Author Topic: 1948 RCA Berkshire  (Read 2437 times)

y2kbruce

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1948 RCA Berkshire
« on: December 05, 2015, 07:25:56 AM »
I got this from a friend about 5 years ago just as he was moving to the East Coast from Wisconsin on a job change. He had it stored in his walkout basement and it took 6 guys from a piano moving company to push it out and up the sloped yard to the front yard driveway but it finally arrived A-OK at my place in Moline


This model is the 69 tube Regency in the rare blonde finish, one of about 4 cabinet styles and includes the RCA projection TV. After a 4 year search I found a repairman willing to take on the very complicated and expensive electrical restorations on this set. I am happy to report the work is now completed and will soon be back and rejoined into the cabinet.


The electronics were made under contract with a Chicago company called ARF which specialized in military stuff during WWII and the main chassis shows the military heritage.


A few photos to wet the whistle




































AlexanderMartin

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Re: 1948 RCA Berkshire
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2015, 11:12:04 AM »
It was a pleasure seeing this Goliath in person! I just hope to see it work some day and hear it!

Pat L

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Re: 1948 RCA Berkshire
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2015, 11:32:30 AM »
Truly amazing unit!
Pat

Larry H

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Re: 1948 RCA Berkshire
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2015, 11:56:54 AM »
Is that a chrome chassis?  If so, I've never seen one on an RCA.

Also, the tuner front doesn't look like RCA.  It actually looks more like a German set, with the piano keys. 
--Larry

Larry H

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Re: 1948 RCA Berkshire
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2015, 12:04:21 PM »
I guess it is U.S. then, but a most unusual tuner to say the least.  Only 246 were made in 1948.  I wonder how many have survived?

http://www.myvintagetv.com/rca_berkshire_regency.htm

$3250 in 1948... who could have afforded that?  You could have bought a new car much cheaper than that.
--Larry

Pat L

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Re: 1948 RCA Berkshire
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2015, 12:34:01 PM »
I guess it is U.S. then, but a most unusual tuner to say the least.  Only 246 were made in 1948.  I wonder how many have survived?

http://www.myvintagetv.com/rca_berkshire_regency.htm

$3250 in 1948... who could have afforded that?  You could have bought a new car much cheaper than that.


4 times the price of a Magnavox Windsor, which itself was made for wealthy people. These were made for who today would be billionaires.
Pat

Larry H

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Re: 1948 RCA Berkshire
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2015, 01:53:56 PM »
Makes you wonder why RCA and Magnavox even made sets that expensive.  They had to have known they wouldn't sell many at those prices.
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y2kbruce

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Re: 1948 RCA Berkshire
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2015, 08:06:54 PM »
The small 45 RPM record player is a special story of its own.

It appears RCA developed the 45 RPM record players about 1949 a year after the intro of the Berkshires. They (RCA) decided to give one of these new record players to all owners of Berkshires.

These special players came in their own special little wood boxes and had extra beefy guts in their design, special metal ID tags and a key lock.

I saw this particular 45 RPM Berkshire RP player on You-tube posted by a well known restorer of old RPs. He had just recently fully restored this one to minty better than original playing condition and what really caught my eye was that this one was in the uber rare original blonde box, which matched my blonde Berkshire Regency. Of the 256 Berkshire Regencies like mine I suspect only 10% were the blonde versions when new (maybe 25?)

He originally did not want to sell the player to me so I waited 6 months till its newness had worn off and he had moved on to other restorations. I again made him an offer to buy it which he then accepted. The price I paid was more than I paid for both of my Maggie Concert Grands combined but worth it to me.

I have never yet played the little 45 RPM player but hope to once I get all the rest of the Berkshire put back together.
RCA apparently also had demo 45's that year in different colors which were to ID the different types of music
IE green for country. red for jazz, blue for movie themes etc. These multi colored demo records are now quite collectible sets.

Motorola Minion

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Re: 1948 RCA Berkshire
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2015, 03:05:23 PM »
What an impressive prize set and piece of history. I will certainly be on the lookout for one of these
because RCA had their CRT plant here. Its possible one of the captains of that industry wanted something so fine with an RCA name on it.

Maybe RCA was on the leading edge with TV at that time but the fact they outsourced the amp and tuner is interesting to say the least. Is it possible that, because individual component hiFis and Orthophonics were 10 years in the future, RCA's standard console receiver/amps in the 40's could not match what ARF built?
Tubes - Magical - Tubes

Dave

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Re: 1948 RCA Berkshire
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2015, 08:13:04 PM »
That one is a real gem Bruce!
-- Aloha, Ken

No Console Left Behind!