Bush radio DAC90Bush Radio were a company that really seized the design initiative during the late 1940's through to the mid 1950's with their range of attractive bakelite radios and television receivers. It would be fair to add these classic sets are today regarded as icons of their age, and never lose their popularity especially among novice beginners to radio collecting. The models which fit neatly within this definition were the DAC series originating from the DAC 90 and AC 91 in 1946, the DAC10 receiver of 1950 to the final DAC 90a in 1955. Interestingly, design features of the DAC10 were incorporated into the TV 22 series also of that year, that fact being quite obvious when comparing both sets.
The complete range of these radios were produced by Bush as a second receiver to compliment the larger main radio, or radiogram. They also drew instant appeal from housewives who found them to be straight forward and easy to use, although with the issue of the first DAC 90 in 1946, the company had committed a design faux pas with the introduction of smooth control knobs which were very difficult to turn with wet, or greasy fingers particulary when used in the kitchen. The company heeded complaints from discouraged users, and upgraded this model by introducing it with 'ribbed' knobs a shortwhile later.
In 1948 they added the expanded wire mesh grille which became a major feature of the DAC 90A.
The AC 91 was very similar to the DAC 90, but only had a brown bakelite cabinet, with a white plastic louvered speaker grill instead of the DAC 90's cloth or metal grille. This was a short-run production.
Meanwhile,having overcome the tuning knob problem, Bush issued the second of the series (the DAC 90A) in 1950. This set was aesthetically more pleasing with the wave change switch being moved from the front to the side and replaced with a lever switch rather than a round one as in the earlier model.
It continued in production until the last model of 1955 which visually appeared to have only one major change with the control knobs have a light coloured concentric ring in the middle. Bush also produced both the 90 and 90A in white urea formaldehyde and these are much more rarer to find.
By the mid 1950's radio styling had significantly moved on, and the DAC 90A was consigned to history.
By comparison, the Bush model DAC 10 was issued only once in 1950, but probably continued unchanged in production for a few years, as there are still quite a lot of these sets to be found. Although similar in shape to the DAC 90A, the set had a louvered style grill cover which went around the entire set. It also had a series of pre-programmed station settings which could be activated by pressing a series of knobs on top. One would suspect that the designers had the busy housewife in mind, as changing stations did not involve fiddling around with control knobs. The idea was not original, as the Americans were producing similar sets in the late 1930's.
Now the question ineviatably arises on valuations. Well, these prices are based on sets which are in excellent condition, that is to say no damage to the cabinet or dial, and that the set has been fully electrically overhauled and restored to manufacturers conditions.
For the first issue (smooth knob) DAC 90 expect to pay between £120 - £135. For the later DAC 90 reduce the price to around £95 to £110 - (The cloth grille not being very popular with collectors).
The AC 91 is slightly more unusual, and is worth around £130.
The DAC 90A (being more desirable to the DAC 90) can be worth between £95 and £130. The essential factor in these prices being the colouring of the cabinets. The DAC 90 and 90A had a two-tone brown definition which had interesting 'swirly' patterns in the plastic. The more ornate patterns dictate a higher price.
The white DAC 90 90A sets are worth around £150 each, in top grade, restored condition. To simply sell a set as 'working' does not justify this higher mark-up. Non-working, or unrestored sets, are worth around £100.
For the DAC 10, a similar rule is applied to the patterning of the cabinets (as with the DAC 90A's) and prices range from £95 again to around £125.
These valuations are not 'set in stone', as demand can increase or slightly decrease these prices.
Regardless of whether or not a set is working, they still make interesting items to display in the home, and fit ideally into anyone's Art Deco collection.
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