Shortwave Radio External Speakers

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Shortwave Radio External Speakers

Post by MrBubble » Monday, 05 December 2016, 15:11 PM

I just acquired an old 50's - 60's era Hammarlund shortwave radio and external speaker. I understand that the speakers for these units were often external to the radio itself because the tubes made the radio hot, which could impact the audio quality from the speaker. Additionally, the speaker vibration could adversely impact the operation of the tubes. When tubes were later replaced by solid state components, the speaker was more commonly integrated into the radio itself as a single unit.

My question, for anyone who was an old timer ham radio operator or SWL'er, is why were the external speakers so large? The size of this puppy is much larger than would be needed for a single person to hear.

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Re: Shortwave Radio External Speakers

Post by Bombero » Monday, 05 December 2016, 15:59 PM

Hey Phil..

I asked one of the oldtimer Hams here...He said that a lot of the pre 1960 radios had high fidelity audio circuits in them and sounded great through a large speaker. Way back when there were the horn speakers. These were basically a larger version of a head phone transducer with a horn on top. The operating impedance of them was all over the place depending on who made them but they were all high impedance like 1200 to 2000 ohms. These don't sound great but they do have a unique sound.

Hopefully other will be able to add some more insight.

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Re: Shortwave Radio External Speakers

Post by MDYoungblood » Monday, 05 December 2016, 19:43 PM

Speakers were larger than compared to today because the technology just wasn't there to miniaturize them, stamping the steel frame, small magnets, cone material, etc. They speaker came separate because it would make the radio extremely long, separate they could stack them. Another thing was more people could afford a quality radio over a television set and for the price wanted quality sound. There is still an old 1950's Curtis Mathis stereo console in my parent's house (sister still lives there).



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