Transistor Radios Around the World

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

1961 Zenith Royal 500H

Coat pocket radio, nylon cabinet
5 15/16 x 3 1/2 x 1 5/8 inches / 151 x 89 x 41 mm
Eight transistors (Zenith, 2x 121-61, 121-150, 121-179, 121-180, 121-181, 121-185, 121-192)
Superheterodyne circuit, vernier tuning
Four 1.5-volt AA cells
Manufactured by Zenith Radio Corp.; Chicago, Illinois

Chassis 8HT40Z2. As Zenith expert Norm Smith has noted, this was the best-performing "pocket" radio ever made in its day — a superb circuit and a giant 3"x5" speaker gave it a reception quality and audio fidelity never found before in any radio of this size — the 500H truly was the zenith of the 500 series.

The only design flaw here is the foil-covered paper name plate at the top of the radio — most examples of the 500H, no matter how pristine otherwise, show signs of wear here. After having made such an outstanding radio, why couldn't Zenith have gone the extra 10 cents and put a metal name plate there?

Zenith Royal 500H

Zenith Royal 500H

Zenith Royal 500H

Zenith Royal 500H, "two-tone gray", as it's been called —
the front half is a dullish blue and the back half is a true gray

Zenith Royal 500H

inside back

Zenith Royal 500H

chassis — click on the photo for a larger image

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