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Philips 456A (1936)

The Philips 456A is a lower mid-range superhet from 1936. It comes in a wooden case with a nice slanted bakelite tuning dial.
The 456A is a reasonably modern radio for its time. It has a nice feature: you can tilt the bakelite tuning dial assemby in a convenient angle. The tuning dial "glass" is made out of plastic, presumably celluloid.

    A look from behind

A look from behind

All the valves are Philips "golden series" valves, i.e. valves on a P-type base with a 4V heater with gold paint as an external shield:
AK2octode frequency changer,
AF3penthode as IF amplifier,
AB2double diode as detector,
AL4output pentode,
There is no tuning indicator. There are later versions of the 456A (the 456A-20) that use "red" valves, having type numbers starting with "E" and having a 6.3 V heater.

I bought this radio on an Internet auction in december 2005. The seller told me he had polished it using teak oil to make it look better and make the scratches disappear. I wasn't particularly happy with that, because teak oil is definitely not the best product for maintenance of a french polish (shellack) finish. If the french polish is intact, it does not do much harm. But on this radio, the shellack was cracked and spots of the wood were exposed. The teak oil gave them a darker color, thereby highlighting the places where the finish was damaged. At home, I removed as much oil as I could, using white spirit. This made the shellack look dried out and gave it a bit foggy appearance. After this, I cleaned it with alcohol and polished it with shellack. It started to look better. I will take the radio out of the case and finish the finish later.

Regarding the way the radio worked, the seller told me it did not play but only gave a loud hum. I saw that the original wet electrolytic capacitors in the power supply had long ago been replaced by a double electrolytic. But that one also was more than 40 years old. I did not find the time to fix the radio and put it on a shelf. Now I have started its description, maybe it is time.

Copyright © 2007 by Onno's E-page         published 2007-03-18, last updated 2007-03-23