The Fine Things are Always Hand Made
A good portion of the membership here is interested in McMurdo Silver radios as well as Scott radios. McMurdo Silver radios are the primary interest of a couple members. The later Masterpiece V and all Masterpiece VI consoles were the first consumer radios to incorporate a true high fidelity speaker enclosure allowing these receivers to outperform the receivers of peers with regard to audio quality. From an RF perspective, it is my opinion that the flagship Scott models outperform the competitive McMurdo Silver offerings across the board. I also find the construction quality of the Scott receivers to be superior to that of the McMurdo Silver receivers. If you are looking for one of the McMurdo Silver models with the bass reflex cabinet, budget around $6000 or take your chances and wait very patiently for a rare bargain. The 18-inch Jensen speaker is responsible for the high price of the Masterpiece V and VI receivers (value of set without this speaker is much lower). The Masterpiece II through IV models command approximately $500 to $2000+ depending on condition, cabinet, speaker, etc. The Masterpiece I is rare. A complete Masterpiece I chassis set with original speaker is likely to command $3000+.
Starting with the Scott AW-23 (compare to Masterpiece IV, V, VI), the Scotts had continuously variable selectivity and a sensitivity control. At best the McMurdo Silvers had a four position selectivity switch which in the Masterpiece V and VI switched entire IF circuits into and out of the signal path. I do not agree that the chrome on the McMurdo Silvers was any better than that used on the Scotts. The chrome on the shield cans used by McMurdo Silver held up better, however, because McMurdo Silver used copper as a base metal for the shield cans whereas Scott used aluminum and zinc. As far as the actual steel chassis goes, I have seen chassis from both manufacturers run the full gamut of conditions from full rust to mint.
Although I continue to collect Scott radios, I have shifted most of my collecting toward acquiring McMurdo sets.
My experience is they are fine radios and IMO the 15/17 sets are equal to any Scott in my collection as far as performance.
The cabinets were generally made by the same compay in Rockford Illinois, which I have visited and photographed.
I need to find a nice Masterpiece 1 to complete my McMurdo collection and have 3 of the 18" speakers which I hope will fund a whole year of toilet paper if we end up in a Mad-Max situation..
That could be a LOT of toilet paper Bruce. Do you plan on having diarrhea, lol, lol?!
Interesting that the 15/17 sets perform as well as their siblings. That being, said I think I would feel slightly "cheated" having only one chassis as other Scotts have spoiled me to expect two. Cabinets may have the same construction but I have not seen any McMurdos that have as good styling--unless you know of any. I know you will find a Masterpiece I in the future and wish you the best of luck. You are a great resource for all collectors of these advanced radios and I hope people here appreciate that as much as I do!
Assuming the Midwest you had is the same one I'm familiar with, it lives just a few miles from me and still going strong.