The HMV 444 was a tall floor standing unit, with Art Deco styling from around 1934. It contained a chassis made by EMI and was in my opinion quite over engineered, perhaps that was a way to express quality at the time.

Picture of the 444 displayed at the 1935 National Radio Show in Olympia

I always wanted an early pre-war, I new this one was going to take a lot of effort, but I had time, it was going to be one of those labour of love things, so here goes………..

This unit came to me in really poor condition, with the the speaker and back missing, a lot of rust and of course all of the capacitors dead. Everything would need to be stripped down and cleaned.

All of the resistors were soldered to a Bakelite frame which was then riveted to a steel capacitor block. Given that all the caps would be dead, the whole thing had to be pulled apart, all of that tight wiring had to be cut away.

The capacitor block has the resistor board riveted to it

I decided to try to retain the resistor board and mount it to the chassis on wooden skates, then replace the missing capacitors using modern equivalents.

Most of the resistors were ok, only one needed replacing.

I managed to find a similar era electro-dynamic speaker which I cleaned up and mounted to an adaptor plate. These old pre-war speakers don’t use a magnet, rather they have an eletro-magnet which also doubles as the power supply smoothing choke.

Finally able to begin the process of re-wiring everything from scratch…
Almost completely re-wired
I had to modify a new mains toggle switch to restore the rotary on-off control
Tuning system re-strung, printed a new tuning scale