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Is it possible?

Discussion in 'Amp Input - Normal or Bright' started by nuculer terrist, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. nuculer terrist

    nuculer terrist Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 12, 2014
    center of the mind
    Suppose i found a 1954 philco transitone tube radio and wired up an input jack on the antenna lead. Would i be able to play guitar through it?

  2. nederemer

    nederemer Strat-O-Master

    Oct 25, 2017
    Somerset, Kentucky, USA.
    There was someone on here who mentioned they turned tube radios into amps. They had a thread about recovering an amplifier with a tan tolex. Wish I could remember their name though.
    carver and nuculer terrist like this.

  3. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh needs you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too. Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 10, 2014
    Initech, Inc.
    I dunno if it’s quite that simple, but it has been done. I don’t think it would be too hard to find some destructions online how to do this.
    nuculer terrist likes this.

  4. strat_strummer

    strat_strummer Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Dec 17, 2017
    Google it, I had several come up.
    nuculer terrist likes this.

  5. bluejazzoid

    bluejazzoid Strats Amore Strat-Talk Supporter

    Aug 14, 2009
    Southeast USA
    I think the guy that runs D-Lab Electronics does that kinda thing... and then some. He builds some cool-looking, unique amps for sure.

  6. Tone Guru

    Tone Guru Senior Stratmaster

    Dec 13, 2011
    Music City TN
    Short answer, no.
    The antenna input is for RF, not audio.

    There's also the distinct risk of this being a "hot" chassis, meaning it has no power transformer.
    These are dangerous to tinker with due to lack of isolation between the AC line and the chassis.
    Do you have a schematic to work off of ?

    Philco Transitones were their lower end line and were almost certainly series wired filaments meaning no PT.
    Can you identify the presence of a power transformer ?
    In any case I urge caution due to the shock hazard.

  7. nuculer terrist

    nuculer terrist Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 12, 2014
    center of the mind
    A quick look at the guts in the store to try and see what tubes were in it, sure looked like a pt. I am no audio pro and dont care for electric shocks much at all. I know i shouldn't test the caps on my tongue like a 9 volt battery (lol). Just a passing thought for a project.

  8. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 3, 2016
    Houston, TX
    I have an old Zenith radio that I bought intending to do the same thing. Then I found out about the Fender Greta and bought that instead.

    That decision saved an antique radio, and perhaps myself.
    nuculer terrist likes this.

  9. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 21, 2010
    Sheffield, UK
    I blew several up in the 70s, then I got an amp of my very own :p

  10. nungesser

    nungesser running with the moonshine dogs Strat-Talk Supporter

    Apr 28, 2014
    I got an old radio that is a project that is still waiting to get started , my plan is to gut the old radio stuff buy a cheap practice amp and install it inside, the idea being all I really need to do is wire up the knobs and add a jack for the guitar input and don't have to do any messing around with circuit boards. here's the radio i'm afraid i got a bunch of stuff on my plate so this is only an idea that is pretty far down the road
    nuculer terrist likes this.

  11. Guy Named Sue

    Guy Named Sue Beer me up Scotty Strat-Talk Supporter

    Feb 11, 2015
    Terra Incognito
    @carver does that to old radios, maybe he can help.
    nuculer terrist likes this.

  12. carver

    carver The East Coast Strangler Strat-Talk Supporter


    yes, I have converted a few of these old beauties.

    Most of these old things when you get them hardly work in the first place. sure they light up and all that but they tend to need a fair amount of work to sound good again. But this is kind of a good thing...

    All I do is replace the Antenna input with a guitar jack. thats it. fire it up. if the amp fizzles away and dies. all good. I will then just replace the internals with a kit amp or something and use the old chassis that came with the radio to fit the parts. a 5 e 3 can fit in a lot of things pretty easily and you dont need to be a rocket appliance to figure it out.

    it has been a few years since I have done this... but this thread may have brought the itch back. I just know for a fact i dont need to bring anymore old radios into this house. Im already tripping over them

    Edit - I really should add in that the only radios I do this to have Power Transformers.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
    nuculer terrist likes this.

  13. nuculer terrist

    nuculer terrist Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 12, 2014
    center of the mind
    Thanks for the feedback, guys

  14. sumran

    sumran Fan of Leo

    Mar 7, 2010
    Gainesville, FL
    It is a great project. Working on a few myself. You should plan on a full build of the chassis. It wasn’t designed for the application and many components will be bad. Worth the effort.