NEC NT-79A face

Meet one of the two models that NEC released simultaneously in March, 1957 as the company's first transistor radios. In contrast to the massive presence of the NT-7H, which was designed as a cordless "handy" radio, the NT-6A featured sleek portable proportions that were meant to be flaunted out in public. The list price in Japan was 17,000 yen. And, to the best of my knowledge, the model was available only in the Japanese market.

I'd say the above photo speaks for itself, even if it fails to show the cabinet colour perfectly. This is one beautiful piece of engineering. The clear plastic panel covering the tuning dial knob features reverse painted numbers in black and a large painted section on the right in the body colour. Vertical gold traces run through the painted section, which seem to point toward the tuning dial. Part of the clear plastic dial itself is also reverse painted in gold.

Of the few extant samples I've spotted in all my years of watching out for the model, I have confirmed four colour variations of the NT-6A — the green shown above, powder blue, red, and a brownish grey. One period magazine in my possession states that there were four body colours, so I guess we've got a complete list here. Unfortunately, that magazine doesn't state specifically what those colours would have been, and none of the NEC documentation or ads I have for the model list the colour lineup. The reverse painted section on the green and blue variants are basically colour matched to the cabinet, while on the red and brown/grey variations it is coloured black.

As a side note, one might suggest that some of the design elements were influenced by the highly successful Sony TR-6, which had already been on the market for almost a year by the time the NT-6A shipped.

215 mm x 100 mm x 42 mm (approx. 8-1/2" x 3"-7/8" x 1-5/8")

Let's look inside –>

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