Author Topic: RCA Consolettes are the Cat's Meow  (Read 1766 times)

Larry H

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RCA Consolettes are the Cat's Meow
« on: November 01, 2014, 03:48:31 PM »
My hobby is restoring RCA Victor New Orthophonics, both for myself and the general public.  I've restored more RCA consolettes now than anything else.  Some owners bought them with the fabulous looking brass legs, others bought them to use as a tabletop record player.  Here are a few RCA consolettes I've owned.

The first of the series is the 1956 RCA Victor 6-HF-5.  It entered the marketplace initially as just a tabletop set, and the early versions didn't have provisions for the brass legs.  I found that out when I recently restored this very nice minty looking 6-HF-5.  Can't use any legs on this one.  It has a 6 1/2 inch woofer, two tweeters mounted on angled horns, and a push-pull amplifier with 50C5 outputs.  It sold so well that RCA kept this same basic cabinet for the next three or four years.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2014, 04:20:33 PM by rcavictorland »
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Larry H

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Re: RCA Consolettes are the Cat's Meow
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2014, 04:06:24 PM »
RCA upgraded the consolette the following year (1957) to an RP-205 changer, added additional filtering in the amplifier, but kept the same cabinet with the New Orthophonic name badge mounted in the grill cloth like the previous year's consolette.  All the 7-HF-5s had provisions for the brass legs, but they were an accessory that owners had to purchase in addition to the phonograph. Here's a couple of 7-HF-5s I've owned, or worked on.
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Pat L

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Re: RCA Consolettes are the Cat's Meow
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2014, 04:12:23 PM »
These record players are a wonderful piece of history and are quite collectable today. I've seen a number of these 50's players command big money on eBay. The techniques for restoring these are exactly the same as for the larger instruments.

They remind me of my favorite tv show in which Sheldon Cooper finds out that smaller model trains are as fun as big ones, "the fun is just more concentrated". Thanks for sharing them Larry.

Larry H

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Re: RCA Consolettes are the Cat's Meow
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2014, 04:13:37 PM »
For the 1958 model year, RCA moved the SHF-8 New Orthophonic badge to the lid, and added a deluxe platter to the RP-205 changer.  The rarest color was the elusive "black mink," which I managed to find after several years of searching for one.
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Larry H

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Re: RCA Consolettes are the Cat's Meow
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2014, 04:19:37 PM »
Also, in 1958, RCA introduced the largest consolette it had ever made, the SHF-7.  The cabinet is about 20 percent larger than any of the earlier consolettes, it has brass thimbles on the control knobs, a brass "V" ornament on the bottom front of the cabinet, an 8 inch woofer, and a five-tube transformer operated amplifier with push-pull 6V6-GT outputs.

Several years ago I had twin SHF-7s, a mahogany model and one in natural walnut.   
--Larry

Larry H

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Re: RCA Consolettes are the Cat's Meow
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2014, 04:37:52 PM »
I just finished restoring a very nice mahogany SHF-7 that an ARF member found for me in Springfield, Missouri.  It came with a set of brass legs that look like brand new.  I will post pictures of it in a day or two.
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MagnificentMagnavox1959

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Re: RCA Consolettes are the Cat's Meow
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2014, 08:41:52 PM »
Larry,
What do you charge to service a shf 7 changer? Oil it adjust ect?

Larry H

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Re: RCA Consolettes are the Cat's Meow
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2014, 10:04:15 PM »
PM sent.
--Larry