- Glowing Arrow Wave-Band Indicator - glowing arrow
shows visually the band in use
- Two-Speed Planetary Drive Station Selector - A.
Fast speed for swift turning; B. Slow Speed for precision
tuning of short-wave stations
- Rigid Chassis Base - Permanent Alignment guaranteed
through assembly on rigid rust-proofed steel.
- Power Line Noise rejectors - Keep power line noise out
of the radio
- New High-Fidelity Audio Tubes-Exclusive with
Philco - Giving the mellowness so necessary for true high-
- Triple Selector System - Automatically rejects
interfering stations and gives hairline selectivity on both
American and Foreign broadcasts
- Safe From Fire and Shock - Built to conform in every
respect to the Underwriter's Safety Standards
- Music Interpretation Controls - Enables the
discriminating listener to interpret any selection in his own
way to exactly satisfy his own musical taste. In effect, he
becomes his own musical conductor.
- A. Fidelity Control-Treble. To widen the treble
range to the maximum fidelity for each station and
- B. Fidelity Control- Bass. To adjust the Bass to the
proper proportion for each station and program
(Amplified Bass Compensation).
- Amplified Shadow Tuning - For perfect tone you must
have perfect tuning. Philco Amplified Shadow Tuning shows
you visually when each station is tuned in perfectly.
Amplified Shadow Tuning is used on this Philco to give you,
without effort, the extra fineness of tuning to match the
extra fineness of tone
- Noise-Excluding Signal Amplifier - Automatically
amplifies the station signal while rejecting interference
and image noise
- Automatic Resonance Governor - Automatically prevents
overload and undesirable resonance
- Non-Radiating - Built-in Filter prevents interference in
other nearby sets
- Twin Automatic Volume Control - Doubly counteracting
fading of distant stations and blasting of local stations
- Automatic Aerial Selector - to span oceans requires a
scientifically designed All-Wave aerial System. Used with
the Philco All-Wave Aerial, the built-in Aerial Selector
automatically switches in the exact electrical values
needed to maintain maximum power on each waveband. In
effect a separate aerial for each band.
- Super High Fidelity Audio System - 15 Watts-The
widest tonal range, the most faithful, life-like
reproduction ever achieved in radio. All musical
instruments, all voices, are reproduced with the overtones
that identify them and distinguish them, one from another.
Power output covering the full range, from the faintest
whisper to the thunderous finale of the greatest symphony
- Precision Radio Dial - Station settings are spaced
farther apart on this dial. Result: The easiest, most
precise tuning in all radio.
- Broadcast Band Coverage - Both Daylight and Night-
time Foreign and American Shortwave Broadcasts... Both
Police Call Bands. Aircraft, Ship and Amateur bands...
Standard American Band... U.S. Government Weather
- Two-in-one High-Fidelity Speaker - Specially
processed center for reproduction of high notes (treble).
Flexible rim for reproduction of low notes (Bass).
Auditorium volume without distortion.
- Philco Balanced Superheterodyne Circuit - Through
the scientific balancing of each unit with all others, Philco
engineers have raised both the American and Foreign
performance of the superheterodyne circuits to new
heights of perfection.
- Philco Inclined Sounding Board
- Acoustic Clarifiers - Automatically eliminate unpleasant
barrel-like boom, resulting in clarity of tone beyond all
previous radio experience.
- Completely Shielded - Both circuits and tubes shielded
throughout to attain maximum amplification
- Wide Angle Sound Diffusion - Scientifically designed
diffusers spread the most delicate overtones evenly
throughout the room
- Live Rubber Condenser Mounting - Patented Philco
feature eliminating microphonic squeals and distortion. Full
tonal range otherwise impossible.
- Philco High-Efficiency Tubes - By scientifically
combining correctly chosen types of Philco High-Efficiency
tubes, Philco always achieves power and selectivity
impossible with even a greater number of less-efficient
|"The large area and slope of the famous Inclined
Sounding Board preserve, and project up to ear
level, all the extended musical range and clarity of
tone created by the Philco High-Fidelity Audio
System and Acoustic Clarifiers. Scientifically
designed diffusers spread the most delicate
overtones throughout the room"
Philco 680X (680) High-Fidelity Console Radio (1936 season)
The 680X is a 15-tube behemoth that was Philco's top-of-
the-line console radio for the 1936 model year. It features
variable selectivity and a high-fidelity audio system cover-
ing the entire musical range, at least to the extent that it
was understood in 1936. When first introduced in June of
1935, the 680X was housed in a large cabinet with an up-
wards-facing instrument panel concealed below a lift-top
(right). It retailed for $250. The early style was supersed-
ed in January of 1936 by a more traditional cabinet having
forward facing controls, priced at $275 (lower right). Func-
tionally, the two sets are identical. The 680X replaced the
200X and 201X from the preceding year.
Both 680X versions are housed in large, heavy cabinets
that border on being austere but are for sure no-nonsen-
se designs devoid of all frivolous embellishments. The
creators of the flip-top early model arguably intended for
its true purpose to be concealable when not in use, but for
the late version they clearly made no such concessions to
domestic harmony. Either way, in operation the posture of
the 680X unashamedly and boldly proclaims to the world
its intended utility - a large, all-business, all-powerful radio
that in its heyday was capable of commanding attention as
the centerpiece of the entertainment paraphernalia in an
upscale mid-1930s home.
Styling of both the early and late versions of the 680X is
attributed to Benjamin S. Nash. Design patent #D101,064
applies to the late version, although there appears to be
no design patent for the early set. However, a number of
ads for the early 680X mention Nash as its stylist, an ex-
ample of which is shown below (Sept 17th 1935, Oakland,
According to philcoradio.com, only 2500 early- and 1500
late-style 680X radios were ever made, making them
among the most seldom seen of all Philcos.
I purchased my first 680X, the late version, at the Kutz-
town radio show in the fall of 2007. I had gone to that
show, as I had done to many before it, with a 680X, rare
as I knew it to be, high on my wish list. I had long relegat-
ed any hopes of finding one to the realms of a pipe
dream. My travelling companion and I had been all set to
depart the show for the long drive home, some time Sat-
urday morning, when I said to him "let's just take one final
look around". It was lucky we did, for as we were walking
those aisles that one last time, with the end-of-show auc-
tion preparations in full swing, this set was wheeled in,
quite literally, right in front of us. I recognized it at once,
but could scarcely believe my eyes!
The original finish has a few rough spots on top, no doubt
the result of stuff having been indelicately placed upon it
during years in storage, but following a good cleaning and
touch-up, it has turned out real nice and is now very pres-
entable! The chassis is complete and clean and showed
promising signs of life when powered-up to two-thirds
voltage on a variac. The original dial is faded but I was
fortunate to obtain a reproduction from Mark Oppat at
oldradioparts.net. Sometime soon I hope to restore the set
I finally found my early version of the 680X in the fall of
2009. I bought the set from a seller I met at Lansing that
summer, but there is a Kutztown connection with this set
too, as it was delivered to me at the Kutztown meet in Sept
2009. It needed a re-finish, a job I completed in the fall of
Absolute realism in radio. Super High-Fidelity American and Foreign
|Extract clipped from a Philco 1936 680X sales Brochure.
The SUPREME ACHIEVEMENT - In Tone, Power, Foreign Reception.
Philco 680X early version (Jun 1935)
Philco 680X late version (Jan 1936)
|Click any image above for side-by-side views
(both front & rear)
|"In these brilliant new High-Fidelity receivers, Philco
gives you startling new fidelity of tone- plus thrilling
American and Foreign reception! Here is absolute
realism in radio - brought to you through many new and
important balanced features"
Sept 17th 1935,
Sept 13th 1935,
Aug 2nd 1935,
Dec 11th 1935,
|Features of the 680X..Contd