Author Topic: RCA Victor 4VF349  (Read 4534 times)

Motorola Minion

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RCA Victor 4VF349
« on: September 16, 2019, 09:21:32 AM »
An earlier post by Phototone showed what I believe is the very last tubed RCA model, 4VF480. I have an appointment to look at one with only this from the seller.

I had asked for a picture of the gold label showing the tube locations (nifty :P) that I thought RCA used until going solid state about a model year (or two) after Magnavox introduced Astrosonic.

Then I realized the last year for the "gold" labels was 1963. The one on my '63 RCA is below.
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Dave

Bill

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Re: RCA Victor 4VF349
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2019, 06:22:23 PM »
That looks promising Dave.  Good luck!

Bill


Motorola Minion

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Re: RCA Victor 4VF349
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2019, 08:18:58 PM »
Thanks, but Im always the only local buyer interested. And i cant resist a bargain, especially one of my best makes. ::)
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Dave

Bill

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Re: RCA Victor 4VF349
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2019, 06:20:28 AM »
You must have lots of toys show up in your area.  I'm jealous!  I'm always looking on Craig's list, I do not do Facebook, and every once in a while something nice shows up.  Maybe that's a good thing, that way I do not have a barn full.  ;) :)

Bill

Motorola Minion

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Re: RCA Victor 4VF349
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2019, 10:14:33 AM »
Maybe that's a good thing, that way I do not have a barn full.  ;) :)

Bill

The rescuer's barn can always accept another :-[. It never got above 85 and 75% RH this summer, better than where many of them came from ;)
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Dave

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Re: RCA Victor 4VF349
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2019, 06:53:53 PM »
Do I want to know what's in the rescuer's barn?  ::)

Bill

Motorola Minion

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Re: RCA Victor 4VF349
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2019, 03:27:25 PM »
My barn has JUST ;) - a bit more than I will ever get to repair.

This RCA came with a great hang tag and operator manual ;D. It is a single ended 6BQ5 amp, yet has a pair of 12" woofs and six 3" tweets. The stereo FM-AM radio/preamp is the very last RCA that had a 6FG6 tuning eye.   

In the living room of the house there was a Loewe Opta Lauenstein console (1965 SS-amp, tube receiver, Dual 1011 player but missing the tape deck). It has all the documents including the bill of sale from the Army PX in Germany, $500 cash is what the Colonel paid. This model is a darker wood but not the dreaded Mediterranean or some other dungeon style.

Just for kicks, ill post it in the sightings section with screen shots of the "radio museum" listing. I found nothing else online for this console.


I will wait and see if they can sell that one but as always, I'm the only hawk working this pasture. That means I will get a call when there is no response to the second ad.   
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Dave

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Re: RCA Victor 4VF349
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2019, 06:41:04 PM »
Good Luck Dave!

Bill


Motorola Minion

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Re: RCA Victor 4VF349
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2019, 04:20:01 PM »
Once I opened this up, I knew it was sold mainly for its furniture construction and its not a wall shaker. No particle board, no poplar with veneer, but much better constructed than my two '61 RCA's. I also have a 1VF507 with mosaic tile top/lid that is just as heavy. The lid on this one alone weighs about 20+ pounds, solid cherry.

The RS-203 stereo but single-ended 6BQ5 was a very modest amp yet the pre-amp tuner is the same as a TOTL 4VF705 - maybe the hang tag 4V34_ model series called it a "Mark IX" because its furniture first (yes it is heavy despite a compact size) and a Victrola second.

After I removed record changer, amp and tuner it was a bit more easy to pick up. It needed a good steel-wool and turpentine session to get all the old wax and crud off. The top looks great, even before

It was easy to restore despite all the bad parts and the first power-up, it played great thru my EPI speakers though its only an 11 watt EIA-rated amp. The tuner is fantastic but not quite as selective as the Zenith, the uber-awesome tuning eye makes up for that 8)

Some electronic restoration notes below.

Most tubes tested defective (gas-shorts) except those listed below.
Many resistors were found out of tolerance.
Most of the electrolytic caps were not worth re-forming, due to high internal resistances and/or low breakdown voltages.
All transformers, switches, pots, etc were in fine condition.
The tubes that were defective along with some resistors suggest long hours on the AM band, while most FM tubes were OK.

The best thing about this console: I recapped in less than a week and it worked the first time I tried it, with voltages slightly below schematic values receiving both AM and FM well, according to the tuning eye indicator.

The sound via the EPI speakers was sweet but not powerful. the volume needed to be at least halfway for you to appreciate the fine sound.

A new pair of Sovtek EL84M tubes made a slight difference, suggesting this amp is not hard-driving 6BQ5s like a Zenith or Fisher.
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Dave

Motorola Minion

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Re: RCA Victor 4VF349
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2019, 08:49:16 PM »
Well, I have to say this was an easy one. But, like most of my consoles, it needed the extra shakedown to make sure I'm not tempting fate by installing the back cover. 

With an RCA victor, use a 5/16" nut driver to remove the record changer. Just look for the screws thru-holes in platter under the mat, when you spin the platter so an access hole is just behind and just forward of the spindle. This makes removal and reinstall of the RP-217 (and most other RCA) without having to remove the consoles' back covers. ;) more on the changer later.

The likes:
1 Amplifier, preamp, tone and volume controls are effective and easy to find appropriate sound for almost any source. Warm highs and solid bass, despite not much power behind it.
 2 The replacement 6BQ5 tubes were Sovtek replacements from AES. But when using a pair of near-tired Sylvania 6BQ5's, very little if bass was noticeably lost ;D, I need those new tubes for other amps anyway.
3. The tuner's lighted dial and control panel is quite a sight in the dark, not mellow like Mags and Zeniths.

4 The AM band performs like magic, rejecting interference to the point of allowing every adjacent station to be heard. The ferrite bar antenna has no external connection and does not need one either. Both 740 Am from Toronto and 650 WSM Nashville come in from sundown to sun up. 

Now the unlikes: The FM band was not good at the low end. The 6C9 showed gas and a new RCA (yes-I had just one) at least reduced the wind-whistle heard below 96 MC, and increased.

The alignment instructions in the Sams I used for the preamp-tuner were good for  FM IF and RF until I got to the FM mpx section, where six more slugs needed to be twisted. To simplify things, aligns needed done or this tuner would never measure up to a Zenith 8) Now it does

I do not yet own a FM stereo generator, so I tuned in a strong station and I used an oscilloscope to view the 19KC pilot and make some adjustments to the point that the stereo light would stay on. Before it only blinked while tuning thru static and off even on a good signal.

When I got to the 38KC and 76KC slugs, these had little effect on amplitude. I put them as close to the center detent, while listening for any changes. I now seemed to have some difference between stereo and mono FM :D

I was playing it on AM and nothing there was affected by the FM alignment :)

There results are incredible. I have the alternate channel selectivity needed on the crowded band, plus enough sensitivity to pull in all the good stuff below 92 MHZ, with nothing more than the cabinet dipole FM antenna! ;D


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Dave

TC Chris

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Re: RCA Victor 4VF349
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2019, 12:17:33 AM »
Isn't the 6C9 a Nuvistor?  I thought they lasted forever?

Chris Campbell

Bill

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Re: RCA Victor 4VF349
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2019, 06:38:15 AM »
Good job Dave!   I have never attempted an alignment but that someday will come at some point.  I really think it's above my pay grade, and I need equipment I do not have.

Keep up the good work.
Bill

ed from Baltimore

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Re: RCA Victor 4VF349
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2019, 11:31:59 AM »
           Hi everyone.
                       Catching up on everything, I haven't used the computer for a few weeks and a lot of new posts were awaiting me. That's an interesting RCA tube model, no wonder it works so well, the number of tubes and their types almost could be a Pilot or Fisher receiver. You don't usually see 3 FM IF stages in a unit like that, or for that matter, even push-pull 6BQ5s. I think the 6C9 is a 12 pin "Compactron" tube with maybe 3 triodes. I think H.H. Scott used a tube like that in their last tube model FM tuner.

ed from Baltimore

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Re: RCA Victor 4VF349
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2019, 11:44:58 AM »
              Maybe I am mixing up your unit with an RCA table model with a 6 X 9 speaker and 2 3 1/2 tweeters on an angle. I tohink I saw that on another category, maybe Radios.
           That EICO  (?)  test equipment with a big dial and Magic Eye tube, is that a signal generator or some kind of signal tracer ?  Is that what you aligned the FM with ?

Motorola Minion

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Re: RCA Victor 4VF349
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2019, 01:06:26 PM »
Isn't the 6C9 a Nuvistor?  I thought they lasted forever?

Chris Campbell

The 6C9 and its counterpart 17C9 tubes were mainly used by RCA, and it was a 9-pin with a center pin for the shield between the two tetrode sections.

The nuvistors in FM tuners, as far as I know were tiny triodes 6DS4 was the number and the 6CW4 preceded it. Both Fisher and HH Scott used them. While RCA developed nuvistors for TV tuners, I have not seen one used in an RCA FM receiver yet.
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Dave