The Fenman II is definitely a no messing kind of man’s radio. It’s big, solid and dependable. Made by Pye, Cambridge, England in the mid-fifties to rival the continental bad boys. What it may lack in styling, it more than makes up for in sound.
This ten valve radio is considered, by some, to be ‘without doubt, the best valved radio made in the UK, with push pull output and 4 speakers’.
A luxury model when it was introduced in the fifties and, according to Pye Ltd the ‘multiple loudspeaker system maintains a true balance of treble and bass in every part of the room and adds an unusual realism and depth to the reproduction’.
Very soon it will be on its way to its new home in Ireland where the new owner has been patiently waiting. The latest of our well-travelled radios. Not the best looking radio we’ve seen, weighs a ton, missing the original knobs, but quality none the less.
Whilst out and about we’ve found a beautifully clean PYE Table Receiver which we believe was built in 1961. Unlike so many other radios, this one has obviously been well loved. No time spent in a dirty shed or outbuilding collecting woodlice and spiders. We’ve just given it a little tickle with a feather duster and voila. We haven’t got the back off yet, but fingers crossed.
1961 saw four Elvis Presley hits, Are You Lonesome Tonight, Wooden Heart, Surrender and His Latest Flame. Shirley Bassey was belting out Reach For The Stars/Climb Every Mountain and The Everly Brothers were Walkin’ Back To Happiness.
In the news, John F Kennedy was inaugurated as president of the United States, Harold MacMillan was Prime Minister in the United Kingdom and it was the year the Berlin Wall was built.
According to Gramophone magazine in 1955, “Never before had so compact a unit provided this high fidelity reproduction with such a room filling quality of sound.”
We’re pleased to report that this wonderful vintage record player has found a good home and is making beautiful music once more. It was last heard playing Carly Simon’s ‘You’re So Vain”, and bringing a tear to its new owner’s eye. We love it when our customers like our vintage sounds as much as we do. It must be a bit like letting go of a puppy.
Part of the charm of this record player was its simple wooden box. lt looked great with the lid down, plugged into an mp3 and letting out a gentle glow. Although it was called The Black Box, we think this refers to the name of the valve amp inside it and not the cabinet.