Author Topic: The Holy Grail of Mono Consoles  (Read 5013 times)

Larry H

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The Holy Grail of Mono Consoles
« on: November 04, 2014, 12:31:34 PM »
..Just has to be this 1958 RCA Victor SHF-2 (Mark II) New Orthophonic console in walnut wood in the moderne cabinet.  These brass legs and other appointments give this console a a look that was different from any other console ever made.  I've been searching for this console for at least five years and haven't found one yet.  They have a huge mono amp with enormous power transformer and audio transformer, and four 6V6GT outputs.  Speakers are a 15 inch woofer, midrange and two RCA tweeters.  The AM-FM tuner has fiberoptic lighting behind the translucent control knobs.  Wow, what a console.  (Photos courtesy bastardbus on ARF from Toledo, Ohio.)
« Last Edit: November 04, 2014, 12:37:01 PM by rcavictorland »
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Larry H

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Re: The Holy Grail of Mono Consoles
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2014, 12:34:40 PM »
RCA also made this same console in a traditional styled cabinet.  Here's one in mahogany wood. (Photos courtesy Magic Brain on ARF)
« Last Edit: November 04, 2014, 01:44:24 PM by rcavictorland »
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Pat L

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Re: The Holy Grail of Mono Consoles
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2014, 01:30:55 PM »
Just beautiful, the styling is impeccable  :D Pat

Larry H

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Re: The Holy Grail of Mono Consoles
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2014, 03:44:11 PM »
The RCA RP-205 changer is super deluxe for the 1950s and has a 5 pound brass platter and brass record stabilizer arm.  The tonearm has separate headshells for MG records (RCA called them MG or microgroove since it refused to use Columbia's LP designation) and 78 records.  They used a special ESL moving coil cartridge, which was very high tech in its day, and an internal transistor preamp circuit in the tuner.  The cartridge needle couldn't be replaced without sending it back to the ESL factory, or ordering a new headshell from RCA.  Certain modifications have to be made to the phono circuitry in the tuner when retrofitting one of these to a magnetic cartridge.  (Photos courtesy Doug VanCleave of ARF.)
« Last Edit: November 04, 2014, 03:45:47 PM by rcavictorland »
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AMP82-01-00

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Re: The Holy Grail of Mono Consoles
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2014, 08:37:45 AM »
ive really never looked at rca but that mahogany is very nice!


just curious of all consoles which is the most powerful tube one? is there one that beats the concert grand?

 
David        "If it ain't interesting, its really just boring"

Pat L

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Re: The Holy Grail of Mono Consoles
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2014, 09:22:05 AM »
No console built in any real numbers that could be ordered from a catalog beat a Concert Grand in power. I'm sure a Fisher Presidential or a special order Pilot, Stromberg Carlson, etc. could have been ordered at enormous expense with more power (on paper). But where are they? Who has one? Where were they sold?

Concert Grand's are real, they are not "unicorns", I have two. Pat

Larry H

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Re: The Holy Grail of Mono Consoles
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2014, 12:39:34 PM »


just curious of all consoles which is the most powerful tube one? is there one that beats the concert grand?

 
Pat is right, no console ever built by any manufacturer was as powerful as a Concert Grand.  The most potent RCA ever made is the 1958 SHF-1, which has two amps identical to the amp in my Mark I and two speaker cabinets since it was stereo.  This set has a total of 8 6V6-GTs in it.  It is plenty powerful for sure, but nowhere in the CG's league. 

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AMP82-01-00

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Re: The Holy Grail of Mono Consoles
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2014, 12:47:05 PM »
oh wow i always knew the CG was tops for magnavox but i didn't know for sure if it beat out all the others.

also seeing how some fisher presidents were 2600.00 blows my mind! they are very nice don't get me wrong. my garage stereo is a 1980 fisher ca800 and i love it with my old yamaha speakers.
David        "If it ain't interesting, its really just boring"

Larry H

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Re: The Holy Grail of Mono Consoles
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2014, 12:53:35 PM »
Fisher consoles were way overpriced even back then.  That's why they didn't sell as well as Magnavox's or RCAs.
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neali

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Re: The Holy Grail of Mono Consoles
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2014, 10:40:45 PM »
Ah, Mr. Sarnoff, greetings.  ;)

Fisher and Pilot were on a different level than RCA and even my beloved Magnavox. There was an amazing set of companies that formed at Long Island City at the dawn of 50's high fidelity including the one (Ortofon) that designed your precious ESL moving coil  cartridge for high end RCA systems.

The SHF-2 is a beautiful console and at about 22 watts, it has adequate power,  ;D. RCA's nomenclature confuses me. I thought the "S" in SHF differentiated it as stereo from the HF mono series. Now I see that it doesn't. Please explain.

Larry H

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Re: The Holy Grail of Mono Consoles
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2014, 11:40:37 PM »
I really don't know what the "S" in SHF stood for.  It certainly didn't mean stereo, since nearly all of the 1958 sets were mono.  Only the SHF-1 was full stereo since it had two amps exactly like the SHF-2's amp.  From 1952 to 1957, RCA's sets were identified by model year such as 3-HES-5, 6-HF-5, 7-HF-5, etc.  I suspect RCA knew it was soon going to full stereo, and that's why it changed its model numbers in 1958 to an SHF prefix.
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neali

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Re: The Holy Grail of Mono Consoles
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2014, 01:44:18 PM »
Thanks Larry. Makes sense.

electra225

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Re: The Holy Grail of Mono Consoles
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2014, 12:26:37 AM »
If the high end RCA was 22 watts per channel, that put it squarely in Magnavox Symphony territory.  You still had the Imperial and the Concert Grand above that.  RCA's focus was on TV, especially color TV.  They only gave precursory attention to audio and none to FM or stereo FM.  Comparing RCA and Magnavox in any regard is comparing apples and oranges.
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Tom Bavis

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Re: The Holy Grail of Mono Consoles
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2014, 07:53:45 PM »
The top Stromberg consoles had two AP437 40 watt amplifiers with push-pull 6550s.   Probably good for 60 watts each - they were like a Dynaco Mark III with a more substantial driver circuit.  Those consoles and amps are close to unicorns but at least a few still exist - I know someone who has a pair of the amps, and know someone who has seen an SP-991.  It WAS in the catalog, though I'm sure it was special order.  I'd say they rank with the Zenith Stratosphere, RCA Berkshire, Magnavox Concert grand as "statement" pieces.

y2kbruce

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Re: The Holy Grail of Mono Consoles
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2014, 04:02:35 PM »
The top Stromberg consoles had two AP437 40 watt amplifiers with push-pull 6550s.   Probably good for 60 watts each - they were like a Dynaco Mark III with a more substantial driver circuit.  Those consoles and amps are close to unicorns but at least a few still exist - I know someone who has a pair of the amps, and know someone who has seen an SP-991.  It WAS in the catalog, though I'm sure it was special order.  I'd say they rank with the Zenith Stratosphere, RCA Berkshire, Magnavox Concert grand as "statement" pieces.
I would sure like seeing what this one looks like