The model 1268, introduced in the summer of 1937 at a price of $179.75, was
one of twenty four models offered by Sparton for the 1938 sales season. With
twelve tubes, it's a high-performance full-featured set, having a tuned RF amp,
2 IF stages, Automatic-Frequency-Control, "Selectronne" Automatic Tuning and
a Magic Eye "viso-glo" tuning indicator. To top it all, it delivers excellent sound
quality, achieved through the use of a pair of sweet sounding type 45 triodes
operated in push-pull, driving a large 12" electro-dynamic loudspeaker.
Automatic tuning systems were all the rage for 1938, with numerous manufact-
urers jumping on the bandwagon to offer models. Newspapers were full of
articles describing the merits of the various systems available, adding impetus
to the public's demand for the new technology. Sparton's Selectronne was a
purely electrical technique, featuring six push-buttons and automatic-frequency-
control to ensure reliable lock on the selected station. On the subject of the
Selectronne, newspaper advertising proclaimed:-
| Alternative Automatic Tuning Devices of the late 1930s
Some manufacturers offered purely mechanical approaches to automatic tuning.
A number of these were based on rotary dials, such as Philco's "Cone- Centric"
tuning, while others used mechanical push-button assemblies, an example being
Stewart Warner's "magic-keyboard". Zenith, one of the early pioneers of push-
button tuning back in the late twenties, mercifully held off reintroducing it for one
more year. Instead they went on to produce some of their most coveted of all
models - their 1938 series with the much beloved tear-drop shaped escutcheons
and big black robot dials, some with motorized tuning!
Sparton Model 1268 "Selectronne" Console Radio (1937/1938)
Quick as a snap of your finger, there's your station...
Automatically, instantly, perfectly!
|"The SELECTRONNE contains no moving parts but the button
switches....no motors...no complicated mechanisms. It is
instantaneous and simple in operation as a door bell"
|"Sparton offers you choice of 24 quality models all
featuring clean cut reception on a noiseless background with
scores of last minute refinements. See and hear Sparton
before you buy any radio set."
"At the measured speed of 186,000 miles per second...speed
of an electric impulse...gives you six of your favorite chain
or local stations at the ....flash...touch of a button. In a few
fleeting seconds you can sample all six successively and keep
on to enjoy the program you like best"
"An AMAZING revolution in radio tuning!
Quicker than a flash
Simple as a door bell"
..newspapaer cuttings from the fall of 1937.
|A few of the automatic tuning systems available during the late 1930s...
Sparton Selectronne Tuning (electric, push-button) This page
Fada Flash-O-Matic (electrical, rotary control) Model 358
Firestone Dial-a-matic tuning
Silvertone Moto-matic tuning (push-button)
Stewart Warner Magic Keyboard (push-button, mechanical) Model 91-513
RCA Electric Tuning (push-button, electric)
Philco Cone-Centric Tuning (Rotary, mechanical) Model 38-4
Philco Automatic Tuning (Rotary, mechanical) Model 38-116XX
General Electric Touch-Tuning (push-button, electric)
Delco Delco-Matic finger-tip tuning (push-button, electric)
Wells Gardner "Auto selection Dial" (rotary, mechanical)
Crosley "Prestotune" (push-button)
Westinghouse Multi-station tuner (rotary push-button, motor driven)
Stromberg Carlson "flash tuning" (push-buttons, electric) Model 350R
Where was Zenith?? They waited until 1939 to introduce "Transcontinental
Tip-Touch Tuning" Model 5-R-317
The Sparton 1268 is a twelve tube 3-band superheterodyne covering standard
broadcast and two shortwave bands (540-1750; 1750-6100; 5900-18500kc).
The tube line-up is:- 6K7G (RF amp), 6A8G (mixer/LO), 6J7G (automatic freq
control), 6K7G (1st IF), 6K7G (2nd IF), 6R7G (det/AVC/1st AF), 6H6G (AFC
discriminator), 6J5G (2nd AF), 45 * 2 (push-pull audio), 5Y3G (rectifier), 6E5
(viso-glo magic eye indicator). In common with the better sets of the day, the
1268 provides separate coils for each band in its front-end (referred to as the
nerve center in Sparton's advertising) and provides superb performance, with
great sensitivity. The schematic can be found here, courtesy of NostalgiaAir.
SPARTON features latest improvements for Radios.
Press one of six buttons below the call letters of a favorite station listed on the instrument panel of a Sparton Selectronne equipped model... the desired
station responds, immediately.
Press one after the other of the six buttons and thus quickly sample the programs of the moment, from all six...without even a glance at the dial.
There are no motors, no moving parts but the switch buttons. The tuning is expertly accurate. The response is full-toned.
A touch of the band selector switch...the receiver instantly changes to an efficient, ultra-modern all wave radio model of surprising performance, ready to
tune American and foreign broadcast and shortwave, Airplane, Police, Amateur and ship.
Other Sparton features:
All models are engineered to introduce into the aerial circuit a separate transformer to match the aerial to the band in use for maximum sensitivity and
minimum interference, controlled by the band selector switch.
All amplifier circuits of the respective receiver are used on each band providing full sensitivity on foreign and shortwave bands as well as the broadcast band.
A full and separate set of coils for each band provide a further increase in sensitivity for all Sparton models and further remove background and
interference noises from the reproduction.
A highly efficient design concentrating the radio frequency coils in a central, shielded assembly for shortest leads and maximum amplification of the incoming
signal without interference.
Protection against change in calibration of the receiver due to humidity or varying weather conditions.
Eliminate interference from code stations.
Efficient audio tube types for maximum amplification with faithful reproduction.
For full toned response from the lowest to the highest volume desired.
Maintains the output volume at the level selected by the volume control on all stations regardless of signal strength or proximity. Prevents blasting and
A highly specialized method of permitting the user to select the most enjoyable tone shading of any program or transmission. High-Fidelity in the central
position. Continuously variable preponderance of low, deep or high, brilliant tones as desired in the right and left positions.
Makes available high volumes with full excellence of tonal response. Insures full depth of tone at low volume. Provides a volume reserve for impressive
rendition of crescendo passages with Symphonic Tone Expansion expression.
Circuits which automatically restore that expression and feeling which marks the performance of masters and artists. The wide variation in emphasis as
heard in the studio becomes leveled off in transmission and is restored in the receiver.
Clipped from an October 1937 newspaper
|"Twelve tube superheterodyne (16 tube functions) tunes
American and Foreign broadcasts, police, airplane, amateur
and ships. This receiver combines conventional tuning and
Selectronne, a simple six push button electric tuning device
for your six favorite American Broadcast stations. Twelve
inch electro-dynamic speaker with acoustic baffle. Push-Pull
triode output. Alto-basso tone control. Viso-glo tuning tube.
Automatic vernier. Automatic volume control. Automatic
frequency control. Centralized nerve system. Aerial band
matching transformers. Separate coils for each band. Large