Back to home page

Philco Model 96

Philco made this model for the 1930 season. It is a TRF with nine tubes.

This Philco 96 was purchased from the same person that had the Philco 39-25. I emailed him and asked if he had anything else he wanted to part with and he sent photos of two consoles. My wife picked the 96. We drove out to Gainesville, Georgia one Sunday and picked it up. He wanted $50.00 but he had also volunteered to throw in a spare speaker so in my generosity I gave him $60.00 for them both. Good thing. The output transformer was open and the spare had a good one but no cone. Anybody need a 96 speaker with no cone or transformer? I still had to do a lot of repairs to the speaker cone. It was split in several places. I used coffee filters and Elmer’s...

The cabinet had lots of peeling veneer on the left side that required patching. Other than that the finish was good enough to bring back without striping. I used Formsby furniture restoration products along with lots of sanding and buffing.

The chassis electronic restoration was complicated because someone had removed all but one of the famous Philco Bakelite blocks along with the associated wires. The wires in some cases were cut back to the harness that runs around the perimeter of the chassis. There were loose wires everywhere. The wires to the potted capacitors were cut and some were twisted back (in the wrong place). I ordered a schematic from
Chuck Schwark which included a great pictorial of the under chassis layout. Using that and the schematic I rewired the radio using terminal strips where the blocks should have been.

The original 'falling leaf' pattern grill cloth is not available as a reproduction so I looked around until I found something that looked right. The pattern name is 'Mozart' which I think is appropriate for this style radio. It is heavier than grill cloth but doesn't seem to affect the sound at all. The radio sounds great. I later made adapters so 1619 tubes could be used in the 45 sockets. 45s are rather expensive and although presently not hard to come by, I decided to save mine. The radio honestly sounds better with the 1619s. 1619s are beam power tubes similar to a 6L6 but with a 2.5 volt filament cathode. They were primarily used as transmitting tubes in tanks in WWII. To adapt them as subs for 45s they must be wired as triodes and a four-pin adapter made.
Bill Turner makes the adapter but I made mine just for the exercise. There is no cost savings at all over buying the tube and adapter combination from Bill.

Here is a before photo of the Philco 96 .

Back to home page