Date registered: Sep 2017
Vehicle: 2008 CLK-350 Convertible
Location: East Coast Florida
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 92 Post(s)
Yes, I do have a Variac (actually two or three of them, this kind of stuff tends to gravitate towards me, it shows up at flea markets and garage sales and nobody knows what it is so I can buy it really cheap. I bought a plating transformer/rectifier (for gold plating, etc) for $5 a few months ago), but I am not quite ready to go that route yet.
There are a few minor mechanical repairs which need to be made first. The set has an internal rotatable ferrite core antenna which came out of the "cradle" and broke the two wires leading to it. I'll refasten it to the cradle and resolder the two wires. The dial cord for this is also broken, but the tuning dial cord, which is made of a different material, is fine and works properly.
I notice the FM receiver part is set up for the old UK FM band of (I think) 80 to 100 Mhz, not 88 to 108 as here. That's fine, most of the NPR stations are down around 88 to 93 Mhz, so if I need a dose of liberal anguished hand-wringing, I know where to find it. (Actually, I am fairly liberal myself, but NPR is SO RIGHTEOUS that I just can't stand them. We should be bombing Lake Woebegon instead of the middle eastern country du jour, but I digress . . . )
Even though there are only about six tubes, several are double or even triple function. Turns out this is because receivers were taxed on the number of tubes in them, so it paid to have multi-function tubes to keep the "envelope" count down.
(Incidentally, this is why watches in the US say "unadjusted", the tariff on "adjusted" watches is higher. The watch has been adjusted, it just claims it hasn't been, so we don't get to fill the federal coffers any more than necessary. There was (or may still be) a duty on the number of jewels in a watch or clock, but with the quartz revolution, that is immaterial nowadays.)
Regarding "transistor sound" vs "tube (valve) sound", I prefer the tube sound even though I recognize that transistor sound is sharper but seems somehow "more brittle". This might be because tube sound better emulates what you would hear in a concert hall full of people (all that fabric softens the sound) and while transistor sound is more "clinical" and "accurate", it is just not as "pleasing". This is a HIGHLY subjective discussion and is really for a different forum or user group, but whatever.
Best Regards (and good listening!)