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Vintage Radio (domestic) Domestic vintage radio (wireless) receivers only.

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Old 13th Nov 2011, 1:53 pm   #1
camtechman
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Default "Sheerline" Design Radios?

The Japanese are well known for following certain philosophies in their everday lives as well as industry, business and design.

One such philosophy, as an example, was Kanban (看板) (Just In Time) which American and British manufacturing adopted.

Another philosophy I remember was that applied to radio and consumer electronics design, called: "Sheerline" (I don't know the equivalent in Japanese). I even remember reviews on this period of design in Radio, TV and Hi-Fi magazines.

Does anyone else remember the period of sheerline radios.

The pic below, a GE P1704A, was one such radio that was classed as sheerline.
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Old 16th Nov 2011, 2:21 pm   #2
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Default Re: "Sheerline" Design Radios?

Hmmm, interesting and a very fine looking radio. Frustratingly, I can't find anyone who has heard of Sheerline philosophy and design here. I did discover that kanban (看板) usually just means "sign", as in the sign outside a shop. The philosophy itself appears to be called "Just In Time" as borrowed from English. The Japanese word "Kanban" has been adopted and adapted to refer to the cards or signals that travel around the factory which allow a JIT process to work.
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Old 18th Nov 2011, 11:54 am   #3
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Default Re: "Sheerline" Design Radios?

A couple more "Sheerline" radios from my collection:
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Old 18th Nov 2011, 1:03 pm   #4
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Default Re: "Sheerline" Design Radios?

Very nice indeed. They are most likely worth a fair bit of money here now as they were all thrown out and replaced with new as is the norm. If only Japanese homes had lofts it might all have been different.

There has always been a Zen minimalist design tradition here and those radios remind me strongly of that. Clean economical lines, as uncluttered as possible with subtle details if you look closely enough. A traditional Japanese room always follows that formula. I suspect that Sheerline was a marketing term applied to radios designed in line with that philosophy. As such, it has been forgotten more or less but it shouldn't have been. You have found a nice little niche to collect and at some point it will receive the recognition it deserves.

I'll keep asking around. You've got me interested now.
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Old 18th Nov 2011, 4:07 pm   #5
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Default Re: "Sheerline" Design Radios?

I'm trying to remember when and how I became aware of the term "Sheerline", I think it may have been in the late 1960s or early 1970's.

As I took several different electronics and audio magazines each month and also worked as a design engineer for an international electronics magazine: "Electronics Today International " (ETI) it must have been one of them.

From my earliest years, I've always been fascinated and interested in design and marketing and soon recognised how and why Japanese electronic products became successful.

It wan't only that they were cheaper than UK products, nor that they were innovative, it was because they were well presented and marketed, with good packaging (white expanded and formed polystyrene foam was a wonder to behold!) and good looking boxes, not some old brown cardboard box with crude internal packing.
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Old 18th Nov 2011, 4:18 pm   #6
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Default Re: "Sheerline" Design Radios?

Very interesting topic. I think many radios from the late 1960s to early 1970's used this attractive Sheerline design and not just those made in Japan.
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Old 18th Nov 2011, 4:29 pm   #7
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Default Re: "Sheerline" Design Radios?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hybrid tellies View Post
Very interesting topic. I think many radios from the late 1960s to early 1970's used this attractive Sheerline design and not just those made in Japan.
B & O certainly comes to mind.
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Old 19th Nov 2011, 1:39 pm   #8
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Default Re: "Sheerline" Design Radios?

It is very interesting and undocumented as far as I can see. Perhaps there is some material available in Japanese - I'll follow up on that. In the meantime it would be a great theme for a website .....

The attached was the first Sony radio launched in 1957 - The TR63. I think you can see elements of Sheerline in that.
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Old 19th Nov 2011, 1:48 pm   #9
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Default Re: "Sheerline" Design Radios?

Lovely radio and an element of sheerline, although the sheerline factor may have been as a result of limited function requirements but the speaker grill is certainly in the zone.
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Old 21st Nov 2011, 6:03 am   #10
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Default Re: "Sheerline" Design Radios?

I was prompted to join this excellent forum having seen the above photos as a radio I have seems to be in the same style and I have been researching it with no success.
My apologies in advance if the Moderators consider this should be moved to a new thread. Apologies also for the lack of photos but my attempts to upload the photos from my Sharp mobile phone to the PC have resulted in no photos being uploaded despite a message on screen to the contrary.

The radio is a Mitsubishi TR-772.

I bought this radio new in the mid 1960s in a small local independent shop and as far as I can remember there was no box or instructions.

It is like a blue plastic box with a gold metallic handle on the top and a hardboard back with holes in it which is easily removed. Dimensions are 11 inches x 6 x 3 and a half. So a table set rather than shirt pocket.

Printed on the back is TRANSISTOR HOME RADIO
MODEL TR-772
FREQUENCY RANGE 530-1605 KC
BATTERIES FOUR FLASHLIGHT "D" CELLS OR UM-1
MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC CORPORATION., JAPAN


The slide rule tuning scale is at the bottom of the front of the set with a metallic plate. Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Japan is printed at the bottom right hand corner. Also printed is All Transistor and BC - 53 - 160 X 10KC, 550m - 200m.
The on/off and volume knob is on the left and the tuning knob on the right, both on the front of the radio set. The front blue plastic speaker grille is oval in shape and there is a AM badge in the top left hand corner of the front and a badge with the Mitsubishi logo at bottom right.
0.8w is printed on the back of the speaker inside, and about half of the interior volume of the set is fresh air!

After years of sitting on a shelf I recently bought some batteries and to my surprise it works perfectly with a loud and clear sound.

I can find no reference to it on the internet and an American collector of Japanese transistor sets of this era I emailed has never heard of it and thinks it was manufactured solely for the European market. Any information members have on this would be appreciated.
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Old 21st Nov 2011, 9:31 pm   #11
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Default Re: "Sheerline" Design Radios?

How is "Sheerline" defined with respect to radios? No projecting parts?
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Old 28th Sep 2012, 2:11 am   #12
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Default Re: "Sheerline" Design Radios?

A bit late but I've just realised that I was using the wrong term (that's what happens when you're only 22 days faway rom reaching 65 !!)

It's not "Sheerline", it's actually "Sheerform"
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Old 28th Sep 2012, 2:17 am   #13
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Default Re: "Sheerline" Design Radios?

And here it is in Japanese: シアーフォーム

They pronounce it as: "Sheer Form" !
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Old 28th Sep 2012, 8:02 am   #14
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Default Re: "Sheerline" Design Radios?

Quote:
It's not "Sheerline", it's actually "Sheerform"
Whatever it is I like the styling of those radios. Simple elegant lines.

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Old 28th Sep 2012, 10:41 am   #15
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Default Re: "Sheerline" Design Radios?

Dylan,

On Sarah's Transistor Radios website, she has quite a few models that she identifies as "Sheer Form". http://www.transistor.org/collection/collection.html
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