Notes from the attic

Here are a few notes about our products, what we do and don’t do, what you can expect from our Bluetooth speakers and steampunk lamps… If you have any questions or you’re not sure about something, please ask by using the form at the bottom of this page or email us.

Vintage valve and transistor radios

We do not destroy vintage valve or transistor radios in order to convert them to Bluetooth. We only convert radios which would otherwise be scrapped. To destroy a vintage radio which could be restored to its former glory is sacrilege.

Most radios that come our way can be restored, and they are sold on for restoration. However, a few have good cabinets but the insides are too far gone. For example, some radios have been robbed for spare parts.  Valves, transformers, components… One option for a radio which is beyond restoration is to give it a new lease of life by adding Bluetooth technology.

Where possible, we illuminate the radio dials to show the original station names and to indicate that the unit is powered on. Again, where possible, we utilise the original volume knob to adjust the Bluetooth volume and switch the unit on or off.

We believe that a vintage radio should look like a vintage radio and sound like a vintage radio. When adding Bluetooth technology, our aim is to retain authenticity. In order to achieve this, we use the radio’s original loud speaker with a mono amplifier. We do not fit a stereo amplifier with two speakers. 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.

Would you like your radio converted?

Do you have a vintage radio which is beyond repair? Rather than hide it in a cupboard or dump it, why not consider the Bluetooth option? Contact us via email or by using the form below, and we’ll take it from there. You can watch one of our Bluetooth conversions here.

Our Bluetooth conversions work with Amazon Echo. ‘Alexa, connect my speaker!

Bluetooth speakers

We use acoustic wool and or wadding in our extension loud speaker enclosures. This is for  damping purposes and to reduce standing waves. Without getting too technical, this helps to eliminate vibration and improve sound quality. Wadding isn’t suitable for use in most vintage radio cabinets as they are not fully enclosed.

Audio quality

Our aim is to retain that authentic vintage radio sound, as far as possible. We do this, in most cases, by utilising the original loud speaker. Bear in mind that tabletop vintage radios use small speakers which reproduce good audio but with minimal bass.

WE WILL NOT FIT THIS
WE WILL NOT FIT THIS

We do NOT fit cheap, plastic Bluetooth speakers into our units. This photo shows a module which some people fit to the back panel of a vintage radio. In our opinion, this is not as good idea. Firstly,  it spoils the look of the radio, especially where the back panel has a hole cut in it for the module. Secondly, the radio has to be turned round to get to the module. We try to keep the radio looking as original as possible.  Whether viewing the radio from the front or back, there are no signs that the radio has had Bluetooth added. Apart from the USB lead emerging from the rear panel.

We will NOT hang a speaker on the inside of the back panel on a radio during the Bluetooth conversion. Apart from a looking awful, the audio quality will be severely impaired when the back of the radio is placed against a wall.

Our extension speaker cabinet conversions may use the original speaker or, in some cases, a modern speaker. If you’re looking for a drum and bass boom box, then our radio and speaker conversions aren’t for you.