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 Restoration of HMV Console Radio Cabinet
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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 9:06:22 PM on 9 January 2014.
RadioDaze's Gravatar
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 24 December 2013
 Member #: 1472
 Postcount: 22

Hi everyone,

Looking for some advice on another of my projects. I'm new to vintage radio and television repairs so I would be glad of any tips/hints!

I have two HMV console radios (see photos) and hopefully my research so far has paid off, but please correct me if you know this to be wrong. One is a HMV Model 400 radio (c.1941) and the other is a HMV Model 667 radio (c. 1947).

The 400 was found on a kerbside clean-up in Hunter's Hill (NSW). The internals have surface rust, valves are missing and speaker cone is missing. All cables are still intact though. The cabinet is complete with some veneer chipped or missing. Broken dial lens and badge missing (reproductions purchased from two top radio enthusiasts in Sydney!) I plan to restore the 400 as a display piece and leave the internals for a later stage. I've also purchased some replacement cloth braided power cord on eBay which should look the part.

The 667 was purchased on eBay recently. I was surprised no one bought this but perhaps these models were very common and are not as sought after. This one is complete and in excellent condition inside and out and really only requires a fresh coat of varnish to bring it back to it’s former glory. I would like to try and get the internals repaired at some stage so that I can play old radio programs through the gramophone input.

Does anyone know what type of timber was used for the veneer on these radios? A plywood supplier has told me that it’s probably ‘sliced pacific maple’. Also, if I am to strip these back and re-stain/varnish them, would the best option be to remove the old lacquer with methylated spirits and fine steel wool? I’ve just restored a lovely 1940's kitchen dresser this way and the results are perfect. I’ll have a read through some of the forums on here and see what others are doing. I just don’t want to do any irreversible damage to the timber.

HMV Console Radio
HMV Console Radio
HMV Console Radio
HMV Console Radio

The only piece missing from both sets that I can’t source is this cellulose sheet (see above) that sits behind the knobs which lists the control functions. I was going to create artwork from this photo and have it screen printed onto a thin polycarbonate sheet. If anyone has an original that can be scanned/photographed and measured, that would be most appreciated.


 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 1:30:52 PM on 15 February 2014.
RadioDaze's Gravatar
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 24 December 2013
 Member #: 1472
 Postcount: 22

Hi everyone,

Just starting on the first of these restorations and familiarising myself with the radio. This is the 1947 HMV Model 667. I removed the radio chassis and beneath it on the timber frame I found a factory ink stamp detailing particulars of stages of its production. Production line workers appear to be represented by numbers handwritten in pencil. Interestingly it's produced by 'G. Munnoch Pty Ltd'. Has anyone else come across this on their units?

HMV Chassis Ducon Condensers
HMV Cabinet Stamp
MSP Loudspeaker

Also, the original power cord is still fitted although it's cracked vulcanised rubber with an inline bakelite power switch. I'm going to replace this with triple core cotton braided power cord which I purchased on eBay. What is the best way to connect the new power cord as there is no marking for the active/passive and there is certainly no earth connection. I'm more inclined however to leave this to a professional so that they can check if anything suspicious on the chassis needs replacing.

There are two capacitors on the speaker, one of which is slightly bulging at the base and the paper cover is coming away. Is there anywhere I can buy replacement capacitors like these?



 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 12:57:45 AM on 16 February 2014.
GTC's avatar
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 6142

Trove finds a classified ads in 1953 and 1954 for:

G MUNNOCH PTY LTD Cabinet making factory
294 Botany Road, Alexandria MX3307

Chassis manufacturers often outsourced the cabinetry to expert joiners as these old radios were considered furniture.

Those electrolytic capacitors are part of the HT filter circuit which includes the speaker voice coil doing double duty as the choke. I've not seen electros mounted atop the speaker coil like that, but then I don't work on lots of radios.

Those caps are 14μF 600 peak volts. Such high voltage electrolytics are quite hard to find these days and you won't get them in that upright cylinder format. You'd be looking for 16μF 600 or 630 volt electros, preferably radial, that you'll have to work out a new (safe!) mounting method for.

USA supplier Just Radios has these: 16uF/600V axial $4.95 each.


Regarding power switch, you should switch the active wire, that is the brown one. (Neutral is blue.) If it's a double pole inline switch, then you switch both active and neutral.

Earthing is usually done as a matter of course these days and the cable must be clamped correctly, too. I would suggest that you have the power cabling done by a pro.

 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 6:39:20 PM on 16 February 2014.
Art's Gravatar
 Location: Somewhere, USA
 Member since 22 October 2013
 Member #: 1437
 Postcount: 895

Every Music Masters radio has a similar stamp on the side of the chassis,
but with real signatures,
and I've also seen it on a much older radio, but I forget what brand that one was.
It was just a single signature and date that time.

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