When is a DAC90A not a DAC90A? …when it’s an export model.
Some time ago, I noticed what I thought was a Bush DAC90A sitting on a friend’s shelf, alongside other Bakelite radios including a round Ecko. He suggested I look closer…instead of Long Wave, there were two Short Wave bands; it was an EBS3A. At the time, I asked if I could buy it and he said ‘no’. Sadly, his shelf fell off the wall last year almost destroying the round Ecko and other radios. He thought this one was unscathed.
New Year 2023 and he gave me a call to let me know he was reducing his collection and would I like to buy the radio. We agreed a price, subject to inspection, and I called in to take a look.
The valves were all missing for some reason, the speaker grille was on the wrong way round and sadly, there were two cracks in the bottom of the radio as a result of the shelf collapse. At this point I would normally have backed away, but it is a rare model and I’m confident I can repair the Bakelite. Internally the radio is pretty good and it appears that all the nasty old waxed paper capacitors have been replaced.
The radio came from South Africa, where my friend used to live, and there are some wonderful station names on the dial: Cairo, New Zealand, Sundsvall, Falun, Madras, Saigon, Rangoon, Algiers, Leopoldville and many more.
I’ll remove it from its case, check it over thoroughly, fit a set of valves (I’m sure I have them all) and see what I can hear. Then I’ll repair the case and enjoy it; thankfully the damage is on the bottom.
I’m told that the IF filter capacitor, before the audio valve grid, can be reduced to 470pF and the tone correction capacitor on the output transformer, halved in value. Apparently it greatly improves the audio quality over the somewhat muffled original offering. I’ll try it as designed first I think.
If you ever come across one of these sets with a damaged case, don’t make the mistake of thinking you can just use a DAC90A case! They look identical, but unfortunately, the waveband change switch hole is in a different place on the cabinet.