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 Post subject: Re: Picked Up a Stereo RCA Victor Console
PostPosted: Mar Fri 15, 2013 1:27 am 
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jmsent wrote:
RepairTech wrote:
jmsent wrote:
I'd like to see a real measurement on those amps, before buying into the 14 watt rating.. There doesn't appear to be anywhere near enough iron in the output transformers for 14 "real" watts/channel.
E.g., here's a pic of the output transformers in the Eico HF 81, also using 6BQ5's and also rated at 14 watts/ch. Stereophile actually measured the HF-81 and it met power specs....barely, and with only one channel driven at a time.

Attachment:
eicoHF81.jpg


Actually, the output transformers of the RCA Victor are of the same size and frame as the Eico's, and even the Dynaco stereo 35's, using the Z565 transformers.
The appearance of the bell end covers fools the mind into thinking it's got more "heft".
Also, the RCA's are driven to their limits most times, maximizing output.
Doing a few simple "mods" to the power supply can increase headroom in most cases.


It's hard to see how you can make that claim based on the photos. The Eico transformers are both taller and wider and clearly have much larger laminations. The laminations extend visibly above the bulge in the bell ends and are much taller than the tubes themselves. The RCA's transformers' outer brackets are shorter than the tubes and the laminations are contained underneath those. I haven't worked on every RCA ever made, but I've seen plenty of them. And at no time have I found the heft of their output iron comparable to that of a separate hi fi component. But be that as it may, I'd still like someone to show me a real measurement rather than just stating that these console amplifiers have this kind of performance capability. There was a lot "fudging" going on with regards to power ratings back then, and the power numbers that were quoted were often without regard for any frequency or distortion level.


I'm not making claims from mere photographs, I'm stating FACTS.
I've worked on enough of these sets to know what I'm talking about, and have had to replace many fried transformers over the decades that I've been a technician.

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 Post subject: Re: Picked Up a Stereo RCA Victor Console
PostPosted: Mar Fri 15, 2013 6:13 am 
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I'm making some pretty good progress on the restoration. The tuner is totally finished, all wax caps and electrolytics replaced, bandswitch cleaned, tube sockets sprayed, tubes tested and cleaned, etc. I also have completed the power amp except for the electrolytics. It has some sizes and voltages that I don't keep in stock. A bit of an oddity is that the tuner has a power transformer and a rectifier tube (35W4), and the electrolytics are chassis grounded. I haven't seen that before in an RCA tuner.


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 Post subject: Re: Picked Up a Stereo RCA Victor Console
PostPosted: Mar Fri 15, 2013 6:47 am 
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Larry Hillis wrote:
I'm making some pretty good progress on the restoration. The tuner is totally finished, all wax caps and electrolytics replaced, bandswitch cleaned, tube sockets sprayed, tubes tested and cleaned, etc. I also have completed the power amp except for the electrolytics. It has some sizes and voltages that I don't keep in stock. A bit of an oddity is that the tuner has a power transformer and a rectifier tube (35W4), and the electrolytics are chassis grounded. I haven't seen that before in an RCA tuner.


That tuner chassis is an early entry model, basically an AM/FM table radio chassis with provisions for adding an FM multiplex adapter (optional) to receive stereo broadcasts.
The transformer is just a 1/1 isolation transformer to eliminate shock hazzards.
Those are the same basic chassis my console HAD, before I ripped them out to install the higher tier guts.
I can't help I'm spoiled by push-pull amps.

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 Post subject: Re: Picked Up a Stereo RCA Victor Console
PostPosted: Mar Fri 15, 2013 7:18 pm 
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I don't believe the tuner is an early entry model. It has "Living Stereo" on the nameplate and also has an old-timey radio green tuning eye that opens and closes. I was shocked that the tuner had one of these tuning eyes. It also has a 19D8 tube labeled "automatic stereo control" and it also has a switch to allow for automatic frequency control (AFC). The 19D8 tube is mounted on a raised enclosure on top of the chassis, and the multiplex circuitry may be inside there. The tuner schematic shows an FM RF subchassis, which appears to be on a couple of smaller circuit boards. The tuner is 9 tubes, model RC1192-C, which was used on a number of high end RCA stereo sets. The Photofact makes no mention of an optional multiplexer.

Once I finish recapping the amp and replacing some bad tubes, I'll temporarily hook up the amp and tuner to the speakers to see how she sounds. I'll have to set the needle pointers for both AM and FM so that they'll be on frequency. I noticed in my brief test the other night that FM was way off on the tuning scale. A radio station at 104 showed 94 on the dial.

I'll find out if the FM is stereo when I play it for awhile. I believe it is stereo.


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 Post subject: Re: Picked Up a Stereo RCA Victor Console
PostPosted: Mar Sat 16, 2013 1:02 am 
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Yepper, that's a 1961 era set.
When they were still playing around with goofy switching arrangements and stuff.
The RC1192 requires an external multiplex adapter for stereo FM.

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 Post subject: Re: Picked Up a Stereo RCA Victor Console
PostPosted: Mar Sat 16, 2013 2:03 am 
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I got the changer all spiffed up today and serviced it underneath, added new motor mounts and serviced the motor. The RCA RP-215 changer really shines like new money! It's a beautiful changer. I really like the red and gold Nipper medallion on the tonearm.

Image

The idler had a couple of indentions in it, and it had a long enough shaft to go into my variable speed drill, so I lightly sanded off just enough rubber to eliminate the indentions. It's the same procedure I use to refurbish speed turrets. Luckily this RP-215 doesn't have turrets, but has the up and down metal permanent turret on the motor shaft like the VM changers.

I removed the main shaft and sprocket, and there was grease underneath both of these parts. I cleaned off the old grease and relubed them with Phonolube. All the other parts underneath are moving very freely and didn't need any servicing. I think the changer box helped keep the mechanism very clean underneath. This changer is definitely the cleanest RCA changer I've ever seen.


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 Post subject: Re: Picked Up a Stereo RCA Victor Console
PostPosted: Mar Sat 16, 2013 4:24 am 
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walyfd wrote:
Both Larry's and MB's are beautiful sets. The matching accessory speakers really make the packages complete. Still need a r2r, though!

The early 60's really were the end of an era. Nothing like tube sets to stir the hi-fi bug.

Walter, there is a connection for a reel to reel tape deck, but it has that crazy RCA three prong stereo jack. I don't know why RCA didn't install a pair of RCA jacks for external tape decks.


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 Post subject: Re: Picked Up a Stereo RCA Victor Console
PostPosted: Mar Sun 17, 2013 5:54 am 
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Good news: I completed the restoration of the stereo amplifier today, and I can tell you, I wouldn't want to restore another one like it. That amp has to be the most difficult amp to recap I have ever worked on. It had a total of 14 wax caps, and 11 (eleven!!!!) electrolytic capacitors in it. I am waiting on some tubes to come in Monday, and I'll be ready to test the entire system.

While I was at it, I installed two RCA jacks on the bottom of the chassis for a stereo reel to reel tape deck. It was a piece of cake to run hookup wires from the RCA jacks to the connectors on the back of the RCA three prong tape jack. I plan to set one of my Akai stereo tape decks right next to this console in my bedroom.

Consoles are running me out of space, but I couldn't resist this one since it was in such good condition. I guess the next console will have to go in the kitchen!!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Picked Up a Stereo RCA Victor Console
PostPosted: Mar Mon 18, 2013 8:08 pm 
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My tubes came in today, I installed them in the amp, hooked up the pair of external speakers and an Akai reel to reel tape deck to the amp, and I am totally COMPLETELY BLOWN AWAY by the sound from this set. Evidently when the external speakers are connected, it auto disconnects the two mid range speakers and two tweeters in the cabinet, and the 15 inch woofer is all that comes out of the main cabinet. This is true three channel stereo, and the stereo separation is SIMPLY PHENOMENAL! I am totally blown away at how much better these 6BQ5 outputs sound over 6V6s. WOW!!!!

Listening to the greatest hits of John Mellencamp right now, and the sound is simply nothing short of spectacular! Best stereo separation, and best bass, I've ever heard. This thing will literally blow you out of the house at half volume! You can crank it up to an 8 volume level with NO distortion, and I bet I could rock the neighborhood at that level!

I still haven't tested the changer yet. Just jamming out to reel to reel stereo tapes!!!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Picked Up a Stereo RCA Victor Console
PostPosted: Mar Mon 18, 2013 8:51 pm 
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Magic Brain wrote:
That is a helluva set, Larry. Mine is the modern version with the booster rocket speakers, and I can tell you that it outperforms the 6-HF-1.

I must admit you are right. This console totally blows away my Mark I, and I'll bet it didn't cost $1,600 new either. I don't know for sure, but I suspect this set went for $899 or so in 1962.

What I really like about it is that it's the perfect size... only 40 inches wide... and doesn't take up half the house like my Mark I does.

I understand now why you decided to part with your Mark I.


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 Post subject: Re: 1962 Stereo RCA Victor Console Sounds Spectacular!
PostPosted: Mar Tue 19, 2013 1:30 am 
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The two mid range speakers and the two tweeters in the main console are as of today working for the very first time in their 51 years inside this console!!!!!

I noticed this afternoon that they weren't working, and I figured that perhaps by plugging in the external speakers, it disconnected these in the main cabinet, and I unplugged the external speakers, and they still weren't working! I pulled the amp and took it to the bench to see if I could figure out what is going on. I found that RCA had soldered the positive wires going to both the left and right channels for the main cabinet speakers to a pin that wasn't even used!!! The 15 inch woofer that serves as the center channel was soldered correctly.

So, the woman who owned this radio-phonograph never knew that sound was missing from the cabinet's two 5x7 mid range speakers and two 3 1/2 inch tweeters!!! She likely never realized it since she always had the external speakers hooked up!

Holy cow, this even made even a greater sound improvement than what I was getting earlier. I don't know if I could stand any more improvement!

This is clearly the best sounding stereo I've ever head... period!!!!!!!!!

I'm like a kid with a new toy!!! :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: 1962 Stereo RCA Victor Console Sounds Spectacular!
PostPosted: Mar Tue 19, 2013 1:36 am 
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Now, the single-ended 6BQ5 tube pumps out a whopping 5.7 watts..
So you got maybe 10 watts from that thing...and are impressed.

Imagine the push-pull version at 15-17 watts output now, and double that for stereo..
Add in two 12 inch woofers...and silky-sounding phenolic ring tweeters, in individual reinforced tuned-port enclosures...
You'd crap your panties listening to my 40 inch wide Custom console!

:mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: 1962 Stereo RCA Victor Console Sounds Spectacular!
PostPosted: Mar Tue 19, 2013 1:39 am 
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Larry Hillis wrote:
The two mid range speakers and the two tweeters in the main console are as of today working for the very first time in their 51 years inside this console!!!!!

I noticed this afternoon that they weren't working, and I figured that perhaps by plugging in the external speakers, it disconnected these in the main cabinet, and I unplugged the external speakers, and they still weren't working! I pulled the amp and took it to the bench to see if I could figure out what is going on. I found that RCA had soldered the positive wires going to both the left and right channels for the main cabinet speakers to a pin that wasn't even used!!! The 15 inch woofer that serves as the center channel was soldered correctly.

So, the woman who owned this radio-phonograph never knew that sound was missing from the cabinet's two 5x7 mid range speakers and two 3 1/2 inch tweeters!!! She likely never realized it since she always had the external speakers hooked up!

Holy cow, this even made even a greater sound improvement than what I was getting earlier. I don't know if I could stand any more improvement!

This is clearly the best sounding stereo I've ever head... period!!!!!!!!!

I'm like a kid with a new toy!!! :mrgreen:


Most likely the JUMPER plugs are missing that are REQUIRED for internal speakers to work.

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 Post subject: Re: 1962 Stereo RCA Victor Console Sounds Spectacular!
PostPosted: Mar Tue 19, 2013 1:45 am 
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RepairTech wrote:
Now, the single-ended 6BQ5 tube pumps out a whopping 5.7 watts..
So you got maybe 10 watts from that thing...and are impressed.

Imagine the push-pull version at 15-17 watts output now, and double that for stereo..
Add in two 12 inch woofers...and silky-sounding phenolic ring tweeters, in individual reinforced tuned-port enclosures...
You'd crap your panties listening to my 40 inch wide Custom console!

:mrgreen:

Yes the amp is single ended, but it has some nice pre-amplification that makes it sound dammed good! Even if each output puts out what you say they do, then that would total 17.1 watts because there are three channels here... not the usual two.

And you can't tell me that 12 inch woofers could compare with this 15 inch woofer! I've had consoles with 12s... the SHF-4 I owned had 2 of them, and it sounded nowhere near as good as this one. The fact that it has a dedicated center channel really adds some real beef to the sound!!!


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 Post subject: Re: 1962 Stereo RCA Victor Console Sounds Spectacular!
PostPosted: Mar Tue 19, 2013 2:09 am 
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RepairTech wrote:
Most likely the JUMPER plugs are missing that are REQUIRED for internal speakers to work.

Nope, like I said, the hot wires that go to each set of internal speakers (left and right) simply were hooked up to unused pins on the three pin plug receptacles. RCA used the half-moon three pin plugs for speakers, but one pin was unused on each plug. I removed the wires soldered to the wrong place inside the amplifier and hooked them up to the same pins that the external speakers go to, and she works beautifully. Another RCA manufacturing blunder I've stumbled upon... and it isn't the first.


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 Post subject: Re: 1962 Stereo RCA Victor Console Sounds Spectacular!
PostPosted: Mar Tue 19, 2013 3:12 am 
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I would think that connecting the external speakers SHOULD cut off the internal mids and tweets, otherwise stereo separation would be reduced and impedance would be mismatched. Does it not do this?

-David


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 Post subject: Re: 1962 Stereo RCA Victor Console Sounds Spectacular!
PostPosted: Mar Tue 19, 2013 3:59 am 
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dberman51 wrote:
I would think that connecting the external speakers SHOULD cut off the internal mids and tweets, otherwise stereo separation would be reduced and impedance would be mismatched. Does it not do this?

-David

David, it doesn't cut out the internals when the externals are attached. It actually sounds a lot better with all the speakers going, and it gives it more of a presence.

With the external speakers attached, you have surround stereo sound, circa 1962. :D


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 Post subject: Re: 1962 Stereo RCA Victor Console Sounds Spectacular!
PostPosted: Mar Tue 19, 2013 4:04 am 
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I still need to do the following before I can say the set is completed:

1. Install new diamond "airplane" needle assembly in tonearm. Shipped today from Gary Stork.

2. Adjust needle set down... falls off 45 records. The changer itself is working perfectly.

3. Replace 6E5 tuning eye tube as original tube doesn't open and close when tuning FM or AM stations.

4. Replace #12 interior light bulb/pilot lamp as I broke the original one today reinstalling the amp in the cabinet. I am hopeful Radio Shack has this lamp locally.

5. Make a plastic cover for the interior cabinet lamp as the oiginal cover is missing. Wonder if I can find some thin plastic in blue color? I think blue lighting would look outstanding with the grays on the escutcheons, and changer.


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 Post subject: Re: 1962 Stereo RCA Victor Console Sounds Spectacular!
PostPosted: Mar Tue 19, 2013 4:25 am 
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I couldn't find a schematic that looked like a 3-channel single-ended 6BQ5 amplifier, but I did see a couple of RCA Victor single-ended 6BQ5 2-channel with derived center channel amplifiers in Beitman's that used satellite speakers. The internal speakers are indeed supposed to be wired to what looks like a dead terminal. The circuit is supposed to be completed by connecting the satellite speakers, or by a jumper plug if the satellite speakers aren't used. I bet yours is set up like that too.

-David


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 Post subject: Re: 1962 Stereo RCA Victor Console Sounds Spectacular!
PostPosted: Mar Tue 19, 2013 4:49 am 
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dberman51 wrote:
I couldn't find a schematic that looked like a 3-channel single-ended 6BQ5 amplifier, but I did see a couple of RCA Victor single-ended 6BQ5 2-channel with derived center channel amplifiers in Beitman's that used satellite speakers. The internal speakers are indeed supposed to be wired to what looks like a dead terminal. The circuit is supposed to be completed by connecting the satellite speakers, or by a jumper plug if the satellite speakers aren't used. I bet yours is set up like that too.

-David

Maybe it was supposed to have jumper plugs then. But I can't see having four dead speakers in the main cabinet when the external speakers are attached. Believe me, the audio transformers are plenty large enough to drive all the speakers, including the externals. Ill just leave them all connected. I like the overall sound better.

Evidently I installed the RCA plugs from the Akai reel to reel deck right as the stereo seperation is the same for the internals plus the externals.


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