Consumer Products


The following are some of the landmark radio products designed and manufactured by the Pye Company

For a comprehensive and descriptive listing of Pye Consumer Products by year, please select this link

An overview of the history of Pye Wireless written by Gordon Bussey is available below. It can be read through here by scrolling it down or taken to a separate page via the "pop out" control (top right hand corner).

Acknowledgement and Copyright © Pye Limited and Gordon Bussey 1979

The Story of Pye Wireless - by Gordon Bussey.pdf

National Radio Show, Earls Court, 1954

1922 - The First Pye Wireless set, the Pye "Unit System"

W. G. Pye and Co entered the field of wireless receivers by making laboratory equipment for teaching school children and students the rudiments of wireless.

The equipment proved so successful that by 1922, a unit system of valve modules connected by straight copper rods and using a new design of tuning coil was being advertised in the popular radio press. It was widely bought by radio amateurs as well as schools and colleges engaged in the study of wireless.

Within months Pye were making a range of sets at various prices.

Valve Module Tuning Capacitor

1923 - The 520, 530, 540 and 550 Series of Receivers

At the end of 1922 the beginning of broadcasting transformed, and greatly increased the market for wireless receivers. Within months W G Pye & Co were producing the 520, 530, 540 & 550 series of receivers.

The centre figure of the model number stood for the number of valves with the exception of the 550, which was still a 4 valve receiver in a different housing to allow the housing of a horn type loudspeaker.

Pye Model 547 1923

1924 - 1925 The Pye 720, 730, 740, 210, 220 and 830

In 1924, Harold Pye designed the first successful W G Pye receivers; the 720, 730 and 740 series, again the centre number standing for the number of valves. Very high quality transformers were manufactured for this series and were available to the radio enthusiast.

The following year saw the range of models increase with the introduction of series 210, 220 and 830.

1926 - The Pye 222

In 1926 Pye launched the Model 222.

This was a 2 valve battery receiver with plug in coils and porcelain holders. There was no integral loudspeaker but it could be used with headphones or an external loud speaker.

It was designed for the Mullard PM1 and PM2 battery triodes and it was priced at £6.18s.0d including royalties and valves.

1927 - The Pye 555

A notable achievement at the end of 1925 was the mass production of a really portable receiver, the Pye 555.

This was a 5 valve single band (long wave) receiver limited to reception of Daventry only, with an Amplion horn type loudspeaker inside. Complete with valves and batteries, it sold for £30.12.6d. The 555 was the start of a long line of famous Pye portable receivers.

1927 saw the 555 with a modified cabinet and speaker grill, as it now contained a cone type loud speaker. The price complete with valves and battery had now been reduced to £25.12.6d.

1927 - The Pye Model 25 Portable Receiver

Early in 1927 four other portable receivers were available from W G Pye & Co. A very popular model was the Model 25 “Dual Five” 5 valve 2 band receiver

In October 1927 Pye introduced the “Rising Sun” Motif on loudspeaker cabinets, which became a Pye trademark, and the second series of model 25 receivers.

The bottom of the cabinet contained the lead acid accumulator and high tension battery so it would have been very heavy to carry.

1928 - The Pye Model 275 “Presentation Two”

The Pye Model 275 “Presentation 2” was the first British mains powered radio.

It was made possible by special valves and was exhibited at the 1928 Radio Show. This dispensed with the need for accumulators and heavy batteries which required frequent attention by the user.

1930 - The Pye TwinTriple Portables

In 1930 Pye launched the “Twintriple” portables which were very successful.

The name “Twintriple” referred to the use of twin screened grid high frequency valves and three tuned circuits.

Two versions were available; a battery model B4D or a mains AC4D (all electric) model.

1931 - 1932 The Model Q and Model MM

New manufacturing techniques, which were to heighten competition and reduce prices, allowed high volume production on two very successful receivers that were to follow the Twintriple.

These were the Model Q, 1931 and the model MM. The Pye Transportable receiver, Model MM, in particular established a great reputation for reliability and consistency of performance from its three valve mains operated circuit, with built in frame aerials and moving coil speaker.

Model Q was similar in design, but was battery operated and contained an additional valve.

1933 - The Pye Model P

By 1933 superhet receivers were becoming more popular with their improved selectivity over the earlier TRF (Tuned Radio Frequency) designs.

The model P is an example. It was available as a mains P/AC or battery P/B version.

1937 - The Pye Baby Q

The Baby Q was launched in 1937.

This was a 4 valve battery portable.

1945 - The Pye Model 15A

The model 15A was Pye’s first post war domestic receiver. Its ‘quick release’ chassis was held by only two screws, the result of wartime improvements in receiver design. It was a 3 valve plus rectifier, three waveband (LW, MW/SW) superhet running on ac mains.

There was provision to connect a gramophone pickup and the radio featured a switched tone control called “The Tonemaster”. The settings were called “Fidelity, Brilliant, Mellow 1 and Mellow2”.

The price was £15.0.0 plus £3.4s.4d purchase tax.

1952 - The Pye PE60

A 6 valve 11 waveband table radio.

The cabinet was designed by the famous industrial stylist Robin Day.

Note that later versions had a "magic eye" tuning indicator and therefore had 7 valves.

1953 - The Pye Model PE80 “Cambridge International”

This was a “top of the range” model and had 11 wavebands; 9 SW, MW and LW.

It had 7 valves, a “magic eye” tuning indicator, a push-pull output stage driving a 10 inch loudspeaker and a walnut veneered cabinet.

The cabinet was designed by the industrial designer, Robin Day, who designed a number of Pye products in the 1950s and 1960s.

1955 - The Pye FenMan 1 and 2

The BBC launched their VHF/FM radio service in 1955.

Pye launched two radio sets with the ability to receive VHF/FM as well as AM wavebands.

The Fenman 1 had five valves plus rectifier and tuning indicator and 3W power output.

The Fenman 2 was an ‘up market’ version with 9 valves plus rectifier and tuning indicator and 6.5 W power output from a push-pull amplifier with 4 loud speakers.

There were also Radiograms using the same chassis.

Fenman 1

Fenman 1 Radiogram

Fenman 2

Fenman 2 Radiogram

1956 - The Pye P114 BQ

Pye P114BQ

Pye P131MBQ

Before transistors were developed, Pye made a range of portable radio receivers using small valves.

This example is a P114BQ Jewel Case Portable radio 4 valve, 2 band superhet.

It ran on a 90V HT battery and a 1.5V LT battery to operate the valve heaters.

It was called a “Jewel Case” radio. To switch the radio on you just opened the lid.

Also shown is a P131MBQ

The Q meant it was a portable receiver, M meant it could run on mains power and B that it could also run on battery power.

1956 - 1957 The first British transistor radio

In 1956 Pye developed some of the first British transistors. They used them in the first British transistor radio using a subsidiary brand (Pam).

They used the Pam name because they did not want to damage the Pye brand if transistors were unsuccessful.

The Pam 710 proved to be very successful so Pye launched the Pye P123BQ in January 1957 which used many of the same parts as the Pam 710.

Pye P123BQ

The Pam 710 transistor radio

1966 - The Pye Model 1108

This Pye 1108 4 waveband (LW, MW, SW and FM/VHF), 9 transistor receiver is one of the last Pye products designed by the furniture and product designer, Robin Day.

This model won a Design Centre Award.

The cabinet is made of teak veneer with aluminium trim.