Concord Imperial and Other Very Small Consoles
BY PHIL MACARTHUR
When Phil MacArthur sent in the photos shown here, he reported that he had very little information about these sets. However, we decided that the photos were interesting enough, along with his text, to include in this issue. (Editor)
High Fidelity Console Concord Imperial Model T-9 -- Wow! Sounds like a huge Telefunken with AM, FM, SW, tape, phono, eight speakers! Wait a minute. It measures only 7" x 3" x 2", and maybe it's not so high on the fidelity. We're talking about a 6-transistor, almost shirt pocket, portable transistor radio. It's one of several Japanese designs from the mid-1960s made to look like a tiny horizontal console with a lift-top and a small storage bin inside.
I think that the first of the microconsoles was the National Pandora, also called a Model T-9, as well as "Midget Personal" radio. It was the first to have the "secret" storage compartment in the top. National was the original name of the manufacturer, but it was changed to National Panasonic for a brief time, and then finally to just Panasonic.
The Concord Imperial Model T-9, a 6-transistor, high fidelity console.
An array of clones. Left to right, front to rear: Concord Imperial and National Pandora; Panasonic RF-90, National Panasonic R-8 and Golden Shield; Midland and Remembrance.
This Model T-9 even sported a picture of a green Type 6U5 eye tube painted on the dial. With but a single 1-inch speaker, there wasn't much "high" in the fidelity.
The clones came from Midland, Golden Shield, and others. They were all 6-transistor sets made in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
The Panasonic Model R-8, a 1964, 6-transistor radio, is the most common and came in seven colors. The only one I've seen with FM is the Panasonic RF-90. When I suggested to my wife that she should collect these sets to store her rings, she just smiled and mixed me another drink, a strong one at that.
Bunis, Marty & Sue. Collector's Guide to Transistor Radios. Paducah, Ky.: Collector Books, 1996.
After 25 years of teaching in Key West, Florida, Phil MacArthur and his wife June happily retired and returned to the "four seasons" Northeast. (And while we were gone, you guys invented the snow blower.) They collect Zenith radios and Flavoradios (who knows why).