I recently had a chance to work on a restoration of a beautiful old Zenith, and it was one of the first that I have worked on that did not need any major cabinet restoration. I originally identified this as a Zenith Model 6V27, but a visitor to this site did some in-depth research and informed me that it was actually a Model 8S-154. Our original estimate of the date of the radio was about 1936, our visitor did not offer a new date so we will just indicate it is a radio set from the 1930's. This belongs to a customer that wanted it restored to working condition, sadly it will not find a permanent home in my shop. But I was pleased that the customer chose to trust me with the project.
The original tube line up was as follows: 1- 15 RF, 1-6A7 1st detector and oscillator, 1- 15 IF amplifier,1-75 2nd detector and AVC, 1- 76 1st Audio and 1-19 (duo-triode) audio output. The two number 15ís had been changed to 39/44, which had a 6-volt heater to match the other 6 volt types. The vibrator had been eliminated and a type 80 rectifier was installed along with a 120 volt primary power transformer. I also found that the 19 output was changed to a 42 output. This was entirely different than the 19 dual triode type to a pentagrid power output. The output transformer had not been changed to match the different plate impedance. The different heater wiring also was changed for the all parallel 6-volt heaters.
I had to replace all the old leaky capacitors and an output transformer to match the 42-plate impedance that was located on the speaker frame. I also had to modify the first audio stage as it had too much gain for 42-grid circuit. Although the dial face is in near mint condition for the most part the scale was broken on the right side. It had a hole so that the light was visible through it. I repaired this by gluing the broken piece back in place. I was concerned when the glue messed up the numbers slightly, but is not too noticeable and I did not want to replace the face with a replacement when the rest of it looked so good.
The cabinet was in fairly good condition and all it needed was a clean up and I applied some scratch remover polish to mask some of the surface scratches. Everyone that has seen the cabinet marvels that it has not darkened over the years. There is a small circular watermark on the top, which I suspect is from a flower vase, but the damage is not bad enough to warrant refinishing the entire cabinet. The grill cloth is the original and has no holes and hasnít faded enough to be noticeable. The radio does work very well and the short wave stations are received with a long piece of wire on the antenna. I think this radio cabinet has a very distinctive look with the top sides having nice curves. The black-faced dial with the smooth tuning is a pleasure to look at and use.
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