We can Bluetooth your vintage valve radio

Do you have a vintage valve radio you would like to have converted to Bluetooth? We can add Bluetooth to most old valve radios. Watch the video.

Etronic ETA5316
Etronic ETA5316

Most vintage valve radios can be restored to their former working glory. This is the best route to take, if your radio will allow. However, some radios are electrically beyond restoration. Also, many will need an external aerial wire running around the room or outside in the garden and, even with a good aerial,  these old radios can be prone to interference. Add to this the sad fact that the number of radio stations on medium wave is decreasing, and… the future doesn’t look good. Sadly, our local BBC radio station has just closed down on medium wave. No doubt others will follow.

On a brighter note

Your radio might be beyond restoration but, is the cabinet in good condition? If so, why not have your vintage valve radio converted to Bluetooth? We can add Bluetooth to most old valve radios. You will then have the choice of playing your own music through your radio or listening to the thousands of radio stations available world-wide via your iPhone or iPad or other Bluetooth device. All our Bluetooth vintage radios and speakers will work with Amazon Echo. Just ask Alexa!

Here’s one we saved from the tip

Here is a Pye P75 that came to us with the chassis stripped of parts. It’s strange Pye P75 vintage radiothat someone should do that but, happily, it wasn’t the end of the radio’s life. The cabinet, as you can see, was in beautiful condition. What a shame it would have been to scrap the radio. Bluetooth to the rescue! Now, the volume control adjusts the Bluetooth volume and switches the unit on or off. The dial lights up, just as it did when it was a working valve radio. But there’s more… the tone control also works. The radio has a new lease of life, and the customer is over the moon.

Another one given a new lease of life

Pye model P/B vintage radio
Pye model P/B vintage radio

Here’s another beautiful radio we saved from the scrap yard. It’s a Pye P/B radio circa 1936. The customer  was delighted with the result. We transformed the radio from a silent ornament to a beautifully sounding centrepiece.  We added warm white LEDs to illuminate the dial and, looking and listening the the unit, you’d never know it wasn’t an original working valve radio.

A lovely old Ekco rescued

Ekco A 128 vintage radio
Ekco A 128 vintage radio

This is an Ekco A128 we recently saved from the rubbish dump. The inner workings were way beyond restoration so… once again, Bluetooth saved the day. There are many more vintage radios that we’ve rescued, and many more happy customers. So, if you have a lovely old radio that’s no more that a silent ornament, get in touch and we’ll talk about giving it a new lease of life.

A table-top GEC radio

GEC radio
GEC radio

This little gem had been stored in damp conditions and had been eaten up by rust and corrosion. Again, Bluetooth to the rescue! It’s now working well and looking good, and the customer is extremely happy. Another radio given a new lease of life.

 

A Sobell 516U radio

This radio was destined for the junk pile as it was beyond restoration. It’s Sobell 516U vintage radinow back in operation, playing music and bringing in radio stations from around the world… and the owner is delighted. All possible with the magic of Bluetooth, of course. There’s a quick video here of the radio working.

A Sobell 615 radio lives again

Sobell 615 Bluetooth
Sobell 615 Bluetooth

This radio spent many years lying dormant in an attic. Sadly, it was beyond restoration. However, as the cabinet was in such good condition, a decision was made and… Yes, we added Bluetooth. The owner of the radio was very pleased with the result, and so were we! There’s a quick video here of the radio working.

 

A very rusty HMV radio

HMV 1107
HMV 1107

A damp environment is a vintage radio’s worst enemy. This lovely old HMV has suffered chassis rust and corrosion but, amazingly, the cabinet survived. Like so many beautiful radios, it was destined for the rubbish tip. Bluetooth was added and the radio lives to see another day.

A Bush DAC90 beyond repair

Bush DAC90
Bush DAC90

This Bush radio suffered from many problems, not least, dreadful rust and corrosion. There really was no other option other than to add Bluetooth to save the radio from the refuse collectors. I won’t Bluetooth a vintage radio if there’s a chance that it can be restored to its original condition. In this case, that wasn’t possible. But the radio lives on!

A Bush DAC90A

Bush DAC90A
Bush DAC90A

This lovely BUSH radio was found in an attic. The owner was so disappointed when I told him that the radio had been stripped of parts. The only thing left inside was a blank chassis. Sacrilege!  However, Bluetooth came to the rescue and, once again, music emanates from the speaker.

Adding Bluetooth

All radios are different so, once on the workbench, your radio will be assessed. The original speaker will be checked and tested and, hopefully, left in place and used for the Bluetooth audio. A new volume control will be fitted, replacing the original one. The mains lead will be removed and replaced by a USB lead. The Bluetooth circuitry will be fitted. If applicable, LED lights will replace the original dial light bulbs.

We will do our best to leave the original parts of your radio intact when we add the Bluetooth electronics. We will also use the original loud speaker, where possible, to maintain the original sound of the radio. However, there are some situations, especially in smaller radios, where original components might have to be removed to make way for the Bluetooth electronics. You can read more about our Bluetooth conversions here. Or watch a video here.

Mono or stereo

I believe that a vintage radio should look like a vintage radio and sound like a vintage radio. When adding Bluetooth technology, I aim to retain authenticity. In order to achieve this, I use the radio’s original loud speaker and a mono amplifier. I don’t fit a stereo amplifier with two speakers because, firstly, early radios were mono and, secondly, there is no room for a second speaker. Fixing a second speaker to the back panel of a radio will not produce proper stereo sound, especially if the back of the radio is against a wall. Apart from that, it looks awful.

I won’t make a hole in the back panel and fit a cheap Bluetooth module. The appearance of the back panel is as important as the appearance of the front of the radio. When looking at the radio, from any angle, it should appear original. Apart from the USB lead.

There are some radios which are unsuitable for conversion so please contact us before bringing or posting your radio to us. Also, we don’t work on huge floor-standing radios, radiograms or transistor radios.

Please note: we do not destroy vintage valve radios by ripping the original parts out. Where possible, we leave the radio intact when fitting Bluetooth electronics. To destroy a vintage radio which could be restored to its former working condition is, in our view, sacrilege.

If you have a question or you require further information, use the contact form below or email us.