Bath 'n a Buff for a Beautiful Radio - 1: Before
These are the two blurry low-resolution photos we had to work with when buying the radio. It's interesting to me after the fact to now view the radio in these two images as dirty and in need of restoration. But we were excited enough at the time to find a dark green TR-6 free of cracks and chips that the visible bit of soil and aging didn't phase either of us.* Alan was even happy that the radio had the original owner's decades of dirt on it. After all, it does please some collectors to acquire a radio from the source, one that hasn't passed through the hands of many collectors already. Not only can one feel more confident that the radio is all original, but it also ensures that no butterfingered person has mucked around and damaged anything before. This is less of a concern when buying radios that are commonly found or are not overly expensive. However, with a radio this early, rare, and dear, it is pleasing to find the set in its original untouched condition.
While the photos on this page don't reveal a whole lot, the top one does suggest that the colour has changed and does hint at the lack of shine on the cabinet. Granted, it's hard to judge with certainty when using digital photos such as these. The current generation of digital cameras do produce pretty good results, yet they still amaze me with their sensitive reactions to lighting conditions and their extreme ability to highlight some details while glossing right over others. The slightly cloudy areas seen in the ribbing on the lower part of the cabinet in the bottom photo also suggest that some mottling has occurred. Oh, and it is easy to spot that the tuning dial and its cover want a good cleaning. Not to mention that the lettering on the decorative metal strip is blackened with soil; it should be white.
The radio appears to be well used. Still, the original owner took good care of it, even if s/he never cleaned it properly. It was stored away safely for decades in a well-worn leather case -- you might even say worn to exhaustion -- and it looks as though the original owner left the radio in the case even when listening to it. I'm convinced that this contributed to maintaining the radio's integrity over the years, even if the leather case sacrificed itself in the process. At the same time, long years spent in the case while enduring the unbearably hot, humid summers in Japan probably accounts for the degree and overall consistency of the oxidation, (or whatever the proper term is for the change in the surface layer of the plastic cabinet).
* I suppose this excitement explains why we didn't even spot the unique spelling error on the face!