Magnavox FM 22 Crescendo

Purchased for one of the dumbest reasons yet: I saw it on TV.

I've never found any mention of this, but it appears to me that Magnavox had some kind of deal with the old Dick Van Dyke show—the B&W one with Mary Tyler Moore. If you watch the episodes on a big screen tv that have been remastered for HD broadcast, you can make out the Magnavox name on the portable TV in the writer's room, and the logo on the big rolling TV in the living room/bedroom. The Petries went through a series of Magnavox table radios that were in the far corner of their kitchen, set on a counter behind the dining table. While you typically can't make out the name, the designs are Magnavox. They typically had one or two a season, so I assume Magnavox made sure they got the latest. Considering the features, I believe these were Magnavox's best tabletop sets.

In a perfect world I'd have one of all of them, but I'll likely begin and end with this one, an FM 22 "Crescendo" from late 1962.

Seven tubes: 12DT8, 12BE6, two 12BA6, 12AL5, 12AV6 and 50EH5 output. I believe it has a selenium rectifier.

The cabinet has a trapezoid shape: there's a speaker on each side panel and they're raked out a little to project the sound forward as well as sideways, which should enhance stereo separation. One of the problems with tabletop stereos is that the two speakers sit next to each other and there's no real sense the stereo effect.

The controls are in the four corners of the front panel: going clockwise from top-left: On/Off-Volume, Tuning, Band (AM/FM), and Tone. Magnavox seemed to go back and forth between three and four knobs on their best sets, though one had five (a balance control between the speakers).

In photos, I thought the little rectangle in the middle of the upper wood panel was a version of their logo, but it turned out to be a signal-strength meter for fine-tuning. This is the only model I've seen with that feature. They revised this unit as the FM TBD: same cabinet, they moved the controls below the slide-rule dial, and deleted the tuning meter. It would have made the set a little less expensive and probably wasn't much help anyway.

A bit of trivia: I saw this cabinet was re-used just as a speaker cabinet: the radio was removed and the whole front face was just plain wood panelling. I assume it was sold to use with a separate tuner. Model 20S057.

Service docs can be found in SAMS Photofact Set 610, Folder 8.

Current status: needs evaluation.