Saturday, 7 April 2012

The almighty Calida 5072

I have a love/hate relationship with the Loewe E3000 chassis. On one hand, the image is excellent: Loewes are well built and use quality components. On the other hand, they're so fickle: geometry distortion when below 60 Hz, missing vertical lines with 256 line games, etc.

I've persisted with the E3000 because it's just so hard to beat the look of a black matrix Philips tube hooked up to this chassis. My advice to MAME users: if you're a CPS1/2/3 and Neo Geo fanatic (and enjoy other 224 line games by Sega, et al), this is the chassis for you!

Observe the sharp focus and rich colours:

Street Fighter III 2nd Impact
The Last Blade 2
Rolling Thunder
Bubble Bobble
The image is crazy sharp, right to the edges! If you like a modern, clean image, this is about as good as it gets. Personally, I have a leaning towards the older, slightly milky look of analog chassis. There's just something about that type of image that is a little more "classic" and truer to the look of arcade monitors of '90s.

The Loewe Calidas also have great aesthetics:

Front... Lovely, simply styling!

You may or may not notice a slight anomaly with the geometry in the picture above... compare the left and right edges...

Philips A68ESF002X111
The tube A68ESF tube is slightly larger than those in my collection of A66EAK tubes. Also, it's flatter. The glass is high gloss and the blacks are BLACK! I love the look of these tubes! Colours are very rich and the contrast is excellent.

Calida 5027 (E3000 chassis, Super Flatline tube)
The Calida 5072 has proven to be quite rare in my experience. The later 80 - 84cm models are more common but feature shitty 100 Hz processing chassis types. Rubbish compared with the E3000! The larger tubes aren't as flat as the A68ESF either.

This particular specimen was dream come true: excellent condition and at a reasonable price. The internals look pretty much immaculate after a blast from the trusty air compressor:

Back cover removed
Overall, an excellent candidate for GroovyMAME usage (provided you don't care for Mortal Kombat or R-Type). My personal feeling is that the Philips A66EAK tends to have better geometry than the A68ESF. I could be wrong, but my experience with the ESF has been that there are always slight imperfections whereas I've seen EAKs that are dead on. That said, if size matters, go for the A68!

If you like what you see here, keep an eye out for the Loewe CT1170 or Contur 1470. Both feature the E3000 chassis and A66EAK tube type. A little easy to find than the Calida 5072 in my experience...


  1. Hi there - you say that you prefer the softer look - so do I. I am desperately trying to work out which consumer TV's would be the best for this softer look - could you put me in the right direction with a few model suggestions? Thanks, Andy (UK)

  2. Hi Andy!

    Both the tube and the chassis have an effect on the overall look of the picture. I have seen the same exact same tube produce different results depending on what chassis is hooked up to it.

    For a softer, classic arcade look, I'd go for an analog Grundig chassis (Grundig/Blaupunkt/Siemens TVs from the early '90s). Not easy to find (here in Australia) but not impossible either.

    The Loewe E3000 chassis is very good, mind you. It's just limited in terms of modes it will accept. I personally prefer the A66EAK tubes to the A68ESF tubes. The A66 looks more "classic" to me.

    I'm not sure what you'll find in the UK. Should be more choices than here, I should think!

    I have seen very good results from older Philips TVs. Personally, I would stay away from Sonys because of the Trinitron tubes. They just don't do it for me. The shape of the tube doesn't give me that arcade "feel".

    Another option is Bang and Olufsen. Usually a bit pricier. I don't know them intimately but the picture on the MX series TVs I've tried look very nice. Certainly good contenders for an arcade monitor replacement in terms of looks and feel. They use Philips tubes also.

    Sorry for the rambling post. Hope that helps!

    1. Hey you guys,
      I live in germany and I share your hobby.
      If anybody is in need of tv chassis I'm happy to help. Search your Crt TV in or
      I'm around Köln (cologne), zip is 50676 so you can narrow your search to that area (within 25 km).
      As long as I can get it in my ix35 I have no problem pickin it up.

    2. Thanks for the offer Alex!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Wow, that's incredibly generous thanks very much Alex.

    I have to say that on searching, there are no early 90's Blaupunkts, Siemens or Loewe CRTs on UK eBay at all. I guess Germany is the perfect place for them.

    I was looking into the Bang & Olufsens but I found this thread

    So it looks like I'm going to be following Paradroid's advice & will be looking at the Grundig/Blaupunkt/Siemens TV's

    If it's OK with you Paradroid, When I find one, may I ask your opinion on the model number?

  5. Andy & Alex,

    That is a very generous offer Alex! You know, at one point, one of my German contacts was intending to send me a vintage Grundig chassis but the deal fell through for some reason (unknown to me). I have no problem paying all the postage and such associated but it's hard to find someone willing to pickup, disassemble and package up a chassis.

    Andy, you are most welcome to ask me for recommendations on specific models. That way all the stuff I've learnt doesn't go to waste. :)

    Alex you've certainly got me daydreaming now about certain chassis types I'd love to get my hands on... I think I need to finally setup a dedicated SCART Hunter email so we can organise things properly.


  6. Thanks Dale - time for some searching :)

    In the interim, if I may ask a question about the Sonys as a potential additional CRT alongside the Blaupunkt etc.

    I've heard that the Sony ae-1 chassis is their best CRT chassis. I have a kv-25x5u, an fe-1 chassis, supposedly a more modern chassis that is second only to the ae-1

    Is the ae-1 that much better than the fe-1 that it would make a significant difference to the picture?

    If so, are all the ae-1 models as good as each other or are there more preferable ones to get? Would it be worth replacing my KV-25X5U with one?

    I know that you really rated the KV-C27 but I have a feeling that I won't be that lucky!

    I know these aren't quite what I'm looking for but I quite fancy having one kicking around anyway for old time sake as I used to like them back in the day.


  7. Here are some predefined searches on different platforms for crt enthusiasts that I compiled for y'all to enjoy.
    Dale, yes, please setup an email account or get in touch with me so we can work out how this will be managed.
    (I'm a webdeveloper, so I can easily setup a system for this matter)
    -enter 50676 in the field 'Ort'
    -Select from auto-complete '50676 Köln - Altstadt-Süd (Nordrhein-Westfalen)'
    -click on 'finden',1021020200/radius,25/userUsedAutocompletion,false/suche.htm

    There's another great guy who has extensive knowledge about CRTs and might be a great ressource too - I didn't ask him yet ;)

    alex at arcade-tv dot com

  8. Sorry about bothering you with that last post Dale - I've done the research on this now so I think I know where I'm going. Have a great weekend....

  9. Thanks again, Alex - that's all really useful, much appreciated.

  10. Alex - these search options are amazing. I'm finally seeing Loewe CRT TV's! No E3000 Chassis yet but from the look of it, there will be in the future :) I'm not able to afford it yet. Would it be OK to get back to you nearer the end of the year?

    Dale - Finally I have settled on a TV type - the Loewe E3000 chassis.

    Can the TV not be shipped normally without disassembling and packaging up the chassis or is there a probability of damage occurring?

    Very much enjoying your blog by the way :)

  11. @Andy,
    of course. Whenever you like.
    If you find a matching TV with your chassis I can get it, take it apart and ship it when you're ready. That way you won't miss the chance to get it.

    you definitely need a communication platform ;)

  12. I really didn't expect that, that's extremely kind of you Alex, thank you.

    Having done some research on the various E3000 models, I will be keeping my eyes peeled!

    Dale, do you rate the Super Flatline tubes above the Blackline/Blackline S tubes?

  13. I usually take pleasure in destroying TV chassis (I'm only after the tubes and only use arcade chassis...) so if someone wants some particular model feel free to contact me. It's all free (minus shipping).

  14. That's awesome MKL! Can you please email me so we can get can work something out?

    Between you and Alex I might actually be able to get my hands on some of my dream chassis! :)

  15. Heya,

    I just picked up a Loewe Profil 2170 which has an E3000 chassis. Another one to look out for those who want Loewe goodness!

  16. Awesome! i really found very informative article here and bookmarked this blog. Thank you,
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