Vintage Tube Electronics Sparton Sparton 7-46 Console Radio

Sparton 7-46 Console Radio

Sparton 7-46 Restored Cabinet

This is a Sparton 7-46 that has been completely restored. The Chassis was in remarkable shape. There is no rust on the chassis and the power transformer paint is in excellent shape. There have been some repairs done over the years. Based on the components used in the repairs, I believe that it was repaired in the late 50s or early 60s. The power supply filter capacitors and one capacitor in the amplifier section were replaced along with the output transformer mounted on the speaker. The tubes all tested out as if they were brand new.

The chassis was restored by replacing all wax and electrolytic capacitors. A line fuse and inrush current limiter were added for protection and to slowly power up the vacuum tubes.

The push-pull output using 6F6 tubes of this radio gives it a very strong sound. The shortwave band picks up quite a few stations with the built in antenna. This antenna is just a piece of wire running around the inside of the cabinet in the back.

As you can see, the cabinet was in terrible shape. There was a lot of de-lamination of the veneer. The veneer was repaired and the old finish removed. There were two water stains in the top of the cabinet. These were not removed. The only way to remove them is to bleach the cabinet and I don’t like to do that because of the risk of further wood damage if not done carefully, and the fact that the patina of the wood is ruined. A lot of the character of the older radios is in the patina of the wood and the finish. If the finish is badly damaged, there is not much choice but to remove it and apply a new finish. I try not to remove an old finish if there is any reasonable chance of restoring it. In this case the finish was very badly damaged and could not be restored. In fact the finish was so bad that it detracted from the overall aesthetics of the radio as can be seen in the pictures.

I’m very pleased with this restoration. The radio looks very good and plays remarkably well. I’m still very impressed at how well these older radios sound after a restoration. Because of the quality of newer components, I believe these radios actually sound better than they did when they were brand new. This radio should play and perform well for many years to come.

12 thoughts on “Sparton 7-46 Console Radio”

  1. You did a beautiful job on the restoration of this radio! I have this exact piece in my basement. Mine is in fair condition and also needs a complete overhaul. It belonged to my mother-in-law many years ago. After seeing how it can look restored, I am tempted to keep it until I am able to work on it. In the mean time, if you or anyone you know would like this radio, let me know as I am ready to part with it.

  2. This Sparton was a great restoration. It was in pretty good shape to start with, but the finish was in bad shape. I don’t like to refinish old radios if the finish can be restored, but this one was past that point and had to be refinished.

  3. I have this exact radio. Trying to find someone to fix it in Houston, Tx. Any help would be appreciated.

  4. I’m in the Austin area. Would that work for you to bring it to me? Or you can just ship the internals.

  5. Yes, we go to the hill country often. Next time we go, we can bring it to you. Can you contact me so we can discuss?
    Thank you

  6. Nice restore job! I’m restoring the same unit, a Sparton 7-46-PA. But someone has removed the loop antenna. I believe I can reproduce it. But I haven’t been able to find any dimensions for the one that fit in it. Or the number of wire wraps on it. there should be 2 sets of wires with each connecting to a common terminal. But is difficult trying to figure out what’s going on with a few pics from the internet. would you have access to any of this information?

  7. Hi! Wow great work on the radio! It’s beautiful. We found one of these in a family storage building and it’s not in great shape. Some components may could be used to restore another radio or with care and time, it may be possible to fix up. Our family doesn’t want it… if you’d like it, we come to Austin often and I’d be happy to bring it to you. We’d love someone to have it that could make use of it. Feel free to email me and I can share more details and photos.

  8. Unfortunately, the old console radios are not valuable enough to justify the investment to fix them up. The biggest problem is shipping them when they are sold.

  9. A lot of old radio parts are available. Some reproduction parts for things like chassis rubber mounts, decals, and reproduction speaker cloth are available. Check my supplier links for more information.

  10. Yes we have found that with a lot of family heirlooms we’ve tried to restore. Thanks for your info and keep up the great work on your other projects! Happy holidays!

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