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Need advice on adding new cones to my 1940's floor radio project

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  • Need advice on adding new cones to my 1940's floor radio project

    Calling all TechTalk forum DIY speaker designers, builders and diy-ers,

    An old 46-1209 Philco floor radio from 1946 recently came into my possession. I am looking at restoring the cabinet of this radio and turning it into a WIFI/Pandora/AirPlay receiver. I'm thinking I'll use a Raspberry Pi to drive the brains of this system along with a quality DAC. I'd like to strip out the original 10" speaker cone that came with the radio and well, make the sound system in this thing way better.

    I'd like to get some recommendations and opinions on modding this cabinet with a new speaker or set of speakers. I'm newer to the whole speaker DIY field, so I'd appreciate advice from someone with more experience and expertise.

    I'm not looking for the highest hi-fi setup possible, I just want something nicer than the existing cone from the 1940's and something a little more custom than a set of computer speakers set up in this cabinet. I'm comfortable with electronics, soldering, etc. and have put together a few speaker kits in the past, but I know there is an art and a science to creating speakers and a little more is involved than just wiring up a cone to an amplifier. I'm cool with custom designs/specs you'd like to share or recommend or comfortable with kits, mods, etc.

    Also, will need to figure out how to drive the new cone or cones. Some type of amp, custom circuit, etc?

    Here's the specs and a few photos on the old radio cabinet:

    There are two cavities...a bottom and a top cavity you'll see in the photo. My plan is to close off the top cavity so I have to worry less about filling that top space. The speaker or set of speakers would go in the bottom cavity which measures 27"W x 27" H x 13" D.

    Click image for larger version

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    ...would love to dialogue with some people about how to get this cabinet rigged into a nice sounding speaker cab. Would be willing to document this project as I go so others can benefit from it in the future. My specialty is with the software and computer chip side of things. Just need some help and direction with the audio side of things. Thanks! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!!

  • #2
    Re: Need advice on adding new cones to my 1940's floor radio project

    First thing that came to mind is to recommend that you go through the projects listed in the 'Browse Speaker Projects' tab for inspiration. There are a few projects that use the same philosophy in creating portable 'boom boxes' that would synch well with your objectives. The cool part is that you get to save a little history and still get quality sound! Once you've come up with a little inspiration I'm sure everyone here will help you make the best decision.

    Good Luck!


    • #3
      Re: Need advice on adding new cones to my 1940's floor radio project

      My first instinct would be to leave it intact, build a copy of the shell and make it whaat you want it to be. I may be sentimental, but I think a working radio with turntable 67 years old is worth a little bit. At any rate, if you do gut it. don't throw anything away. You could Ebay it in a heartbeat. Marty's right though. From what I have seen here allready, there are some VERY knowledgeable folks here.