ARC never made a receiver, right....
SAE Two R-18
and my favorite Marantz...
the Marantz 2500...
Given that this was introduced as a fun thread, and based on a liberal interpretation of the word "receiver," I’ll nominate the cobalt blue mirrored Sparton Nocturne radio, ca. 1936.
It was designed (in terms of appearance) by a noted industrial designer named Walter Dorwin Teague, and is considered to be an iconic example of art deco industrial design. Very few are known to exist, and on the rare occasion when one appears for sale I believe they go for something like $50K.
P.S: The photo doesn’t provide an indication of its size; it is about 4 feet in diameter.
I've owned a few (4?) over the years...and kept going back to them. Pioneer sx-1280:
Considering what people want for them these days, I'm not likely to have another. Too much hassle.
That Spartan Nocturne is very nice.
Making copies with extreme analog fidelity (no digital or digital RF hook ups!!!) (get off yer butt!) would very likely turn good business.
For affordably priced receivers with good looks, I always liked the black faced Optonicas. I've have not heard one in 40 years and I have no idea how they sound relative to their peers from the same period. I'm guessing they are not as good as Pioneer, Sansui, Yamaha and Kenwood, but they are pretty.....
wow I always loved the Luxmans but I think the Sansui's were so nice looking they just got it right with the contrasting face and displays
G 5000 -G22000 series
TU series like this tu 719 and 900
That's an amazing and beautiful picture of the Sparton Nocturne radio. I have never seen or heard of it before. It reminds me of round blue mirrors and small tables with blue mirror glass from that period that I have seen at flea markets in the past. Thanks!
Gentlemen, thanks for your comments about the Sparton Nocturne, and thanks to Lowrider for the good reference he provided. Upon checking a little further, I found an actual selling price from a recent (November 2015) auction. The pre-auction estimate by the auction house was $70K to $90K, but it ended up going for $149,000! See this link.
As alluded to in the reference Lowrider provided, the electronics and speaker drivers in the better 1930’s radios were quite outstanding. In the early part of that decade some used type 45 or 2A3 power tubes, in push-pull configurations. The Nocturne came a bit later, and used 6F6’s, while some other high end sets used 6L6’s at around that time. Most of these sets used field coil speakers. Many of the better sets had separate chassis for their tuner and power amplifier sections. Sound familiar?
Antique radio collecting is one of my other hobbies, and I can attest to the fact that the better sets of the 1930s were the best sounding, best performing in terms of station getting ability, and certainly the best looking AM radios ever produced. (FM did not yet exist, of course).
John (Roxy54), yes, I too have seen various pieces of furniture and other items from around that time having blue-mirror surfaces, in antique shops, flea markets, and at auctions. So it was not an uncommon style element in those days. And in fact besides the floorstanding Nocturne, Walter Dorwin Teague also designed a few mirrored table model radios for Sparton. (That name, btw, was derived as a contraction of the name of the company and its principals, Sparks-Withington). The table model sets can be seen in this photo, and typically go for around $2K to $5K or so depending on condition. The circular "Bluebird" is the best known of them. Mirrored sets were also produced by a few other manufacturers.
That’s a great hobby, Al. I know a couple broadcast engineers that share your interest.
Maybe you are familiar with some of these...
None as beautiful as the Sparton Nocturne.
Lots of sexy receivers from the 70's and 80's. I had a Tandberg 3030 receiver a while back which was pretty sexy looking. The old wide B&O receivers were also nice looking as well
Its all a matter of preference. The big Sansui G series are gorgeous as are the old school Yamahas. I also like the Harman Kardon HK430/730 and the 1980's HK receivers, the Carvers are beautiful too and the Mitsubishi rotary dial receivers are cool looking too.....some like the Revox B285 which would be cooler if you had the matching cd player and cassette deck. Pinterest is great for wasting your time looking at this eye candy!!!
1. What's your favorite looking?
2. What would you like to own?
ADS Atelier Stack:
Any other stacks worth considering that I missed? (We're not talking amp/preamp stacks, just receiver, cassette, cd stacks
The old Rotel silver faced gear:
The Setton silver faced receivers and integrated:
My vote is for Kyocera.
I bought a Kyocera 661 receiver and 310 CD player in 1987. I didn’t know much about high-end audio at the time, beyond the name McIntosh, which a friend’s father had. I lived near Myer-Emco in DC, so that’s where I went when I wanted to buy a CD player. I had bought Polk speakers there previously.
Eventually I realized—after looking at NAD, Nakamichi, Luxman, and other brands available at that time—that I chose the Kyocera components at least partly because I liked the way they looked.