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Tesla Talisman 308U (1953)

The Tesla Talisman 308U is a design classic from Czechoslovakia. The bakelite case has a characteristic bullet shape. The circuitry is not very modern for its time. Tesla has built a compact radio from rather bulky parts.
The Talisman series of small bakelite valve radios was built by the Czech Tesla factories in the 1950's. The circuit was a Philips design that Tesla used for a number of radios. On the technical level, they were a bit conservative so they continued the same circuit until 1959. The valves have loctal and octal bases. The Talisman 308U is very popular among collectors because of its beautiful "streamlined" bullet shape. There are 3 colors: brown, black and red bakelite.

My 308U is dark red. It is a bit discoloured, though the color has become much brighter after polishing. When I bought it from a collector who had brought a number of radios from the Czech republic, the radio was really filthy. The bakelite was weathered and dull, and it had a coat of greasy filth on top. But after I polished the radio using car polish and bee wax, the color and gloss came back and the radio looks very good again.

Judging by a number of stamps on the IF coils, this particular specimen has been built in 1953. But the seller also had one with 1959 stamps, proving this model has been produced unchanged for a long time. I'm really glad to have it, but I haven't yet fixed it. Anyway, not much is to be expected from its sound quality, as the loudspeaker is only about 7 cm in diameter. But it makes a really nice piece of decoration in my living room.

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