JVC was founded in Yokohama, Japan in 1927 as “The Victor Talking Machine Company of Japan, Limited” (日本ビクター株式会社, Nippon Bikutā Kabushiki-gaisha), a subsidiary of the Victor Talking Machine Company. In 1932, JVC started producing radios.
The repair manual for this radio describes it as “Model 8008 6-transistor single-band balance-type fashion radio”. The single band is AM, which unfortunately renders the radio more a design curiosity rather than a functional device, unless a dedicated AM radio is what you’re looking for.
Click to be taken to the Service Manual for the JVC Model 8008 radio.
“Schematic diagram of 8008”. Page 7 of the manual above, Figure 11, shows the electrical schematic of the JVC Model 8008 radio. Click for a much larger version.
The radio is 4-1/4” in height, 10” wide, and 3-1/8” in diameter. The base is 6-1/4” in height by 4-3/4” in diameter. With battery the entire radio weighs in at under a pound.
While a fantastic design that you might think more common, this radio is extremely rare. On the occasions it shows up for sale generates a lot of interest. Typical prices realized are in the $200 range, with higher prices for better condition radios. I have always thought of it as looking more like a futuristic vision of a telephone than a radio. The radio balances on the point of a tapering cone and can be picked up like a phone off of the stand to move it. In order to balance, there must be a battery installed, otherwise the radio will appear lopsided.
As far as I am aware, this radio was only made in yellow and red. If you know of any other colors, please comment below!
Front and back views of the JVC model 8008 radio on its stand. When looking at the front of the radio, the speaker and battery compartment are on the left side and the tuning control is on the right. The tuning control is done in reflecting chrome. A mark on the radio conveniently identifies the balance point.
Front view of the tuning part of the radio (right side, looking from front).
Side view of the tuning part of the radio. Here is the on/off and volume control wheel.
Rear view of the tuning part of the radio, which reads “8008” and is screened with “MADE IN JAPAN”.
Front view of the speaker part of the radio (left side, looking from front).
Side view of the speaker part of the radio. Here is an opening for an earphone jack.
Rear view of the speaker part of the radio, which reads in a circle, “MANUFACTURED BY VICTOR COMPANY OF JAPAN, LTD.” This side has two finger grips and and arrow pointing in the counterclockwise direction. When opened, this is where the 9 volt battery that powers the radio is installed.
The base is conical and tapers to a point, on which rests the radio. It is my understanding that there was originally a cardboard insert at the bottom of the cone. It is usually missing.
Several views of the JVC model 8008 radio in red.
The JVC 8008 box and insert.
JVC History. Retrieved February 19, 2013 from http://www.jvc.com/company/index.jsp.
JVC. Retrieved February 19, 2013 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JVC.