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Why Some Colour TVs Fetch More Than Others

 
crustytv
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The question below was split off from Marks transport thread here. I felt the subject under discussion deserved a thread of its own and was really off-topic for a transport thread.  In that thread Mark posed the following questions.

Posted by: @mfd70

It seems strange that a set like this, or an Autovox hybrid I missed out on for about £20 in Bristol last year are at least as, if not more "rare" than BRC 2000's, G6's etc yet only seem to reach a tenth of the value, I just wonder who is prepared to pay hundreds of pounds for what is, at the end of the day, an old TV. Vintage TV seems to be a relatively small community (compared even to vintage radio) so I wonder what is the driver of market forces in such a small market.


Posted by: @mfd70

I just wonder who is prepared to pay hundreds of pounds for what is, at the end of the day, an old TV.

Me and a sizeable chunk of this community

Posted by: @mfd70

It seems strange that a set like this, or an Autovox hybrid I missed out on for about £20 in Bristol last year are at least as, if not more "rare" than BRC 2000's, G6's etc yet only seem to reach a tenth of the value  [...] I wonder what is the driver of market forces in such a small market.

You could ask the same questions (though some seldom do) about pre-war Black & White 405. These frequently fetch anywhere between £5,000 and £15,000. Yet a relatively rare obscure post-war 405 TV from the 1950's, only fetches £30-£60. It's the same scenario really.

First things first, you have to understand vintage colour TV's place in history.

Secondly, as with B&W 405 TV's, not all things are equal, to think they are is failing to understand colour TV's place in history. Many do this and I often wonder why, I think its because it's within their lifetime, an attitude of "I remember these when I was a kid, surely they can't be worth that much".

Third, not all colour TV's fetch the high prices you've witnessed. The Early colour TV's, the ones that have sold in recent times for between £650 - £1,200 have all been the "1st generation", dual-standard with a comparable significance to that of the pre-war B&W's. These like the pre-war were the first when a new service was launched, pushing the boundaries of the Technology for the time.

When the colour service launched the Thorn 2000 held a further significance, it was the worlds first all transistor, dual-standard TV, a monumental achievement at the time. Their competitors opting for using an all valve derived EHT stage. The other sets which have fetched the same high prices were the Baird 700 series, a partnership with RCA, the stylish looks and the sheer quality of the picture, set their place. Equally the Decca CTV25, Philips G6, Hybrid, all dual-standards. These are the ones fetching high prices and rightly so, not the other sets.

Then you get into 2nd generation, the single standards, these have not thus far made anywhere near the prices of the 1st gen colours. However early 2nd generation single-standards are increasing and some do sell for not insignificant amounts. For example you can expect to pay anywhere between £250 - £350 for a Philips G8.

Once you get into the latter years say late 70's the prices start to tumble. There will always be those who pay "high" for these types, though high is relative. Some will get bid fever, some will have nostalgia or a trend like the gaming console folk pushing the prices of these and the likes of colour portables, but nowhere near the 1st gen or second gen prices.

As for the Autovox TV, yep it was rare in its own way but nothing to write home about. However as a collector of Colour TV I would have bought it and likely paid three times what it went for but it was way down in the west country. Meaning adding as much again if not more to the cost, making it certainly not worth it, much like your Rediffusion.

Why would I have wanted the Autovox? Am I an idiot or perhaps I see its place in the timeline and history of the colour service. After the colour service launched its popularity growing month on month, year on year, so much that demand out stripped the UK supply. This meant the industry resorted to sourcing continental imports to plug the gap, such as Telefunken, Grundig, Skantic, SABA, Finlandia, Tandberg and yes Autovox. Now if you want to talk rare continental imports look no further than the Telefunkens, they've all but disappeared, I've not see one turn up in over 10 years, except the chassis in my Aphelion. I have a number of continentals in my collection and would certainly consider more.

So answering your final query "what is the driver", its history, nostalgia, a passion for the hobby and being a serious collector. Not seeing them as "just an old TV". Same reason the round Bakelite radio from EKCO fetches consistently over 1K. Pre-war fetch thousands and why 1st generation colour, dual-standards have found their place.

Finally, not all of us profit from the high prices 1st gen dual standards sell for. As a serious collector of colour TV and with many 1st gen sets, I just significantly reduced my collection. All the 1st gens have been offered and bought by members of this forum, for way less and I mean way less than what they could have achieved on e-bay. The reason behind that was wanting them to go to good homes, where they will be appreciated and be well looked after. That was much more important to me than profit, (I'd never make a good Ferengi) though some in my family thought I was an idiot for doing so.

Oh and if a Thorn 4000 ever turns up, you will see how a fool and his money can be easily parted. I have a not insignificant fund saved up for when one does eventually surface. Though it would need to have a good tube as these are unique to the set, it would be impossible to source a replacement. I also fancy adding one of those 80's stereo offerings from Ferguson like the 37060, 63, 90 or 93 but you never see them, ironic that more early colour survives than later colour  due to the "scrap-age".

Sorry for the verbose post, its something I feel passionately about. Colour TV is often misunderstood by many, loathed by some, I just wanted to clear up a few misconceptions. It's only my opinion and of course others may see it all differently.

HTH.

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Topic starter Posted : 25/06/2020 8:34 am
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Cathovisor
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I would add to Chris's excellent explanation that "firsts" have a particular attraction of their own and thus command high prices. Although the days of the £1000+ Marconi V2 radio have gone, people will still pay an extraordinary premium for the Pam 710, the first UK-built transistor radio.

Pre-war TVs are the same, although my two cost considerably less because, frankly, they're wrecks - and like Mk. 2 Jags, will cost more to restore than they'll ultimately be worth so it comes as no surprise to me that 1st gen. colour TV sets are worth what they are but in the world outside of collectors it is possible to pick up a first generation colour TV for pennies at auction houses if no-one else is looking - one forum member's Baird sold for a lot more than he paid for it!

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Posted : 25/06/2020 9:14 am
mfd70
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Interesting explanation of the high prices, mostly people on here ! I don't have that type of disposable income unfortunately, also I've never really understood the "collecting" mentality, I know someone who collects football programmes, his collection is valued in six figures and he keeps them in fireproof boxes in a bank vault, possibly a good investment but not much pleasure to my mind.

I made the decision that there are a few examples of early Colour and B/W TV's that I'd like, and I've always been interested in the Rediffusion brand, their servicing and cable networks, so thought I'd limit any accumulation of large screen TV receivers to that make. (Hence my potentially rash bid...) In any case I've only got space for a couple more.

PS. I'm hoping I've got another interesting old TV lined up which will be a lot easier to handle, new thread coming soon hopefully.

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Posted : 25/06/2020 10:04 am
RichardFromMarple
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It seems you have to be prepared to travel to be a TV collector, as it's Murphy's law that whenever a set your are interested it offered for sale it's at the opposite end of they country.

I've been lucky that most of my collection has come from fairly local sellers, normally within an hour's drive, though I've had to be patent to wait until something suitable has turned up.

 

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Posted : 25/06/2020 11:27 am
crustytv
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Posted by: @mfd70

also I've never really understood the "collecting" mentality, I know someone who collects football programmes, his collection is valued in six figures and he keeps them in fireproof boxes in a bank vault, possibly a good investment but not much pleasure to my mind.

I guess its each to their own and that's what makes for a many colourful tapestry of varying interests.

In my case as I mentioned above, I don't "collect" as an investment but for the technical challenge and of course a large dose of nostalgia. Also, as I've mentioned many times before, my worst nightmare is a room full of full restored working TVs.

My pleasure comes from repairing them, facing the challenge of fault finding, which is why all I do to mine is fix-on fail. Make them safe, get them working with the minimal amount of component changes, then fix it when it fails at some point in the future. I guess I like to do as the trade did back in the day, they would only fix what needed fixing.

Now I know this approach drives some folks nuts! Especially the folk who when they get a set go through the entire boards replacing everything, caps, resistors with 1%'s , diodes, transistors, it ends up better than when it left the factory. For me I don't find a challenge in that other than trying to avoid inflicting a man made fault in the process. However I do respect their right to do so as much as they should respect my approach.

Anyway, its made for some fun threads over the years.

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Topic starter Posted : 25/06/2020 1:37 pm
neil1974
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I'm not one of the people who strip something down and replace everything either ?. I prefer to leave the item largely as is and replace the bare minimum to get it working well enough because for me the whole point of collecting is to keep the item as near to original as possible ?.

Cheers

Neil.

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Posted : 25/06/2020 1:49 pm
Lloyd
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I wonder how much my HMV 2711 3500 would go for now? I paid a measly £14.99 for it back in 2009! It’s still working, and the tube looks pretty good to me. 

I have paid over the odds on numerous occasions for TV’s, how about £235 for a TV22? It’s not a set I’ll be getting rid of any time soon though.

oh, Chris, if you are looking for one of those stereo Ferguson tellies, there is one on eBay right now! I found one of those fergy’s years ago, in a skip, sadly the tube was necked, but I did strip some bits from it! I’d love to find one again, but my lack of space means that’ll never happen. 

 Regards 

Lloyd 

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Posted : 25/06/2020 1:58 pm
crustytv
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Posted by: @lloyd

I wonder how much my HMV 2711 3500 would go for now? I paid a measly £14.99 for it back in 2009! It’s still working, and the tube looks pretty good to me. 

HMV was always the more up market version, usually a better cabinet, then Ferguson, Marconiphone and finally the Ultra, which for some reason always ended up looking a bit tacky. This was how Thorn managed to sell in effect the same TV but just in different cabinets and user control layouts. They knew the market, some folk would pay for the name, asking top money for HMV compared to the Ultra.

As for your 2711, it's certainly worth more than the £14.99 you paid, adding a nought after the 4, would not be unreasonable. As its missing its stand (if I recall correctly), I don't think you're likely to get nearer the £200+ it would have made. The most I saw a Thorn 3000 go for was £380 and I suspect that was for sentimental reasons.

Posted by: @lloyd

oh, Chris, if you are looking for one of those stereo Ferguson tellies, there is one on eBay right now!

Yep spotted it, no hope and Bob hope of getting that. Not least because my car is off the road due to Air suspension failure but also adding shiply costs to it would make it a bit on the pricey side for a mid 80s TV. £80 though is a good price and if it were local I would have bid by now.

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Topic starter Posted : 25/06/2020 2:49 pm
EmleyMoor
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I am, in a way, rather glad my interests are mainly on the cheaper side. I do appreciate hybrid sets for what they are, and recognise that British sets, certainly pre-1970, are interesting because of the 405-line standard, but I don't think a British hybrid set is really within my interests. Scandinavian hybrids possibly, and as dual standard sets go I wouldn't mind a Thorn 2000 if ever I could afford one and had room for it, but solid state Scandinavian and Japanese sets are my main interests. Many of these seem to go for sensible prices.

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Posted : 25/06/2020 10:04 pm
RichardFromMarple
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@crustytv

I remember discussing the Thorn brands a while back on another site, trying to work out which order they should be in.

In the 1970s Ultra seemed to be aimed at the young professional demographic, someone who wanted a set that looked a bit more stylish than the usual dark wooden box but couldn't afford a Keracolour or Aphelion.

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Posted : 25/06/2020 11:34 pm