Apex Audiotron Tubes
A.R.C. Staff and George A. Fathauer
Your editor's collection is sometimes a source of inspiration for an A.R.C. article or cover. This time, the 4-page, 3 1/2" x 6" brochure on Apex Audiotron tubes leaped out at us for a February theme. Enclosed in a heart on the brochure cover is the ubiquitous 201-A tube, which, in 1924, the Radio Tube Corporation of Newark, New Jersey, claimed to be "The Heart of Your Radio Set." The heart is clearly visible on the Type 199A tube shown here. Below is a reprint of the brochure's list of "facts" about tubes. The page also states that "Apex Audiotron" is the company's trade name and that it means "sound perfection."
The use of the name "Apex" brings up the question of a connection to the Apex Electric Company in Chicago in the 1920s. Since there is no mention of a connection to this New Jersey firm in Alan Douglas' Radio Manufacturers of the 1920's, we assume that the Radio Tube Corp. was a totally separate entity.
In his Saga of the Vacuum Tube, Gerald Tyne mentions that the Radio Tube Corporation also made Cleartron and Dillion tubes.
As George Fathauer's book Radio Tubes and Boxes of the 1920's, reviewed on the opposite page, shows, packaging was even more important to sales in the 1920s than it is today. Apex tubes and boxes are illustrated on pages 9 and 11 of Fathauer's book. On page 10, a full-page Apex Audiotron ad says that these tubes are much in demand, and are offered with a full guarantee for the first time. Four tubes are listed, each for $4: Types 201A, 199, 12, and 200.
According to George Fathauer and to our own research, little is known about the Radio Tube Corporation and its Apex Audiotron tube. Perhaps someone out there has more to add to this story.
(A.R.C., P.O. Box 2, Carlisle, MA 01741; George A. Fathauer, 116 N. Roosevelt, Suite 121, Chandler, AZ 85226)
Figure 1. Apex Audiotron Tubes.
Is There a Difference in Radio Tubes?
Here are several facts about tubes you should know.
1. DISTANCE. The ardent "radio bug" today is the "D. X. Fan" the long distance enthusiast. He builds set after set in the hopes of hearing across the continent, or, better still, some far off foreign station. How hopeless it all seems when he has spent considerable money and long hours with different hook-ups and then finds the trouble is in the tubes. The tube is the "Heart of Your Radio Set," and when it ceases to operate, it takes the "heart" out of the enthusiast. APEX AUDIOTRONS have long been acknowledged and praised by the DX Fans.
During the recent tests between Europe and America "2 LO, LONDON, ENGLAND," was heard through the LOUD SPEAKER with APEX AUDIOTRONS: we have on file many confirmatory letters from set owners stating they clearly heard this broadcasting, with our Special Amplifying Tube.
2. TONE QUALITY. Tone quality is considered of primary importance in selection of radio tubes; it is so considered by the engineers of the Radio Tube Corporation. It was only after long periods of research and study of the utility of radio tubes that the APEX AUDIOTRONS were placed upon the market and introduced to the Radio World.
We adopted, therefore, our trade name APEX AUDIOTRON, which means SOUND PERFECTION.
3. CRYSTAL CLEARNESS. Often, no matter how costly a set may be, it will refuse to work well. It hisses, crackles, howls, groans and then the fun commences. The Radio Fan changes "B" batteries and "A" batteries, the antenna is turned around, a new loud speaker or a new pair of phones is purchased, until finally he gives up in dispair and concludes: "Well, I must be in a bad location." If it were realized that fifty per cent of the difficulties lay within the tubes, and all that is needed is the replacement of the weak tubes, the operator would smile at his troubles and expenses.
4. VOLUME. A radio tube may have a clear tone and yet lack volume. It has been repeatedly remarked by purchasers of APEX AUDIOTRONS that the results from the installation of AUDIOTRONS paralleled another step of amplification.
5. ECONOMICAL UPKEEP. The first question asked of a battery man is: "How long will this battery last?" He answers by asking in return: "What kind of tubes have you?" Some tubes draw more amperage from your battery than others, thereby lessening their life. APEX AUDIOTRON, type 199, consume only .06 amperes per hour.
6. GUARANTEE. Every APEX AUDIOTRON is guaranteed to deliver all the above qualities.
They are guaranteed further to act as detectors, to oscillate, and to function as both audio and radio frequency amplifiers. APEX AUDIOTRONS give perfect service. Our rigid inspection of each tube permits us to offer this guarantee.
7. A GOOD TUBE AT A REASONABLE PRICE.