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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5 thoughts on “Rolecor FAX-400

  1. Nice equipment. It has a soli state rectifier in tube set. Is it working, presentably listenable? I think it was contracted thru Kenwood /Trio because we have its solid state receiver up to now.

  2. Rolecor was made by Roland Electronics as a re-badge brand for multiple retailers in North America.

    Belcor in Canada.

    Monarch receivers are same form factor and id plate on back states “Made by Roland”.
    Rolecor was made for Korvettes discount chain in USA.
    Martel another brand from same manufacturer.

    They all share the same Sanyo 258407 Germanium output transistors.

    This gives them a very vintage “punchy” sound with a bit of tube-like quality.

    All are in 12W to 30W range, made from 1967-1970 for solid state and 1963-1967 for valves.

    Good sounding gear. I have several of these units. Well made and have lasted 53 years so far.

    Pots get scratchy, bulbs need replacing, recap in order, and preamp transistors begin to fade but very solid all things considered.

    Cheap, too. $35-75 online.

    Martel $350 are most pricey follwed by tube versions $200.

    Multiple versions. RTA 600, 620, 630, 650, that I know of so far. Just slight power increase and function flexibility as numbers go higher.

      1. Transistor.
        300 400 500 are tube.

        Germanium 2SB407 power output transistors. I have 6 spare. NOS. From 1969. When they are gone they are gone. Nothing lasts forever.

        RTA 630 is near top of line for the Korvettes transistor line. I have seen only 1 RTA 650 but not sure it was real as listing went fast.

        RTA 600 620 630 all transistor known as I own one or more of each.

        630 has lathed aluminum knobs.
        All others plastic cylinder with aluminum end cap for knobs.

        630 better bass, lower units a bit on the “one note midbass” end of mid fi.

        I like them – Germanium sound is unique and tubey.
        Cheap, too.

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