I snagged this for under $25.00, plus shipping of around $12.00. I was more curious than anything else. I've never owned a Webcor radio, but I liked the design, which reminds me of a psychedelic Panasonic RF-3000. It has the same "slot machine" look on the frequency dial(s), but unlike the Panny, Webcor employs a rainbow look in the windows. With the bidding this low, I had to give this a try.
It arrived quickly and in reasonably nice condition. When I opened the box, the radio smelled like the smokers lounge at RJ Reynolds, or a 1960's era poker game room. I've been airing this thing out for 24 hours and gave it a bath in liquid cleaners---blew it out with canned air---you name it. Finally, the odor is dissipating.
The radio itself is quite nice. It weighs almost 10 pounds (without the 4 "C" batteries it requires). The case is a convincing imitation leather---I think. If it were genuine leather, it might be stamped as such. The metal is nice----chrome in excellent condition and nice contrasting brushed aluminum. These materials are on par with anything Sony or Panasonic was doing in the same period. It's solid.
Build quality and electronics are not quite as good. Two things I noticed----not a good comination:
1) There is a noticable hum on AC operation.
2) The battery carriage is shoddy/chintzy.
So unless I want to play the radio at a loud volume that drowns out the hum, electric isn't a good option. But the battery carriage is cracked and has been taped----and wiring re-soldered---and at times, it loses contact. Fortunately, I just have to open the back of the radio and push on the battery carriage and it re-establishes contact. I think I've found the position that is reliable. Yet due to the fact that it doesn't sound good on AC power, I'll probably want to use this radio outdoors or in places where I don't have an outlet----which means moving the radio around---which means a high probability of knocking the battery case away from its good connection. It drives me crazy that an otherwise well designed radio, apparently made with very nice, high quality materials, went this route with the battery carriage. But this isn't the first time I've seen this. Grundigs of the same era (or a little earlier) also had delicate battery holders that would crack and lose contact...shameful.
Performance? Reception is very good. On AM and SW, this rig has no problem locking in on the same distant stations that some of my better or pricier name brand radios pick up. I did notice that on FM, the most powerful local stations overpower neighboring frequencies, but this is common in my area. Selectivity could be better, but it's in line with other low to moderately priced radios. Also, the FM antenna isn't connected----it pulls right out of the radio. But the antenna still seems to work when it's in place.
Speaker sound is just fine. Is it a Panasonic RF-888? No. And it wouldn't blast my neighborhood with classic rock and funk when I shovel my driveway, as my old (aforementioned) Panasonic RF-3000 did (a radio I sold on E-Bay). But the speaker doesn't break up when music plays at loud volume and it fills a room with no problem at all.
One thing I will say is that the "tone" setting is pretty much useless. Turning it all the way from the bass side to the treble side doesn't accomplish much. Separate bass and treble controls usually do a much better job. Right now, I'm listening to Seal's "Kissed By A Rose" and I'd love heavier bass.
All in all, I can't complain about this aquisition. It was inexpensive and shipping was very reasonable for a heavy radio. I love sellers who don't try to clean up on shipping.
Webcor was apparently distributed by the Consolidated Merchandising Corporation, listed on the back of the radio. Made in Japan. I did a quick search on Bing, but didn't really find much about Webcor or CMC. The radio reminds me of some of the CBS/Columbia "Masterwork" radios I've seen and owned---a good thing, because they are also underrated, decent quality, Japanese radios from the 1960s that are often available for pocket change on E-Bay.