Well - I do get my ***dragged back here on occasion... Besides -
gives me an "excuse" to plug our April 10th Annual meet again!
But to the point:
I received a couple of emails asking my opinion about this radio, et.
Well - I'm not going to speculate about the seller - I can see both
sides of this question - I think he _could_ have handled the questions
about the legitimacy of the auction / sale a little better - but after
all - his integrity is being attacked pretty heavily. The current high
bidder is a repeat customer - has a track record (apparently) with him -
and unless someone outbids that individual - they will indeed win the
auction. This is where trust, feedback and GOOD email conversations
come in. Heck - if you really want that radio - but are put off by the
emails - get the guys' phone number and call him. If he won't give it
out - that tells you something. If you can talk to him person to person
- perhaps some common ground can be established.
About the radio. 12 tube version of the Strat? Never seen it in
print. So a little research is in order.
In Wolff and Jacobson's "RADIO - A Blast from the Past..." Page 178 -
there is a reprint from :"Radio Retailing" June 1936 that contains a
"press release / ad copy" from Zenith where it clearly states: "...
There are 20 sets in the a.c. line priced from $39.95 to $139.95.
A.c.-d.c. models run from $29.95 to $84.95. In addition there are 3
Stratosphere sets and two high fidelity consoles. For farms...."
Well let's see - I'm not going to try to list the 20 a.c. sets nor the
a.c.-d.c. sets - (who cares in this discusssion?)... But what about the
"3 Stratosphere sets?" Well - lets' see - 1936 - _the_ "Strat." was
still available (actually both as the Stratosphere and the 1000Z
depending on date, etc.) - as were the 16A61 and 16A63 Strats. That's
three. So what about those two un-identified "high fidelity consoles"?
This is a PURE GUESS on my part - but looking at the factory service
book - vol. one (in my lap) - the only high tube count console radios
offered in 1936 (besides the Strats.) were: (drum roll please!) the
12A57 and 12A58 (chassis 1202) - which replaced the similar four 1935
models - the 980, 985 990 (chassis 1201/A) and 1107 (chassis 1201-L).
The seller made the comment in answer to a question about the radio
really being a Strat.:
> Thanks for your question. I have an original Zenith Factory Service
> Manual that has a special section for the Stratospheres. It has
> schematics, alignment details, replacement parts list with original
> and more. This section lists three Stratospheres; 25 tube, 16 tube,
> 12 tube.
Hmmm.... must be a different manual than I have... Mine has them
grouped together too pages 279 - 310 (as noted above: the 16A61, 16A63 &
the "Stratosphere" (25 tube - early and late production - each with a
"C" and "P" version chassis). The 12 tube 1936 radios (12A57 & 12A58
chassis 1202/A) are a couple radios earlier - starting page 263 (two
battery farm set chassis in between).
> Except for the number of tubes, the parts lists are virtually
> identical; using the same calibrated dial glass, dual "Concertone"
> speakers, Planetary 2-speed dial tuning, Shadowgraph tuning meter,
Say what???? Kinda leaving out some "minor" differences - don't you
1) one chassis vs. two -
2) single RF stage vs. two
3) no variable IF
4) single stage passive AGC (vs. two stage active)
5) back to those speakers - to imply they are the same as the "Strats."
- is a bit misleading too --
the 12A58 uses the Zenith 12" and 6" speakers - cost (then) $10.00 &
$5.00. (Zenith P/Ns 49-124 & 49-125).
The Strats used nothing of the kind -
THE Strat. used (two) $30.00 (then) 12" Jensens (Zenith P/N 49-102 &
49-103) ... plus a _very_ expensive ($35.00 then) "Tweeter" (Zenith
The 16A61/63 used smaller "Concert" 12" 49-128 $17.50 (then) and 6"
"Tweeter Type" 49-129 $7.00 (then).
So - if this 12A58 has the same speakers as the "bigger Strats" - then
them ain't stock....
> With all due respect to Bunis, this is the Zenith Factory Manual.
With all due respect to the seller - "HOGWASH"! Nice radio - and it
should stand on it's own - why muck it up?
I can see where one might be mighty proud of this radio - and to tout it
loudly... but... there is that fine line - and since trust is THE BIG
THING in an on-line transaction - I (my opinion) would go out of my way
to not tweak a buyer - or give them any cause to have doubts... but
that's just me.
As noted earlier - sounds like one of the two 1936 "High Fidelity
Consoles" in the Zenith blurb... Show me some hard "Zenith" evidence
that the 12A57/58 was ever called / named / referred to as a Zenith
Stratosphere - and I'll eat a double helping of humble pie...
kindest regards to all...
ANNOUNCING: Mississippi's Antique radio club will hold it's annual Meet
and Show April 10, 1999. For more details - lots of pictures, etc.:
A Tender Tale - a page dedicated to those Ships and Crews so vital to
the Silent Service: