Repair and Restoration
We spend a great deal of time sourcing these beauties! Some acquisitions have taken years to find! We pass on commonplace or severely damages examples. We are always receiving offers to buy some of the most treasured and exclusive collections in the country. We cherry pick only the best and most exceptional examples.
Our process is to replace every component that is defective. All electronic components, even modern ones, will deviate from manufacturer specifications over time. This deviation occurs as a result of all environmental factors like temperature and fluctuations, moisture, shock, chemical exposure, vermin and insect, abuse, etc. The result of these effects is reduced audio quality, loss of tuning sensitivity, low gain, misalignment, etc.
-Dirty: The most common damage we've observed is - Dirt! If nothing else, the radios need to be cleaned before they can be enjoyed again and placed in your living space, even if everything works perfectly otherwise. The dirt is not just superficial. Internally, dirt collects and cakes onto electronic components and over time will reduce the operability and usability of the clock and radio. Circuit boards are thoroughly cleaned to remove hidden contaminants, chemical deposits, rust, etc. In rare cases, parts must be disassembled, cleaned, and reassembled or replaced.
-Power cord: One of the most common defect that occurs over time is damage to the power cord or power plug. Obviously, dried, frayed or fatigued power cords need to be replaced before use. Failure to replace a defective power cord could lead to an electrical fire or shock. Power plugs are scrubbed clean of dirt and grime.
-Component failure: We use only quality Japanese, American, or European branded manufacturers of capacitors, resistors, transformers, diodes, etc whenever possible.
Our experience has given us the advantage to identify root causes of circuit failures immediately most of the time. This minimizes unnecessary disturbance to other areas if the circuit that could lead to problems later. We test all our replacement components in and out of circuit to ensure electronic behavior that is within factory tolerances.
-Vacuum tubes: We test every vacuum tube in the radios we sell. We use only vintage period correct vacuum tubes that measure 80-100 on our vacuum tube tester. Our radios use tubes from:
We test many combinations of the same set of vacuum tubes to get the best matching set for optimum performance for each radio. A set that works well in one radio may not work well in another radio.
-Alignment: All radios are aligned according to factory specifications and procedures.
-Intermediate Frequency Transformer (IFTs): These are replaced whenever necessary.
-Wires: If the insulation of the wire has become brittle and fallen apart, we will replace that connection with new insulated wire of the same gauge. We do a careful inspection of all wiring connections to avoid short circuits.
-Solder: We do a thorough inspection of solder joints. Over the years and as a result if imperfect manufacturing processes, original solder joints can become fatigued, separated, loose, etc. We reflow these solder joints whenever necessary with lead free solder.
-Asbestos: Whenever we find asbestos, we remove it safely. We reconstruct heat shield fiber board and foil composite.
-Dial light: We replace all dial lights working or not with brand new incandescent replacements.
-Clocks : We clean and lubricate the clock mechanism. We test all clock functions:
-Clock time set
-Screws and hardware: We use the original machine and sheet metal screws whenever possible in their original locations. Whenever missing, we use exact modern replacements of machine and sheet metal screws of the same size and gauge. We use the correct finish for replaced hardware i.e chrome, stainless, etc to match the original
-Knobs and buttons: We have a vast inventory of parts for exact matching, manufacturer, and model correct replacements. Loose parts are fastened and secured to ensure all knobs and buttons won't easily come off.
-Labels and tags: Whenever possible, labels and tags are not removed. We prefer to keep all manufacturer labels and tags intact. If repainted, the labels and tags are carefully masked.
-Backing boards: Backing boards are strengthen at attachment points if necessary. Whenever necessary, a reproduction backing board will be fabricated using quality modern materials.
-Original boxes and manuals: If available, original boxes, manuals, and packing materials will be included. All clocks, radios, and clock radios come with a helpful User Manual with instructions, tips for care and maintenance, and troubleshooting guide.
Our preference is originality. Always.
-Cabinet: Our process restoring the appearance to almost new was perfected over hundreds of radios. All cabinets are thoroughly cleaned with safe, environmentally friendly, detergents. We use a many step combination of a machine and hand polishing process that restores original shine and gloss to near new condition. All nooks and crannies, seams, edges are inspected for dirt deposits. Every radio undergoes a multiple stage machine polishing process. Then, a four step hand polishing procedure brings old distressed and hazy plastic to almost new condition.
-Knobs: We carefully clean the ridges. cavities, and edges of knobs to remove dirt. We polish as necessary
-Decals and logos: Whenever necessary old decals and logos are reproduced. Old recessed painted logos, graphics are reproduced whenever necessary with carefully matching paint and colors.