HMV and Marconiphone products often used identical chassis and similar cabinets - although any link between the companies was officially denied! Another related brand was Columbia.

In the 1950s HMV and Marconiphone were taken over by Thorn, who also owned the Ferguson and Ultra brands. From this time the products of all four companies were, not surprisingly, extremely similar.


Wavebands - MW, LW

Valves - MS4B, AC/HL, MKT4, U12

Date - 1933

Status - Contributed photo and description

Colin Carmichael provided the photo and the following description:

This unusual,rare and attractive radio came to me with a knackered speaker, the original speaker had been replaced a long time ago with a very cheap looking moving cone type. The original speaker was a mains energised type and the energising coil was crudely attached to the "new" speaker with thick copper wire. The thing had fallen apart during carriage and is beyond redemption! If any one has a spare speaker for this set please email me: senga (at)

The dial is very unusual. It consists of a wooden cube,which has a white back ground. This moves around when you change the wave band and stops at the desired wave band,displaying that one. The circuit is a 3 valve TRF, so the performance should be reasonable when it is restored.


Wavebands - MW, LW

Valves - VMS4, MS4B, 354V, MPT4, U12

Date - 1933

Status - Contributed photo and description

Colin Carmichael provided the photo and the following description:

This set has a very Art Deco cabinet with fancy veneers on the front. It is very similar to the Marconi 296/298 and the HMV 442/443. It is quite early for a superhet and lacks AGC so you must remember to turn the volume down when tuning past strong local station!

The performance of this set is excellent,sound quality is very good and there is plenty of volume. It is surprisingly sensitive and selective. A very useful feature of this set is the "mains aerial". This means that the set can use the mains wiring as an aerial (via a capacitor!). This aerial works so well that you don't need an external aerial, it works best when the chassis is connected to the mains via a 3 core cable with the chassis earthed.

The restoration of Colin's set is described in the Recent Repairs section.


Wavebands - MW, LW

Valves - MX40, VMS4B, MHD4, PX4, U12

Date - 1934

Status - Contributed photo and description

Nigel Hughes provided the following description:

This is an amazingly Art Deco or Cubist radio. The cabinet is boldly rectangular with square feet, rectangular tuning scales, a square speaker aperture with chrome bars and - do you believe - square knobs!

The set covers long and medium wave, has band-pass tuning at the front end and stagger tuned IF transformers to provide matched IF bandwidth. Some low and high frequency AF boost is provided, and the set sounds bigger than it looks. It is built like a battleship, with good electrical and mechanical design and good workmanship in the wiring and component assemblies.

Nigel describes the restoration of this set in detail in the Recent Repairs section of this website.


Wavebands - SW, MW, LW

Valves - X148, W148, DH63, KT61, U70

Date - 1948

Status - Repaired for a customer

This is an impressive, well specified receiver, having twin speakers, separate bass and treble controls, and four station presets. The sound quality, as expected, is very good - but a good external aerial is necessary.

A number of components are mounted on a sub-chassis behind the central vertical push-button bank, and access for repair is rather limited. The tone controls are built as a separate assembly, which connects to the main chassis via a flying lead and plug arrangement.

This photo was taken from the Vintage Radio Database website


Wavebands - MW, LW

Valves - UCH81, UFB89, UCL83, UY85

Date - late 1950s ?

Status - In my collection

This set was made after the Thorn group of companies absorbed HMV. The cabinet and construction is very reminiscent of Ferguson radios, which is not in the same league as HMV products when they were an independent company. It is interesting to note however that all four valves are Marconi, whereas Mullard valves were generally used in Ferguson products. This is probably just a branding change though, because in all other respects the valves look just like Mullard devices.

My set is basically working, but the some of the vent grilles in the base of the cabinet are broken. The cabinet requires respraying, which will be a problem on the front where the control legends are just printed on the surface. I have not yet decided how best to deal with this. I am hoping I can obtain some paint that is exactly the same colour as the cabinet front, so that I can touch up the damaged areas rather than repainting the whole area.


Wavebands - MW, LW, VHF

Valves - UCC85, UCH81, UF89, UABC80, UL84, Met-Rect?

Date - early 1960s ?

Status - No longer in my collection

This is another HMV from after the Thorn takeover, and it looks it. The two-tome painted cabinet with recessed front, bright brasswork and uninspired tuning scale are typical hallmarks of late 50s and early 60s thorn group sets (see the 1373 above and the Ferguson 354U and 621U).

I don't have any service data, but the chassis looks very similar to the Ferguson 621U etc., with the addition of a tuning indicator and the possible omission of a UY85 rectifier valve. I assume the set has a metal rectifier, since the UY85 is not mentioned on the valve position label, but I couldn't find it from a quick look around. The voltage selector looks like one of those small slider variable resistors used for setting the filament current in battery sets with mains supplies, but it's probably just a two-position switch. The UL84 is missing, but I have several in stock. It has two speakers (connected in parallel) and is actually quite a large set (bigger than the photo would suggest).

This set was a gift from Richard at Past Times Radio. It had been in the Reduced to Clear section on their website for months with no enquiries, so when I expressed a bit interest at the Spring 2002 NVCF, I think he was keen to just get rid of it!! The brass trim on two of the knobs is missing and the cabinet needs repainting. In fact it is a fairly horrible pale pink so I may strip it and leave it black Bakelite, and just repaint the front section cream - I think that may look better.


Wavebands - MW, LW, 3 x SW

Valves - W81, X81, W81, DH149, DH149, KT66, U81, Y61

Date - late 1940s ?

Status - Contributed photo and description

Nigel Hughes provided the photo and the following description:

In the late 1940s and 1950s, a large radiogram was something of a status symbol and quite costly. Many incorporated more advanced circuitry than their table-model brothers and sisters and if you have the space, they can be a worthwhile addition to a collection.

This radiogram is very heavily built, with a case of 3/4" walnut-veneered plywood. The radio has three Short wavebands with bandspread tuning, plus Medium and Long wave and the audio stages incorporate switched Bass and Treble controls.

Nigel's repairs to this set are in the Recent Repairs section.

2185 Arundel

Wavebands - MW, LW, VHF

Transistors - Silicon transistors and IC amplifier (I think)

Date - 1970s ?

Status - In my collection

I bought this mains/battery set as part of a box of trannies in the auction at Wootton Bassett in July 2002. Most of the sets were junk, but this one made the lot worthwhile. There was also a more modern Morphy Richards set which I am now using at work.

The 2185 may look like a typical 1970s trannie, but it has a good sized speaker and a reasonably powerful output stage (IC based), and sounds really good. It's not quite in the Hacker league because it doesn't have a wooden case, but it gives many mid-range Roberts sets a fair challenge.

When I bought it, it would only work on on VHF on batteries. Two wires to the ferrite rid had been cut, presumably to deliberately disable MW and LW for some reason - with them reconnected these bands worked fine. The mains transformer primary was open circuit. I had a 9V Altai transformer as part of a recent eBay lot which fitted in nicely.

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No part of this website may be reproduced in any form without prior written permission from Paul Stenning.
All details are believed to be accurate, but no liability can be accepted for any errors.
The types of equipment discussed on this website may contain high voltages and/or operate at high temperatures.
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Last updated 14th April 2006.