Philco Model 16L Lowboy Console Radio (1933)
The Philco Model 16L all-wave receiver was introduced in
June of 1933, along with its smaller brother the
16B Baby
Grand compact and the Inclined Sounding Board model 16X
console. The model 16 represented a significant product
milestone for Philco, coming as it did at the end of a most
remarkable five years for the company. The set embodied
most if not all of the latest technological developments and
it quickly earned a reputation for superb performance  - a
reputation that still stands today. In the opinion of many est-
eemed collectors and scholars, the model 16 counts among
the very finest of domestic tube radios ever built.

The 16 series proved highly successful for Philco and arg-
uably laid the  foundations for their high end models intro-
duced over the next five years. It represented the converg-
ence of two distinct lines of emergent technology, that of the
all-wave receiver with world-wide reach and that of Hi-Fi rep-
roduction - driven by the quest for perfect tone. Whereas
the 16 may not in itself be counted amongst Philco's Hi-Fi
models it was an important stepping stone, incorporating
significant developments that were key in advancing tow-
ards that goal. In fact, Philco's (and the industry's) first Hi-
Fi model, the 200X, was likely already under development
at the time the 16 was introduced.

The 16 offered these features at a time when the popularity
of shortwave listening was rapidly gaining momentum and
when the increasing quantity of music broadcast domestic-
ally was raising the demand for better reproduction. Yet
again, Philco had the right product in the right place at the
right time, and counting all the model 16 styles, almost
100,000 were sold. The 16L had an introductory price of
$125, complete. However within a few months it was being
listed at $150 ($155 in the West).              

The features offered by the 16L  were announced as
Keep the music off the floor!
Famous Philco Patented Inclined Sounding
Board (concealed).... you hear all the high
notes and full reproduction of low notes, with
clear, free unboxed tone and without echo
and blur.
  • all wave coverage in five bands. including ultra
    short wave as used by British Empire broadcasts
  • famous Philco inclined sounding board
  • exclusive Philco balanced power "Class A" audio
    system providing 15W undistorted output
  • new and improved automatic inter-station noise
    suppression which counteracts the usual
    noisiness between stations when tuning
  • shadow meter tuning, which allows the listener to
    tune stations by sight rather than by ear. More
    accurate tuning, and therefore more perfect
    reception is made possible by this Philco
  • Bass Compensating Tone Control
  • illuminated station recording dial
  • improved automatic volume control
  • patented Philco full-floating chassis
  • new and improved 12" electrodynamic auditorium
  • 11 Philco high-efficiency tubes
The 16L features an "inclined sounding board, concealed
behind a conventional front
". It is visible in the rear-view
photo to the right. The white circuit breaker to the left of the
speaker was in the radio when found. It is not original to the
radio, unconnected and of unknown purpose.

The 16L uses the code 122 (16-122) chassis having the
11-tube line-up:- 77 (mixer), 76 (LO), 78 (1st IF), 78 (2nd
IF), 37 (2nd detector diode-connected triode), 77 (inter-
station noise suppression - QAVC), 77 (1st AF), 42 (AF
driver), 42 * 2 (triode connected class A push-pull output),
and 5Z3 (rectifier). It has five bands:- 520 - 1500kcs, 1.5 -
4.0mcs, 3.2 - 6.0mcs, 5.8 - 12.0mcs & 11.0 - 23.0mcs. The
16-122 schematic may be found here.

The early 16s (such as the 16L) had no RF stage and five
bands. Later models would eliminate the interstation noise
suppression tube, add an RF tube and reduce the number
of bands to four.

For more sets in the Philco 16 series, see my
16B (cath-
16B (early tombstone), 16B (late tombstone), 16X
(early  1934), 16X (late '34) and 16RX remote chairside
If you want to hear all the stars as if
"in person"
Give your home a REAL radio!
Philco 16L.
Nov 22nd 1933
Dec 3rd 1933, Salt Lake City
I love the commentary in the centerpiece of the ad
above right, where the statement is made that
is collecting antique radios yet
With CONCEALED Philco Inclined Sounding Board.
Click any thumbnail to enlarge. Click the
rendered image to enlarge again if needed.
Dec 17th 1933, Salt Lake
Feb 16th 1934, Wood-
land, CA.
Philco Model 16L LowBoy Console Tube Radio (1933)
Philco 16L Lowboy Console Tube Radio Rear View