EH Scott Radio Enthusiasts

The Fine Things are Always Hand Made

Hello members:

First of all, I want to thank you all for your contributions here on this blog in the way of comments and content listed in the Scott Info. Archive. I have always been interested in the history of the things I collect. Scott radios are not new to my radio collecting. I purchased a Philharmonic Beam of Light console in the Warrington cabinet over 15 years ago and I acquired an AW 15 in an Acousticraft cabinet a couple years ago. I’m a member of the Radio Collectors of New Mexico and we have some members with some serious Scott collections so I’ve had the good fortune to be able to spend some time listening and comparing the may of the Scott model with the McMurdos and event the Zenith Stratosphere models. My professional background is Advertising and Public Relations so, I have also have real interest in marketing behind these great chrome chassis radios.

 

The reason for my post today is to see if the members can help understand more about Scott’s obscure AW 27. I’ve learned from all the great information posted hear that there are around 20 of these radios found at this time. There is no known AW 27 Scott promotion ads, brochures featuring the radio, no owners manual or factory schematics known to exist as well.  I have also learned the following here from reading through the Scott Archive newsletters and reviewing a newsletter article on the production of the Zenith Stratosphere on another site here over the weekend:

 

There are several events that seem to happen that leading up to the AW 27 coming on to the scene in 1936.  In 1935 E.H. Scott steps up his marketing efforts with the company’s introduction of the AW 23 receiver and their Quaranta hi-fi system, shown to the public for the first time a the grand opening of Scott’s listening solon in Rockefeller Center at the end of 1935.

 

It is worth noting here that in 1935 Scott only real competition in the custom built radio market came from the company’s established revel McMurdo and their McMurdo IV introduce about the same time as the AW 23.  1935 was also the Zenith Radio Corporation’s first full year of marketing their new entry into the custom built chrome chassis market with their 25-tube, 1000 Z Stratosphere radio receiver. Zenith did not get they’re less expensive 16-A-61 and 16-A-63, 16-tube Stratosphere radios to market until the fall of 1935. We learn from Martin Blankenships fascinating story published on the Zenith Stratosphere in 2007 issue of the HILARA newsletter that it was Scott’s success with their AW 12 in April of 1933, as Scott went into full promotion mode during the 1933-34 Chicago Worlds Fair, that sent the President of Zenith, Commander McDonald into motion to direct his company to develop custom built radios to compete in the custom built radio segment of the radio market. McDonald was tiring of attending social functions in Chicago and Scott being the talked up as the world finest radio. Approximately 20 months later Zenith would ship their first 1000 Z for sale on December 15, 1934, totally missing any opportunity real of capitalizing on the Christmas selling season, at time when radio sales were at its highest.

 

All this above sets the stage for some interesting observations from what I’ve learned from reading the newsletters here on this site. A year after the introduction of the Zenith Stratosphere in December of 1935 Scott would their New York, City listing solon in Rockefeller Center, where their was as captive population of 100,000 people, may with well paying jobs in a Depression .  The solon was set up demonstrate the AW 23 in the many different cabinet styles. Also, Scott had on display their Quaranta speaker console and chassis consoles at the opening of the solon. Once again, like in 1933, Scott has a big marketing push going on to promote their newest Allwave receiver. The Quaranta on display made for good publicity setting Scott in a league far above its competitors.

 

In April of 1936, Scott would introduce their Allwave 27 at about the same time they opened their Los Angeles listening Studio/Solon and service laboratory. During this opening a California customer’s 40-tube Scott Quaranta is on display, like at the New York solon opening. At this opening AW 23 models were on display and most likely the AW 27 because they were introduced in April of 1936 according to the Clark, King and Poland’s “E.H. Scott Collectors Guide. Scott had his third Quaranta being assembled in his LA studios lab, which he shows his visiting guests according to their May 1936 Newletter. The new Studio/Solon was strategically located near the  upscale West Hollywood, Beverly Hills districts. According to the newsletter the Scott grand opening was well attended by Hollywood directors, producers and actors. These Hollywood elites were part of Scott’s target audience and the company’s highly focused marketing strategy to sell their newly expanded higher-end custom built hi-fi radio systems, that went beyond marketing their regular Scott Allwave 23 radio sets.  Interestingly enough an AW 27 shows up in Scotts January 1937 Scott Newsletter on a page titled “IN THE FINER HOMES YOU WILL FIND SCOTT.” On that page is an AW 27 in a Ravinia Grande cabinet shown to be in the home of Hollywood actress Winnie Lightner.

 

With all of this said, my questions to members here on this blog are as follows: Are their any other images or mentions of the AW 27 in Scott Newsletters like the Winnie Lightner AW 27? It looks like AW 27 was created by Scott as and up sell in 1936 that Scott used in their newly created Scott listening solons on the east and west costs. This could explain why there is no Scott promotional material on the AW 27 in existence at this time. If there were material they were not wildly circulated like on the AW 23. Scott may have only sent letters to solon customers leads. This may have been a way to something put more custom touch in these wealthier clients Scott was trying to target with their solons. Zenith had a very high-end brochure produced for it’s 1000 Z Stratosphere, whit tissue overlays, a glued in real color photograph printed on paper stock that would rival the most expensive wedding invitation. The only 1000 Z brochure I’ve ever seen is the one I own. Zenith sent out letter with photos to like Scott did. Maybe Scott did the same for their AW 27.

 

Do any members here on this site have any Scott correspondence in their collections that mentions the AW 27 that could help shed any light on the subject on how this AW 27 were promoted to customers?  Also, what is the source for the April 1936 introduction date for the AW 27 published in the E.H. Scott Radio Collectors Guide?

 

Sorry for the length of this post in order to get to these questions, I though the members here would be interest this subject since so little is know known about these great radios.

 

Thanks for your help!

David Wilson

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The Mitchell Quaranta is photographed and described in a couple issues of Scott News.  The Arnold set was an identical copy.  Both were complete 48-tube sets with separate speaker consoles.  No trace of either has been found although rumors abound regarding the status and disposition of the Mitchell set.

Norman

David -

The current count of AW27 sets is 19. I have to agree with Norman, I believe the majority of the AW27 sets are found in Waverly cabinets. I would invite every member on the forum to chime in with their cabinet style if they own an AW27, we can probably get a representative number here. Mine is in a Waverly Grande. 

I also agree with Norman that if you wanted an AW23 with expander, Scott did an up-sell to the AW27. I'm not as sure about the final production being all AW27 sets, but it can't be discounted either. Looking at serial numbers, there are some telling examples: Prefix Y - sets 620, 621 and 633 are all AW27s but 636 is not (last 4 numbers in the series). Prefix Z - same story, last four numbers are 630, 632, 635 (all AW27) and 637 is an AW23. Other prefixes are not as clean: Prefix U has four AW27 sets at 565, 569, 571 and 573. But there are 11 AW23 serial numbers after these. Only the following prefixes have AW27 sets: A, T, U, X, Y and Z. 

I may have one other item of interest, I'll have to look. 

Kent

This is great information Kent!

Thanks for sharing it here.

David

I have two here.  One is in the Rivinia Grande console with mirror added in the lid.  The other was a chassis that I had parted out (T-559) many years ago then reconstructed recently.  Its new home will be a Warwick Grande console that had been used as an accessory speaker for a Philharmonic.  An original AW-27/Warwick Grande combination is known to exist.

Norman

With regard to the notion of Scott ending AW-23 production as AW-27 upgrade sets.  Nope.

I have a very nice 16 page brochure that features:

- the  Pointer Philharmonic, introduced April 1937,

-the standard 7 knob AW-23 mentioned above.

-the Scott Sixteen, introduced July 1937

-the Autotrope 30 record changer, late 1937 and featured on the cover of the December Scott News.

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In addition, the November 1937 Scott News features current models includes  the standard AW-23 on page 6.

I see no attraction for an AW-27 once the Philharmonic was introduced having 1) the volume expansion standard, 2) a more modern round dial and 3) 15 inch speaker as standard with optional tweeters.

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To accommodate the extra long power supply/amp to accommodate the p-p driver tubes,  cabinets wider than the oft seen Tasman was required - hence, the number installed in the Ravinia and Waverly cabinets.

Dave, I don't believe for a second that the EH Scott Radio Laboratories discontinued production of the AW-27 upon introduction of the Philharmonic.  We all know that Scott continued to offer the Full Range High Fidelity Receiver (includes both the AW-23 and AW-27) after introduction of the Philharmonic until their stock of chassis and parts for these receivers was depleted.  The only reasonable explanation for an increase in price of the Full Range High Fidelity receiver after introduction of the Philharmonic is that the stock of 23-tube chassis had been depleted and some stock of 27-tube chassis remained.  Again, from Scott's perspective, they were both considered the Full Range High Fidelity Receiver regardless of what photo happened to be included in a publication.

Norman

Norman, I've seen what you are talking about here with clients I work with that manufacture products. It is a common practice to keep selling products older model product until the parts stock is use up, especially in smaller manufacturing companies. So, I would agree with you on your replay here that this was in play at Scott with the AW-23 and 27.

The AW-23 was manufactured about 8 months before the AW-27 comes out. Scott introduces the expander one month before the AW-27 was introduced. Scott markets the new expander to their 8 months of AW-23 owners at $35 per expander. You were also indicating in a earlier post that going forward, after the introduction of the AW-27, if a customer wanted the expander Scott would try to up sell them an AW-27 instead of an AW-23 with the add on expander. Scott produces AW-23 and 27 for 5 months before the introduction of the Philharmonic so you would think their would be more AW-27 out their.

You have to ask the question, why so few AW-27s today If Scott continued to sell both the AW-23 and AW-27 until they ran out stock in remander of 1937? Did the Philharmonic drastically cool off AW-23 and 27 sales and there were not that many AW-27 chassis to get rid of or was the expander idea not that popular with owners and did not sell? I know Scott owners who have the expander for their AW-23’s and they don’t use them because they don’t like them. Maybe the Scott up sell to the AW-27 expander model was not working and they just did not produce that many after the introduction?

Does any one have a feel for the success of the AW-23 expander and how common are they found out there on an AW-23?

David

Norman S Braithwaite said:

Dave, I don't believe for a second that the EH Scott Radio Laboratories discontinued production of the AW-27 upon introduction of the Philharmonic.  We all know that Scott continued to offer the Full Range High Fidelity Receiver (includes both the AW-23 and AW-27) after introduction of the Philharmonic until their stock of chassis and parts for these receivers was depleted.  The only reasonable explanation for an increase in price of the Full Range High Fidelity receiver after introduction of the Philharmonic is that the stock of 23-tube chassis had been depleted and some stock of 27-tube chassis remained.  Again, from Scott's perspective, they were both considered the Full Range High Fidelity Receiver regardless of what photo happened to be included in a publication.

Norman

At one time I estimated that approximately 200 AW-27 sets may have been produced but that relied on a now obsolete ratio of reported chassis and is sensitive to the reporting itself.  Perhaps Kent can come up with an idea of production using serial number blocks.  I am sure that more will turn up.

The expander was mostly a sales gimmick.  They are only useful for orchestral and operatic performances by adding volume to loud passages and reducing volume of quiet passages.  Since the original volume levels are lost during compression for recording and again for broadcasting, making loud passages louder and quiet passages quieter based on what is recorded/received is a very imprecise method of replacing the lost volume levels.  The time constant for changing the volume is on the order of 2 to 4 seconds.  I'll leave the volume range expander performance for R&R up to your imagination!

Norman

So this little item is from the April 1936 Scott Serviceman's bulletin. It very much sounds like the AW27 amplifier and speaker. The description for use is quite interesting. In any case, what do you all think?

Kent,

This 1936 Scott Service Bulletin is great stuff! I have recently acquired an AW-27 in the Rivinia Grande cabinet with a RC-turntable. The first owner of this radio was a church in 1936 located in St. Louis area. Your bulletin’s description sure sounds similar to the history on my radio.

Thanks for sharing this!

David

David,

Congratulations on your recent acquisition.  I had been following that sale myself and was very impressed with the results.  Great to hear a little history as to where your AW27 came from.  Good luck on your rebuild.  If this is the same unit I am thinking of, it has already been documented correct?  Meaning, already on the list of 19 known examples?

Thanks,

Jon

Norman,

Good point. Lots of previous instances of using up of previous materials stock. Still seems like there are so many 7 knob AW-23's and so few AW-27's showing up.  Wonder how many AW-27's have the 2nd antenna post reflecting the introduction of the Scott Supershield Antenna Coupling System?? (October 1936 Scott News - at which time Scott discontinued the outboard antenna switch hung off the tube cover.)

Other instances of using up stock:

The 1932 DELUXE amp continued with the 2-DIAL cut base with 8 pin Jones plug in spite of needing only 5 pins for several months.

AW-15 evidently sold for some months after AW-23 introduction.

Cabinets cut for AW-12 outboard antenna tuner shipped with the side holes plugged. 

AW-23 7 knob receiver chassis with unused hole below the tuning knob where the BFO was for the 5 knob version. And my 7 knob AW-23 Roslyn cabinet with that  BFO hole plugged before cabinet was finished - the plug sports a decotative upholstery tack I have seen on several other cabinets too.

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