This is the Pearce-Simpson Simba. The Simba was Pearce Simpson's top of the line AM/SSB base radio in the early - mid 70's. Sporting the usual standard features of Volume, Squelch, synchronized TX/RX Slide-O-Tune (Clarifier), and Mode switch, it also included such extras as R.F. Gain, Mike Gain, SWR Calibrate, and Tone control. Two nice sized meters show SWR and S/R.F./Modulation metering respectively. Other visual aids include illuminated mode indicators, backlit channel display, and a Clock with turn-on/turn off and alarm functions. Push button functions include Noise Blanker, CB/PA, SWR cal, and S/RF-Mod select for the meter. All in all, the radio had a ton of features and just as many knobs as the Royce 1-640. This wealth of features were arranged in an attractive crinkle black finish case with a chrome and a Pearce Simpson signature woodgrained veneer front panel. There also appears to have been 2 different versions made, an early version and later version. Based on the catalog pictures, the early versions had one less knob.
The chassis of this radio (the later version) is Uniden made and is functionally identical to the Courier Centurion, so performance will mirror that radio as well. The receiver is fairly sensitive, although it appears to suffer a bit from intermod created bleed over. Transmit audio is very good, with smooth frequency response and a good balance between loudness and overall tonal quality. SSB performance is also stellar. The S-Meter tracks fairly well, although one sore spot is that the receive S-Meter function becomes disabled when the meter is placed in the "Mod" position. I prefer to watch the modulation over the R.F. output when transmitting, but I don't like the loss of the "S" function. I don't know why they couldn't leave the "S" meter alone and just switch the R.F./Mod functions. If it were up to me to design the rig, I'd have combined the modulation with the SWR meter instead, similar to what is found on the Cobra 139XLR. Other than that minor complaint, the only other issue I had was that the clarifier range was not all that good, coming in at only about +/- 500hz. This isn't a major issue as long as everyone is close to center frequency. If one were so inclined, the range could be extended by adding chokes to the variable cap. I also don't care for the 3 pin mic plug. While this is a very minor complaint, it is an annoyance for me since I like to swap mic's among several different radios, most of which have the more common 4 pin style mic jack. The 3 pin jack on the Simba forces me to either fabricate an adapter or wire a single dedicated mic just for that radio.
The Simba was not as popular as some others because it was fairly expensive (close to $500 in 1974 dollars). The one and only local in my general area who owned one was Zipper. I don't know if it was the radio, the D-104 microphone, or his close proximity, but he was by far the loudest person I heard on any channel in 1973. At that point, the Simba earned a place of respect in my list of great radios of the time.
The radio pictured recently came into my possession as a result of local bartering which frequently goes on among the local classic radio collectors. It is in great electrical and cosmetic condition. The only blemish is an extra knob added to the upper right side of the channel selector where a former owner had added additional crystals to expand channel coverage. On the scale of 1 to 10, I'd give the Simba a 6. It's a fun radio to operate and people are always telling me how good it sounds.