Sparton 517-B (1936/1937)
Sparton Model 517-B (517B) Tombstone Radio ("cube") in
Ebony and Chrome (1936/1937)
Sparton offers unusual finishes.                                                   As sleekly black as a raven's wing...
The daringly bold Sparton model 517-B, in ebony and
chrome, was promoted by Sparks-Withington as being
as sleekly black as a raven's wing", befitting words
indeed for such a spectacular radio as this. It is for sure
one of the rarest and most interesting of the mid-to-late
1930s "cube" style table sets, and as such is highly
coveted in radio collecting circles today.

The -B was one of three model 517 variants, differing
only in available finish, introduced by Sparks-Withington
in June of 1936 for the 1937 model year. The other two
were the standard walnut model
517 and the white-
517-W. Of the three, the 517-B is the only one
embellished with chrome stripes, a feature that in my
opinion sets it quite apart from most other cube radios
of the day. The standard model was offered at $29.95
and the ebony and white versions at $32.95.

The 517-B is a 5-tube two band AC-powered receiver
with tube line-up:- 6A7 (mixer/LO), 78 (IF amp), 75 (2nd
det/1st-AF/AVC), 42 (AF output) and 80 (rectifier).
Frequency coverage is 540-1720kc (standard broad-
cast) and 5900-17,500kc (shortwave). The chassis    
used is of the same type as for the
model 557 sled. The
schematic is available
here, courtesy of NostalgiaAir.  
See chassis view
"As sleekly black as a raven's
wing, this distinctive and
unusually effective model,
whose ebony finish is given
that different touch with
chrome stripes, is powered
by the same scientific chassis
found in the model 517.
Height 12
1/2", Width 131/2",
Depth 9".
"Smartly tapered with moulded shoulders, this trim
five-tube two-band model with [walnut] roll-back
instrument panel has wide appeal. It offers
extraordinary radio performance - 110Volt 60cycle -
features Foreign and American Broadcast with
extended band to include police, airplane, commercial
and amateur. So made that the speaker sends out its
volume from the top. Has separate transformers
matching the aerial to the bands"
..from Sparton advertsing for the model 517
..from Sparton advertsing for the model 517-B
Sparton 517-B Front view
click to enlarge
click to enlarge