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Vintage Rek-o-Cut Turntable Rondine JR circa 1954

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Vintage Rek-o-Cut Turntable Rondine JR circa 1954

Postby jefferis » 07 Apr 2012 20:35

Hi folks,
My father-in-law just passed away, and he has a working Rek-O-Cut Rondine Jr. turntable built into a http://flic.kr/s/aHsjyQv4wj Colonial Reproductions cabinet seen here. My mother-in-law is looking to sell it but we are trying to get a value for it. I saw a different model sell on Ebay for $895 built into a box.
This thing has original bill of sale and all the manuals, etc. It is only 33 RPM and 78 RPM, no 45 rpm. Just curious if anyone has an idea and if they might be interested. She lives on Cape Cod, MA.
Anyone have any idea how to value it? It was top of the line from what I read on the documents when he bought it years ago...
Thanks for your help in this time of grief.
This is information I’ve found so far:
The turntable is circa 1955 era. It is a Rel-O-Kut Rondine JR L-37

Rek-O-Kut
Rondine JR L-37
Rek-O-Kut Rondine JR

Drive
idler drive Motor
induction Control
Automation
Changer
Suspension
Rumble
-40dB Wow and Flutter
0.25% wrms Speeds
33, 78 rpm Platter
Tonearm
none Dimensions
305 x 381 mm Weight
6.8 kg Year
1955
Price
$49.95 (1955)

Those turntables were sold without pick up arms, as was usual for transcription turntables of that era.
General Electric VRII cartridge, which is a variable reluctance cartridge. In those days, cartridges were either variable reluctance, moving coil or crystal/ceramic.
That arm is an Audax KT 12

It is in a very nice cabinet.

I found one of those smaller LP records I thought was a 78 RPM but it turned out it was a 33 RPM in his collection. It was Dixieland Comes to Carnegie Hall, Stan Rubin & his Tigertown Five, recorded at the Carnegie Hall Performance, November 27, 1954.
RCA Victor LPM -3277. High Fidelity.
I've uploaded a picture of the original speaker that came with the system. A working Rondine RJ speaker http://www.flic.kr/p/bKj3RM . My father-in-law had upgraded his system over the years and has a Harmon-Kardon Amp and Advent speakers.
The button on the speaker says: An Authentic Rondine, with large RJ in the middle.

Anyway, I put it on and hooked up the equipment and made a video of the unit in action. The sound on my camera video is not anywhere near as nice as it sounds coming through the speaker, but you can get the idea. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BQj2mi7Ot4

I put up more photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/76966779@N08/sets/ This one [url][url]http://www.flic.kr/s/aHsjyR4NAm[/url][/url] shows the audax up close. It appears that you can set the gram weight to as low as 1 gram. The needle cartridge apparently has 2 needles on it, and you switch from 78 to LP by pushing and turning the cartridge around. There's a close up of the head in this series.

I also put up more photos of the cabinet which has the original design specifications drawn by hand and the letters from Colonial reproductions confirming the plans and contract. I also took some photos of the extra rubber feet and other parts that were not used for this install.211932119921198
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Re: Vintage Rek-o-Cut Turntable Rondine JR circa 1954

Postby KentT » 08 Apr 2012 17:20

The tonearm installed is an Audax which appears to have been kit built. Rek-O-Kut owned Audax when that was new. Later on, the Rek-O-Kut Micropoise tonearms replaced the Audax arms which were made from 1958 to 1992. The Rondine Jr. you own is a really mint example with all documentation. The cabinet in which it is built is beautiful.
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Re: Vintage Rek-o-Cut Turntable Rondine JR circa 1954

Postby pogo » 09 Apr 2012 19:11

jefferis wrote:Hi folks,
My father-in-law just passed away, and he has a working Rek-O-Cut Rondine Jr. turntable built into a http://flic.kr/s/aHsjyQv4wj Colonial Reproductions cabinet seen here. My mother-in-law is looking to sell it but we are trying to get a value for it. I saw a different model sell on Ebay for $895 built into a box.

I couldn't find that one. My eBay research says the table with no arm and no plinth would be somewhere between $100 and $200. That said, you have something special -- A collector would value the original documents, and the nearly new appearance. How much I don't know. I know nothing about the value of the tonearm, but unless it's worth $400-$500 I wouldn't get my hopes up for a $900 payday. The rub is how you go about selling it. The best likely price will be on eBay. With a special interest item like this, you need to reach enough people to find a buyer who's serious. The auction aspect helps too. I'd pull it out of the box. Nice as the cabinet is (and I'm sure possibly sentimental for your mother-in-law.) the value is in the turntable and arm, and if you go eBay you don't really want to have to ship it. You can try Craigslist if you're in a large market, but my experience is that it'll bring out plenty of folks who want to give you half what it's worth. If it were me, I guess I'd put it on eBay sans cabinet with a starting bid that I wouldn't be unhappy with and a "Buy it Now" price that would make me very happy. It costs very little to see what happens. The bottom line, as always, is that it's worth whatever some buyer is willing to pay.
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Re: Vintage Rek-o-Cut Turntable Rondine JR circa 1954

Postby mosin » 09 Apr 2012 19:55

Hi,

I have one exactly like it. The L34 is a nice old idler, and it can be made into a really nice sounding turntable. Both wheels would require resurfacing, of course. The turntable is worth $200 in good condition, but you may get more, depending on your presentation of it. Expect an absolute maximum of $350. (I personally wouldn't pay that much.)

The tonearm is a different story. It is worth at least $300, or more, and the GE cartridge is also worth money...maybe $65-75.

The cabinet is worthless, so toss it. Freight charges alone are enough to kill it.

I would split all the other items up, and sell them separately because that is the way you will get top dollar. If you present each item in a very attractive way, you may actually see that $900 payday. Otherwise, expect to get $350-400 for the whole works.
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Re: Vintage Rek-o-Cut Turntable Rondine JR circa 1954

Postby nat » 09 Apr 2012 20:53

Is there an amp in that cabinet, or is it just the record player?
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Re: Vintage Rek-o-Cut Turntable Rondine JR circa 1954

Postby charliewhite » 09 Apr 2012 21:10

The 'Audax KT-16' is a beauty for sure. I have 3 NOS ones waiting to be put into service.
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Re: Vintage Rek-o-Cut Turntable Rondine JR circa 1954

Postby charliewhite » 09 Apr 2012 21:12

mosin wrote:Hi,

The cabinet is worthless, so toss it.



[-X
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Re: Vintage Rek-o-Cut Turntable Rondine JR circa 1954

Postby mosin » 09 Apr 2012 21:33

charliewhite wrote:
mosin wrote:Hi,

The cabinet is worthless, so toss it.



[-X


Ok, Charlie...

Either you buy it, or he can put it in a yard sale for $15. :lol:
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Re: Vintage Rek-o-Cut Turntable Rondine JR circa 1954

Postby nat » 10 Apr 2012 00:11

I think that audiophiles don't necessarily know what furniture collectors and interior decorators are interested in. So I think it would be a mistake just to chuck the cabinet, though I have no idea if there would be significant interest in it. But at a tag sale, it might sell for a few bucks, and that would be easier than hauling it to the dump. And if there was a suitable venue, it might go for a decent amount of money -- maybe. I've forgotten the name of the auction house on the cape, but there is a well known one, and it might be worth calling them.
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Re: Vintage Rek-o-Cut Turntable Rondine JR circa 1954

Postby jefferis » 10 Apr 2012 00:24

nat wrote:Is there an amp in that cabinet, or is it just the record player?

No amp in the cabinet
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Re: Vintage Rek-o-Cut Turntable Rondine JR circa 1954

Postby pogo » 10 Apr 2012 00:45

mosin wrote:Hi,

The cabinet is worthless, so toss it. Freight charges alone are enough to kill it.

I would split all the other items up, and sell them separately because that is the way you will get top dollar. If you present each item in a very attractive way, you may actually see that $900 payday. Otherwise, expect to get $350-400 for the whole works.


I think Charlie reacted not your assessment of the value of the cabinet, but rather the tactful way in which you expressed it. I agree in the context of vintage vinyl stuff it has no value. And for those who might value the furniture -- well to them the rest is just some record player.

I do agree, and should have mentioned, that the best bang on eBay will be had from parting it out. It may sound silly to the OP to sell the cartridge separately, but you're right. It has value and you should get it. I'm speaking as someone who sold a turntable with a cartridge that I liked (but not of great value) only to find the guy didn't care about the cartridge and probably would have paid the same without it.
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Re: Vintage Rek-o-Cut Turntable Rondine JR circa 1954

Postby charliewhite » 10 Apr 2012 00:51

I like the cabinet and would use it for something else if I was to remove the contents. Plus, I worked in cabinet making for 7 years or so. It would be a good fix-up or candidate for a modification.
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Re: Vintage Rek-o-Cut Turntable Rondine JR circa 1954

Postby jefferis » 10 Apr 2012 03:36

pogo wrote:

I think Charlie reacted not your assessment of the value of the cabinet, but rather the tactful way in which you expressed it.



That was actually a quote from someone else who said they liked the cabinet when they helped identify what I had. They suggested I come here to get a valuation of it.
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Re: Vintage Rek-o-Cut Turntable Rondine JR circa 1954

Postby mosin » 11 Apr 2012 23:21

I am sorry for coming off a bit harsh about the cabinet. It is interesting, but it really isn't worth anything in an audio context. Perhaps you can find another use for it.
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Re: Vintage Rek-o-Cut Turntable Rondine JR circa 1954

Postby Coffee Phil » 12 Apr 2012 01:17

Hi Jefferis,

I have no real idea what that whole ensemble would sell for but I think it is a thing of beauty.

I have the little brother of that Audax tonearm which I used with a Presto turntable which looked not too much different from your ROC. The Presto had a bad motor so I donated it to a museum when we were moving. Of course I now greatly regret it. I would like to reunite my Audax arm with it and mount my GE RPX cartridge on it.

There are people who feel that mono records should be played on a mono system. I have to believe that many of them would love to have the whole ensemble to house a vintage mono amp for a dedicated mono system.

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