In 1960, Japanese Competition Starts Market Domination

By 1960, many American transistor radio manufacturers such as Magnavox, RCA, Channel Master, and others had stopped domestic manufacturing. They had begun importing foreign manufactured radios under their trade name. Zenith transistor radio division continued its "all American radios by American workers." In 1960, Zenith introduced only several new radios. The first introduction was the Royal 50. The chassis designation for the Royal 50 is either 6GT40Z1 or 6GT40Z2. The radio is powered by 2 "AA" cells. The Royal 50 is an attractive and will compete favorably in sound quality with any pocket style transistor radio.

The radio has is small design flaw which was later corrected. If the radio is placed in the pocket the external tuning dial can easily be knocked off frequency.

A view of the 6-transistor Royal 50 chassis


The radio has a sticker on the back stating: "Quality built in America by highly skilled, well-paid American workers."

Also, in late 1960 Zenith introduced a truly magnificent radio for the 1961 year. This radio is the Royal 2000 FM/AM portable radio. While the radio has a number of "Transoceanic" styling components it is not. The radio has the name "Trans-Symphony." The Royal 2000 was the first American-made FM/AM portable radio along with being the first with FM-AFC (automatic frequency control). The radio features an acoustically designed cabinet with a large 5" x 7" oval speaker. To accomodate the speaker, the chassis is mounted inverted from the cabinet top. The chassis designation is 11ET40Z2.

The radio has a set of extendable antennas for FM reception, with the AM ferrite antenna built into the carrying handle. In 1964, Zenith introduced the 2000-1 that features a side jack for an external AC power adapter. The radio is powered by 8 "D" cells. I have played my radio for three years before changing batteries. The radio was first marketed at $189.95 but soon was reduced in price to $149.95. With a rugged hand-wired chassis, this is probably one of the finest portable radio products made by Zenith!!