The all-transistor Zenith Royal 1000 was Zenith's first solid state Trans-Oceanic. The Model R1000 was introduced in December, 1957. The one shown at right is an early model, most likely made in May or June of 1958. It uses chassis 9AT40, the first of six eventually used in the Model R1000. The earliest models can be identified by the black genuine cowhide leather trim and the rigid, stud-mounted battery box. The leather covering is rare as Zenith shifted to a black plastic covering shortly after production began. Unlike the plastic, the cowhide does not shrink with age (compare this photo with the 1000D).
Unfortunately, the chrome plating pits and blisters as much as the later models, and this one has some minor pitting, especially on the top plate. The rigid battery box was also redesigned due to breakage, although I think the door-mounted box is more convenient to use.
The radio was in good cosmetic condition when I purchased it, but did not play well. Although the RF section was fine, audio was weak and the volume control had to be cranked up to max to hear sound. A recap took care of the low audio, but now there was an objectionable hiss that increased as the volume was turned up. The audio frequency amplifier transistor turned out to be bad. A replacement from another radio temporarily solved that problem until I purchased a replacement transistor.
One nice feature of this radio is the phono input. Zenith first added a phono input to the tube 600 series, and continued this practice with the R1000 and the 1000-D. It's missing on the 1000-1 model introduced in 1963, and the Royal 3000 series, which updated the radio with an FM band. An iPod, portable CD player or MP3 player can be connected to the phono input of the Royal 1000 or Royal 1000-D. For a more detailed discussion of connecting an audio device to your Transoceanic radio, see the model 1000D page.
The 1000 and the 1000D were battery only models. The 1000D was dropped from the Zenith line-up in 1962. In 1964, the 1000 became the 1000-1 with the addition of a 12v AC adapter. The 1000-1 continued in production until 1968.