Transistor Radios Around the World

Home --- Timeline --- Radios by Country

Before '54 --- North America --- Western Europe --- Japan and Pacific --- East Bloc and USSR


c.1965 SONYC TR10

Horizontal coat pocket, thermoplastic cabinet
6 3/16 x 3 1/2 x 1 9/16 inches / 158 x 90 x 41 mm
MW, six transistors, superheterodyne circuit
Made in Italy

This is a great example of a "radio cantinara" ("basement radio") produced in Italy in the mid-1960s, a unique breed of transistor radios intended to cash in on the Japanese transistor radio boom across Europe by posing themselves as being Japan-made. These radios were produced by small, low-budget firms across Italy, and they quickly gained the nickname, "basement radios".

Lello Salvatore has written a wonderful article about these radios and their makers, available here and I really recommend you take a look at it — it's a LARGE pdf, so please give it some time to open.

This SONYC TR10 is one of two cabinet variations, both having fairly over-the-top "Japanese" graphics on their faces — this one showing a Geisha and the other version a Japanese pagoda, two very common and stereotypical notions of Japan by westerners in the day.

Like all the basement radios, this SONYC has a pretty basic circuit — an extra touch here that's also found on many other basement radios is the superfluous telescopic antenna.

Along with the geisha graphic, the SONYC's face is littered with lettering intended to enforce just how Japanese it is: "Special" and "Japan" are two words that also show up on many other basement radios. As far as, "TR 10 + Auto", who knows what the "Auto" was meant to mean? Audio? And across the bottom of the face: "Standar (sic) trans World Voice" — no idea what that means, though it does sound like authentic Japlish....


SONYC_TR10

c.1965 SONYC TR10


SONYC_TR10

c.1965 SONYC TR10


SONYC_TR10

SONYC TR10 chassis — click on the image for a larger view

back to Western Europe index page



All content © 2019 by Robert Davidson, worldtransistors@gmail.com All Rights Reserved