Dave's Antique Radio & TV Restorations

Dave's Antique Radio & TV Restorations
P. O. Box 285
Liverpool, NY 13088


Antique Radio Restoration Information Page

Usually if an antique radio doesn't play or hums when you plug it in* and turn it on, it probably needs a new set of paper and filter capacitors. This is what I define as a restoration.

 That, in 99% of all cases brings the antique radio back to life with "Better than New" performance.

If you'd like to get your antique radio restored please either send me an e-mail message at

or dave2@dreamscape.com

*It's not a good idea to plug in an antique radio  that hasn't been restored.  See below for more details.

Atwater Kent Radio

paper capacitors
When I receive a radio for restoration I count the number of paper and filter capacitors and make a note of the values. This is for the estimate.

On the left is a view underneath a radio chassis I recently received for a restoration.

  All the brownish waxy cylinder shaped components are paper capacitors.  So is the large black cylinder with stripes on it and so is the cylinder with the blue paper over it.

The filter capacitors are in a can, who's pins can be seen at the lower right in a brown disc.

This radio contains 14 paper type capacitors that need to be replaced.

Paper Type Capacitors were used in Radios and TVs, from the 1920s until the 1960s.  These were very poorly made.  Even at the time they were in use they could be damaged by moisture.  Now we know that the paper used in the manufacture of those old style capacitors wasn't acid treated.  So over time the acid in the paper deteriorates the capacitor. This can result in a short circuit or fire in some cases.  So it's not a good idea to turn on an antique radio before its paper type capacitors  are replaced.  Paper was used in capacitors called "paper", "filter" or "electrolytic". Todays capacitors are made using plastic as the insulator. They don't suffer from these problems.
   There are other types of capacitors found in Antique Radios (ceramic disc and mica), which do not have these problems either. So they don't usually need to be replaced.

new capacitors installed
Here is how the same radio looks restored. All the yellow cylinders are the replacements for the paper capacitors.  The blue cylinders are the replacements for the electrolytic filter capacitors.  There is also a tiny black cylinder that replaced one of the paper capacitors that was actually a tubular electrolytic capactor.

My Estimates are Free.

  With the information obtained, as I did above, I generate a restoration estimate, sales tax and shipping. The estimate is delivered to you by e-mail.
Restoration Estimate:
  The restoration cost is calculated from the number of paper and filter capacitors in an antique radio. I count the number of paper and filter capacitors and multiply by $10.00 for low voltage sets (160 v filter capacitors) and $15.00 for sets with higher voltage filter capacitors. The resulting number is the cost of the restoration in dollars. This does not include sales tax, or return shipping.  

 The number of paper and filter capacitors sets the cost of the restoration.  Installing other parts may not necessarliy add to the cost of a restoration because this is a flat rate. More is done than replacing the capacitiors.

This is one of 3 ways to price a radio restoration. In addion I have table radio specials.

Please see my FAQ page for more details.


  If you have a 5 or 6 tube table radio, please check my      
All American 5 and 6 tube radio restoration specials page.


Sales Tax:    
  If you live in NY State I have to charge you sales tax. 

   You are responsible for all the costs of  shipping and insurance to send your antique radio to me and for me to ship your antique radio back to you.
A Zenith Transoceanic
  Once you approve an estmate, you should send an advance payment to show that you are serious about getting your radio restored. The amount should be any amount from 25% up to the grand total. The grand total is not due until I notify you that the restoration is completed.

Payments are to be in the form of a US Postal Money Order made payable to:

Dave's Antique Radio & TV

P. O. Box 285
Liverpool, NY 13088

US Postal Money Orders are available at any US Post Office.

A "Baby" Emerson
To perform the restoration, I need the chassis and speaker (and wave magnet for Transoceanics and other Zenith Radios, or antenna, if any on other radios). 

I do not restore cabinets, however I can clean and shine plastic cabinets at no additional labor cost.
If your radio cabinet is made out of Catalin, like the radio to the left, please keep your cabinet at home. Catalin is very valuable and very brittle.

If this is a radio/phono and you want the changer repaired please send that too.   If there is just a tone arm and turntable and no changer, just send the idler and cartridge. I can have them rebuilt.

If this is an entertainment center, that includes a Radio/Phono and TV I will consider it as two separate items: a Radio and a TV.

Restoration prices vary, however, it has been my experience that if all a set needs is capacitors (which is in most cases): a small set, like a cathedral, with a power transformer if it is in good condition, usually runs under $300.00 + ship  to restore.

However there are radios with more than 30 paper + filter type capacitors to replace.  These sets can cost over $400.00 to restore.

A small 5-6  tube AC-DC set with no power transformer usually runs under $100.00 + ship to restore (please see my specials page).

If the set needs other parts besides capacitors, such as resistors, tubes, coils, transformers,  selenium rectifier, etc., the restoration will cost more, depending on the price of the additional part(s). 
Please take a look at a few examples of how I calculate the cost of a restoration. 

Information about Antique TV restorations can be found on my Antique TV restoration page.



Another picture of a radio found on the web.
Please package well.  Please use plenty of bubble wrap, plenty of packaging peanuts and a heavy (double wall) shipping box.  Its even better to put a box in a box with space in between the boxes. 

I have to use the same packaging to send your antique radio back to you.  I cannot continue to buy new cartons and packaging materials for everyone who sends me an antique radio to restore.  There are just too many now. So please package well.

If you have a small table radio that you need restored, please see my

All American 5 and 6 Tube Radio Restoration Specials page.

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