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 Post subject: Re: Is Collecting tube radios becoming a lost interest
PostPosted: May Mon 23, 2022 11:47 pm 
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I'm 49 and have been collecting for nearly 40 years. Still love it! Collecting is definitely NOT dying out. Just check out the prices on e-bay! They keep going up along with the demand!


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 Post subject: Re: Is Collecting tube radios becoming a lost interest
PostPosted: May Tue 24, 2022 12:03 am 
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Location: Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON, Canada
Well, I am in my mid-twenties and began collecting when I was 17. I have never regretted it since this hobby is very useful to learn various skills not to mention enjoying the journey of restoring antique electronics.

As for the state of the hobby, I do not believe that hobby will die but may decrease in members. Some of my generation will discover the joy of radio collecting and will keep it going.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Collecting tube radios becoming a lost interest
PostPosted: May Wed 25, 2022 1:39 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Whippany, NJ
It should not be lost on anyone that when a personal connection to these collectibles is broken, value does go down. The people who may begin collecting now do not remember when they themselves, or their parents, or their grandparents had these sets. People want to buy their childhood or youth.

The same thing happens in antique automobiles with some exceptions, obviously.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Collecting tube radios becoming a lost interest
PostPosted: May Wed 25, 2022 2:04 am 
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Location: Baltimore, MD
igolioto wrote:
It should not be lost on anyone that when a personal connection to these collectibles is broken, value does go down.


Sometimes yes, but most of the time no. Just about all living links to external horn phonographs have been gone for 20 years now and they have all held their value, likely because complete original unmolested examples of many models are difficult to find. I believe it all has to do with how many of a given object have survived relative to the number of people who want one. Once everyone who wants one has one, prices start to dip.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Collecting tube radios becoming a lost interest
PostPosted: May Wed 25, 2022 7:21 am 
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ZenithRadios wrote:
Well, I am in my mid-twenties

As for the state of the hobby, I do not believe that hobby will die but may decrease in members. Some of my generation will discover the joy of radio collecting and will keep it going.

Exactly! There will always be the lure of wood cabinet enclosed electronic devices using glowing vacuum tubes regardless of the generation a person happens to be in.

igolioto wrote:
It should not be lost on anyone that when a personal connection to these collectibles is broken, value does go down.

How about when a personal connection never existed in the first place? I love my pre-war console and table radios, manufactured up to 15 years before the world was blessed with my presence, so there's obviously no personal connection, and I believe their values still hold.

igolioto wrote:
People want to buy their childhood or youth.

No question, but I think you are confusing the things one had or wanted in their youth, with "antique" collectibles that now appeal to them. Two separate desires, right?

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 Post subject: Re: Is Collecting tube radios becoming a lost interest
PostPosted: May Wed 25, 2022 4:37 pm 
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Location: Washington, DC
I wouldn't be surprised if the numbers are going down a bit, but I doubt it will ever be a lost interest. A 19th century sewing machine (pretty high tech consumer gear for the time) can still be had relatively easily, so that's my evidence tube radios will be around for another 100 years.

But my theory is it's at least 3 factors leading to a possible decline in interest. First, I never had a tube radio around growing up and probably never saw one (and certainly not a working one) until I got bored during lockdowns a couple years ago. People have already mentioned this, but there's no nostalgia for me. The stuff in my house when I was young was probably from 70s and 80s. I think the only vacuum tubes we had were the crt and the microwave.

The second reason is everything designed today is way more complicated. Even the hi-fi stereo receivers of the 70s and 80s get pretty complicated, and the modern computer/cellphone is orders of magnitude more. It's not quite as bad if the diagnostic is obvious (e.g. broken screen), but if a resistor, cap, or ic goes in your computer you have to have a certain skill set and specialized equipment 1) to be able to diagnose what's bad and 2) to get in there and replace it.

The third and I think one of the reasons that drove me to radios is that things now are designed not to be fixed. Not that they are designed without maintenance in mind, but designed so that maintenance is difficult to impossible. That's the whole reason there is (and needs to be) a right to repair movement. Because of how things are made, when mine or a friends flat screen goes we certainly don't take it to a TV repair shop. It's cheaper and easier to throw it away and buy a new one. I believe that's one reason that the right to repair movement is not as big as it should be; people don't even know that things should be able to be repaired.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Collecting tube radios becoming a lost interest
PostPosted: May Wed 25, 2022 5:16 pm 
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fifties wrote:
ZenithRadios wrote:
Well, I am in my mid-twenties

As for the state of the hobby, I do not believe that hobby will die but may decrease in members. Some of my generation will discover the joy of radio collecting and will keep it going.

Exactly! There will always be the lure of wood cabinet enclosed electronic devices using glowing vacuum tubes regardless of the generation a person happens to be in.

igolioto wrote:
It should not be lost on anyone that when a personal connection to these collectibles is broken, value does go down.

How about when a personal connection never existed in the first place? I love my pre-war console and table radios, manufactured up to 15 years before the world was blessed with my presence, so there's obviously no personal connection, and I believe their values still hold.

igolioto wrote:
People want to buy their childhood or youth.

No question, but I think you are confusing the things one had or wanted in their youth, with "antique" collectibles that now appeal to them. Two separate desires, right?


Excellent post fifties, right on all counts.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Collecting tube radios becoming a lost interest
PostPosted: May Wed 25, 2022 6:36 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Whippany, NJ
Making a trip to any antique radio event (like a Kutztown) and you'll quickly notice, the majority of the people attending are 60 to 65 and then some, that usually does not bode well for the future of a hobby. And yes, there are of course people under 60 to 65 attending the events, but they ae in the minority.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Collecting tube radios becoming a lost interest
PostPosted: May Wed 25, 2022 8:28 pm 
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Location: New York, NY
igolioto wrote:
It should not be lost on anyone that when a personal connection to these collectibles is broken, value does go down. The people who may begin collecting now do not remember when they themselves, or their parents, or their grandparents had these sets. People want to buy their childhood or youth.

The same thing happens in antique automobiles with some exceptions, obviously.

If that were the only reason for collecting there would be no such thing as an antique store, and little attendance at museums.

I was blessed with a wonderful childhood, but can't stand the style of stuff from that era. Avocado and burnt orange? No thank you. Personal preference.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Collecting tube radios becoming a lost interest
PostPosted: May Thu 26, 2022 1:07 am 
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igolioto wrote:
Making a trip to any antique radio event (like a Kutztown) and you'll quickly notice, the majority of the people attending are 60 to 65 and then some, that usually does not bode well for the future of a hobby. And yes, there are of course people under 60 to 65 attending the events, but they ae in the minority.

No argument there; the SCARS events in Burbank Calif are primarily populated by bald or grey haired guys, like myself, but recognize that these represent long time hard core collectors, by and large. This type of event is not indicative of the broader group of folks who might simply like to have one antique radio or so.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Collecting tube radios becoming a lost interest
PostPosted: May Thu 26, 2022 2:46 am 
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I'm sure there are collectors who seldom or never go to the radio events when they can buy online.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Collecting tube radios becoming a lost interest
PostPosted: May Thu 26, 2022 5:48 am 
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atwaterkent1 wrote:
I'm sure there are collectors who seldom or never go to the radio events when they can buy online.

Personally I stopped buying sets some time back, as I simply ran out of room, with just an occasional exception now and then. I'll go to a meet largely for the camaraderie with other old-timers.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Collecting tube radios becoming a lost interest
PostPosted: May Thu 26, 2022 12:49 pm 
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Location: Baltimore, MD
igolioto wrote:
Making a trip to any antique radio event (like a Kutztown) and you'll quickly notice, the majority of the people attending are 60 to 65 and then some, that usually does not bode well for the future of a hobby. And yes, there are of course people under 60 to 65 attending the events, but they ae in the minority.


A lot of us who aren't retired have other commitments and can't make it to events like Kutztown. I've always wanted to go, but have never been able to. If that was used as a gauge for every hobby, you'd probably find that most of the "active" participants are in their 60s and older, simply because the younger groups have work and/or family commitments and are unable to attend club events, meets, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Collecting tube radios becoming a lost interest
PostPosted: May Thu 26, 2022 10:18 pm 
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Joined: Aug Tue 02, 2011 10:47 pm
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Location: New York, NY
In the past Eva and I were often busy on weekends doing something productive like drinking. Our dear friends Mark Oppat and Leann kept telling us about Kutztown and I'd be like "Eh..." When we finally went a few years ago we had such a great time we've made it a yearly vacation.

But for the first few decades of collecting I had no interest in attending radio meets/swaps/dances/etc. This had nothing to do with my interest in this stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Collecting tube radios becoming a lost interest
PostPosted: May Fri 27, 2022 11:57 pm 
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Location: Bossier City, Louisiana
zenith82 wrote:
igolioto wrote:
Making a trip to any antique radio event (like a Kutztown) and you'll quickly notice, the majority of the people attending are 60 to 65 and then some, that usually does not bode well for the future of a hobby. And yes, there are of course people under 60 to 65 attending the events, but they ae in the minority.


A lot of us who aren't retired have other commitments and can't make it to events like Kutztown. I've always wanted to go, but have never been able to. If that was used as a gauge for every hobby, you'd probably find that most of the "active" participants are in their 60s and older, simply because the younger groups have work and/or family commitments and are unable to attend club events, meets, etc.


Good observation!

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 Post subject: Re: Is Collecting tube radios becoming a lost interest
PostPosted: May Sat 28, 2022 6:01 am 
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Location: 253 Blanche St. Plymouth, MI USA
zenith82 wrote:
FStephenMasek wrote:
With inflation zooming, people will have other priorities. After inflation is under control and energy prices have greatly declined, we will see what interest exists. A major factor is that most people do not know about the old radios, the old radio clubs, and forums such as this. I've shown radios to younger people and they did not know what they are.


I believe we are going to be in a hobby "cooling cycle" for at least the next couple of years, much like how things were in 2008-10. I'm already not seeing near the number of campers and RVs that were hitting the road this time last year and an acquaintance who works in vacation property management told me that cancellations for this summer are up about 40% over what they were last year. Most people don't have much if any play money right now.


Not so in Michigan, and from what I hear, out west. All vacation rentals are booked solid here, up north Michigan is booming.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Collecting tube radios becoming a lost interest
PostPosted: May Sat 28, 2022 9:10 pm 
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I'd say there is plenty of interest in 'primitive' or 'barefoot' technology, going back to basic principles. Look at Youtube, for example, and the videos of DIY batteries. Bushcraft, and steam engines from shock absorbers, etc. Crystal sets. It's more a back to roots appeal, for things that can be taken apart and fiddled with. So perhaps old electronics will continue to have an appeal for new thinkers. And then there has always been an appreciation of old things and curios per se. Music boxes, stereo viewers, microscopes etc. So I doubt radio collection would disappear, but perhaps go through a thin patch if AM transmission ends (and, as it has been seen to have some utility in the case of the BBC and Ukraine, maybe not), and DX etc is less appealing. I think a lot of older collectors have been engineers/radio repairers, who have liked to continue using their skills. That aspect will clearly change as we age, but fortunately there has been a lot of pooling of resources and information, so much of their knowledge may be passed on. That is important, surely.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Collecting tube radios becoming a lost interest
PostPosted: May Tue 31, 2022 7:26 am 
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Location: Baltimore, MD
oldradioparts wrote:
Not so in Michigan, and from what I hear, out west. All vacation rentals are booked solid here, up north Michigan is booming.


Hopefully it stays that way, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Several of my neighbors typically go to Ocean City or Virginia Beach each Memorial Day weekend. I'm usually the only one home in this group of houses, so I pick up mail, water plants, set the trash cans out and take them back after collection, the whole "being a good neighbor" routine. This year, NO ONE went anywhere. There was also a lot more traffic in this area than a typical Memorial Day weekend and the grocery stores were packed, which tells me a lot of people stayed home.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Collecting tube radios becoming a lost interest
PostPosted: May Tue 31, 2022 2:23 pm 
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Younger collectors are likely to be busy with work and families, which will hold attendance down at meets.Retirees do have more time on their hands.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Collecting tube radios becoming a lost interest
PostPosted: Jun Tue 07, 2022 4:48 pm 
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greenstar wrote:
I'd say there is plenty of interest in 'primitive' or 'barefoot' technology, going back to basic principles.


An inquisitive mind often needs a foundation for understanding- buy a cheap handheld radio and it'll likely have digital tuning, have some epoxied blob that you put a battery on one side, speaker on the other and somewhere in the middle it makes something happen.
Going back to basic fundamental principles allows the thrill of "I made this work", along with potentially demystifying what actually makes the thing work.

Personally I think that's a wonderful thing to still be happening.

Phil


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