New delivery: The Allied Model 2682 shortwave and multi-band radio. This same radio was sold under at least two different brand names----Allied and the more frequently seen Aircastle version. I believe I might have also seen it branded as a Realistic or Lafayette but I'm not positive about that.
I first saw one of these (the Aircastle version) on E-Bay a few years ago. I was in the market for a vertical format, small footprint vintage shortwave, but I didn't win the auction. Over the years, I've seen at least a dozen more (probably closer to 20), usually Aircastle but sometimes Allied. The radios were either "Buy It Now" at an inflated price, or non-working/untested---and a few times, I simply lost the auction. I liked the style of the radio enough to be interested, but refused to pay a lot of money for an unfamiliar brand. Finally, last weekend, I snagged one at a very good price.
The radio is larger than it appears in the photo and it's heavy. The high quality chrome cleaned up beautifully, as did the black vinyl/leatherette case. I have to say, I'm pleasantly surprised by its performance----as I'm listening to Toronto's AM 740 oldies station as I write this----early evening, loud and clear. That station is sort of a litmus test for my newly acquired radios. Sometimes it doesn't come in at all. Other times, faint and wobbly. With this Allied radio, it's pretty strong----very listenable. This is a good quality radio chassis. It was made in Japan. It appears that all bands are working and I'm eager to try out the shortwave later tonight. It has a nice, long power cord, still flexible and in great condition, even though I place this radio at about 35 or more years old. I've noticed that on some older Panasonics I've owned, the power cord gets very stiff and brittle. Overall, the Allied materials are very good, bordering on excellent quality.
I'm sort of happy I ended up with the Allied version. Aircastle was a great old radio manufacturer, but by the time this model was introduced, I'm sure the name was just licensed for imports----probably had very little relationship to the original Aircastle. Meantime, I understand Allied was a competitor to Radio Shack and they imported this as a house brand offering. I'm almost certain I've seen this same style band selector on old Radio Shack models too. Maybe they offered a clone of this radio???
One reason I love collecting vintage radios is that it's an inexpensive way to posess some "active" history. It's fun to think about how this radio traveled throughout the years----and who the original purchaser was. I'm wondering if a Dad and his kid walked into an Allied store and got this as a birthday or Christmas gift. Maybe someone wanted it for their Summer cottage----an area with good shortwave reception, during a time when shortwave listening was hot. They'd sit on their screened in porch late at night listening to the world. And where has it been for the last 35 years? I think it will be with me for a good long while.