Philco Radio Amp


This is a Philco radio from 1949. I removed the tiny 3x5 oval speaker and extended the slits in the wood to fit in a 6" x 9" speaker to give it better sound and much more output. Rather than trying to reuse the built in tube radio which grounds itself directly to one side of the AC current (known as a "widow maker" for those in the trade), I replaced it with a 5 watt solid state amp.


I made a custom chassis out of metal bent at just the right angle so could re-use the volume and tuning dials for the volume and tone controls on the amp. I positioned the amp's pilot light so it is around 890 kilohertz which is the Chicago WLS radio station I used to tune into 300 miles away in northern Wisconsin if the weather was amenable.


The back had a gold colored screen over a slot to let in air to cool the tube amp, so I used that to mount the 1/8"auxilliary input and headphone jacks. The amp also has a gain/overdrive control which I left inside the amp for aesthetic reasons and because I almost always play this particular amp circuit at the first overdrive setting anyway.


With the nice heavy cabinet and the 6 x9 speaker, this puts out great tone and good volume. To me it sounds like my vintage Supro amp which also used oval speakers.


Amplifier: 5 watts solid state

Controls: Volume, Tone, Gain/Overdrive (have to open back cover)

Speaker: 6" x 9" 4 ohm 15 watts

Inputs: 1/4" guitar in, 1/8" auxiliary in

Outputs: 1/8 headphone out

Power supply: 8 AA batteries

Dimensions: 10" height x 12" width x 5-1/2" depth

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