Pioneer FM-R301 Audio Master

Pioneer FM-R301

 

This is a unique early Pioneer FM-R301 Audio Master monophonic receiver.  It was produced around 1959 by Fukuin electronics as they were making their transition into the Pioneer name brand.  It has very mid-century styling with pink and gold coloring and large round knobs. It also has an interesting tuning eye tube.  As you can see it has FM, MW and SW bands and I believe it was the first Pioneer receiver with an FM band covering the  80-108 frequency range.

 

Pioneer FM-R301 Lit

 

The "magic eye" tuning tube is green when lit and the "gray" area at the bottom of the display grows wider as the tuning fades. The sharper the tuning the more green the display will be. You can see from the inside picture that the tube is mounted horizontally with the top facing the front panel. Very interesting. In the picture below the tuning is crisp.

 

Pioneer FM-R301 Eye

 

In this picture the station is not perfectly in tune and you can see the gray area has grown wider.

 

Pioneer FM-R301 Eye

 

The dial face really is nice and the bulbs light it up beautifully. This receiver is definitely a classic of late 50's early 60's design.

 

Pioneer FM-R301 Dial

 

The FM-R301 has both Aux and Phono inputs with a selector knob on the front panel. Many of these units were sold along with a 8" PAX-8A coaxial speaker that was also made by Fukuin.  In fact, Fukuin started as a speaker maker and evolved into Pioneer electronics.

 

Pioneer FM-R301 Inside

 

You don't see these units come up for sale too often.  There were a few other versions of the Audio Master as well. To find one in excellent cosmetic and working condition is very difficult. In the condition pictured at the top of this post one might sell for $200.00.  However mint or close to mint condition working units can sell for a much higher premium since they are collected not only by audio enthusiasts but mid-century collectors as well.

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