|Only Philco Has These Features:
Philco Model 23X Radio-Phonograph Console (1932/1933)
Philco introduced the beautiful model 23X in June of 1932 as
the premier radio-phonograph console in their line-up for
1932/33. It had a list price of $195, making it one of the most
expensive Philcos of the season, behind the model 15DX at
$250. Philco radio-phonographs such as this one, from the
darkest days of the Great Depression, are seldom seen today.
They were very expensive so few were sold, and perhaps
because of their bulk, not many of them appear to have
survived (only 1461 model 23X sets were ever made).
According to advertising, the 23X was a favorite of Bing Crosby
and at his behest, it was featured in the 1932 motion picture
"The Big Broadcast", in which he starred (see ads lower down
The 23X embodies a two-speed phonograph (331/3 & 78 rpm)
with a synchronous self-starting motor and automatic shut-off.
It was one of the first sets to offer 331/3 rpm, enabling it to play
the new program transcription recordings. Reportedly, both
turntable mechanism and pick-up arm were supplied to Philco
by RCA Victor. For sure, I can readily spot the similarities be-
tween this set's phonograph and that in my RCA-Victor model
Following in the footsteps of the 90X and 112X introduced six
months earlier, the 23X prominently featured Philco's Inclined
Sounding Board. It was claimed to be the first Radio Phono-
graph to embody the innovation. As with all the Inclined
Sounding Board models introduced that June, the 23X emp-
loyed twin speakers (see photo lower right). The rear of the
speaker chamber was fitted with Philco's echo-absorbing
The 23X employs a 9-tube chassis that was a variant on the
newly introduced model 91 code 221 chassis, modified to
accommodate the 23X's phono input. The tube line-up is 44
(RF amp), 36 (mixer/LO), 44 (IF amp), 37 (det-rect), 37 (det-
amp), 37 (audio amp), 42 * 2 (push-pull output) and 80
(rectifier). The 91/23 series was the first to use Philco's
shadow-graph tuning indicator, introduced at the same time as
the 23X (see ad below and my 19B page). The tuning range is
standard broadcast from 550-1500kcs. The schematic may be
found here, courtesy of NostalgiaAir.
I purchased this unit in late 2008 through Ebay. It is fully
restored and plays with a big, impressive sound on both radio
and phono. The grille cloth is an incorrect replacement. See
my Philco 91D page for a later example of a set from the model
91 series (notice the modified tube-shield design in the later
set; 23X rear view here).
Shown right is an ad seen in the New York Olean Times Herald
of Fri Nov.18th '32. It refers to the inclusion of a Philco 23X
radio phonograph in in scenes of the motion picture "The Big
Broadcast" at the behest of Bing Crosby. The movie previewed
at the Haven Theatre in Olean, New York at midnight Nov 19th
1932. (double click to enlarge).
Below are additional advertisements or clips therefrom featur-
ing the 23X and/or its embodied tech (twin speakers and
|..first radio combining Inclined Sounding Board with
|First Showing! The Radio-Phonograph - Play your favorite
records on this lovely instrument and compare the
reproduction with anything you have ever heard before -
you'll agree, it looks better, it sounds better, it is
better! Takes both standard and long-playing records
and includes every new Philco radio improvement!
Greatest visual tuning aid.
Inclined Sounding Board
Greatest advance in music since the
Philco Twin Speakers
Insure complete, perfect reception.
Philco High Efficiency Tubes
Greatest advance in radio since
the first AC tube.
Echo Absorbing Screen
Prevents echo and blur.
Designed to automatically kill noise
Recording Dial with Glowing Arrow
The desired station, instantly
..very handsome and suitable for the best furnished homes.
It looks better, it sounds better, it is better!
441/2" (H) * 271/2" (W)
..phonograph adapted for both long and short playing records.
..remarkable volume and performance.
June 12th, 1932
June 14th, 1932
Oct 20th, 1932
Nov 18th, 1932
|"twin speakers - now perfected by Philco engineer-
ing genius - give full round tone. They do for radio
just what two ears do for hearing - give better
depth and quality of sound"