Antique Radio Repair & Restoration
Preserving the past, one tube radio at a time.
I have decided it is time to retire and close the workshop. This website will soon be taken down as I begin the process of terminating the business. Thank you for your interest. If you are a returning customer, I thank you for your patronage.
Transistor Radio Repair (1950's & 1960's)
What's the number 1 reason why your radio may not play well?
If your radio has never been recapped, it's probably bad capacitors. It's always recommended to begin any repair by first replacing those old paper/wax and electrolytic capacitors. They were never designed to have a working life this long. It may be possible to repair your radio by replacing individual faulty capacitors but since these are age related failures, it would only be a matter of time before another capacitor fails and the radio will need to be repaired again. And since time spent replacing them all is less than the time needed to measure and test each individual capacitor, it's more cost effective. The radio will play better and be much more reliable.
My radio from the 50's has been recapped. So why is the sound still all static?
Vintage radios from the 50's and 60's are prone to a problem referred to as Silver Mica Disease. The tuned (IF) transformers used in these radios have internal capacitors. If only the visible under chassis capacitors are replaced, then the recap service is incomplete. These internal caps are essentially just an exposed coating of silver on a thin piece of mica. Over time the mica breaks down, corrosion builds up and these capacitors become leaky. The end result is static in the audio, sounding like a perpetual thunder storm is nearby. This is an age related failure. By now, even new old stock replacement transformers can be defective so simply replacing the transformers may or may not resolve the problem. As part of my recap service for one of these radios, I will remove the internal capacitors from both transformers (there are usually 2 transformers per radio) and replace them with new silver mica caps. A full realignment is then performed to ensure optimal performance. So if you have one of these radios, regardless of who does your recap service, be sure they service the caps inside the IF transformers. If not, then this is a problem just waiting to happen.
How much does it cost to repair a radio?
The cost to completely recap a tube radio depends on the number of tubes. If your radio is all original, then a complete recap will often correct many of the common problems (excessive hum, weak reception, etc.) caused by aging components. Prices start at $90.00 for a 5 tube radio.
The cost to repair your transistor radio is a flat rate plus the cost of parts. Rates range from $35.00 to $60.00, depending on how many bands are on your radio and the number of transistors.