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March 22, 2010

Comments

Angelo

It's just a very neat thing to have---a bridge to another time and place. And look at the photos---it's obvious this thing was made to last for decades. I can't believe how beautifully it cleaned up. I compare this with my Sangean CC Radio, which was expensive---with it's plastic case and barely functioning on and off LCD display---buttons on top that stick and require hard pushing to make contact----and it's very obvious which radio is higher quality. It's the Panasonic, hands down. The LCD issue (and button contact) with my CC Radio still infuriates me. When you have a radio that sells for over $150.00, you should get longer service life from it. At the very least, I'd like C Crane to repair these, replace them with remanufactured units or offer a decent credit toward something else in their catalog.

Jeffrey McMahon

Angelo, the build quality of Dan's vintage Panny reminds me to appreciate that I have a mint RF-888.

Angelo

Jeff: My own 888 is one of my favorite radios. Crisp, clear sound and good quality materials and build. I will say, Dan's Panny has a lot more metal on it. Impressive.

brandon

Having owned my RF-935 now for about a month http://herculodge.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341c6d1b53ef0120a8df43ee970b-pi , I can concur that vintage Panasonic build quality is simply the best, certainly far surperior to the CCRadio. My RF-935 is apparently an extremely rare radio as I still have yet to see another one anywhere online.

I did find, however, a site that has links to 43 different vintage Panasonic user manuals (mainly the smaller AM/FM portables and a few AM/FM/PSB) and you can click on and view the top page of every manual, each of which have the radio's specs.

http://www.ephemera-etcetera.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=24_25_66&sort=2a&page=1

The RF-935 has the best AM sensitivity numbers of all 43 models shown and is beaten only by the RF-1089 and and RF-1405 on FM (the RF-1405 boasts and incredible 1.2uv FM sensitivity, this would be a SOLID performer on FM). Anyways, this page would be a good reference page for anybody considering picking up an older Panasonic AM/FM radio on ebay. Looking at the specs you can see that there is a very wide variance in sensitivity specs between similar looking models, such as the RF-1403 and RF-1405, where the RF-1405 is 3x more sensitive on AM and 4x more sensitive on FM.

Angelo

Brandon: You can't beat a round frequency tuning dial. I have a few radios with that feature---it's sort of a "Militry Twilight Zone" look that I can't get enough of. These old radios are like other antiques---you marvel at how right they got it back then.

Radio Russ

I too have a CCRadio "Platinum Edition" I got as a Christmas gift in 2001. The LCD display is flaked out and the tuning knob glitches all over the place. I like Sangean stuff but compared to old Panasonic gear? No contest - the Sangean products are substandard and not built to last as long as these classics were.

Dan Somers

I've got about a dozen vintage Panasonic radios here, and I'm amazed how easy it was to restore them to like-new condition. Usually, a dose of DeoxIT contact cleaner on all switches and controls is all it takes to obtain like-new performance, and the original luster of the plastics and other exterior materials returns after cleaning with Natural Finish Detailer. Even the electrolytic capacitors in these four-decade-old radios have withstood the test of time.

Keith Beesley

Dan, was it hard to replace the cassette belt? I have several P.sonic boomboxes where the radio tuner still works fine, but not the cassette, and I suspect they need belts.

Angelo

Russ: I have one too---and I haven't tried to contact C Crane about it, but I'm sure their response would be "It's almost 10 years old, what do you expect us to do about it?" My answer to that is that I don't EXPECT them to do anything----but that mass market Emersons and GE radios of the same age are working as new---and so are Sonys and Panasonics that are 40-plus years old. Maybe they should do the "unexpected" and fix them at cost, or replace them with rebuilt units for $50.00 plus your old radio, or offer a nice credit toward something else they sell----maybe half the original price or something like that. It's called "keeping customers."

Angelo

One other thing: On C Crane's website, the CC Radio 2 description talks about how they "redesigned the LCD display for better durability 5 years ago---and it's been robust."
So what does that mean? I trash my $160.00 radio from them to replace it with a new $160.00 radio from them because they fixed a defect?

Radio Russ

Angelo: I did contact C Crane about the LCD display 3 years ago. They emphasized that they had solved the problem on new models but wanted $100 to fix my old one. That was the last time I ever dealt with C Crane & Co.

Dan Somers

Keith --

It was very easy to replace the cassette belt in my Panasonic RF-7270. After I opened the case, I removed the old belt with the help of a curved dental tool. Then I measured the old belt with digital calipers, doubled the measurement shown, subtracted about 7% to compensate for old-age stretch, and ordered a new belt from Studio Sound Electronics of New Albany, Indiana. See pic here:

http://home.comcast.net/~Exit32/MeasureBelt.jpg

Studio Sound Electronics here:

http://studiosoundelectronics.com/beltmeas.htm

When my new belt arrived three days later, I used the dental tool to help hook the belt around the the cassette mechanism's pulleys. Works great now!

BTW, turntableneedles.com sells cassette belts for specific Panasonic models, but I'd still recommend measuring your old belt before ordering:

http://www.turntableneedles.com/Square-Belt-Small-860-Inch_p_504.html

Amptech Systems

Nice find! I bought an RF-7270 marked "needs repair" for $2 at a garage sale (when I was about 9 years old) circa 1975 while my brand-new RQ-711S cassette recorder was in the shop for warranty work. After replacing the belts, the RF-7270 was good as new. Once the RQ-711S was back from the shop, I used the two units for dubbing with the RQ-711S as the "source" deck, taking advantage of the superior AC Bias / AC Erase recording circuit topology of the RF-7270 as the "target" deck. The speaker-monitor feature of the RF-7270 in conjunction with a homebrew preamp became my first guitar practice amp when I bought a used electric guitar at another garage sale. Brings back fond memories of my youth as a self-taught child protege in the Electronics field. I eventually re-sold that unit to a low-income family who were tenants in one of my grandparents' rentals after upgrading to an early model of stereo boombox (make and model long forgotten) that I also bought secondhand as a "fixer-upper" project.

Cliff

Hi guys (and gals ?). I just bought one of these Royalaires today, for $5 at a flea market. I haven't tried cleaning it up yet, but after locating 5 D batteries, (no power cord included in the sale) not that common these days, lol, it still works. 😀 The cassette player had a child's tape in it, and was trying to spin up, but I quickly ejected that, and got the radio playing. It needs a good going over, but sounds great, and just oozes quality. And yeah, you gotta love the old roundie dials. Close to 8 pounds, built to last. 😎 I found an old ad, that showed a price of $125, which was a lot of money back in the day.

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