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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 10:52:49 PM on 20 August 2014.
SteveAndBelle's Gravatar
 Location: Brisbane, QLD
 Member since 20 August 2014
 Member #: 1615
 Postcount: 8

Hi.

I've been an IT, audio & electronics nerd most all my life but haven't ever let myself get too techie serious about any one field. I've been concentrating on vintage Hifi for the last few years including a few nice vintage valve Amps that I've managed to get working but still need to finish off (recapping etc.) and I'm thoroughly enjoying it.

I recently added a few vintage radios to the collection mainly from helping the in-laws clear out a grandparents property. The husband passed away a couple of decades ago and his workshop under the house was full of tonnage which I now have crammed in my Garage and includes lots of vintage electronics. He used to run a TV, Radio, Stereo, Organ sales & repair shop through the 60s, 70s and early 80s so you can imagine what he had ;)

I know I've probably got some valuable stuff but one piece in particular is quite a concern as I have a hunch that it may be uber-valuable and if so I will have to decide what to do with it. It's a white bakelite AWA Fisk Empire Radio which I know can fetch big dollars however this one has the full rear panel. When I first got the radio I read somewhere (can't remember where now) that a radio with the rear panel is extremely rare and ever since I've only ever seen these without the rear panel so I assume this is in fact something special.

It's relatively clean and has no scratches, large cracks or chips anywhere plus it has its original knobs but the dial window has yellowed as expected. I haven't opened it up to inspect & test whether it's safe enough to slowly power up with the variac yet but it seems clean enough in there from what I've seen through the vents.

So I suppose my question is have I got something of extreme value here or would it 'only' attract the usual $3000-$4000 as per the others I've seen sell recently?

I look forward to your knowledgeable replies Smile Cheers!


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 8:36:37 AM on 21 August 2014.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 6625

About three or four years ago prices for radios peaked and at the time that radio would have been worth about $8,000 going by what people were paying. If the cabinet, including the back, and the knobs are in mint condition it is probably worth up to $5,000 at the moment. Those prepared to pay that will probably be limited to collectors who have a brown, black, green and plain white one with good backs and knobs and are just waiting to grab the variant you have - I am assuming yours has the black and orange marbling?


‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 11:07:52 AM on 21 August 2014.
SteveAndBelle's Gravatar
 Location: Brisbane, QLD
 Member since 20 August 2014
 Member #: 1615
 Postcount: 8

Hi Brad and thanks for the reply.

OK, good to know it isn't as 'priceless' as I thought it was but still valuable enough to cherish of course. I don't think I'd be able to sleep at night if I have something of crazy high value in the house ;)

Here are a couple of pics of it:
Image Link
Image Link

The dark vertical line above the grille isn't a crack, it's just part of a dark swirl in the injected colours. As you can see it doesn't have the splotches of bold colour on the front as per many of the others I've seen around but I kinda like that better as the unit looks far more uniform... but that's just my opinion of course Smile

OK, well I think I'll definitely be looking into cleaning this unit up and getting a new dial window but most importantly leaving the rest as original as possible. Any idea where I can get the replacement clear plastic? I've done a few searches but haven't found anywhere obvious.

Thanks again!


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 11:58:39 AM on 21 August 2014.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 6237

Any idea where I can get the replacement clear plastic?

Somebody advertises these on eBay occasionally.

I think Steve Savell from WA provided them, but seems his website has gone off the air ... again.

I have a few contacts who may be able to assist. If you unhide your email address (via Control Panel) I'll send you their details.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 5 · Written at 12:36:19 PM on 21 August 2014.
SteveAndBelle's Gravatar
 Location: Brisbane, QLD
 Member since 20 August 2014
 Member #: 1615
 Postcount: 8

Cheers GTC, email address now 'unhidden' Smile


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 6 · Written at 1:26:12 PM on 21 August 2014.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 6237

Okay, sent. I hope it bears fruit.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 7 · Written at 8:39:31 PM on 21 August 2014.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 6625

Here is an auction of a similar set, in progress.

I can't find the reproduction dial covers but I am sure the Ebay member who sells them is known as Upallnightsearching. Steve doesn't offer them anymore. He sold out of these a fair while ago now.


‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 8 · Written at 9:32:23 PM on 21 August 2014.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 6237

I am sure the Ebay member who sells them is known as Upallnightsearching.

That seller name rings a bell ... and I don't mean as a campanologist.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 9 · Written at 1:45:34 PM on 2 September 2014.
SteveAndBelle's Gravatar
 Location: Brisbane, QLD
 Member since 20 August 2014
 Member #: 1615
 Postcount: 8

Well, it's been a couple of weeks but still no luck from the few email addresses GTC supplied Sad Anyone else know where I can get a clear plastic dial cover for an AWA Fisk Empire?

UPDATE: Literally seconds after typing the above I did another search on eBay and BINGO, got one from 'upallnightsearching'. Very pleased Smile


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 10 · Written at 12:43:45 AM on 4 September 2014.
DJ Oz's avatar
 Location: Central Coast, NSW
 Member since 18 April 2014
 Member #: 1554
 Postcount: 215

Hi SteveAndBelle and welcome Smile

I guess it will be worth what someones prepared to pay and your prepared to part with it for but I seen the case of one of them go for nearly 4K, white like yours and then like Brad posted above.

Like the others have said yes its valuable Smile but price will vary.

You may have piece of asbestos in their to deal with, it should be gone (replaced with I dont know what as a heat shield) or sealed properly with a high temp enamel paint I think it is.

There was an article on this radio type in the August 2014 of Silicon Chip.
http://www.siliconchip.com.au/Issue/2014/August/AWA+Empire+State+5-valve+radio.

Sadly you will have to buy access to it or buy the mag...or maybe just go to your local library for a read.

Thing is, these Radios need to be "Properly Restored" if it hasn't been already and thought some what useless keep the original dial glass and any bits an pieces from a restoration...sounds strange I know but some collectors like to have the non functioning original bits..So my advice hang on to them just in case.

Glad you found a Dial Glass thought..it deserves to look as good as it can..

If you Want to Join the "Historic Radio Society of Australia" HRSA , there is a big Radio meet on the 19th of this month in Canberra...theres a page in this month Silicon chip mag.

They do member Auctions but maybe the doors closed on that for this one or will shortly.

Still that would be a sort after item if your looking to sell, they'd be more incline to pay its true worth at the moment where as someone wanting to decorate there 10 Mill Art Deco apartment might pay more..

Auctions are a gamble..

Anyway good luck with it ...Smile


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 11 · Written at 9:23:41 PM on 7 September 2014.
Blingbling81's avatar
 Location: Noosa, QLD
 Member since 31 December 2010
 Member #: 799
 Postcount: 301

Hi SteveAndBelle welcome, just thought id check to see if you had got a clear dial plastic yet?
Also if you would like it restored I can do that for you as I'm close to you even if you wanted me to just clean the, cabinet I can just send me an email with your details ( click on my profile) Toby


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 12 · Written at 4:43:35 PM on 9 September 2014.
SteveAndBelle's Gravatar
 Location: Brisbane, QLD
 Member since 20 August 2014
 Member #: 1615
 Postcount: 8

Hi Guys.

Sorry, I only just checked this thread again today.

DJ Oz & BlingBling, thanks for the advice & links. I'm already familiar with restoring old Hifi gear including a fair bit of valve stuff and I'd love to give this a careful go myself to add to my skillset. It's pretty clean inside from what I've seen through the holes on the rear cover but I'm just waiting to clear my workbench of other projects before looking into the Fisk because I want to take my time, concentrate and not do something silly. After a basic safety inspection and a few simple tests I'll very slowly introduce power to it via the Variac (as I normally do... just to be on the safe side) then I'll go from there.

The dial plastic hasn't yet arrived but it's on its way and don't worry, I'll be keeping anything I remove as I know that adds value to a restoration. Fingers crossed she cleans up nicely as I plan to keep her as a show piece in the house (out of direct sunlight of course).

It's a bugger that I missed out on the matching Mottled Ivory cigarette box on eBay though (ended Saturday just gone). I made a pretty high bid for it too but it seems someone else wanted it more ;) If anyone here knows where I can find one I'm a pretty motivated buyer and would be willing to pay quite a high amount so please leave me a message, cheers.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 13 · Written at 4:49:49 PM on 9 September 2014.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 6625

Just be aware that there are many replica cigarette boxes floating around. Be sure to confirm with any potential seller that the one you want is a genuine AWA one. Replicas vary in quality and the types of materials used and the originals will always be more highly sought.


‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 14 · Written at 5:26:51 PM on 9 September 2014.
Blingbling81's avatar
 Location: Noosa, QLD
 Member since 31 December 2010
 Member #: 799
 Postcount: 301

Hi SteveAndBelle, no worries it is a great enjoyment to restore an empire until it comes to the chassis they are a bit of a challenge lol. Yes that was my marbled cigarette box that just sold
It was hard to let it go but sometimes you have to make way for other sets Smile


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 15 · Written at 9:25:02 PM on 9 September 2014.
Blingbling81's avatar
 Location: Noosa, QLD
 Member since 31 December 2010
 Member #: 799
 Postcount: 301

I also have another cigarette box AWA for sale if you want to email me I'll send some piks thanks.


 
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