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Author Topic: Howard 450a as a receiver.  (Read 4443 times)

Posts: 354

« on: May 26, 2015, 04:05:16 AM »

Carl stated earlier that the performance of the howard 450 a was subpar.  I was just wondering if the receiver was ever paired with a transmitter and used? I don't see any pics on the web with the howard 450a being used in a station. I have the story of the original owner of this radio and I believe he used it in his ham station.

How does if compare to the Hallicrafter radios, I have read they were not good in the performance area.


Posts: 558

« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2015, 02:29:41 PM »

 I have not owned or operated a Howard, so I can't really be objective about this.
 Howard receivers look good on paper, but somehow there are people who feel that 'build quality' was lacking.
 I present this discussion below, particularly the 5th post down.
 If the condition is good and the price is right, you could likely recoup your investment if you were disappointed in it. It sounds like it had some sentimental value and is a big reason that it is a survivor.
 It isn't a common model, in fact Howards are generally listed as being very scarce in Fred Osterman's Communications Receivers-Past & Present book.
 I can't find any review of this receiver online. It may have had a review in QST back in the day?

Posts: 5526

« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2015, 09:40:49 AM »

Take any Hallicrafters of the same tube count and features of any Howard and do an A:B performance comparison.

Howard was a real schlock outfit who mostly tossed out low end crap for private label retailers. Being also in Chicago they likely thought they could get a piece of Hallicrafters action and failed miserably and were soon gone.

Ive worked on several Howards and would never own one. The 450A was a SX-16 rip off with an inflated by one tube count which was a common scam in consumer sets at the time. Side by side tests with both restored wasnt even a horse race.


Posts: 2

« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2018, 03:58:35 PM »

Hello, I know this is a three year old topic, but I just wanted to throw in some info.

I recently picked up a Howard 450A and have been doing some searches on it, and ended up here.

Howard may have made some low end equipment for some companies, but also was quite involved with high end radio equipment.
Notably Capehart which was a very high end phonograph/radio combination manufacturer through the 30s and 40s.
Their claim to fame was a record changer which would turn over a record automatically to play both sides, then continue to the next record.
Howard made all of their radio chassis up until 1938-39 when Farnsworth bought the company and made all chassis in-house.

The Howard made Capehart radios are right up there with the best.

Howard was somehow connected with Hallicrafters as well as McMurdo Silver in the early to mid 1930s. I have a Silver-Marshall branded radio chassis that is clearly a Howard model D-8. But It has "MFGR No. 1731" on the chassis label which is the RCA and Hazeltine license number for Hallicrafters.

I am not sure what the full story is of connection between the two companies, but some info can be found here in a topic in another radio forum.

I'm not defending the performance of the 450A and it may well be sub-par compared to other models of the day.
I'm not sure when I will get to my 450A in restoration, but it is an odd one with two IF channels.

I see they used a cheap way to change IF bandwidth by bypassing an IF transformer, basically resistance coupling the two IF stages.

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