The Talking Machine Forum — For All Antique Phonographs & Recordings

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 Post subject: Help with my first phonograph purchase
PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:21 am 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:08 pm
Posts: 5
Hello everyone,

This is my first post. I am looking for some advice on my first phonograph purchase. I am split between purchasing a Brunswick 212 for $200 or a victrola VV x for $200. I need some professional advice.

My main concern is with the Brunswick. I have read that the arm for the sound is made out of potmetal and it can break apart. Also is the price fair?

Any guidance would be much appreciated.


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File comment: Brunswick 212
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File comment: victrola VV x
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File comment: Brunswick 212
66199029_2395758827154779_2638589299754270720_n.jpg
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 Post subject: Re: Help with my first phonograph purchase
PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:24 am 
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Victor IV
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:38 pm
Posts: 1283
Location: Plover, WI
If you are just looking for one, then the Brunswick would be a good choice. It has the tone arm that can play Diamond Disks and Pathé records. The oak case is a plus. The VV-X is very nice also. It has the classic "Victrola" look. Do they both work?


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 Post subject: Re: Help with my first phonograph purchase
PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:19 am 
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Victor III
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Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:44 am
Posts: 642
Location: Davie, FL
What do you get for $200 these days? Not much, for sure. A couple of bags of groceries, or a nice dinner out with the family, but soon forgotten.

I say buy either, or better yet, buy both. They will stay with you for years to come and provide you an entry into a great hobby and a new learning experience.

Raphael


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 Post subject: Re: Help with my first phonograph purchase
PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:38 am 
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Victor V
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:54 pm
Posts: 2606
The Victor X is a very common machine that shows up on Craigslist every day and can be found for $100 or so without too much effort. Everybody's grandparents had either an X or XI. This is not to say they are not good machines because they are. Most still play, needing only lubrication and reproducer work to sound and work as good as new. The only downside is that they only play conventional, lateral-cut "78s", but that's mostly what you're going to find at flea markets and garage sales anyway.

The Brunswick features the 2-head Ultona arm. This odd-looking contraption is designed to play lateral 78s, but also vertical Edison Diamond Discs, and vertical Pathé discs (if you have the stylus for these). These are also solid machines, unless they have pot metal issues. Some do, some don't.

I would personally choose the Brunswick if the parts on the Ultona head are all moving freely. This will allow you to explore worlds beyond the basic 78. If you don't think you're interested in anything but conventional 78s, the Victor is a fine choice, but I would try to get the price down.

And whatever you do buy, also get a supply of needles, which are intended to be use only once each and then discarded. Overuse of needles will destroy your records quickly.

Good luck and let us know what you do.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with my first phonograph purchase
PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:01 am 
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Victor V
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Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2011 12:23 am
Posts: 2440
Location: NW Indiana B-19;VV-IV; VV-VI;VV-XVI; Edison Home B; Amberola 30; Col. BK; Magnola;
For a first machine, go with the Brunswick. As long as everything is working. If you decide on the Brunswick, and get it, have the reproducer rebuilt with new gaskets. The Brunswick is a wonderful machine capable of playing all makes of Disc records. The motors on Brunswick’s are of high quality and almost quiet in operation. The well adjusted governor makes for a motor that runs like a clock. I had the chance to buy a Brunswick in Oak with gold hardware, key, manual and all paperwork for 295.00 several years ago at an antique store in Michigan City, IN, the owner was in the booth and said he was selling it because he moved and had no space. I kick myself for that one.

My recommendation, the Brunswick. There is a book written about Brunswick’s, just search the threads.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with my first phonograph purchase
PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:41 pm 
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Victor IV
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:12 pm
Posts: 1495
I agree that the Brunswick is a better choice, for all the reasons cited. And based on what I can see in the photos you provided, it looks like the Vic.X has been stripped and refinished. (I can't tell about the Brunswick, but it looks attractive.)

I also agree that the Brunswick's reproducer should be overhauled with fresh gaskets and adjusted before playing too many records. A frozen reproducer or sound box can really chew them up, and the sound quality will not be that great.

If you want to check out the operating specs, here's a couple of online owner's manuals:

Brunswick Ultona manual -- https://www.nipperhead.com/old/brult.htm
Victor X (also used for the Victor 80) -- https://www.nipperhead.com/old/vicx.htm
(Click on the thumbnail images to make them full size for viewing/printing.)

HTH,
OrthoFan


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 Post subject: Re: Help with my first phonograph purchase
PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:05 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Fri May 15, 2015 7:00 pm
Posts: 244
Location: Hollywood, U.S.A.
I love my VV-X, but it is tiger oak. Here in California all phonos sell for about double east coast prices. The nice thing about the Victrola is that it is simple. Much easier to fix up yourself if you need to fix things. I still can't figure out how to fix the dash pots in my Brunswick.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with my first phonograph purchase
PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:55 pm 
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Victor II
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Honk, honk.
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:00 pm
Posts: 380
Location: Tennessee
The double ultona is capable of playing DDs fairly well, depending on the condition of the diamond stylus.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with my first phonograph purchase
PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:21 pm 
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Victor Monarch Special
Stop for a visit when in Oregon.
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:25 pm
Posts: 6273
Location: Albany, Oregon
Quote:
My recommendation, the Brunswick. There is a book written about Brunswick’s, just search the threads.


I had to chuckle when someone named "Victrolacollector" gave an endorsement to the Brunswick. What's next, a name change? :) Both are fine machines.

Victrola X
classic Victrola style +
great mechanism +
looks refinished to me - (a big minus personally)

Brunswick
oak cabinet is more unusual +
motors are generally very quiet +
very versatile (plays all types of disc records) +
pot metal parts are generally not an issue

Bottom line... You can't go wrong with either machine. Jerry Blais


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 Post subject: Re: Help with my first phonograph purchase
PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 3:03 pm 
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Victor II
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Services rendered: phonoboy84@gmail.com
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2015 2:04 am
Posts: 341
Location: NE Oklahoma
To me the Brunswick is the more interesting of the two.
This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender-Pete Seeger.


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