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1949 Tube Radio Speaker

849 Views 20 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  jts
So I have a 1949 Chevy truck that I'm restoring a radio for. It's a Delco 986443 AM-only tube radio with a built in speaker. So far I have converted it from 6v to 12v and recapped it. Right now I'm working on converting it to FM/BT/AUX. The original speaker is obviously toast, so I'm looking for a replacement 4 ohm 6x9. Power doesn't really matter but the radio's output tube is a 12v6gt which I believe is 12W.

It seems to me that I should be looking for a high-sensitivity driver that plays as wide a frequency range as possible, as flat as possible, although I have no idea what frequency range an AM tube radio can play. It also has to fit in the enclosure, which is the hard part. The original speaker had a 3" bottom mount depth, with the magnet making up 1" of that. The magnet is a 1.5"x1.75" and sits inside a 4" square in the chassis. The speaker basket is also pretty small and already gets close to some of the electrical components:

Automotive lighting Rectangle Gas Technology Bumper

Gas Circuit component Font Machine Rectangle

Motor vehicle Gas Electrical wiring Auto part Automotive exterior

Motor vehicle Automotive exterior Gas Auto part Metal

I've been looking at the JL C1-690x for its 94db sensitivity and because it allegedly plays 39-22,000 Hz. There's also the C1-690tx which is a 3-way coax instead of 2 and should theoretically have better mids, but I'm not sure if it'll fit. The yellow cone isn't great but I haven't seen a better driver that seems to have a small enough basket/magnet.

Font Rectangle Line Parallel Automotive tire
Font Line Rectangle Parallel Drawing

Should I just find a barebones paper 6x9? Use an adapter and run a wideband? Switch to 6.5" driver? I'm open to ideas...


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This looks like it shoud fit. View attachment 338814
I think it might, and it's nice and shallow which helps with the bottom mounting. I'll try the FaitalPRO first and see if I run into problems.
21 - 21 of 21 Posts
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