According to a.solument’s introduction video, they take vintage radios in disrepair, gut the insides and replace the components with modern hardware which includes Bluetooth 4.0 and aux-in capabilities:
While I LOVE vintage radios, I have conflicting feelings about this process.
I take pride in keeping my vintage gear in proper working order (through the help of a mentor). Something that simply cannot be replicated with digital hardware is the sound and warm fidelity of AM audio emanating from a valve classic. At home, I have the option of feeding all of my vintage gear Bluetooth and wireless connectivity via an AM transmitter. This allows me to play any digital content while preserving the original audio fidelity (and warming my radio room with those glowing tubes!).
With that said, I’m very much aware that it’s becoming increasingly difficult for the average consumer to find a technician who can repair tube gear affordably. Indeed, some feel it’s impossible thus toss their family radio in the trash.
If a.bsolument is giving vintage beauties–that would otherwise be in a landfill–a new lease on life, then I’m all for it!
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Troy Riedel, who shares the following tip. Troy writes:
While surfing the Net I found the following procedure that is said to “disable soft muting in Tecsun 300-series radios”.
I have a PL-390 and this has indeed seemed to work on it but I didn’t notice a difference with my PL-365.
Since I just found & tried this, I don’t know if this procedure must be repeated each time you use the radio? Maybe [Post readers] have heard of this before and/or have experience with it?
Here is the “reported” [supposed?] procedure that worked for the PL-390:
To disabling “Soft Mute” on Tecsun 300-series radios:
1. Select a shortwave frequency, preferably where there is no stations transmitting.
2. Tune down the frequency range with the dial, don’t tune up or it won’t work
3. Press the VF Scan button to let it automatically tune down
4. Tune down with the dial to stop the automatic scan. If the background noise is higher, then the “soft mute” / “dynamic squelch” has been disabled.
Thank you, Troy! I was unaware of this modification, but it seems easy enough to implement.
Post readers: Anyone have experience using this mod across the Tecsun 300-series receivers? Please comment!
[…]The drift on AM was terrible! After 10 minutes, it is jumping all over the place – if you touch the radio, the sound mutes and the display goes nuts. I pack it up to take it back but then I decide to google the problem and find this:
I do exactly what he says – I pull off the cover after unscrewing all of the screws (including the 2 in the battery compartment).
Only the speaker is attached to the front. I remove the three screws from the display and then tighten the two screws on the tuning wheels. They were barely loose – almost not noticeable – so I was not too optimistic. I carefully got it all back together (the plastic pieces that hold the fabric handle on only go back on one certain way and were sort of a pain!). I cross my fingers, plug it in, and wow – a brand new radio. The tuning is perfect. Zero drift on FM and AM. AM sounds excellent.[…]
I have an earlier Grundig S350 that I bought at a hamfest years ago which had an easily-fixed power problem. For $20 it makes a nice bathroom radio and it sounds great, especially on FM.
BTW, I found schematics for it on radiomuseum.org, which is a great resource for radio schematics.
Thanks for the tip, Ed! I think I’ll crack open my S350DL later today and give this a try!