The RCA 96-X3 (96X3) table radio from
the 1939 season is another impressive
machine-age model from the latter part of
the Art Deco period. The styling is
attributed to the industrial designer John
Vassos, who worked for RCA for many
years and was responsible for a number of
their more adventurous designs, many of
which are highly prized by collectors today.
I particularly like the impression created by
the step-down top, the curved dial and the
streamlined left side, with its wrap-around
louvred grille in contrasting tan colored
plaskon. It inspires images of powerful
machinery, not dissimilarly to GE's
contemporaneous H-500 "turbine" radio.
As well as the colors shown, this set could
be purchased in all brown (96-X1) or all
black (96-X2) bakelite and in ivory plaskon
(96-X4). There were also four similar push-
button sets (models 96-X11 - 96-X14).
In brown or black bakelite, the original
purchase price was $14.95. Other colors
cost slightly more.
RCA Model 96-X3 (96X3) Brown Bakelite Tube Radio with Tan Trim (1939)
The 96-X3 is a two band 6-tube AC/DC super-heterodyne receiver
covering standard broadcast from 540-1720kc and shortwave from
5,800to 18,000kc. It is unusual in that the shortwave band dial is
graduated in meters rather than kilocycles. The tube line-up is 6K8
(LO/mixer), 6SK7 (IF amp), 6SQ7 (2nd detector/AVC/1st AF), 25L6
(power amp), 25Z6G (rectifier) and BK-49B ballast tube. The
schematic is available here, courtesy of NostalgiaAir.
|"Here's a set that gets shortwave broadcasts direct
from world capitals. Smart modern plastic cabinet in
variety of colors. AC-DC operation. Electro-Dynamic
Speaker. And many other big set features. The very
newest idea in radio. See it today"
..shortwave super-continental RCA Victor.