Philco Model 16L Lowboy Console Radio (1933)
The Philco Model 16L all-wave receiver was introduced in June of 1933,
along with its smaller brother the 16B Baby Grand compact. The model 16
represented a significant product milestone for Philco, coming as it did at the
end of a most remarkable five years for the company. The set embodied
most if not all of the latest technological developments and it quickly earned
a reputation for superb performance - a reputation that still stands today. In
the opinion of many esteemed collectors and scholars, the model 16 counts
among the very finest of domestic tube radios ever built.
The 16 series proved highly successful for Philco and arguably laid the
foundations for their high end models introduced over the next five years. It
represented the convergence of two distinct lines of emergent technology,
that of the all-wave receiver with world-wide reach and that of Hi-Fi
reproduction - driven by the quest for perfect tone. Whereas the 16 may not
in itself be counted amongst Philco's Hi-Fi models it was an important
stepping stone, incorporating significant developments that were to prove
key in achieving that goal. In fact, Philco's (and the industry's) first Hi-Fi
model, the 200X, was likely already under development at the time the 16
The 16 offered these features at a time when the popularity of shortwave
listening was rapidly gaining momentum and when the increasing quantity of
music broadcast domestically was raising the demand for better
reproduction. Yet again, Philco had the right product in the right place at the
right time, and counting all the model 16 styles, almost 100,000 were sold*.
The 16L had an introductory price of $125, complete. However by Christmas
of 1933 it was listed at $150 ($155 in the West). * source: philcoradio.com.
The features offered by the 16L were announced as follows:-
|"Keep the music off the floor!
Famous Philco Patented Inclined Sounding Board
(concealed)....you hear all the high notes and full
reproduction of low notes, with clear, free unboxed
tone and without echo and blur."
- all wave coverage in five bands. including ultra short wave as used by
British Empire broadcasts
- famous Philco inclined sounding board (concealed),
- exclusive Philco balanced power "Class A" audio system providing 15W
- new and improved automatic inter-station noise suppression which
counteracts the usual noisiness between stations when tuning
- shadow meter tuning, which allows the listener to tune stations by sight
rather than by ear. More accurate tuning, and therefore more perfect
reception is made possible by this Philco development.
- Bass Compensating Tone Control
- illuminated station recording dial
- improved automatic volume control
- patented Philco full-floating chassis
- new and improved 12" electrodynamic auditorium speaker
- 11 Philco high-efficiency tubes
The 16L features an "inclined sounding board, concealed behind a conventional
front". It is visible in the photo to the right. The white circuit breaker to the left
of speaker was in the radio when found. It is not original to the radio,
unconnected and of unknown function.
This 16L uses a chassis having the 11-tube line-up:- 77 (mixer), 76 (LO), 78
(1st IF), 78 (2nd IF), 37 (2nd detector diode-connected triode), 77
(inter-station noise suppression - QAVC), 77 (1st AF), 42 (AF driver), 42 * 2
(triode connected class A push-pull output), 5Z3 (rectifier). It has five bands:-
520-1500kc, 1.5-4.0mc, 3.2-6.0mc, 5.8-12.0mc and 11.0-23.0mc. The
schematic may be found here.
The early 16s had no RF stage and five bands. Later models would eliminate
the interstation noise suppression tube, add an RF tube and reduce the
number of bands to four.
|If you want to hear all the stars as if "in person"
Give your home a REAL radio! Philco 16L.
PHILCO MODEL 16 SERIES
5-band early chassis