Author Topic: RCA VLT-49-S with an RP-230 series record changer questions  (Read 635 times)

Pizmo

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RCA VLT-49-S with an RP-230 series record changer questions
« on: September 11, 2017, 04:58:08 PM »
Hello everyone

So a few weeks back my neighbor threw out an RCA VLT-49-S console stereo.

Over all the cabinet is in moderately fair condition. The wood finish could stand to be touched up, and there are some knobs missing. The am/fm receiver works like a dream. All the local stations come in clear as a bell. There is also a red and white aux jack on the back. So I have been able to hook up my phone to it and blast some tunes through it. This stereo sounds amazing (at least it does too me. However I am not an audiophile. So what sounds great to me might be deplorable to somebody with a better trained ear).

Now for the really bad part. The record changer in this poor old stereo is completely shot. Somebody in the past has tried to make some very poor repairs to this unit. The cartridge clips are broken and so the cartridge is held onto the arm by scotch tape, the arm itself is missing the pin and is being held in place by a safety pin, it looks like they tried to run a ground to the cartridge using aluminum foil, and it also looks like all of the linkages that control the arm are missing.

I would love to do a full restoration of this console as fun project. However before I start sinking money into this record player I need to know what I'm getting in too. After doing some research I have learned that the record changer is a RCA RP-230 series record changer.

What I would like to know is that if this is a quality record player, if it's worth the time and money to replace or rebuild it, are parts easy to find for it, will any RP-230 series easily fit in its place (and by that I mean will a RP-230-1,2,3,4,5,ect... fit the mounts and wire in the exact same way)?

Any help you guys could give me would be appreciated

Thanks

Motorola Minion

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Re: RCA VLT-49-S with an RP-230 series record changer questions
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2017, 02:40:47 PM »
I am attaching a picture of what you probably have, complete with scotch tape. There is a little white retainer clip that holds the cart at the front, I found this one loose and lying in the record bin.

Look for a parts changer from another solid state RCA, 1965-72(?). Like Magnavox, the very best and then even the cheapest (and ugliest) consoles had the same great record changers.

Parts are always available too from Gary at TheVoiceofMusic.com Those rubber grommets, under the motor plate and those on both ends of the speed/play lever rods, are always crumbly. Once you replace all the bad stuff, these RCA changers are pretty good, reliable and I think interchangeable too. Different from Magnavox but quality.

From your post, that tone arm pivot screw (used on one side) is probably missing. Like an eyeglass screw, its a tiny thing and easily lost.
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Dave

Pizmo

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Re: RCA VLT-49-S with an RP-230 series record changer questions
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2017, 03:02:55 PM »
Thank you for your reply

Yes that looks like the exact same record changer as mine (I attached a picture of my turntable showing the scotch tape and safety pin)

I found a a portable record player on eBay for $30 that is listed as in working condition and has been tested with 45 and 33 records. The model number on the portable record player is vjp27e. I'm wonder if I were to buy this portable record player if I could take the turntable out of it and put it in my cabinet. I'll post a pic of it as soon as I figure out how to do that (I'm not the most computer literate guy in the world)

Pizmo

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Re: RCA VLT-49-S with an RP-230 series record changer questions
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2017, 03:06:08 PM »
I am attaching a picture of what you probably have, complete with scotch tape. There is a little white retainer clip that holds the cart at the front, I found this one loose and lying in the record bin.

Look for a parts changer from another solid state RCA, 1965-72(?). Like Magnavox, the very best and then even the cheapest (and ugliest) consoles had the same great record changers.

Parts are always available too from Gary at TheVoiceofMusic.com Those rubber grommets, under the motor plate and those on both ends of the speed/play lever rods, are always crumbly. Once you replace all the bad stuff, these RCA changers are pretty good, reliable and I think interchangeable too. Different from Magnavox but quality.

From your post, that tone arm pivot screw (used on one side) is probably missing. Like an eyeglass screw, its a tiny thing and easily lost.
Hmm for some reason I'm having trouble posting pictures

Pizmo

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Re: RCA VLT-49-S with an RP-230 series record changer questions
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2017, 03:09:09 PM »
I am attaching a picture of what you probably have, complete with scotch tape. There is a little white retainer clip that holds the cart at the front, I found this one loose and lying in the record bin.

Look for a parts changer from another solid state RCA, 1965-72(?). Like Magnavox, the very best and then even the cheapest (and ugliest) consoles had the same great record changers.

Parts are always available too from Gary at TheVoiceofMusic.com Those rubber grommets, under the motor plate and those on both ends of the speed/play lever rods, are always crumbly. Once you replace all the bad stuff, these RCA changers are pretty good, reliable and I think interchangeable too. Different from Magnavox but quality.

From your post, that tone arm pivot screw (used on one side) is probably missing. Like an eyeglass screw, its a tiny thing and easily lost.
Here is a pic of the portable player that I'm hoping to use the record changer from

TC Chris

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Re: RCA VLT-49-S with an RP-230 series record changer questions
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2017, 07:45:48 PM »
Nobody else replied, so I'll jump in with comments.  Some manufacturers produced record changers that looked similar but had different quality levels.  V-M and others put 2-pole motors in lower-end units and 4-pole motors in the higher-end ones.  Portables tended to get the lower-end devices.  You may want to examine the units and compare them.

That said, maybe the portable unit would supply the cartridge-mounting parts that seem to be broken in yours.

Chris Campbell

Pizmo

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Re: RCA VLT-49-S with an RP-230 series record changer questions
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2017, 12:09:29 AM »
Thank you Mr Campbell,

I didn't want to be that annoying guy that continually pumps his own thread.

I am not too overly concern with quality. I'm pretty sure I that couldn't pick out the difference in sound between a high quality and medium quality record player. How big of a difference in sound quality might we be talking about between the portable record changer and the one that was originally put in my console?

Either way I already purchased the portable record player. I figured if nothing else I could rob some parts off of it for my original turntable. So I figured it was worth a $30 risk. However upon a lot closer examination, I can see that it is not a 100% match to my original table. It looks like the platter on the portable table is smaller. I would like to know what model number the table in the portable player is if at all possible. I've googled the model number of the portable record player which is a VJP27E but I have not been able to find a single shred of information on this particular portable record player. Do you know of any good sources of information that will tell me what turntable model they put in this unit?

Thanks

TC Chris

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Re: RCA VLT-49-S with an RP-230 series record changer questions
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2017, 07:33:59 PM »
Can you salvage the needed parts to hold the cartridge in place?  That may solve your problem and then you can cobble something together so the portable is usable.  It's always nice to have a portable for checking out records at sales & 2nd hand stores.

Portables typically weren't strong in the bass department and tended to be used primarily by less particular consumers. The turntable in your console may have been selected for lower rumble, for example, because rumble would be more audible with larger, wider-range speakers, and perhaps for better speed regulation. 

As to the model no., try looking under the device.  I don't know  a lot about RCA, but most changers had identifying labels underneath.

Chris Campbell

Pizmo

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Re: RCA VLT-49-S with an RP-230 series record changer questions
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2017, 09:23:22 PM »
Can you salvage the needed parts to hold the cartridge in place?  That may solve your problem and then you can cobble something together so the portable is usable.  It's always nice to have a portable for checking out records at sales & 2nd hand stores.

Portables typically weren't strong in the bass department and tended to be used primarily by less particular consumers. The turntable in your console may have been selected for lower rumble, for example, because rumble would be more audible with larger, wider-range speakers, and perhaps for better speed regulation. 

As to the model no., try looking under the device.  I don't know  a lot about RCA, but most changers had identifying labels underneath.

Chris Campbell

The portable record player came in the mail today. As I feared the turntable was not an exact match to the one in my console. However I was able to rob the linkages and tone arm off of it. My console turntable is now up and running.

Overall I would say that the sound quality is between moderate and poor. There is a noticeable echo and the sound is a bit muffled and there is a slight buzz if I turn the bass up past 1 on the knob. Any ideas on how to improve the sound quality?

TC Chris

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Re: RCA VLT-49-S with an RP-230 series record changer questions
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2017, 10:40:00 PM »
"Buzz" as in hum?  Hum is caused by elderly and failing filter capacitors in the power supply.  Those should be replaced ASAP to protect your expensive power transformer. 

"Buzz" as in a variable buzz, related to bass tones?  That usually means a speaker with a warped voice coil former--the tube the coil is wound on--that's rubbing on the magnet pole piece. 

Or maybe your amplifier has some out of spec capacitors and/or resistors.  But start with the simple questions first.

"Echo" suggests a tracking issue of some sort with the stylus (needle).  I don't know anything about your cartridge, but most of that era have two needles--one larger one for 78s and a smaller one for microgroove LPs.  Maybe the cartridge is misaligned so both are making contact with grooves?

Chris Campbell

Pizmo

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Re: RCA VLT-49-S with an RP-230 series record changer questions
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2017, 12:40:04 AM »
"Buzz" as in hum?  Hum is caused by elderly and failing filter capacitors in the power supply.  Those should be replaced ASAP to protect your expensive power transformer. 

"Buzz" as in a variable buzz, related to bass tones?  That usually means a speaker with a warped voice coil former--the tube the coil is wound on--that's rubbing on the magnet pole piece. 

Or maybe your amplifier has some out of spec capacitors and/or resistors.  But start with the simple questions first.

"Echo" suggests a tracking issue of some sort with the stylus (needle).  I don't know anything about your cartridge, but most of that era have two needles--one larger one for 78s and a smaller one for microgroove LPs.  Maybe the cartridge is misaligned so both are making contact with grooves?

Chris Campbell
It's a hum but only when the bass is turned up and only on phono. There is absolutely no trace of a hum on the aux and tuner settings even with the bass cranked up to max

Pizmo

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Re: RCA VLT-49-S with an RP-230 series record changer questions
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2017, 12:57:33 AM »
The muffled and flat sound bugs me more then anything

Here is a picture of my stylus and cartridge does anyone know if there is a higher quality stylus and cartridge that would fit my tone arm?

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Re: RCA VLT-49-S with an RP-230 series record changer questions
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2017, 07:59:09 AM »
The Astatic 602 cartridge is a high output (2.7 volts) cartridge.  Chances are it's overloading the input on your console.

Pizmo

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Re: RCA VLT-49-S with an RP-230 series record changer questions
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2017, 09:41:47 AM »
The Astatic 602 cartridge is a high output (2.7 volts) cartridge.  Chances are it's overloading the input on your console.
Is there another cartridge that I could replace it with without modifying my tone arm?

TC Chris

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Re: RCA VLT-49-S with an RP-230 series record changer questions
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2017, 05:50:25 PM »
If that's the original cartridge in your unit, then it's probably the one you need.  Hum on a phono input is usually a grounding issue for the shielded cable from the cartridge, down the arm, to the input on the amplifier.  Maybe you've got the wires connected wrong on the cartridge, if they have clips and were removed?

Chris Campbell