View Full Version : Best Vintage German Tube Radio?


70cst
10-22-2007, 11:36 PM
SABA Freudenstadt 100, Telefunken Opus 6 or 7, Loew Opta Venus Luxus,
Philips BX998, Sudfunk Meastro, NordMende Tannhauser.

I will be purchasing a restored German tube radio in the near future. Mostly for FM listening. I play low volumes but I want good lows and highs which the better quality radios have and few solid state radios can match. From my limited research the above radios are the top of the line when looking at top end German radios. Am I missing other radios that would meed my criteria? Your commenst are appreciated. Thaks in advance. :scratch2:

mr_fixer
10-23-2007, 12:14 AM
Well from what I have seen on auction sites, the most valuable ones are the Saba Freudenstadt radios. I own a Grundig 2220 , Phillips B5x94a and a Nordmende Parsifal 59.
My favorite for sound is the Nordmende, but for build quality i like the Phillips.It's hard to compare as not many German radios show up in these parts. I would like to find a Tannhauser to see how it compares to the Parsifal. Maybe one day I'll find a nice Saba too. Logan

jeffsod
10-24-2007, 12:13 AM
I am no expert but have been reading into these radios lately myself and Grundig made some good ones too. Like the 5050 & 5040. Those had tremendous bass actually. Seems the earlier (mid fifties) ones were better. The all time TOP TOP TOP I think I recall was the Saba 410 Continental Automatic(thats the export version) AKA as the Vollautomatic 14. Anyway that was an early 60's Stereo model. The trouble with those are the looks. No where near as nice looking as the mid 50's Sabas or the mid 50's Grundigs and Telefunkens for that matter. The Telefunken Opus 7 is supposed to be a very fine radio and seems to hold its value on the bay very well. The only other models that come to mind are the Graetz Sinfonia and Lowe Opta Hellas models. Personally I would love to own any of these in restored condition. I think I do recall though certain models were noted as having twice the output power than others when looking at specs on radio museum. If I had to chose I would really like to get an Automatic six speaker SABA but that is a pretty serious investment in fully restored condition. The bay seller em85 always has some nice radios with most selling for 500-1800 usually.

Let us know what you decide to get and post some pics!

70cst
10-29-2007, 10:13 AM
Thanks for your reply's. I have an Opus 7. I just had he caps replaced so I will see how it sounds next week. I also have a Granada 61 restored and a non restored 60. But...I only want to end up with one radio since these are not small and take up a lot of space in my office. I love the sound of the tube radios so I want to end up with one that will have the good sounds of the lows and highs.

Tube Radio
10-29-2007, 10:37 AM
RCA 9-INT-1. Made in Germany with excellent sound and great FM reception or an RCA 9-INT-2 which is the console version (with record changer) of the 9-INT-1. I have the RCA 9-INT-1 and it blows me away with the quality of the sound. Has excellent highs and lows also.

yagosaga
10-30-2007, 04:57 PM
[B]From my limited research the above radios are the top of the line when looking at top end German radios. Am I missing other radios that would meed my criteria? Your commenst are appreciated. Thaks in advance. :scratch2:

Hi,

my favourite German tube radio is the SABA Freiburg W3. I got it for nothing before two weeks from a neighbour who wanted to put it on the dump. It does not look quite good, but it has the best sound I ever heard from a tube radio. Another good SABA tube radio is the Meersburg 7 automatic. But it has not such a good sound as the Freiburg.

- Eckhard

70cst
10-31-2007, 08:37 AM
But it has not such a good sound as the Freiburg. - Eckhard
Do know what type of speakers the Freiburg has?

yagosaga
10-31-2007, 01:16 PM
Do know what type of speakers the Freiburg has?

Saba Permadyn 25 - 260H 1674 U 15.

The loudspeakers have a treble calotte in front of, unvisible from the back. Diameter of one loudspeaker is 10 inch.

- Eckhard

jeffsod
11-01-2007, 11:08 PM
Very cool radio that W3 Eckhard thank you for sharing the photos! I bet it has nice solid bass with those 10 inch woofers.

gadget73
11-02-2007, 03:34 AM
I had a Grundig, I want to say a 940 or 970, that worked rather well. I think it was a victim of the move last year. I had it at the old house playing as I was packing stuff up. Either I neglected to grab it, or someone decided it was trash and packed it up for me. SOunded darn decent considering it had a random 6x9 speaker from a Monte Carlo in there replacing the original dead speaker. Tuner worked rather well too.

jeffsod
11-02-2007, 07:38 AM
Grundig made a 941 and a 960 that I am aware of but had not heard of the 970. The 960 has a remake that is commonly listed on the bay but I haven't heard anything good about the remake. The 941 is a pretty basic model no tuning eye and has AM FM LW no shortwave. I have one and it uses an EL41 output tube. It seems to have a very good sound for a basic radio and as you say just has the one speaker about that size.

Jeffhs
11-02-2007, 02:27 PM
Back around 1975 or so, I had a Grundig model 2168 that I got from an old friend. The radio worked, but the cabinet was in bad shape; a corner was broken off the speaker mounting board, the dial scale and knobs were missing, the EM84 tuning eye was flopping around loose in the cabinet, and I think two of the three speakers were missing as well (there were two speaker grilles at either end of the cabinet). I replaced the missing knobs with two matching knobs I had in my junk box and made a wooden replacement for the glass dial scale, as well as replacing the FM dial drive with a length of plastic tubing attached to the tuner shaft, extending from a hole in the lower right side of the cabinet.

The condition of the cabinet and speaker mounting panel notwithstanding, however, I hooked up an old Webcor mono reel-to-reel tape deck to the 5-pin DIN connector at the rear of the chassis and wound up with a nice, albeit oldish, mono audio system (the Webcor RtoR tape recorder was from the 1950s and was a thrift-store find). Worked and sounded great as long as it lasted. I finally got rid of the Grundig in the early 1980s when the FM tuner quit. :no: I should have kept it. That set probably would be a classic today; it was an example of fine German workmanship not seen in today's American electronics and appliances since the '50s-'60s or so.

BTW, is Grundig still around in Germany, making their own electronics under their own name, or did they outsource their manufacturing to some other country, so that the Grundig radios and such available today are simply rebadged Japanese or Korean-made junk that won't last more than a year or two, if that long?

Nolan Woodbury
11-02-2007, 10:15 PM
I've been a fan of German audio for a long time, and can understand the attraction.

Most any of the big, multi-speaker, high tube-count table sets from Grundig, Saba, Telefunken, -even Blaupunkt- should return a nice tone if properly serviced. Aim for the US import models, designed to run on 115v. Some have output transformer switches for US and Euro use. I found my EMUD in Germany and it was a US import! Someday, I'll see what it's all about but life is the stuff that happens when you're making other plans...

For me, the main attraction has always been those glossy, hardwood cabinets. Probably even more than the audio fidelity, and while I'm admitting, those push-button switches the Germans were so fond of can be a real PITA. That said, I haven't seen any of them that sounded better than say, a Kloss Model Two or a proper 8-tube Zenith. I like 'em and want more, and that includes some of the very fine solid state stereos that came out of Europe in the 1970s. Still, for pure listening enjoyment, its hard to beat the tubies that came from the good old USA-

harleyrider
11-26-2007, 12:52 AM
Just checking things out on this thread. My aunt which is full german and 72 years of age has a very beautiful and i mean beautiful damn near perfect console stereo . I was over her place the other day and asked her did it work and she says no, that it needed these tubes replaced . So i would assume its all tube? I dont have the name of the console but i did look at it for a minute . Its about 4 ft long and 3 ft tall. Has very skinny legs about 4 inches tall and is a very nice dark walnut finish. The 2 glass doors are at the top of the front panel and slide side to side to gain access to the turntable on the left and the tuner on the right which has all german lettering on it. The 2 glass doors have a diamond pattern (gold) enlay on them .There is storage under the TT and Tuner with there own doors ( very solid and heavy). This is a very beautiful piece. Can anyone point me in the right direction to where i might be able to find something on this . She thinks it could be as old as 80+ years. She did say when it played it sounds so warm and beautiful. I would like to get this up and going for her . Plus she says one day it will be mine. Thanks for any help

jeffsod
11-26-2007, 11:07 AM
There are several common German consoles but if I were to guess I would say it is probably a Grundig. You will need to get the make and model to get more information on servicing it. Often it is not the tubes that have failed though. If you can get the make and model you can search www.radiomuseum.org for more info. Another option might be to peruse ebay germany and look at some consoles and see if you can identify it visually.

harleyrider
11-26-2007, 01:57 PM
I called my aunt the only thing she could see was that it is a Grundig some #s she could see are (8021L) (2X7V01A) 50H60W HF KONZERT GERAT. I will have to get over there soon and look my self its hard for her to see anything on the back side of the unit. Ill keep you updated with what i find. I did lok at ebay ( germany) and found notrhing that looks like hers. Also the radiomuseum i couldnt find to many pics to look at? Thanks

jeffsod
11-27-2007, 09:14 AM
Funny thing is that most of the radios on radio museum that reference Konzertgerat are table models. The model number of 8021L seems to date to around 1965/66 though.

harleyrider
11-27-2007, 12:39 PM
So that is the model #? Grundig 8021L If so where can i find this so i can look at it ? thanks this is a console with tuner and turntable only and 2 storage places underneath Very beautiful piece any estimate of what this might be worth

jeffsod
11-27-2007, 01:09 PM
If you have room for it in your place and it belonged to family its priceless. Consoles in general though do not bring what they should when you sell them. They can sell from 20.00 on up depending on whether you can connect with the right buyer. I know of one guy who bought a SABA console radio and put 2000.00 into it between buying, shipping, recapping and refinishing it.

harleyrider
11-27-2007, 01:51 PM
It would remain in the family, i know her and my uncle brought it back from Germany in 66 or so. I would never get rid of it , just curiuos of the value. I will get over to her place soon and take some pics . I should have 1 or 2 posted within the week . Thanks again

modge
11-27-2007, 03:56 PM
Telefunken Gavotte 8 export. I loved mine the first time it was switched on. Electro tweets aswell. Given time to warm up sounds superb.Still with origenal valves. Im dreading the day the BBC switches off FM!!!!

harleyrider
12-01-2007, 05:00 PM
I went to my aunts house to look at her Grundig this is what i found and it plays . Sound is good but push buttons need cleaned (static).. Has a nice warm rich sound . Looking through the back it has what looks like 6x9s on each side. I cant find any imfo on this and she seems to think its over 70 years old ? All tubes did light up and both channels work. If i can get the tuning selector (dial) to work she would be happy . I had to go inside and manualy turn the selector because the string just slpis. I think its just tough to turn do to not being used for so many years . Any help wouold be appreciated Thanks Chris

jaymanaa
12-02-2007, 08:57 AM
I recently had the privilige of restoring my Dad's Grundig Majestic. It's a huge table top running a single EL84 for the output. The speakers project into a sound chamber of sorts (like an antique Bose wave:D), and it sounds very good. I added RCA jacks for a CD player discreetly in the back, which really revealed how good the amp and speakers are.:music:

jeffsod
12-02-2007, 11:22 PM
Chris that looks like a nice console and I bet it sounds good. If no one here can offer any assistance on the dial string you could try the antique radio forum. There are several guys who are very good with these old German radios.

I have a Grundig Majestic table top too and it sounds sweet!

oldradiostar
11-28-2008, 09:34 AM
Depends what amount you want to invest.

Freiburg are the top models of Saba, a Freiburg 100 or more rare a Freiburg 14.
They are the top of the Saba Models and have really a great Sound.
Also the first real Stereo Models like Tannhaeuser or the Grundig 5... Models are
really very good. They have a crystal clear sound.

If your interested in the 50s round style, as example a Neckermann Koerting.
The Syntektor models, they was the biggest 50s radios with a very fine technics
inside. Graetz is also good, but depends really how much you would like to invest. You have to look if minimum the capacitors are replaced ( i say it for all sellers, not because we sell these radios) the old wima and ero capacitors are mostly to 90% wet, burned or simply lost capacity.
Its nessesary that the seller or you replace them with the correct ones.
Also Elkos!! if they are not in good condition anymore they have to be replaced.

Hope that info could help a bit.

OvenMaster
11-28-2008, 10:31 AM
This is just the thread I needed... and didn't see until now! Thanks, guys.
Tom

Sandy G
11-28-2008, 12:35 PM
Hi,

my favourite German tube radio is the SABA Freiburg W3. I got it for nothing before two weeks from a neighbour who wanted to put it on the dump. It does not look quite good, but it has the best sound I ever heard from a tube radio. Another good SABA tube radio is the Meersburg 7 automatic. But it has not such a good sound as the Freiburg.

- Eckhard

I have one of these-EXCELLENT sound, & it WILL run you outta the room if you wanna run it that high. Mine's cabinet is a little rough, but still quite pesentable. I found it in a junkshoppe for $100, that I wore 'em down to $75-it had been there at least 10 years-& I had Terry Dewick "go thru it". It was truly a "sow's ear into a silk purse" kind of deal. I don't think these are that that common, if you run acrost one of 'em, I'd snap it up. You won't be sorry.

sprman55
11-28-2008, 06:58 PM
Hi few months ago i got a Telefunken Allegro and Telefunken Magnettophon(reel to reel) recorder.Allegro needs new filter caps and dail glass is broken.Not tryed reel to reel yet. Having never owned a German radio from what is see looks like it be a handful to recap it.Sprman :smoke:

oldradiostar
12-05-2008, 01:22 PM
Hi few months ago i got a Telefunken Allegro and Telefunken Magnettophon(reel to reel) recorder.Allegro needs new filter caps and dail glass is broken.Not tryed reel to reel yet. Having never owned a German radio from what is see looks like it be a handful to recap it.Sprman :smoke:

if you find in your country no dial glass for the allegro just contact us maybe we have it in stock.
bye

jeffsod
12-07-2008, 03:41 PM
Picked up this Saba Bodensee WIII a while back and just had some work done to make it usable. Would like to have done a full recap on it but at least now I can enjoy some limited use. The output tube is an EL12. The sound is very warm with very strong bass due to is huge (for a table set) woofer. I love the looks of all the lights from the tuning eye to the dial glass and the keys. Now I have to find a home for the Braun TS1 I have to make room for the new toy :music:

http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j67/jeffsod/Radios/SabaBodenseeWiii001.jpg

http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j67/jeffsod/Radios/SabaBodenseeWiii004.jpg

http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j67/jeffsod/Radios/SABABodenseeWiiiAcrop.jpg

oldradiostar
12-07-2008, 03:52 PM
Nice Saba- The Magic eye tube is a new one ?. Dont know what u have used but maybe its the russian repro. they are very good, they shine better as the original tubes.

jeffsod
12-07-2008, 04:15 PM
The magic eye is an old Lorenz EM71 that I obtained from one of the us tube dealers.

Telecolor 3007
12-28-2008, 06:44 PM
The German radios where master pieces... untill they tried printed boards and minituarization of the tubes (like that stupid ECLL 800).

ianj
01-07-2009, 05:00 PM
I bought a 1960-ish Saba 125 Stereo Frieburg from a house clearance shop a few years ago--its a monster! about 16-17 valves and motorised tuning, on FM it sounds stunning through its 5 speaker system. Truly the King of valve technology.....I also have a Blaupunkt Nizza tabletop that sounds superb. The German sets were much better than the U.K. made stuff of the time........................