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 Post subject: Re: RCA Victor Special Model M Photo Tour
PostPosted: Oct Sun 26, 2014 2:55 pm 
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I didn't know about the Model L. So far the main difference I've seen is in the type of batteries as mentioned in an earlier post. The battery shelf and connectors are different as well.

Just some minor differences in cap values, especially C6 and C7. Sometimes they are .002 or .0025. I've used .0022 as that is what I have. It doesn't seem to care.

R1 has been way high on all three amps I've done, and I usually replace R7, but the others have almost always been within 10%.

Also all three amps have had T1 covered with wax. Maybe they did it intentionally to protect against moisture? The resistances of the primary and secondary windings of T1 have been very close on all three as well.

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 Post subject: Re: RCA Victor Special Model M Photo Tour
PostPosted: May Sat 25, 2019 9:36 am 
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Location: British Columbia
Hyperion wrote:
bastardbus wrote:
Ed Morris wrote:
The RCA Model M dates from about 1935 and is very rare, seldom seen outside of a museum....


You know what is funny.....is I heard that statement repeated someplace before (maybe here) and a week later I saw one at the MARC show for sale. It was like $1,800 and everyone was asking is that $18.00 ?! LOL I have since seen several of these pop up at shows and folks usually asking a lot of money and no one even looking at 'em. Are they THAT rare? I have seen several at shows and yet to see one change hands.

They are kinda interesting but don't do much for me.


I agree -- I don't think they're as rare as many people believe. (If they are, I must be very lucky, as I've come across quite a few.) I do think they're beautiful, though, and would certainly give more than $18.00 for one!

My RCA V205 has the exact same tone arm/pickup, and it's a 1941 model, so I don't think this dates back to 1935...more likely 1940 or 1941.


It definitely is NOT a 1935 model, in spite of what the erroneous claims of several websites make. Did I look it up in the RCA red books, well no, I just noted the tube lineup, 1H5G, 1A5G, and 1G6G. T That lineup of low current 1.4 volt battery tubes debut in 1938 for the 1939 model year, along with a literal explosion in the number of battery tube portable models on the market in that year. he amplifier is somewhat interesting, the 1G6G is a dual triode, so I would gather that the 1A5G is there as a driver for class "B" operation with the 1H5G as a pre amp for the phono cartridge.
It just goes to show that you can't date a product on looks alone, how can a product from 1935 contain components that didn't exist prior to 1938? Well it can't. If you are wondering why I replied to this thread it's because I spotted a similar unit of these on craigslist, but it had a different tone arm (a much more ordinary and boring one) and did not have the red wrinkle paint over top of the speaker grille, I think it's a Model K instead. The price? $3500 U.S!!!! I'm sorry but for $3500 it had better have an engine a a set of wheels, or have a pair of chromed chassis with 30 tubes in it. If people turned their noses up at an $1800 one at a swap meet I would be surprised if anyone would be willing to pay 1/3 more for one on C.L., especially since it isn't even functional.
I really don't understand the cashe' some people (meaning dealers) try to attribute to John Vassos designed RCA products, RCA was one of the big three radio manufacturers and it's not like they were one offs that he had hand built, they were all produced in some quantity. Even the pre war RCA TVs, where he supposedly designed the cabinets, had at least several hundred of each built, maybe not huge mass production but they were put into production, their value is completely independent of whomever designed the cabinets. You don't see this sort of hype with Ed Coombs, or Clyde Schuller, both of which designed cabinets for Philco some are which are almost iconic.
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Arran


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 Post subject: Re: RCA Victor Special Model M Photo Tour
PostPosted: May Sat 25, 2019 12:44 pm 
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Timothy C. Fabrizio and George F. Paul, authors of Phonographs with Flair: A Century of Style in Sound Reproduction describe the RCA "Specials" as follows:

"The [Specials] were not regularly catalogued by RCA, and it has been suggested that these electric portables were created specifically in honor of the 1939 New York World's Fair."

That is consistent with Arran's comments about the dates the tube lineup used in the Specials became available. The first one of these I worked on several years back belonged to an Art Deco collector who suggested the mid-1930's date, which is clearly incorrect.

There's a more recent RCA Special thread I posted back in March, 2019, that has the correct dates for production of the RCA Specials:

https://antiqueradios.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=355699

Here's a link to the schematic for the Model M Special:

http://elmphotography.com/radios/RCA_ModelM.pdf

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 Post subject: Re: RCA Victor Special Model M Photo Tour
PostPosted: Jun Mon 24, 2019 6:19 am 
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Joined: Feb Fri 01, 2019 11:35 pm
Posts: 90
Location: Riverside Ca. 92504
RCA made three models for the World Fair. They were the Model K in red vinyl, model L in green vinyl, and the most sought after the model M in polished metal accented in red. I have a restored model L in green vinyl that has had the amp restored and a new cartridge installed. It is a heavy record player. One of the problems is a little battery that goes bad in the amp but does not look like a battery. It is replaced with a resister normally. It shows up in the top picture as the round item in the center. The phonograph is a hybrid machine with a wind up motor and a battery power amp. It produces not too bad a quality sound. It has all sorts of storage in the lid that is divides off and room for a record list in front. It is a well thought out phonograph. I would post a few pics of mine but I can not seem to get the pictures acceptable. I have seen gutted one going for $ 400.00 and would need major parts to get going.


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