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Author Topic: Value of restored antique equipment  (Read 4382 times)
WN2C
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« on: November 29, 2011, 09:46:35 AM »

Coin dealers say that cleaning or polishing a coin takes away from the value of a coin.  So the question is: Once a piece of equipment is restored electronically and/or electrically, does refinishing the cabinet by repainting it take away from its value even if the paint is original manufacturer's paint?
It seems to me, taking away an antiques scratches and blemishes is taking away from it's character.
What say you?


de wn2c Rick
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AC5UP
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« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2011, 10:09:55 AM »

It seems to me, taking away an antiques scratches and blemishes is taking away from it's character.

In terms of retail appeal a coin dealer scores top dollar for the pristine examples of a low volume coin.

Serious tube-o-philes can look past modest wear & tear to see the beauty of an old boatanker but casual collectors and interior design types can't. Look at photos of any radio collection on the web and it's all about the rarity of the radio and how well it presents after restoration, not the character of stains in the cabinet. Sometimes there's a fine line between a vintage collectible and junk. Clean & shiny helps keep a piece on the good side of that line...

BTW: If character adds value, N4NYY has a Lafayette HE-30 that gains more character every time he works on it...  Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin
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K1ZJH
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« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2011, 10:23:06 AM »

There is no easy or simple answer. Your choices are  preservation, restoration or repair.

An original, unmolested example of a desirable, rare piece of equipment that is in showroom condition
will always be worth more than something that has been repaired or restored.

I have shelf queens that are for display only, and I have gear that was originally in rust bucket
condition that were brought back with the intention of using them, versus any value they may
have as collectables.

Pete

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KB2FCV
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« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2011, 01:28:41 PM »

I'm personally one who leans towards keeping things as original as possible in terms of cosmetics. I have no problem with replacing caps, components as necessary. I tend to look for radios that are in nice original condition. I guess there can be equipment out there that are 'too far gone' and need restoration.. but if done properly they can get a good price as well. An example I can think of is Howard Mills who restores Collins gear.
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AA4HA
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« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2011, 02:29:28 PM »

Coin dealers say that cleaning or polishing a coin takes away from the value of a coin.  So the question is: Once a piece of equipment is restored electronically and/or electrically, does refinishing the cabinet by repainting it take away from its value even if the paint is original manufacturer's paint?
It seems to me, taking away an antiques scratches and blemishes is taking away from it's character.
What say you?
de wn2c Rick

A properly rebuilt/ refurbished/ refinished radio is a bit like a used car. The value is going to be in the eye of the collector and what they would be willing to pay for it, are they actually going to "use" it or stuff it in a corner to look pretty.

Going to high school in the 70's (think of "that 70's show") there was an abundance of beaten up 1967 Mustangs, cars with stripes down the hood, hood scoops, air dams on the trunk lid, etc... Most were second or third hand cars passed down by their fathers to guys who took auto shop. If you asked me what a car like that would have been worth I would have guessed $400-$500. Nowadays those very same cars are like collectible gold and properly refurbished may bring in $20-30K each. I still see the rust-bucket with the plastic bag hanging out of the rear quarter panel, leaky exhaust, no air conditioning and seats that might not be bolted to the floor, just sort of sitting in there.

Someone would look at the BC-348 receiver that is stashed in the upstairs closet and just see an ugly black radio with what looks like a vacuum cleaner motor mounted inside and say "what a piece of junk". I guess it depends upon your perspective... No matter what, my horrid little 1975 Mustang II should have been given a merciful death in a metal crusher.

Probably one of the biggest evil things I saw at a hamfest was a beautiful 1930's console radio, perfect finish, playing music while on display. I asked to look in back and saw that someone had gutted/ chopped up the radio chassis and retrofitted in a cheap transistor radio attached to the string tuner dial. Sadly someone probably did buy that "antique" radio and paid a premium for it.
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Ms. Tisha Hayes, AA4HA
Lookout Mountain, Alabama
AC5UP
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« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2011, 03:53:26 PM »

Probably one of the biggest evil things I saw at a hamfest was a beautiful 1930's console radio, perfect finish, playing music while on display. I asked to look in back and saw that someone had gutted/ chopped up the radio chassis and retrofitted in a cheap transistor radio attached to the string tuner dial.

And the hell of it is, for someone who knows their valves it would be less work to refurb the original chassis (assuming it wasn't a total basket case) than retrofit a pedigreed sand circuit to fit the front panel bezel or escutcheon plate. (IMHO we don't use those words often enough)

BTW: I recall the mid 70's Mustang II and it really was a horrid little car. Ford over-padded everything inside as their interpretation of what luxury should be and in the process created a driving position suitable only for dwarves making a burrito run within their home zip code. The car was hell on wheels for the big-boned or mildly claustrophobic among us.

Friend of mine had one and I used to do light maintenance on it. Normally I'd take a car for a lap around the block as the final check, on that one the word was: "let me know if it does anything stupid". Did not like driving it at all.
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N4NYY
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« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2011, 03:59:33 PM »

My brief experience with radios is that "as new" or "like new" condition in working order, is far more valuable than an an old antique looking radio that looks old , worn, and weathered. My antique RCA Victor 8X681 was in old, worn, dirty condition and I got it for $15. After a full restoration, I got $200 for it.

Now, if you are looking for iron skillets, antique furniture, signs, etc, then the "old worn" look is the whole value.
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K1ZJH
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« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2011, 07:41:13 AM »

I have a recently acquired SX-16 that is on my short list for a winter project. It belonged to a
SK ham friend of mine. The box itself probably rates a very honest 8 on a collector's scale.
I'm sure he bought it on faith as being "restored."

The problem is some fool changed out all of the wax caps with modern axial lead yellow
jackets. It looks like crap. Worst than that, NONE of the carbon resistors were tested or replaced.
Not one.  If any of the resistors are bad, working around the replacement caps, which are tacked
in, will double the work. Since the set is old enough to merit reworking, I'm going to restuff a
set of original wax caps acquired from another SX-16 owner while I'm in there.  I wouldn't do that
for all my boatanchors, but the SX-16 is a bit special in my book.

Pete
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ONAIR
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Posts: 1747




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« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2011, 09:13:27 AM »

  I once heard a rumor about an employee who stored away all of the new radio equipment from a store that was closing.  Supposedly the store was located on radio row in NYC, and was closed to make way for the new World Trade Center in the early '70s.  I can just imagine what that old "new in the box" stuff would be worth to collectors!
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AA4PB
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« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2011, 11:15:01 AM »

Normally you don't want to replace things like big can type electrolytics with newer axial leaded electrolytics. It works but it is no longer "original". There are places like www.tubesandmore.com where you can get original looking components. For things like can electrolytics I've opened them up and put new (nowdays smaller) capacitors inside so that it still looks original.

I could cry about some of the things we did back in the 1950's to older radios. They didn't have much of an antique value at that time - mostly people just wanted them to work. My grandfather had a console radio that had 4-pin tubes in it that were becoming hard to get, even at that time. I replaced all the tube sockets and tubes with the new (at the time) 7-pin tubes. The old electromagnet speaker was replaced with a choke and a new permanent magnet speaker. The radio worked great and he was happy, but I'll bet it had a big negative impact on its value as an antique.
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KA5ROW
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« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2011, 07:19:06 PM »

I watch the antiques road show on PBS at times they say to have it professionally repaired and it will increase the value, of course original mint is always best. Radio may be a little different I have seen some really nice Johnson Rangers restored in and out that looked good and worked as they should. But for me on a Viking Vallant it must have the blue 866A rectifiers. It’s just not the same without them.
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KI4SDY
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« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2011, 05:12:02 PM »

As with any antique or collectible, value of a given specimen will follow this path;

Mint like new condition, all original and working as designed is worth the mostGrin
Restored like new and working is worth less than above.  Cheesy
Used, but cosmetically good and working is worth less than the above. Smiley
Used, cosmetically bad and working is worth less than the above.  Sad
Used, cosmetically bad and not working is worth the least.  Cry

As far as price. The sale value of the antique is determined by what the collector is willing to pay!  Roll Eyes

Other factors come in to play when a collector needs a part to make his almost mint antique perfect!  Shocked

 

 
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KC2VDM
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« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2011, 06:30:22 PM »

It might also depend on the buyers use for it. In terms of electrical restoration, you wouldn't need to completely recap a chassie if the buyer is just going to use it for decoration on a shelf, would you?

Just my $0.02
-Alex
kc2vdm
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WD5GWY
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Posts: 406




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« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2011, 02:56:06 PM »

I have an SX-100 that looks better than new and works great. The person
that restored did a magnificent job of restoration. Including recapping and
a paint job, while the right colors, it looks better than the first SX-100 I owned
some 40 years ago. And the inside is polished to a shine that is probably nothing
like what came off the factory assembly line. Is it original? I doubt it, from what
I have seen growing up and years later. But, I will say this, I wouldn't sell it for
10X what I paid for it. ($250)
james
WD5GWY
 
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K1ZJH
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Posts: 1185




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« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2011, 09:50:01 PM »

There are a few sellers on eBay who take a lot of refinishing liberties with old
wood table radios. Adding toner where there was none, and polishing the
lacquer finishes to a very glossy shine.  They get big bucks, mostly from
non-collectors who are looking for accent pieces for their rooms. To a real the
collector, the value is lost, but then again, a "collector" won't pay decorator
prices. Smiley

Pete
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