Mercury Super Ten: Audiophile sound from 1926
By James Grahame
The Mercury Super Ten table radio was manufactured by the H. M. Kipp Company in Toronto during the mid-1920's. It was sold as the "most sensitive and selective radio of its time" and retailed for a whopping $195 with tubes installed.
For that price, you received a beautifully built superhetrodyne receiver that pulled in frequencies between 200 and 600 meters using ten Northern Electric R215A tubes, which were renowned for their sensitivity and extremely long life (up to 10,000 hours).
I'm stretching the definition of "audiophile" a bit in this instance, but -- when paired with a good headset -- the Super Ten probably offered just about the finest radio reception of the era. I stumbled across this wonderful old set at TheOldRadioFixerUpperGuy.com, where Don was nice enough to post scans of a brochure entitled "The Story of the Mercury Super-Ten," along with various advertisements and testimonial letters that he found carefully tucked inside the case.