Thread Number: 75148  /  Tag: Classified Ad Finds
RCA Phono/Radio/TV Vintage Mid Century (Hamilton)
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Post# 989613   4/5/2018 at 23:58 by ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        

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Though the tube looks beyond help(?), it's got style!

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Post# 989635 , Reply# 1   4/6/2018 at 07:12 by countryford (Phoenix, AZ)        

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The tube has what they call, cataracts. Basically what it is, is there is an outer glass piece on the outside of the picture tube that is glued on. The cataracts can be removed. It can be repaired, it just a extensive process. Basically removing the glass and glue and re applying the glass with new glue. Assuming there is nothing else wrong with the tube/tv, you could still watch tv on that set.

Post# 989638 , Reply# 2   4/6/2018 at 07:52 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Too beautiful to lose

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Justin has already pointed out the solution for this tube.

We've got some 1950's B/W sets in which I've replaced the tube/chassis with a LED TV and kept the surround. Sure, you lose some picture, but it looks great. While vacuum tubes are great for audio - better than solid state for a variety of reasons - they weren't ideal for color TV, to put it mildly.

Post# 989716 , Reply# 3   4/7/2018 at 01:06 by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Yes,the CRT can be reglued as some here say.BUT-the TV is only marginally useable with todays programs.Most are shot in 16X9 widescreen-same as new movie theaters rather than the old 4X3 this set is in.As one person put it-put in a new LED TV and be done with it.I really like the cabinet of this machine.The TT doesn't look like its been used!!!Still has the instruction card on the platter.You could get good use of this as a Hi-fi more than a TV.

Post# 989788 , Reply# 4   4/7/2018 at 16:07 by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
I would

Have it restored, a round tube color set has the most beautiful life like color of anything ever devised!

Post# 989857 , Reply# 5   4/8/2018 at 00:29 by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Vacuum tubes for audio-you said a mouthful there-not just Hi-fi fans-you ought to see the tubed amps guitarists use today!!!!Firebottles galore!!!Marshall 4 6550/KT88 lead Majors-6-6146 Ampeg Bassmasters!!!Any of those stadium blasters could put out 120-300W RMS!!!James Marshall--Father of Loud!!!---BUT-clean!I am not a guitarist-but admire the amps.-esp those glowing ones!And Marshall amps had position "11" on their volume controls instead of 10.

Post# 989880 , Reply# 6   4/8/2018 at 08:02 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        

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Yes, there are a couple of areas in which tubes work better with human hearing than one might expect. The linearity, skew rate and soft clipping are but three.

Post# 989997 , Reply# 7   4/9/2018 at 00:45 by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Big reason musicians LOVE tubes-just that the soft clipping-HARD clipping from SS amps is hard on both ears and speakers!SS amps can work well-just don't overdrive them wether for Hi-fi or guitars.

Post# 990024 , Reply# 8   4/9/2018 at 08:27 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
SS Class A amp by Hood sounds great (either design)

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His 1969 design really does sound good as does his later mod (1979? 80?). Generally speaking, though, it's a problem of marketing (the more watts the better!) and a rather interesting characteristic of tubes vs. SS. Tubes are most linear at the lower output which is most often listened to. SS is least linear at the lower output levels most listened to in high-powered amps. The solution is obvious: Instead of 100 or 300 or 500 Watt SS amps, 10 watt amps. But nobody will believe this or follow this guideline.    And, yes, I know modern circuitry has made the 'lab' tests of both types look outstanding.     On a side note, I've read that one reason early CDs and other digital recordings sounded so awful was because sound engineers were also working with, at that time, 'new' SS microphone pre-amps and they clipped very hard at the levels which worked perfectly with the tube preamps they'd been used to.    Class A is a horrendous power waster, but there's a lot to be said for it: No crossover distortion and even SS can put out a decent attack. Here's one of Hood's first designs. Goodness - you'd want a heatsink of several kilograms!

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Post# 990046 , Reply# 9   4/9/2018 at 11:38 by newvista58 (Northern NJ)        

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That is an RCA New Vista Color set. Those
sets make Everything look as if they are in
Technicolor. I have 3 of them. They are
fixable and usable. Today's over the air Digital
signals are broadcast in what was the UHF band. Putting
a Conventional aerial on the roof and
feeding it into a Digital-to-Analog converter,
before going into the set, will give you a
Good Picture.

To the best of my knowledge, this set is
Mid-sixties and most likely
has a CTC-16 or CTC-20 chassis. Both are
good strong runners. Mid 60s saw the end
the end of RCA Roundies. Someone should
definitely save this set. I would if I

I have a friend who has been watching his
vintage sets with at least 50 Over the
channel, here in NJ, coming from NYC
and Philly.

There are still ways to keep these in

Post# 990124 , Reply# 10   4/10/2018 at 00:06 by tolivac (greenville nc)        

High band VHF is still used for some digital broadcasts-broadcasters like to get the VHF because transmitters for it are cheaper and more efficient-and require less power to cover the given area.Yes,and old antenna will still work fine for digital broadcast--to the antenna it is still RF.
for amps--the problem today is speakers are still inefficient-efficient speakers are very large-and many folks don't want to be dominated by a large file cabinet or fridge sized speaker.In the older days when we had vacuum tube amps that ran at lower powers than todays SS high power amps large speakers were common back then.and small systems are cheaper to make.SS amps of course are cheaper then tubed amps in similar power level.My speakers are large-so I don't need the huge high power SS amp remember when those were common in the 70's.Now we have class D SS and even vacuum tube switching amps-yes,one high end amp builder makes tubed switchers!!!The main heat from that tubed switcher is the filaments!For SS the shielded case of the amp serves as a heat sink.The switcher amps need to be in a all metal case to prevent RFI.Chances are if you have a new car or a compact home theater amp system-they use switcher stages.My Toyota 2016 Highlander Hybrid uses switching amps-JBL Greenedge.

Post# 990169 , Reply# 11   4/10/2018 at 08:13 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Class D

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And the 'D' means neither 'digital' nor SS can, if properly built, sound quite good. Not as good as a single-ended Class A triode in a perfectly designed and equipped amp, of course, but really not bad, at all.

Their main advantage lies in their efficiency at high output. At low output, they're actually close to or even slightly less efficient than really efficient Class AB solid state amps.

They're the reason a lot of portable audio sounds much better today than it used to.

Post# 990170 , Reply# 12   4/10/2018 at 08:18 by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        
Cataracts on vintage roundies...

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iirc are due to a hard plastic layer applied with glue to the CRT tube glass in order to make it more shatterproof. One way to get it off is to let it sit out on a hot summer day and also use a heat gun while slowly peeling it off starting at one edge.

Sound of SS vs tubes: not only soft clipping but also the fact that tube distortion tends to be predominantly of even-order harmonics, 2,4,6 &c, vs mainly odd-order harmonic distortion products in solid state amplification, which have been found to cause a perceived "harsher" sound quality, according to research done by IEEE and detailed in an article in their journal "Spectrum" some years back.

Post# 990174 , Reply# 13   4/10/2018 at 08:40 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
That's true, Roger

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To be fair, of course, no properly operating audio amp should have audible harmonic distortion.

It's also true that all humans (even ones who can't hear the difference between A and A'') feel genuine discomfort when third order harmonics are audible. Fourth and fifth order harmonics are pretty much negligible even in a bad SS amp.

Second order harmonics can be used in moderation to produce a pleasant sound and it's really easy to do this in a tube amp without increasing the third order harmonics to audible level. It's much harder to do in a SS amp (yes, darlings, MOSFETS, we know).


Clipping, of course, is the real problem facing SS equipment designers. Not only are tubes inherently more linear at real-world volume levels, their clipping artifacts are less horrid when transient than SS. 

While, on paper, one can make the argument that skew (or attack or rise time or whatever term makes  you happy) is equally good in a really well built SS amp and a really well built tube amp, there's no way around what really good testing equipment shows: Tubes attack faster and one needn't fight the 'ring' which haunts SS amps with super fast rise times.


I suspect, though, it's the cross-over distortion of badly setup/designed SS amps which people are 'hearing' and causing them to prefer Class A tubes. Who wouldn't?

Post# 990187 , Reply# 14   4/10/2018 at 11:24 by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        
Seems all the guitarists agree...

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one is hard pressed to find musicians of almost any sort, or top recording engineers for that matter, who haven't gone back to tubes. A friend who is the latter had to build his own new Fairchild 660 tube compressor/limiter clone, not being able to afford the $50k+ that they can bring nowadays. Pete Townsend is owner of one. The only audio I've ever regretted having sold are a tube Fairchild 248 preamp and 2 amps, made around 1960, imo those will never be equaled.

Post# 990188 , Reply# 15   4/10/2018 at 11:26 by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        
Back to the RCA...

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wonder if the amp/tuner section is SS or tube? - this piece was in the transition era, the TV was likely all or mostly tube but sometimes the audio would have been SS, a hybrid of sorts.

Post# 990239 , Reply# 16   4/10/2018 at 19:43 by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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I've also heard claims that one advantage of tubes in audio (at least at one time) was the circuitry was often simpler. Simple circuit=less to corrupt the sound.

Post# 990271 , Reply# 17   4/11/2018 at 06:22 by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Recording & tubes-the original 4 channel tubed mixer consoles for both RCA and Mercury Living Presence records have been restored and bveing used.Have some SACD's and older records made from these FANTASTIC!!!!!YOU ARE THERE!!!
Yes,tubed circuits are indeed simpler and more forgiving in exchange of components.Another reason why electronic tinkerers like them.For RF work as I do-RF tube amps are simpler And you can see all of the parts-and easy to find the one that failed-your eyes,ears,nose can find them.High level plqte modulators as some of our transmitters use---JUST A GIANT TUBED PP AUDIO AMP---125Kw!!Another of our transmitter use a SS Pulse step modulator-these are more complex!!!!when they work GREAT!!!!!When they fail-its a PIA!!!PP tubed modulators have been built to 1Mw the modulation transformer is something like what you see in a power substation.

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