Bush Radio Model DAC90A

Shown above is the Bush DAC90A from 1950, probably the single most successful radio of the 1950’s. The set first appeared as the DAC90 in 1946, and was featured in the “Britain Can Make It” exhibition held that year. The DAC90 underwent various minor changes over the years, and became the DAC90A in 1950. The DAC90 first appeared with cloth grille, which changed to gold expanded metal in about 1948. The tuning control was on the side of the cabinet in the DAC90, moving to right hand front in the DAC90A, a worthwhile improvement. Designed by Frank Middleditch, the set was also available in black and cream cabinets. The DAC90A is generally considered the more usable receiver of the two models, as it tends to run cooler. Inspection of the card back of the DAC90 will almost always reveal much of the card disintegrated from heat caused by the octal valves and the mains dropper and their close proximity to the top and back of the cabinet. The DAC90A used smaller glass valves with B8A bases. Valve line-up for DAC90A is UCH42, UF41, UBC41, UL41, UY41. The cream urea cabinets are particularly prone to cracking on the top caused by heat build-up, and the crack is always obvious because soot and dust from the valves seems to permeate the crack to form dark lines. It is a design classic nonetheless, and in spite of the fact they are very common, pretty much every vintage radio collector wants to own one, so they normally sell for at least £50, and often more than £100. The cream models are always worth at least 50% more than their brown cousins, depending upon the degree of heat cracking to the top of the cabinet. Why are they so popular? Once repaired they always seem to work reliably, and the repairs are often quite simple. Routine replacement of all capacitors is not generally needed on these sets. They are also popular abroad too, particularly in Japan. Indeed one company in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s used to crate up dozens at a time and export them to Japan. Original cost of DAC90A was £12.1.8 in brown and £12.16.9 in cream, both plus p.t.

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