Vacuum tube equipment

Dan Strassberg
Thu Sep 1 13:52:49 EDT 2005

I have an SR III and a Kloss Model 1. I don't listen to FM a whole lot, but
my impression is that the Kloss wins by a nose over the SR III on FM. On AM,
the Kloss lacks sensitivity, so without help, it can't compare with the SR
III. However, with the aid of Select-A-Tenna tunable passive loop, the Kloss
is quite the equivalent of the SR III on AM and its sound is likely to be
more pleasing to many listeners--notwithstanding the SR III's treble and
bass controls and switchable bandwidth (my SR III becomes essentially
useless when switched to wideband on AM). I have found the Select-A-Tenna to
be quite useless in combination with the SR III but the Select-A-Tenna works
very well with the Kloss--presumably because the SR III's large ferrite-loop
antenna simply can't be improved upon by increasing the strength of the RF
magnetic field that reaches it. As I understand it, the tunable loop is
resonant at the frequency to which it is tuned, and it radiates a relatively
large magnetic field at the selected frequency. The radio's ferrite loop is
sensitive to RF magnetic fields. You have to have the loop and the radio
properly positioned with respect to each other and to the station you are
trying to pick up. It is definetely possible to destroy the reception of a
station by use of the loop. You can accidentally have the tunable loop and
the radio's own antenna cancel each other out. I've done it.

Dan Strassberg,
eFax 707-215-6367

----- Original Message -----
From: "John Francini" <>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2005 12:37 PM
Subject: Re: Vacuum tube equipment

> There is still one source of high-quality radio receivers out there --
> C. Crane Company.
> <>
> They sell a number of high-quality radios, especially units with very
> sensitive front ends (the part that actually detects, decodes, and
> isolates the signal you want from all the others.)
> Models they sell that you could consider:
> a) The CCRadio Plus
> b) The Boston Acoustics Recepter
> c) The Tivoli Audio Henry Kloss Model One & Two
> d) The GE Superadio III
> If long-distance AM reception is your thing, they sell external
> antennas that can use for improved signal strength.
> Just my $0.02.
> John Francini
> On Sep 1, 2005, at 0:21, A. Joseph Ross wrote:
> > Now that I've read the archive of the discussion about vacuum tube
> > equipment, I do have some comments.
> >
> > First, the RCA Victor radio I got does have a wooden cabinet, but the
> > speaker is attached to a plastic front, and it sounded just as good
> > when I had it operating outside the cabinet.
> >
> > I have my own theory about vacuum tube equipment, and it has to do
> > with the quality of the product.  When I listen to WBZ on my car
> > radio, I'm not bothered by IBOC hash.  And on my car radio, I don't
> > have trouble sorting WCRB from the images of all the other strong
> > signals around -- even when the car is moving.  And I can hear WATD,
> > which I can't hear in my home except on my livingroom stereo, and even
> > there, only with a lot of noise.  Car radios are still made with a
> > high enough quality for the somewhat difficult reception conditions of
> > a moving automobile.
> >
> > But home radios are not being made as well as they used to be.  I once
> > had a cheap AM-FM clock radio with tubes that I bought for $2 at a
> > yard sale sometime in the 70s.  I used it in my office and heard WCRB
> > with no problem.  In 1985, when moving to a new office, I thought I'd
> > get a new radio, and I got a nice wood-cabinet Sony radio.  The sound
> > quality isn't too bad, but the reception is definitely not up to that
> > old clock radio, which I'm sorry I discarded
> >
> > I have a good-quality Sylvania solid-state table radio which I bought
> > in 1968.  It's a little more suceptible to FM images than the older
> > tube sets, but it has no trouble sorting out WCRB, either at home or
> > in my office.  Several months ago I decided to swap it for the Sony in
> > my office, and it manages to pick up WCRB with only occasional
> > retuning or adjustment of the antenna.
> >
> > The Sony, here at home, is completely incapable of getting a
> > consistent signal on WCRB.  Neither can the boom-box that I bought
> > last year at a yard sale.  Neither, in fact, can my Sony 2010 radio,
> > which is so excellent for short wave.
> >
> > But I now have a Panasonic portable radio which I got for my mother
> > back in the late 70s.  It's a bit temperamental and requires careful
> > adjustment of the antenna, but it can get WCRB fine once that's done.
> >
> > So, tubes or transistors, they're just not making them as well these
> > days.
> >
> > --
> > A. Joseph Ross, J.D.                           617.367.0468
> >  15 Court Square, Suite 210                 Fax 617.742.7581
> > Boston, MA 02108-2503          
> >
> >

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