The Fine Things are Always Hand Made
Does anyone have any information on Scott Sixteens that used a 7-knob pattern like a Scott Phantom? A fellow collector is talking to me about one he has. His has no local/distance switch in the center bottom.
I found a picture of one here, as an example: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/600386194048056318/
Were these early units, late units, prototypes, custom units? What functions are assigned to the extra controls?
Interesting. Scott also offered the model 18, a 16 with a scratch suppressor added. This set always has two of the push/pull switches on the face, no other extra knobs. It would be very interesting to see what the additional knob functions are. (and a serial number!)
Another note...same layout as the Masterpiece chassis, which is much closer in size/capability to the Sixteen. I have this same image in my archive, probably grabbed off ebay when it sold there.
Thanks - I didn't have that number. So the only thing beside the extra controls are the tube covers...The single hole vent - I've seen those with a few other 16s but they're rare. No idea about then, unless Scott's regular supplier ran out for a time.
I also like the box. I have several shipping boxes, they are really nice to have! I can't date this serial number with my usual process - no dates close in the same prefix.
If you figure out what the controls are, please do a diagram of the layout - it may help us figure this mystery out.
Those round escutcheons in the reference pin interest photo are not consistent with the usual SIXTEEN seen. A transitional set just before the 19 tube Phantom was introduced? Scott was a custom set builder and sets did evolve.
Likewise, the Super 12 usually had 4 controls, but my late version 12 tube with 1 tube power supply has 6 controls with functions much like the 14 tube Masterpiece.
The owner tells me he has a number of letters back and forth between the original buyer and Scott Radio, and also the original sales receipt.
According to the earliest letter in the correspondence from Dec. 1938, the buyer was inquiring directly to Scott Radios about the unit he saw in the front window showcase at the Scott plant. In the first reply from Scott, they agreed they could sell him that specific radio.
On the sales receipt, the radio is listed as a "Scott Sixteen Demonstrator Chassis and Amplifier." The receipt is dated Jan. 16, 1939. I'm thinking perhaps this is an early production model.
The Sixteen came out right after the Philharmonic, in June 1937 - so if this set is dated Jan of 1939, they had been in production for about 18 months. Now given Scott's tendency to update sets periodically, at 18 months, it was probably due for revision, so my guess would be it is a revision demonstrator. It may also have been a last ditch effort to see about updating the Sixteen before it was retired. BY Jan 39, Scott had the Philly, Phantom and Super XII, so there was really no place for the Sixteen anymore. The Masterpiece was coming in June 1939, and the knob arrangement is similar - the guess I like the most is they took a Sixteen and modified to testing features for the Masterpiece (which was probably in the design phase).
Also it is worth noting that the Sixteen does not appear in any sales brochures after the 1st quarter of 1938. The Super XII and the Sixteen do not appear together in any sales brochures. The latest date I have for any Sixteen serial number is Aug 5, 1938. So this 1939 date makes it one of the last Sixteen's ever built.
"my guess would be it is a revision demonstrator. It may also have been a last ditch effort to see about updating the Sixteen before it was retired. ... the guess I like the most is they took a Sixteen and modified to testing features for the Masterpiece"
Thanks, Kent, that makes sense to me. I couldn't figure how/why it would be an early model and have the knob pattern like a couple of its successors.
The sale date wouldn't necessarily have anything to do with the production date in this case. I'd expect that as a demonstrator it could've been sitting around a while.
No matter our guesses, it is another very unique Scott chassis. Well worth preserving, and the documentation (or copies of it) need to stick with the set. We will never fully know what happened on Ravenswood Ave in the 1930s, but it sure gives us lots of puzzles now.