Hammarlund HQ-160 Communications Receiver (1958)

Hammarlund S-200 Speaker (1958)

When a fellow collector offered me this Hammarlund radio with a matching speaker and its original manual, I just couldn't pass it up, even though it's quite similar to my Hammarlund HQ-180AC.

There's not much to say about its condition, except that it's wonderful. This radio performs beautifully, and, except for cleaning inside and out, I haven't done a thing to it.

Like the HQ-180AC, this is a general-coverage receiver, using six bands to cover all frequencies between .54 Mhz and 31 Mhz. Although the circuitry inside is quite different, both radios have similar functions. Both allow CW (code) and SSB (single sideband) listening, as well as AM. Both feature a slot filter for rejecting intefering signals, crystal-controlled calibration, AVC (automatic volume control), ANL (automatic noise-limiting circuit), and an antenna trimmer to match your antenna's impedance.

The next photo shows the HQ-160 in operation (click the photo for a larger view).

Here are two views of the interior.

Here's the tube lineup for this thirteen-bottle rig.

Tube Type Function
6BA6 Pentode RF Amplifier
6BE6 Pentagrid Converter Mixer
6C4 Triode HF Oscillator
6BE6 Pentagrid Converter Converter
6BA6 Pentode First IF Amplifier
6BA6 Pentode Second IF Amplifier
6BJ7 Triple Diode AM Detector, Noise Limiter, Delayed AVC Rectifier
6U8 Triode-Pentode Linear Detector, BFO
12AX7 Twin Triode Q-multiplier, First AF amplifier
6AQ5 Audio Amplifier Audio Output
5U4GB Twin Diode Rectifier
6BZ6 Pentode Crystal Controlled Oscillator
0B2 Gas-filled Diode Voltage Regulator

S-200 Speaker

Getting the matching speaker for this radio was a real bonus from the standpoint of authenticity.

As you can see in the first photo, the speaker is a large oval type, mounted diagonally inside a grey metal cabinet. The famous Hammarlund logo appears on a cast metal medallion at the lower right. The fabric pattern on the speaker grille, with sparkly swirls, is almost impossible to duplicate, so it's a real treat to find one in original, undamaged condition.

I initially had some doubts about the sound quality of a metal cabinet, but this speaker sounds quite good. Hammarlunds of this type use a 3.2-ohm speaker. Although you can get by with an 8-ohm speaker, the 3.2-ohm speaker is a better match, producing higher volume at the same audio setting.

I normally place the speaker on the floor, not atop the radio as shown in the photo. A thirteen-tube radio generates plenty of heat, so you should avoid putting anything on top of its ventilated cabinet.

I've also been told that the vibration from a speaker on the cabinet can degrade performance by setting up rogue oscillations in the tubes. That's why you should never succumb to the temption to mount a speaker inside the cabinet of a boatanchor—not to mention that you might go to Hell for drilling holes in a fine old radio!

After owning this receiver for several years, I sold it to a fellow collector in 2005. The price was $300 plus the cost of shipping.

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