I’ve finished refurbishing this GE J-105 antique tube radio and am 99% happy with the results. My wife and I decided to leave the finish as it was and just clean it up. It did require a new grille cloth but other than some “Restor-a-Finish” and some wax, the exterior is original. The electronics were all updated and it works well and sounds fine.
The J-105 is a 10 tube console from 1940, GE used the marketing term “Golden Tone” to compete with the other makers who were pushing 10, 12, and 16 tube high end or audiophile consoles during this era. Another interesting feature is the “Beam-A-Scope” antenna which is a dual loop housed in a cardboard cylinder inside the back speaker cabinet. Once you have your AM station tuned in, you can turn the cylinder to get the best reception. Amazingly, it works as advertised!
I’m not sure where this radio lived in its prior life. The folks I bought it from last year threw a doily on it and used it as a plant stand, hence the water ring on the top. Once I got to the back and removed the chassis, I was amazed at how much crap had accumulated in and on it. The dirt was adhered in a thick layer by something like cigarette smoke or another amber like substance. I spent many hours cleaning the electronics, tube sockets, speakers and interior spaces.
While it could use a complete stripping and refinishing, I’ll do that later or leave it for the next owner.
Here is the required before picture: