Zenith Model 10-S-669 Console radio (1942)
The Zenith 10-S-669 is a good-sounding but very
common 10-tube floor radio from 1942. The cabinet has
lots of FAUX finish and is often found with this in poor
condition or stripped off. Once this finish has gone, the
only practical option for the restorer is to stain the rather
bland underlying wood and to re-finish it, preferably using
a combination of toning and clear lacquers. The finish on
this example is practically perfect however and because
of that I ended up paying somewhat of a premium for it.
Most collectors, myself included, share the opinion that
Zenith had passed its peak of radio cabinet design by
the early forties. The models from this era, although
good performers, do not come close stylistically to those
of the late thirties, especially the coveted 1938 models
with the tear-drop shaped escutcheons, shutter dials
and magic eye indicators. As a result consoles such as
this one are less collectible than the earlier models and
command correspondingly lower prices in today's market.
Furthermore, during this period Zenith used a lot of
rubber coated interconnect wiring beneath the chassis.
Over time this insulation has proven prone to drying out
and flaking off at the slightest touch or vibration, creating
a potentially serious safety hazard. Restoration requires
that all this wiring be either replaced or re-sleeved - a
time consuming step that further depresses the desira-
bility of these sets.
The radio covers three bands (540 to1600 kcs, 1500 to
5200 kcs, 5700 to 18300 kcs) plus it has automatic tun-
ing, using the station preset push-buttons to the right of
the dial. The push-buttons to the left of the dial are for
the Radiorgan tone control system for which Zenith is
renowned. The tube line-up is 5Y4G (rectifier), 7G7/
1232 (RF amp), 6A8G (mixer), 6J5G (osc), 6K7G (IF),
6J5G (2nd det), 6F5G (1st AF), 6J5G (phase inverter),
6V6G*2 (push-pull AF amp). The rear of the cabinet
houses a shielded wavemagnet antenna enclosure that
should be rotated by the listener to optimize reception.