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 Post subject: RCA RP-153 (edit: needles)
PostPosted: Apr Thu 21, 2022 5:15 pm 
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Location: Oak Creek, WI USA 53154
Hi all

So I have recently acquired, and restored the radio chassis, of a 1941 RCA V-301. And it sounds great. But it has a record changer, model RP-153

https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/rca_rp153_rp_153.html
http://www.nostalgiaair.org/Resources/786/M0015786.htm
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I have never worked on a turntable of any sort before, and I think this documentation is assuming I know things I don’t, such as how to get this mess out of the cabinet.

The turntable currently does not turn. Unsure of the motor status, but it should be getting power.

Anyone have some tips to pass on about where to start with this beast?

Thanks


Last edited by Paul Dietenberger on May Thu 19, 2022 7:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: RCA RP-153
PostPosted: Apr Thu 21, 2022 11:01 pm 
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Paul,
You might try to access the 1940 RCA Red Book,
also from radiomuseum.org.
Hotwax
https://www.radiomuseum.org/forum/progr ... books.html


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 Post subject: Re: RCA RP-153
PostPosted: Apr Fri 22, 2022 12:09 am 
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I have that too but it wasn’t quite enough to get me started either.

Anyway. I did figure out how to get it out (the usual four corner screws allowed the turntable and mechanism to be lifted off of the motor, then I was able to excise the motor without dropping it.) Freed from the motor, the turntable now seems willing to work as normally as I can tell at a glance- it spins; the knives turn; the tonearm lifts and pivots and drops as expected.

So now I have this motor. Should I be able to turn that bit on the top side of the plate by hand? Because it is frozen solid and does not move, at all. That is the output that connects to the turntable.

Edit. Got the motor unfrozen, installed a new needle, reassembled the whole thing and got it to do a mediocre job playing a record on manual. Good enough. Unplugged the audio cable from the chassis, ran my Bluetooth adapter’s audio cable under the turntable and plugged it back in. Not going to mess with the turntable anymore; if some future owner wants to restore it they’ll be able to. I’m not a record guy. (edit, this is a lie, I got it going.)

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Last edited by Paul Dietenberger on May Thu 19, 2022 7:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: RCA RP-153 (edit: needles)
PostPosted: May Thu 19, 2022 7:16 pm 
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So I have the player and changing mechanism working pretty reliably and have been playing stacks of records on it because the cartridge is not completely shot - if I turn up the set most of the way, it sounds fine. It came with three packs of these

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and I've burned through one pack already, some of which due to misuse on my part. I presume these are correct needles for this unit, but are they the only choice? What else is out there that I could use?

Also - these can't have been meant for single play, right? What's the point of having an automatic changer if you have to change the needle after every record?


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 Post subject: Re: RCA RP-153 (edit: needles)
PostPosted: May Fri 20, 2022 12:54 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Carlstadt NJ USA
Those needles are designed to play a stack of records, but I believe that record changer tracks at a whopping 2-3/4 ounces rather than 1-1/4 ounces which became the norm a year or two later, so the needle may not last a whole stack.


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 Post subject: Re: RCA RP-153 (edit: needles)
PostPosted: May Fri 20, 2022 5:20 pm 
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Location: Oak Creek, WI USA 53154
I suppose that's possible but if I were looking for more needles after these run out, are the widely available loud tone Victrola needles suitable replacements or should I just look for something else altogether?


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 Post subject: Re: RCA RP-153 (edit: needles)
PostPosted: May Fri 20, 2022 7:25 pm 
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Location: Carlstadt NJ USA
Ordinary steel needles are only good for one record side, so they're not much use on a record changer. If you're going to use them and play one side at a time, I'd go with medium-tone rather than loud tone needles.

The Recoton needles you have last longer than regular steel needles. Whatever you use it won't last long at 2-3/4 ounces of tracking force. Some posters will disagree with this, but I would not use a diamond or a sapphire at a tracking force that heavy. Similar to the Recoton needles you have, keep an eye out for "Meritone" needles.

Those are neat looking record changers, and I like my radio / phonos to have the original equipment, but I wouldn't play any cherished 78s on that record grinder. I have seperate bunch of records just for playing on machines like this. If you like classical music, classical 78 sets go dirt cheap.


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 Post subject: Re: RCA RP-153 (edit: needles)
PostPosted: May Fri 20, 2022 8:42 pm 
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All right I will continue to look for NOS longer lasting steel needles. The whole fun of keeping the player is making the changer do its thing. Thanks for the advice.

I don't collect valuable 78s or listen to records to speak of. There's a thrift near here that has a few milk crates full of loose 78s for 50 cents apiece. Last time I was in there I just grabbed a handful of major-label polka records to stack up so I can show the thing off when I want to. Going to have to flatten some of the records a bit before I use them again though.

This unit cost more than a decent used car when it was new. Didn't seem right to me to replace what had to have been an extremely expensive changer. If I start to care about records that much then I'll look for a different unit elsewhere to play them, but I bought an RCA jack switch to plug into the single audio jack on the chassis and connected the phonograph, a Pilot T601 FM tuner and a Bluetooth adapter to the switch. I fire up Spotify if I want to pick my music.

I like classical music (and the radio seems to like it also); I didn't find much in the boxes but I did order one classical album on eBay to go with it though. This unit was pitched in an ad by violinist Albert Spalding, and there is one 1939 Victor Musical Masterpiece album of him performing a violin concerto. I bought that to keep with it and play on the record player.


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 Post subject: Re: RCA RP-153 (edit: needles)
PostPosted: May Wed 25, 2022 3:40 am 
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Location: Roanoke VA. 24016
The needles to find are something like this. Osmium needles are typically rated for 50 hours of playing time.
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 Post subject: Re: RCA RP-153 (edit: needles)
PostPosted: May Wed 25, 2022 6:23 am 
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I appreciate that, thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: RCA RP-153 (edit: needles)
PostPosted: Jun Fri 03, 2022 6:27 am 
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Epilogue: I won't be looking for any new needles for the RP-153. Despite any number of screwups on my part, I did get it working reliably and installed in the cabinet for originality. But I won't have to use it much unless I want to show it off or give it some exercise, and that won't happen that often, because you have to lift a lid to access it and I like to put photos and a lamp on the cabinet. So my supply of steel Recotons and the available Meritone changer needles ought to serve me indefinitely.

The space now filled by the V-301 used to be occupied by a 1952 Admiral TV-radio-phono whose TV could not be repaired, so I stripped it for parts and junked the rest. One of the salvaged parts was its RC600 3-speed changer, and with some help and parts and a new Pfanstiehl P228 cartridge from Gary at thevoiceofmusic.com, I got it all sorted out changing records and playing anything I'd want to play on it. I picked up an audio switch and plugged that into the V-301's audio jack, put both phonos and FM and Bluetooth into the switch, and I can listen to whatever I want. It's a good setup.


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 Post subject: Re: RCA RP-153 (edit: needles)
PostPosted: Jun Fri 03, 2022 5:33 pm 
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Congratulations on your very creative method to make maximum use of RP - 153 and bring it into the 'modern' age!


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