Murphy Radio Model A52 From 1938

1938 saw the introduction of arguably the best table receiver Murphy ever made. It was endowed with every luxury possible, including pushbutton motorised tuning, special short wave performance, separate bandspread for short wave, automatic tuning correction, multi-coloured tuning scale, and a magic eye. This was the only receiver where Murphy used motorised tuning, but it was particularly advanced as each of the seven pushbuttons could select a station on each waveband. Obviously this is not practical for short wave so the pushbutton was used to select a particular band (ie 16m 25m etc) and the motor would move the tuner to the middle of that band. The motor tuning was more advanced than the more commonly seen Ekco system where each pushbutton selected a station on only LW or MW. Murphy had linked the wavechange control to the tuning control mechanically so that each pushbutton could service stations on both MW and LW. A lever and rod moved a plate that altered the selected stations that could be seen though a window dependant on the setting of the wavelength switch. On the short wave bands the receiver utilised a practice normally found only in communication receivers. Known as the “Double Superhet” technique, the signal is converted consecutively to two different intermediate frequencies, each chosen to optimise a particular aspect of performance. This required an additional valve (AC/TH1), but it was not wasted when listening on medium on long waves as it then functioned as an automatic frequency control to prevent “drift” when using pushbutton tuning. The set is presented in a high gloss light walnut cabinet, which to my mind is less “confrontational” than most of the other Murphy pre-war cabinets. The set is particularly heavy, weighing in at about 48 lbs, and unlike most Murphy radios of the late 1930’s was not available in console or radiogram versions. Pictured below left is the motor-tuning disc mechanism, below right the independent cursors for SW and MW/LW can be seen. The set cost £18.10.0, some twice the cost of Murphy’s A46 of the same year, and for that reason is very rarely seen today. Valve line-up was SP41, AC/TH1, AC/TH1, AC/VP2, HL41DD, AC5/PEN, 41DD, ME41, UU4.

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