View Full Version : Picked up that $20 CL VT-71

Eric H
11-21-2016, 06:13 PM
I picked up that VT-71 that was on CL for $20 in this thread (

I had it bookmarked for a week or more and planned on calling today but the ad was deleted last night. I clicked on eBay before going to bed late last night and low and behold, there it was. I figured a flipper got it and was asking a ransom for it but no, it was listed BIN for $26, I couldn't let it go for that so I bought it, drove down this morning and got it.

Turns out the Son of the original owner was there, he told me it was purchsed in Los Angeles and he remembered watching it when he was 10 years old so that was pretty cool.

The serial number is 34000 something so early but not really, really early.

He had also found the back and HV cover that wasn't there when it was listed, that was a nice bonus, said he couldn't find the knobs though.

Got it home and started looking it over and noticed some wadded up paper stuffed in the back next to the HV transformer, I just had a feeling about it and it was correct, i found two of the knobs wrapped in some crumbly old phone book pages!

No date on the pages but the listings were pretty old stuff, like ""loudspeaker repair" probably won't find that one in a modern phone book, I also found an ad for a Locksmith and the graphic shows a early 60's Corvair Van service truck so the knobs have probably been wrapped up in the back since the mid 60's.

Anyhow, I backed my working VT-71 up to it and connected the CRT, fired it up and it works great! This set is very restorable, the finish is shot and one rear corner has a chunk out of the veneer but it's complete except for one knob and the bottom plate, which I probably have somewhere around here.

Paul Knaack
11-21-2016, 06:43 PM
Cool! Those are fun to get playing great deal especially with a good tube.

11-22-2016, 07:29 AM
Glad that you got it! I have five of them and have restored one only. If you plan to restore it, how about continuing this thread and document the steps that you take?

Eric H
11-22-2016, 06:11 PM
Bob, I don't know if you're still tracking serial numbers but this one is 34031 and it's a TS-4F chassis.

Eric H
11-23-2016, 12:21 PM
I was bored late last night so I decided to clean this set up a bit.
Took a while to soak all the goo off the faceplate and CRT but I got it done without any mishaps. The face is really clean except for some faint streaks across the front that should buff out.

I tried a slow power up as well, there was some crackling from the ballast, either electrical or mechanical from dirt burning off, got a faint tickle of HV and some scratching from the speaker when I touched the cap of the 1B3 but nothing on screen. Nothing smoked though.

The CRT is a Hytron replacement and the volume Pot has been replaced also so this set has seen a lot of use.

11-25-2016, 06:49 PM
Nice find at a great price. The 7" electrostatic CRT's are a $100-$150 item alone. I believe the repro masks are once again available. It really finishes off the set and makes it look right. My blonde version is almost the same story with a relative of the original owner selling it. Also, although it was in excellent condition, it too was literally used to death! My friend had to replace everything in it including the CRT. The only negative with these is they seem to be finicky with the picture "pie-crusting" and not particularly sharp. A great small '40's set though and the first to sell for under $200. Good luck with yours.