The Ultimate model 856 was manufactured by Radio (1936) Ltd in about 1931.

8-valve lowboy console, all-wave reception using plug-in coils.  Lifting lid to access coils.

There is a 7-valve model with built in gramophone in the same cabinet but from the images available, the chassis sits lower on the front panel (presumably to leave room at the top for the turntable mechanism).

The chassis photos above are from serial number 130, taken by John Stokes of a NZVRS members set.  The chassis in the unit appears to be quite different, although also with the sets of 3 plug-in coils for changing the band - the differences are unknown at this time.

One NZVRS member recalls this very same model in the Dominion Rd Auckland shop of John Stokes, the founder of the NZVRS.

Ultimate model 856 'Senior Console'

Technical Information

Valves (8):

Chassis Notes(most schematics can be clicked to download a full size version)

8 valves, plug in coils

General Construction Notes for Radio (1936) Ltd:

Early Radio Ltd. schematics did not show the models, just the year, valves and bands, so some sleuthing is required to find the right one.

Early 30's Ultimate models with three digit model numbers indicated both the number of valves in the set, and the price it retailed for - for example, the model 856 was an 8-valve radio which retailed for $56 pounds. The equivalent Courier models were reversed, so an Ultimate 856 was a Courier 568 (theoretically, at least). This was the Auckland price though, and often the sets would retail for 1 or 2 pounds more in other centres, presumably to cover the freight cost of moving them around the country from the Auckland factory.

Note the use of old resistance terminology on older schematics: ω means ohms and Ω means megohms.

Some 1936-onward 3-letter chassis codes vary the last letter between brands, for example:
BBU - Ultimate model BB
BBR - Rolls (and Golden Knight) model BB
BBC - Courier model BB
All use the same chassis.

Golden Knight, Courier and Rolls appear to use the same copper-painted chassis while Ultimate chassis' are painted silver

After the war a new model code system was introduced, whereby radio models all began with R - the first model being the RA, a dual-wave 5-valve set commonly released in a pressed tin cabinet.