Sadly not a single one of the many 4.5 F.L. red-tubed models that I
own have really good optics. Some may be OK perhaps. Perhaps?.
This includes all the different red-tubed 8",10" and 13.1" models.
Without a doubt my long ago ex 10" red-tubed Coulter was optically
the far worst telescope I've ever owned. Hope yours fares better,
But now, the horrid optics torch may actually be passed on, as my
recently acquired 13.1" red-tubed model may be even worse. This
has endured exposure, termites, floods, wood rot, deterioration,etc.
And you call yours the Problem Child. So what if it's a "chip off the
old block?" That child has had all the advantages. Things like
being sheltered, well cared for, custom diagonal bits and a 9 point cell.
That child was spoiled sir! Spoiled I say. Sheesh!
PROBLEM CHILD indeed? Lucky man.
Inspired by your post I shall now christen my recent Coulter abomination:
The BATTERED RED-TUBED STEP-CHILD.
What a blast.