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 Post subject: RCA 6-RF-9, Top tabletop?
PostPosted: Apr Sat 24, 2004 4:44 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1
Location: Shiner TEXAS
New to the hobby...2 years and I just had to post that this RCA model with it's cousins 1R81 and 3RF9 sound quality astounded me into stopping my German radio collection.Graetz,Nordmende,Saba..I play records and CD's through them and I am wondering if this radio series was their premimum table top model?<P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: RCA 6-RF-9, Top tabletop?
PostPosted: May Wed 26, 2004 3:23 pm 
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Location: Newburyport, MA. USA
It must have been near the top of the line if not RCA's best table top. Mahogany cabinet, 9 tubes, 8" speker with Alnico magnet, phono input. Great Cold-War look from 1956!<P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: RCA 6-RF-9, Top tabletop?
PostPosted: May Thu 27, 2004 4:14 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 5076
Location: Ortonville, Michigan
It appears that RCA took a cue from such as Telegunken, Blaupunkt, and such for this set. It was available in mahogany or blonde finish. It is truly a superlative radio, and about as big as anything that RCA made for the domestic market. I've had one for a long time, and whenever anyone speaks of that model, it's with enthusiasm. It's a terrific set.<P> While it's primarily a table model cabinet, tapered brass plated legs were available for it to make it a floor model. I have them on mine. They simply thread into plates in the corners of the cabinet bottom. <P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: RCA 6-RF-9, Top tabletop?
PostPosted: May Thu 27, 2004 3:07 pm 
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Location: Newburyport, MA. USA
Al, Very interesting information from 'Consumer Reprts' on these high end radio's. It's odd that the domestic makers did not go head to head with the big German table sets, seems as though we put our effort into floor console units w/phono's for that "window rattling sound". $200 plus for a top German set sure was a lot of money...used cars were going for that amount back in the mid 50's! RCA and Zenith surely could have come up with something rival to the Grundig Majestic. Component systems seem to be on the rise in the 50's and was the way to go for quality sound by the 60's....but it's a shame we lost that market to Japan by the 70's!<P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: RCA 6-RF-9, Top tabletop?
PostPosted: Jun Fri 18, 2004 8:48 am 
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Location: Malone, New York USA
Very interesting reading, Al. Thanks.<P> Den<P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: RCA 6-RF-9, Top tabletop?
PostPosted: Jun Mon 21, 2004 4:04 pm 
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Posts: 54
This is interesting...the article in question tests a 6-XF-9E as stated in your CR ratings...this was a totally different radio than 6-RF-9.The 6-rf-9 was a tranformer chassis with a single alnico 8 inch...the tested XF was a cheaper AC/DC dual speaker version which sold at that price point...the RF sold at$99.95.Their is no comparision in tube selection..the RCA 6V6 tube in the RF chassis was worlds better than the 35C5 of the XF.We are talking apples and oranges here.<P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: RCA 6-RF-9, Top tabletop?
PostPosted: Jun Tue 22, 2004 3:28 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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I gotcha...always helps to read it completely.I also have some 1950's german radios..more than my wife likes,and I also was very surprised at the sound of my CD's through this radio.I am going to look into finding those higher rated U.S. models.Thanks for the correction.I was wondering when the last point to point- hand soldered chassis was put out by RCA...seems like EVERYTHING went printed circuit board overnight after these models.<P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: RCA Model 6-RF-9 Table Radio
PostPosted: Aug Sat 11, 2007 5:35 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 2
Location: Houston, Texas
I have been collecting antique radios since 1974, and one of the favorites in my collection is my pair of the RCA Victor model 6-RF-9 Radios. I have both the Mahogany and Blonde finish versions of this great sounding radio, both of which I was fortunately able to find in near mint condition. I love the 1950’s styling with the large illuminated airplane dial, surrounded by the brass trim and woven grille fabric. I discovered however that the Blonde finish version was more difficult to find, especially in excellent to mint condition. It appears that RCA may have produced less units of this version. It has also been more difficult to find much information on the Blonde version.

From the information that I’ve been able to find, the 6-RF-9 was near the top of the line for RCA’s 1955-56 table radio line up. It appears that the Blonde finish version may have been manufactured as a 1955 model (following the earlier 50’s 1R81 and 3-RF-9 models), and the Mahogany version as a 1956 model. I have an actual 1956 RCA radio sales brochure that shows the Mahogany version only, but also shows a immensely large AM/FM/Shortwave table/console model (above the 6-RF-9 obviously their flagship model), which also had the legs available to make it a console model. I am trying to locate a 1955 RCA brochure to see if the Blond version appears there.

I place my satellite radio receiver\transmitter near my 6-RF-9, and it sounds fantastic listening to those channels as well, especially the 50’s format, from the years when the radio was manufactured. With that said I love my 6-RF-9s, and listen to them quite often.

Paul Preuss


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PostPosted: Aug Sat 11, 2007 6:52 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Ortonville, Michigan
RCA did an interesting one in '56, which was on the brink of disc stereo. I bought one a few yeas ago, and it's pretty nice. It's their 6-HF-1. It has a separate speaker cabinet from the main set. The radio cabinet has a 3 speed (VM) changer with plug-in pickup heads, and a Magnecord Jr. tape recorder in drawers on the lower part of the cabinet. The audio uses P-P parallel 6V6's pushing the speakers. Not reminiscent of RCA's D22-1, from 20 years earlier, but still decent.

All of the RCAs in those years were pretyty nice performers. The mahogany finishes fared better than the blonde ones. I have a 6-HF 3, or something like that, that I rescued from eBay. It's blonde, and the finish is suffering a bit. Someday, I'll figure what the H--l to do with it. I have a soft spot in my head for that stuff.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Aug Sun 12, 2007 12:37 pm 
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Joined: Nov Fri 03, 2006 7:32 pm
Posts: 726
Location: Murphy, Tx
I have the 6-RF-9 radio with the mahogany finish. It was my first restoration and it sits in our kitchen. It is a very good performer having good bass response. I need to reapply the decals over the knobs (since I stripped and re-laquered it) and I also need to fabricate one of the gold painted front feet which was missing, but otherwise it looks and sounds great.

John K.


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 Post subject: Re: RCA 6-RF-9, Top tabletop?
PostPosted: Oct Wed 25, 2017 3:29 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 12, 2015 4:44 am
Posts: 150
I also have the RCA Victor 6-RF-9 table-top radio (aka "The Livingston") with a Mahogany stain and really can't say enough in a positive vein about this radio which is becoming less common with each passing day, especially in good condition. You can still find them reasonably priced though. The RCA Sarnoff/Armstrong lawsuits :cry: left a negative feeling by many toward RCA, but don't let that defer you from getting one of these last great large table-top vacuum tube radios. This radio is now a favorite in my collection. I had seen them for years, but just put off getting one because I probably was influenced by the way RCA and David Sarnoff treated Edwin Howard Armstrong resulting in Armstrong's subsequent suicide in 1954. Oddly this radio came out about 2 years after Edwin Howard Armstrong committed suicide. This radio is still somewhat of a sleeper, but if you get the chance to buy one in good condition, don't turn it down as they are gaining in popularity. This radio will not disappoint you. :D

Luckily, when I purchased the radio (from the Goodwill auction site), it was in very good overall condition, especially the finish. It obviously had been sitting in a very dry closet for years in Tuscon, Arizona, as it was very dusty, but seemingly untouched as it still played well as I used the RCA Jack. However the Dial String was broken, so that also had to be replaced which is never an easy task, but just stick with it. The radio was on the Goodwill Auction site and with shipping I paid about $50.00 total for it. There were not many bidders for this radio. The photographs looked good, and it has been my experience recently in the radios I have won on the Goodwill Auction, they are very well packed with very reasonable shipping costs and generally sent FedEx. I knew that was important for a radio as large and heavy as this one as potential shipping damages can always occur and it is always somewhat of a gamble. The radio arrived in good condition, well packed and needed a good cleaning and polishing, standard upgrades, new Dial String and a little work on the Dial Pointer. The Dial Pointer was bent somewhat, but was easily refigured, but very fragile and delicate work. The Dial Pointer on this radio is very exposed with no cover and I have seen many other Model 6-RF-9 radios with parts of the dial missing or broken off. One Dial Lamp had burned out, so that was an easy fix. By the way, they use 2 NO. 47 Dial lamps.

This radio was a real surprise and a real beauty even prior to the electronic restoration. It has been completely upgraded now, and I play it quite often, especially the programs from the Golden Age of Radio. I use a Sony Walkman CD player (or either my 1949 RCA Victor 45 RPM turntable which has been restored) and simply hook it up to the RCA Jack on the backside and it plays extremely well. One of the side knobs is for AM/FM and Phono, so you don't have to use a switch on the backside to access the RCA Jack position. The RCA Jack is fully accessible from the second backside knob on the right hand side of this radio which has a total of 4 knobs (2 on each side). This is generally the case on any high end table-top radio.

I have many of the boxed CD Old Time radio shows from the Radio Archives people out of Spokane, Washington. Their restoration work is exceptional and in the standard speed as opposed to the inferior MP3 discs. They also offer computer downloads at a reduced price. Also, good reception is received on the AM and FM Bands. This radio could be heard down the block if I had the windows open and the volume up with little distortion. Both the reception and tonal quality is exceptional. The face dial is really much more impressive than a comparable Zenith receiver of the same time period. The circular Dial Face material is a type of clear acrylic with indented station numbers that pick up the light beams from the 2 Dial Lamps on either side and takes the light beam full circle with no dark spots. Also, it sounds just as good if not better than my comparable Zenith's, and I thought I would never have said such, but I do prefer listening to this RCA Victor radio (The Livingston) rather than one of my similar Zenith's from the same time period.

At night with the lights low, this radio would get the least talkative person to make a comment about the Dial Face. It far surpasses the comparable Zenith's of the middle 1950's in looks, which were rather uninspired and many without a Dial Lamp. It would also give the European radios a run for the money. Some of the Zenith's of this period did have a Dial Lamp, but there was a trade off in not having an RCA Jack on the one's with the Lamp or vice versa. Also, RCA gave this radio an official name, "The Livingston". RCA knew this was a special radio and it does compare favorably with the large German radios which I feel sure RCA Victor also knew when they designed "The Livingston".

The only addition RCA could have made to improve the looks would have been to add a Magic Green Eye vacuum tube, but with the current RCA design I am not sure where they would have put it to maintain the current very balanced design of this radio. Few of the American radios seemed to use any Magic Green Eye vacuum tubes at the time, although they were a staple on the large German, Dutch and other large European table-top radios during the middle 1950's.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Oct Thu 26, 2017 2:45 am 
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Joined: Nov Fri 14, 2014 12:22 am
Posts: 135
Location: Howell Michigan
doug houston wrote:
RCA did an interesting one in '56, which was on the brink of disc stereo. I bought one a few yeas ago, and it's pretty nice. It's their 6-HF-1. It has a separate speaker cabinet from the main set. The radio cabinet has a 3 speed (VM) changer with plug-in pickup heads, and a Magnecord Jr. tape recorder in drawers on the lower part of the cabinet. The audio uses P-P parallel 6V6's pushing the speakers. Not reminiscent of RCA's D22-1, from 20 years earlier, but still decent.

All of the RCAs in those years were pretyty nice performers. The mahogany finishes fared better than the blonde ones. I have a 6-HF 3, or something like that, that I rescued from eBay. It's blonde, and the finish is suffering a bit. Someday, I'll figure what the H--l to do with it. I have a soft spot in my head for that stuff.


This thread and this post brought a smile to my face tonight. Actually the RCA that Doug Houston spoke of here is an 7-HF-3. He did figure what to do with it, sold this set to me in early 2009 and yes, the finish is suffering (still today) but has been since recapped and the turntable serviced with the assistance of two members here. Refinish is in the works, I retired a few months back, so another project to be.

That day Doug gave me a tour of his collections, his radios and his cars. Both were jaw dropping to me. V-16 Cadillacs, Oldsmobile Phaeton, a 41 Chevrolet with the AM & Shortwave radio option, and then came the radios. The 6-HF-1 was stunning, mahogany is my favorite RCA finish hands down.

I spent a full afternoon over there, almost too much to view and process in that time. While I had been invited back due to time constraints on both of our parts I was unable to visit again, only running into him at MAARC Farmington Hills and another Saturday when he came into the Harley Davidson dealership I work at and bought several brake light switches for use on the cars in his collection. He said that the H-D switches are better suited to silicone brake fluid that the automotive type. Who was I to argue?


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 Post subject: Re: RCA 6-RF-9, Top tabletop?
PostPosted: Feb Wed 14, 2018 9:15 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 12, 2015 4:44 am
Posts: 150
This is the tube line-up the the RCA Victor 6-RF-9 Radio from the radiomuseum site.......

6CB6 6X8 6BA6 6AU6 6AU6 6AL6 6AV6 6V6GT 5Y3GT

Could anyone enlighten me on the 6AL6 vacuum tube listed here. It this a mistake? From what I could make out on the label from the radio, this should be listed as a 6ALG tube, but I can't find either one listed under any of the tube sites.

Any enlightenment on this would be appreciated.

Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: RCA 6-RF-9, Top tabletop?
PostPosted: Feb Wed 14, 2018 5:41 pm 
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Joined: May Sat 06, 2006 4:03 am
Posts: 2886
Location: ZIP 23831 South of Richmond, VA 25 miles down the pike.
Not 6ALG or 6AL6 but a 6AL5. This link should enlighten.

Bill J.

https://app.box.com/s/ysjky1ifpqwpfl6lbkse


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 Post subject: Re: RCA 6-RF-9, Top tabletop?
PostPosted: Feb Wed 14, 2018 11:28 pm 
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Joined: Oct Mon 12, 2015 4:44 am
Posts: 150
Thanks for the clarification. The RCA Victor Models 3-RF-91, 6-RF-9 and the 8-RF-13 have many of the same tubes. I checked the radiomuseum site and they listed the 6-RF-9 to have a 6AL6, and felt it was wrong as mistakes do happen even on the radiomuseum site.

From the faded label on my radio, it appeared to be 6ALG, but that made no sense either. The only alternative was the 6AL5 which I think is in all of these different Models from about the mid 1950's. Thanks for sending me the Photofact of the 3-RF-91. That is one on my list to get next, as I have the 6-RF-9 (in the mahogany wood stain) and the 8-RF-13 (in the blond wood stain).

These RCA Victor radios are great performers. To me they surpass the comparable Zenith's of the period, but I can't say that too loudly! :D


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