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The re-inauguration of a "Queen"
(restoration of the Arvin "Rhythm Queen")
the Arvin "Rhythm Queen" model 927 circa 1936
This rare beauty was given to me by my brother George about 15 years ago and I finally completed the restoration. While visiting my family & home town, George showed me his acquisition and I immediately fell in love with the dial and style of this seldom seen set. George had given it his best effort in a cabinet refinish job and stored it in my mothers closet pending further tasks to complete the job. The speaker was missing, knobs long gone, the grill cloth was a piece of burlap and the chassis was quite crustily and rather" unwholesome to look at. When I told my brother I would like to restore it for my collection, he generously obliged with a gift to me of this fine radio. Below are some of the details behind this (one of my most ambitious) restorations.
Getting it home I then packed and shipped it from Kentucky to my home in Oregon, shipping the chassis & cabinet in separate boxes. It remained packed in those boxes for about 6 years before moving to Washington state and here it remained untouched for another 7 years. I wanted to restore it but every time I thought about how ugly & dirty the chassis was plus the fact that I did not have knobs & speaker just caused further procrastination.
The chassis The physical construction of the chassis is quite unusual and in no way represents the typical inexpensive construction of most "Arvin's". A shallow design of two separate chassis's with the RF section floating in the middle of the main one. The main chassis is form pressed of 13 gage steel (not a budget minded process).
The challenge The capacitors used (and there are many) are all mounted above chassis in steel cans (and of course all leaky). With the shallow chassis this presented a bit of a problem of the normal practice of installing new ones on the underside while leaving the old cans in place. This was not possible (at least not in a neat manner). So I decided that I would remove all the cans and re-stuff them. Removing all the chassis components was necessary anyway in order to do a proper job of cleaning.
Rebuilding the "canned" capacitors As with all my restorations, I wanted to keep the above chassis looking 100% original. All the original capacitors were removed from the chassis and gutted This was done by carefully sawing off a small section of the bottom and removing the insides. New capacitors were then stuffed inside the original and filled with non viscous epoxy. After the epoxy cured, if the leads were not long enough, they were bent to form a small circular terminal connections. The large electrolytic capacitors were also done in the same manner except I did not fill them with epoxy, the modern replacements were just held in place inside the cans with a little RTV.
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After all was re-assembled, I performed a complete RF-IF alignment. All fell into place beautifully and this gorgeous radio now sets proudly in my little "museum as one of my favorite consoles. For those who like chassis images, here's some of the parts ready to assemble and finished images of the chassis.
Performance Over-all the set is an excellent performer with very good full range sound, very good selectivity & sensitivity. I might add that this model incorporates the hard to find, odd-ball 6N6G tubes in the push-pull output stage.
Final steps The chassis is suspended (front & back) in place with four rubber grommets, these two had to be replaced as the originals were badly deteriorated. New ones were fabricated by first creating a proper shaped mold and then making new mounting grommets from RTV.
|< beautiful reproduction dial available for the above|
|< reproduction set of the above grommets|
|RadiolaGuy Collection, not for sale|
© C.E. Clutter