Kriesler 11-99

c. 1965-1975

The Kriesler 11-99 possibly had the longest run of any radio valve or transistor. Longer if you include the 11-90 of 1962 to 1965. It was also the last valve radio to be marketed in Australia.

The 11-99 was a visual update of the 11-90 using the same chassis and rear case, only the face plate was updated. By 1965 the 11-90s face plate design was looking pretty tired.

11-99s started life with Coffee or Ivory cases, then a mixture of the two. Later sets were in Orange and Lemon. Although, I recall different friends parents owning lime green and red sets. However, I may very well be wrong.

I also thought they were transistor sets, so when I saw them in Walton’s Northland and Bourke Street stores going cheap in the late 1970s, I didn’t take much notice.

Inside the sets started out with Australian components, by 1969 when this set was built they had Japanese speaker and capacitors. I guess they had to source the components from some where as the Australian operations of Rola (Speakers) and Ducon (Philips capacitor brand) were winding down.

Later versions used a silicon rectifier in place of the 6V4 valve, making what was quite a sensitive and selective 3 valve set. This possibly reduced the cost to the point were a transistor set of this grade would be more expensive. As it was, they were never that expensive being $19 in 1965.

This radio

My example is the Ivory version from 1969, and has 3 valves and the said silicon rectifier. It uses the ubiquitous grey Elna capacitors from Japan seen in Sony gear of the period. They are metric values with 50uf (microfarad) smoothing capacitors. Stupidly, I started to replace these even though the radio was working well. 47uf 600 volt capacitors are apparently hard to find, and two 22uf ones are far to large. So the radio has sat on the bench for 3 months.

The case of this example was filthy (part of the January 2021 haul), but has next to no scratches or marks, and a quick rinse under the tap brought it back to near original.

These, not surprisingly, don’t go for much money. They are plentiful, and would be a great first radio to restore as they are simple. Who cares if you damage it, you always find another.

It is perhaps surprising that they were in production well after the tariff rise of 1973. Perhaps they were using up the old valves, and were very cheap to make. Philips pensioned off the Kriesler name in 1975, so if the front moulding didn’t have Kriesler emblazoned across the front, production may have continued for many years.

Last updated: 4 May 2021