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Last update: 6 January 2022    -    Dernière mise-à-jour: 6 janvier 2022


Exceptionally Rare & Professionally Rebuilt
Récepteur - E.H. Scott 48-tube "QUARANTA" - Receiver

Mr. Dubois' Rebuilt Quaranta

The "E. H. Scott 48-tube QUARANTA" certainly has to be the most elaborate and biggest radio ensemble ever designed and built. It was manufactured by Scott Radio Laboratories in the 1930's with one such set likely sold to a customer in France in 1936 - the tuner section came into the possession of Mr. Jacques Dubois and represents the cornerstone of this professionally rebuilt Quaranta which he undertook from 1987 until 2000. As written in the last year as part of his compiled notes titled "Service Notes - Scott Full Range Quaranta High Fidelity - 48 Tubes - Superheterodyne Receiver", here is Mr. Dubois' account of this project.

"Resurrection of a SCOTT QUARANTA"
The Biggest Radio Receiver Set Ever Made
Restored by Jacques Dubois (2001)

I am eighty and retired after having spent my whole life in the electronics business.

I used to travel - too much!! - throughout the world and went very often to the U.S. I collect old radios and have been a passionate reader of the ARC Bulletin since the beginning. In 1987, I read an article written by Norman Braithwaite in the July issue Vol 4 in which he described a 48-tube E.H. Scott radio. It stung my curiosity and I decided to visit him. He showed me a gorgeous radio (48 tubes - 6 chassis - 6 speakers), an E.H. Scott Quaranta he had rebuilt.

The only information he unfortunately could give me was a drawing by Roy Burnett corrected by Norman showing the location of the tubes of the tuner. There was also another simplified drawing describing another chassis for a crossover with two separate channels: one for mid and high frequencies 40 watts output, and handling frequencies from 125 to 16,000 cycles, the other for low frequencies, also 50 watts, and handling frequencies from 30 to 125 cycles.

The power amplifier was similar to two Scott Imperial amplifiers - side by side.

In his article, Norman showed how to connect all chassis together. I gathered the information, took some pictures and came home.

I am a Scott collector and bought my first one, a Philarmonic, from Bruce Mager of Waves in Manhattan. I bought many Scotts and many other sets since. After visiting Norman, I was very intrigued by this Quaranta.

A few months later, I went up to my country house and decided to look through my stock of Scott's and other radios. I found a separate chassis. It was a Scott tuner looking like an Imperial, but the tubes were set in a different way that in the other chassis.

After going through a deep study, I realized that the chassis had two 6C6's, one 76 and one 6B7 plus two 6E5's. The difference with the Braithwaite chassis was that the two 6A7's, one 6C6 and one 76 were for the volume expander as indicated on a drawing sent by John Terrey of ARC, and looked like a baby Quaranta.

On my chassis, there was one 6B7 and one 6C6 acting as a "scratch suppressor", but no 6A7?

I immediately thought my chassis was a Quaranta, and remembered how I had got it.

At that time, my brother-in-law was the importer of Crosley refrigerators and radios in France. One of his good friends, another importer, Mr. Martelière used to import Scott radios. He had probably given his chassis to my brother-in-law who gave it to me.

I was convinced that the chassis was made in 1936 for the French market because it had a longwave band - X band - like some American radios. At that time, there were some interesting things to listen to on the 200kcs band. The most important was the DROITWICH 200kcs for the news, and up until for 3 or 4 broadcasting stations like France Inter or Europe I Radio Luxemburg, etc.

I was lucky enough to meet, sometime later, another Scott collector, Kent King. I visited him and he very kindly gave me the explanation of the two 6A7's. These tubes are not on the tuner chassis, like the Braithwaite chassis but on the crossover chassis for the volume expander amplifier. Therefore, I realized that the real Quaranta had the "expander" and the "scratch suppressor" on the tuner with two 6L7's on the crossover.

A long time after a meeting in Elgin Illinois, I met John Meredith (a Scott specialist) who introduced me to Mr. Marvin Hobbs, a former Scott engineer.

Marvin gave me an original drawing of the crossover. It shows that the two 6A7's have been changed for two 6L7's due to the difficulty of matching two 6A7's.

In the Scott instructions leaflet for the installation and operation of the "volume expander unit" made for the Imperial, they say that you must make sure to use carefully selected and matched tubes, and the replacement should be secured by the laboratory!!!

After reading most of the literature dedicated to Scott radios as:

  • Puett Electronics antique radio topics
  • "Silver Ghosts" by June Puett
  • "E.H. Scott Radio Collectors Guide 1925-1946" by my friend Jim Clark
  • The Scott News edited by the E.H. Scott Historical Society
  • BVWS Bulletin from England, by John Howes

I decided I had gathered enough information to be able to rebuild a Scott Quaranta. It turned out not being as easy as I previously thought!!

At that time, the only thing I had was a genuine Quaranta tuner, nothing else!

What happened was that during my numerous trips to the U.S., I bought three Imperial amplifiers with speakers in order to make one double power amplifier for the Quaranta and one recording amplifier.

Since the past two years, I dedicated all my time to putting together this fabulous radio in a very professional way.

I used exclusively genuine parts besides the new items on the three chassis (power amplifier, recording amplifier and crossover). The radio has been put together and chromed exactly like the original.

I have made a complete wiring diagram with all the schematics and various technical explanations including pictures.

Now the game is over and this is perhaps the only Quaranta in the world with Norman Braithwaite's. It is a museum piece!

Amongst others, I now wish to thank Jim Clark, Kent King, Marvin Hobbs, John Meredith, Bruce Mager, June Puett, John Howes and the ones who welcomed me and helped me with my research on the Quaranta specifics.

Jacques Dubois next to the "Baby Quaranta" at the Muchow Auction in Elgin (August 2001)
(Here is a close-up of the Baby Quaranta)

It is widely accepted that very few Quarantas were ever produced - there has been only one known set (and is acknowledged as most complete and original in cabinet) and it belongs to Norman Braithwaite in the U.S. The only known photos which contain the exact same tuner as Mr. Dubois' are those below:

Photo #1 (© Underwood Archives) - Fabulous photograph of the Quaranta taken at Scott Laboratories in 1936
(without the recording amplifier)

Photo #2 (© Underwood Archives) - Another excellent B/W photograph of the Quaranta taken at Scott Laboratories in 1936
(without the recording amplifier)

Photo #3 - The Quaranta as photographed in Scott Laboratories in 1936
(without the recording amplifier)

Photo #4 - From page 33 of "Silver Ghosts" by JWF Puett (Similar to Photo #1 and #2)

Photo #5 - Chicago Newspaper Clipping contributed by Mike Stosich in Illinois

A key and inspirational reference article for Mr. Dubois appeared in the April 1936 issue of "The Scott News". The contents of the article titled "One of the World's Most Complete and Powerful Radio Receivers Specially Designed and Built for Mr. John J. Mitchell - Santa Barbara, California" have been scanned below:

Photo #5 - April 1936 "The Scott News" - Page 2

Photo #6 - April 1936 "The Scott News" - Photo of the Ensemble (La pièce de résistance!) (Page 3)

Photo #7 - April 1936 "The Scott News" - Photo of Speakers, Turntable and Recording Turntable (Page 3)

Photo #8 - E.H. Scott Price List including the Quaranta with MSRP of $5000 - circa 1936

In "Silver Ghosts" by JWF Puett, one can find a 4-page article on the Quaranta:

  1. Page 1
  2. Page 2
  3. Page 3
  4. Page 4

The set currently being offered on eBay is a professionally and meticulously rebuilt Quaranta by Jacques Dubois. I visited Monsieur Dubois while in Paris in 2001.

Monsieur Dubois & Richard
Visiting Jacques Dubois' workshop in Paris (2001) - Jacques on the left and Richard on the right

Here is another photo of Jacques at the 1999 ARCI Radiofest in Elgin Illinois. One characteristic of this set is that it comes with an X-band covering 150 to 410 Hz in addition to receiving the weather band from the U.S. and broadcasting stations in Europe. According to the many articles produced by E.H. Scott Laboratories, this was the ultimate radio set. All components and in particular the chrome are in impeccable condition - the tuner, amplifier and recording amplifier are near mint condition; the crossover has some slight pitting. There are no wooden cabinets which accompany this set.

Mr. Dubois' Rebuilt Quaranta (front view) - left click for larger view
Photo #9 -Jacques Dubois' Quaranta

The characteristics of this set include coverage of the 150 to 410 Khz band and has 5 separate chassis:

  1. 19-tube "All Bands" Tuner (with two tuning eyes) including an expander amplifier and a noise suppressor (Photo of bottom of unit)
  2. 12-tube Power Amplifier with 2 channels - high quality reproduction of chassis (Photo of bottom of unit)
  3. 10-tube Crossover to drive the two channels for the power amplifier. One channel for the mid and high frequencies with 50 watt output and handling frequencies from 125 to 16,000 Hz. The other channel is intended for low frequencies and also rated at 50 watts output and handling frequencies from 30 to 125 Hz.
  4. 7-tube Recording Amplifier driving a recording head on the disc recording mechanism.

Mr. Dubois' Rebuilt Quaranta (side view) - left click for larger view
Photo #10 - Other view of Jacques Dubois' Quaranta

If the buyer of this system wishes to have this system function properly, he/she would have to provide the appropriate power supply to separately feed the heaters of the tuner and crossover tubes.

The package also includes 7 speakers. Please click here to see a photo of 5 of them (2 Jensen horn tweeters, 2 Magnavox 12" mid-range, 1 Jensen 18" woofer) (brands such as Magnavox and Jensen were two major suppliers of speakers for E.H. Scott radios) and quite similar to the Quaranta's and are all in excellent condition:
  1. One 18-inch woofer by Jensen (made for McMurdo Silver) - also see crate#5 picture
  2. Two 12-inch mid-range by Magnavox
  3. Two Jensen High-Fidelity horn tweeters type RP-103's (actual code on speaker: RP-103-C6128)
  4. Two Jensen tweeters - here is a photo of the first which has coding "JW17 2355 C2280 15" and a photo of the second which has coding "JW11 or JW17 2354 C2280 14".

You can also see the speakers in their respective shipping crates below.

The ensemble also comes with a Federal PR-12 disc recorder/cutter - it requires assembly but comes with documentation and all necessary parts and schematics/instructions for assembly as provided by Mr. Dubois.

Shipping / Crating

The Quaranta "ensemble" arrived in Canada in August of this year. Everything was professionally packaged by Jacques Dubois and his many resourceful friends. I include pictures of the crates used and as they arrived so that one can see how they will ship if there is a successful bidder. By the way, the shipment was done by Emery Worldwide and their people here in Ottawa confessed that they had never seen such a fantastic job of packing. All crates are wooden containing 14mm thick solid wood panels with special carrying handles. The contents were packed with appropriate high density foam. Six crates in all of varying sizes and weight. Tops were all secured in place with brass screws.

View of six wooden crates

Other view of six wooden crates

Photo of crate #4

Photo of crate #4 containing the smaller speakers

The Contents!

Crate #1 - Quaranta Tuner

Crate #2 - Amplifier

Crate #3 - Recording Amplifier & Crossover

Crate #4 - Speakers - Note how they are all secured to the sides

Crate #5 - 18" Woofer (Jensen for McMurdo Silver)

Crate #6 - Recording Turntable (Federal PR-12) with Shure Arm

Detailed technical documentation (50 pages including schematics and photographs as compiled by Jacques Dubois) was included. More information can be obtained from various websites including an article by Puett on the biography of E.H. Scott. This Quaranta is the Jacques Dubois set which was in fact featured in an article in the November 2000 issue (pages 18 & 19) of ARC (Antique Radio Classified - although the article is not available online, the editor's reference to it is available).

I visited Monsieur Dubois in May 2001 when he last operated the Quaranta and it was in excellent operational condition.

If you have questions or suggestions, please email Richard at his email address.

Any content (original photos or text) which is displayed herein is for the strict viewing and educational enlightenment for those who visit this website. Other sites can link to content of this website or parts therein and must do so with appropriate and clear accreditation. The whole or any portions of photos and/or text herein or local to this website (i.e. which extend from must not be copied nor reproduced without the explicit consent of the author Richard Brisson at his email address.

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