1941 Capehart 400 Series
Chippendale Console with auto record changer
Capehart radios and phonographs were not only ahead of their time, they were the high end audio of the day. The receiver was a 16 tube set featuring AM and FM tuning as well as short wave (in high, medium and low band frequencies) The tuner was a vertical "slide rule" dial with motorized auto tuning as well as manual tuning. There were a total of 6 illuminating lights for the dial as well as 6 colored lights that changed with the changing of the settings for audio or phonograph.
Speaking of phonograph, the 400 series had the new and innovative 'flip and slide' changer. The record would play and when it was finished the changer would pick it up, flip it over and slide it down onto the table again. Then it would start playing the other side. Very high tech for 1941, don't you think?
The HUGE cabinet (50 inches tall by almost 60 inches wide and weighing in at 140 lbs) was made of the finest veneers and hardware found. The speaker was hidden behind two lower doors that opened to reveal a carved wooden lyre and woven speaker cloth cover. The unique 'clam shell' opening top and door revealed the player / changer and featured an automatic light that turned on when the door opened.
The speaker in the Capehart Series 400 was the phenomenal Western Electric 728 B. It was 12 inches in diameter with a weight of just under 30 lbs. Superior sound quality in these speakers carry on today. Serious audiophiles seek these speakers out and will pay huge amounts of money to procure them for their systems. Even with the advancements of modern speakers the Western Electric 728 B stands out as one of the top 4 or 5 speakers EVER build.
The Capehart Series 400 amp was the heart of the great sound emulating for the beautiful Chippendale cabinet. The FIVE huge transformers assisted by 12 tubes, including a quad of 2A3's (no wonder the power and clarity) proved the drive and power for the state of the art W. E. speaker to make the entire set one for the ages. The Series 400 filled the entire home with beautiful music with a previously unheard of level of quality and performance. Sets like this were few and far between. They cost almost $5000.00 in 1941 and sadly have never been matched since.
The tube schematic and paperwork found inside the case.
I found my beautiful Capehart Series 400 Chippendale at a yard sale in a neighboring town. This lady had literally an acre of stuff. While asking about any old radios or parts I was surprised to find that one of the helpers of the lady having the sale had some stuff he wanted me to look at. He took me down the street to his house. In the back yard, under a tarp and under a canopy out of the sun, rain and snow sat this beauty (un-restored of course). I got it for the princely sum of $30.00. Money well spent even if I do say so myself. I also purchased an Airline console, a Hallicrafters AM/SW radio and a little metal Arvin. The entire purchase price.......$55.00 for the whole lot. Hey, don't get mad at me, I didn't set the price, I just paid it.
1942 Zenith model 10-H-571
' Spinet ' custom cabinet
This radio is presently undergoing a full electronic and cosmetic restoration. Check back for pictures of the completed project