H.M.V. 658 (His Masters Voice)

His Masters Voice, normally shortened to HMV, one might have thought was one of the companies present at the start of commercial wireless manufacture. In fact they were producing audio equipment from the start of the century, but it was wind up gramophones rather than radio equipment. HMV, or The Gramophone Company actually commenced radio production in about 1932, when they became part of the EMI group. The production lines were at Hayes in Middlesex. The EMI group also owned the Marconi name, and similar chassis's were used in models marketed under both the HMV and Marconi brand names, but in different cabinets. HMV radios were considered to be suitable for the more discerning buyer, with excellent chassis's and high quality veneered cabinets. The cabinets tended towards the conservative mature end of the marked, with few daring or Deco based designs. The HMV logo pictured upper left is a transfer generally found on the top of most HMV receivers.

The model pictured is the 658 from 1938. Being 1938, it is no surprise that we find pushbuttons as a feature of the receiver, as 1938 was the heyday of pushbutton tuning. The receiver chassis is identical to the Marconi 855, but in a different cabinet. For this system of pushbutton tuning, a fourth position of the wavechange control switched in the pushbuttons. If the wavechange control were moved from the "pushbutton position" any depressed pushbutton would be released. Each pushbutton could only be set to a station on a pre-determined range for any particular button, and the trimmers to alter the station can be accessed by the removal of a panel on the underside of the receiver. In the picture right the pushbutton unit can be seen beneath the chassis.  As the pushbutton stations are changed through the base of the cabinet, the main chassis had to be raised and mounted several inches higher than would otherwise be necessary. The picture above left shows a close up of the tuning scale.  The left-hand arrow indicates a logging scale disc that turned as the main curser traversed the scale.  This feature was particularly useful for noting short wave stations frequencies.  The right-hand arrow indicates a pointer that travelled up and down to indicate the waveband selected. The receiver cost 14.3.6 in 1938, and the valve line-up was X63, KTW63, DH63, KT63, U50.

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