Rolecor FAX-400

This is a somewhat mysterious receiver from the late 1960’s. It’s the Rolecor FAX-400 and it’s a tube receiver. It was the house brand for EJ Korvette Department stores. It was usually sold together with a pair of house brand speakers for $179.99. From what I could dig up on the FAX-400 it is a 25 watt per channel receiver, but that seems a little high for a late 60’s tube receiver.

The Rolecor receivers were made by a company in Japan called Roland Electronics Co. (hence Rolecor?). Roland later became Rotel which, as you know, made some fine audio equipment in the mid 1970’s. So, while the Rolecor brand may be stigmatized as being a department store house brand they were probably very well built. In fact, a salesman for EJ Korvette said that they almost never had any complaints about the Rolecor line and that they were built just as well as the other bigger name brands. Roland even built some of the 330A, 630 and 930 model receivers for Harman/Kardon.

You’ll see other off brand receivers that look almost identical to the Rolecor receivers. Martel and Belcor are a couple of other store brands that were built by Roland.

The FAX-400 has the basic features of a receiver at the lower end of the price range. The tuning meter is the classic tuning eye tube.

EJ Korvette went out of business in 1980.

A set of XAM speakers was usually advertised as a companion to the Rolecor receivers. These were also a house brand and were most likely made by Coral. EJ Korvette had a XAM line for all kinds of electronics including TV’s, radios, walkie talkies etc. XAM is allegedly the EJ Korvette owner’s cat’s name, Max, spelled backward.

As you can see below, the Rolecor FAX-400 is well built. The transformer is good sized and I believe the four 6BQ5 tubes are the equivalent of the EL84’s which are in high demand today. Also notice the unique tube tensioners.

Below is the tube layout for the FAX-400.

The rear panel has connections for speakers, Tape In, Tape Out, Aux, Xtal and Phono (MC). The XTAL input is for the old piezo style phono cartridge. Today that input could probably be used for a CD player.

The Rolecor FAX-400 is a lower end store brand receiver. But, it is a tube receiver and was built by the same company that built receivers for Harman Kardon so it couldn’t be all that bad. It’s not in high demand from collectors or audiophiles but if you’re into the more obscure and quirky items of audio history, or you’re old enough to have perused the electronics department at EJ Korvette, then the Rolecor FAX-400 might be of interest to you. Pair it up with some XAM speakers and it will be nostalgia heaven.

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