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R-20

RARITY:       VALUE 

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The R-20 was a basic radio-only set, designed and produced in 1926, right after The Victor Talking Machine Co. contracted with The Radio Corporation of America to install RCA radios in some Victor-branded phonographs.  The R-20 was simply an RCA Radiola 20 (the most advanced radio product from RCA at that time) installed into a Victor cabinet, and connected to a small Victor Orthophonic Horn. RCA dealers sold the same Radiola 20 model using a basic horn speaker, but Victor's folded Orthophonic horn performed better, and provided a fairly good combination of volume and frequency response.   Although inexpensive, these were remarkably good radio sets, with modern high-quality cabinets. This was the entry-level radio set that Victor dealers offered the public in 1926.

Only 6,382 R-20's were produced in 1926, making it a relatively rare model. However, since it is basically a nice cabinet with a popular RCA radio inside, collector interest in this model is relatively limited. In addition, the Orthophonic horn in the R-20 is very small as compared to the impressive Victrola Credenza phonograph, so the bass response isn't anywhere close to what it could have been with a better pairing of the radio with a larger horn.  List price was set at $135.00, but the tubes were extra-cost items!. RCA dealers sold the identical Radiola 20 in a rather ungainly cabinet with the basic RCA horn for $122.50. The R-20 was available only in a blended mahogany finish.

 

 

 

 

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