: Apr Fri 30, 2010 7:16 pm
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Location: Valencia, California
AM Station Engineer......
I know the feeling. I collect a very wide array of radios from this period and I have to say that my first exposure to one of these radios was something rather special. If you have the opportunity to examine and test one of these radios, I think it would make a further favorable impression. I have owned 5 of the various "909"versions and 8 of the "1009" versions and have been able to experience the inner workings, design execution and quality that Admiral put into these models. You find out a lot when repairing, restoring and researching a specific model radio and that is why I thought I would share my experience with these. I have been suprised that I haven't come across other collectors that have at least a passing interest or experience with these but to date I haven't found much of a following. I guess this seems to repeat the early history and relatively low popularity exhibited at the time the radios were marketed.........too bad!

I'd still like to find some additional history, documentation and knowledge about these radios. I have found examples of the User Manuals, Service Manuals and a few accessories but there has to be more out there so I'll just keep looking.
Bob


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 Post subject: Re: ADMIRAL "ALL WORLD" MODEL 909 TRIO
PostPosted: Jun Sat 13, 2015 3:14 pm 
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Bob,

That's a wonderful trio of sets you have there! I didn't know that the first version of the "909" had a folding lid, does it fold under the main portion of the lid to get it out of the way (like the lid does on the Zenith Royal 1000)?

I have an Admiral All World model Y1009B that is complete with the box and user manual, which I did a video on a few months ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bOvtJ9ON-s
That radio is still in need of some new caps, which you can hear in the video (although some of the distortion is due to one of the batteries having leaked).

-Matt


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 Post subject: Re: ADMIRAL "ALL WORLD" MODEL 909 TRIO
PostPosted: Jun Sat 13, 2015 4:24 pm 
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Joined: Apr Fri 30, 2010 7:16 pm
Posts: 634
Location: Valencia, California
Hi Matt,
The"909" folding lid is very much like the Zenith "1000"& "3000" models. The Admiral is hinged about in the center of the lid and folds inward and makes the lid less intrusive when on a table and using it. I tried to show the folding feature in one of the pictures (folded about half way). I think both Admiral and Zenith used this approach as the front lids were permanently hinged and were non-removable. The later Admiral versions used a slip-hinge so the entire lid was removable and thus eliminated the need for a folding front. As you know, lots of radios with front lids/covers followed this "removable" approach which was convenient but led to the often misplacement and loss of the covers over time.

I saw your video on your "Y1009B"......nicely done! Thanks for posting that.....nice to see other radios if this type.
Bob


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 Post subject: Re: ADMIRAL "ALL WORLD" MODEL 909 TRIO
PostPosted: Jun Tue 23, 2015 12:57 am 
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Joined: Oct Fri 11, 2013 12:06 am
Posts: 185
WOW!! Your radios are beautiful..and even better looking thatn my T/O!! How well do they stack up performance-wise?


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 Post subject: Re: ADMIRAL "ALL WORLD" MODEL 909 TRIO
PostPosted: Jun Tue 23, 2015 2:23 am 
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Joined: Apr Fri 30, 2010 7:16 pm
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Location: Valencia, California
Thank you for the compliment. I have spent a bit of time buying every Admiral 909 & 1009 I could find over the years to get the ones that were in the best condition and as complete as possible. All of them have undergone some degree of cosmetic "restoration" and functionally they all have been technically restored to the original specs.

I briefly noted in my first post that all the "All World" Admirals I have perform at least as good as their competition of the day. Actually, I feel they are notably much better receivers than the Zenith 1000 and 3000 models. I have done some side by side comparisons using the telescopic antenna only as well as using my 100' external longwire antenna. The results indicate that the Admirals are easily within the top 15% of the 100 or so portable transistorized multiband radios in my collection. This is particularly evident using the telescopic antenna only.

Comparing radios is a very subjective thing with me as my interest/focus spans the late-50's to the mid-80's. There is quite a bit of technical circuit design evolution over that time but I am always suprised when a radio like the "All World" pulls in the same stations as some of the more complex and evolved models from Sony, Panasonic, Norelco, Nordmende and yes even the Zenith R7000-2.............with 1/3 the knobs, bells and whistles.

Naturally, the physical design is also subjective with people but for some reason the clean and simplistic execution is appealing not to mention its all metal construction and built like a tank!


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 Post subject: Re: ADMIRAL "ALL WORLD" MODEL 909 TRIO
PostPosted: Aug Thu 27, 2015 12:24 am 
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Location: Valencia, California
A brief update on this post regarding my search for an original battery holder..........I found one!!! I am elated to have all three of my Admiral 909's complete with the original battery packs. I even located an original zippered, clear vinyl dust cover that came with the radios when new. I already had one for the Y1009 version and now only need two more for the other 909's. I have attached a picture of the 909 with the cover on it. The quality and detail of these covers are far superior to the ones that Zenith provided on the Royal 1000/3000 models and allowed you to leave the cover on while using the radio......interesting approach!
Attachment:
001.JPG
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 Post subject: Re: ADMIRAL "ALL WORLD" MODEL 909 TRIO
PostPosted: Aug Fri 28, 2015 6:45 pm 
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Joined: Aug Sat 16, 2014 2:19 am
Posts: 1181
Location: Palos Verdes, CA
After seeing your postings of Admiral "All World" Model 909 transistor radios, I picked up an advertisement for the Sylvania "Thunderbird" radio. I thought I remembering seeing someone selling a Thunderbird transistor radio with a leather case, but I didn't record the information. The clear case cover you have for the Admiral Model 909 is certainly a rare but also useful item.


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 Post subject: Re: ADMIRAL "ALL WORLD" MODEL 909 TRIO
PostPosted: Sep Thu 03, 2015 5:03 pm 
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Location: Poplar Bluff, MO USA
I have an "All World" 1009 and it's performance is better than my Zenith 3000's
The FM section is way better. A better comparison would be the 1009 with the
Zenith 7000's.

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 Post subject: Re: ADMIRAL "ALL WORLD" MODEL 909 TRIO
PostPosted: Sep Thu 03, 2015 6:13 pm 
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Joined: Apr Fri 30, 2010 7:16 pm
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Location: Valencia, California
Randy,
Your observation on the comparison on performance of the Admiral Y1009 versus the Zenith 7000's is reasonably accurate. My comment on performance comparisons on this model was based on what it's immediate competition was like in the period when built, as mentioned. Its interesting that the Admiral held its own even on the later designed/produced Zenith 7000's. It was a tenuous time for Chicago manufacturers Zenith and Admiral as both were in the throws of shutting down USA builds in favor of Korea and Japan. Too bad!
Bob


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 Post subject: Re: ADMIRAL "ALL WORLD" MODEL 909 TRIO
PostPosted: Sep Thu 03, 2015 8:50 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 550
Location: N.E. Florida
Those are sure some really good looking radios. I personally like the look of the Zenith band scale/drum versus seeing all bands at once, though the Admiral doesn't look like as much of a service nightmare.

Very interesting to hear about the performance comparison with the Zenith. I never knew such radios existed. Thanks for all the info.

Jay


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