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 Post subject: Re: Newbie, considering a Victrola XI
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 7:52 pm 
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Victor V
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:47 am
Posts: 2333
Location: Jerome, Arizona
Yes! You got a good deal! That style combination reproducer and counterbalance arm are called the 'Ultona' and that system was found in a number of cabinets. The reproducer swivels to play 78rpm lateral recordings and 'hill-and-dale' recordings (using a sapphire ball stylus) such as Pathé, and Rex; and flips over to play Edison Diamond Disc records. The weight in the arm is set to prevent skating. Just remember these machines in trying to be all things to all people don't perform quite as well as machines purpose made to each format, but they are well made machines. A little glue and some time in the clamps and that loose cabinet will be as good as new again!
"All of us have a place in history. Mine is clouds." Richard Brautigan


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie, considering a Victrola XI
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 8:12 pm 
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Victor V
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Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:01 pm
Posts: 2114
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania
What JohnM said. From the cabinet, I'd say your XI is a later production than my 1917 XI, judging from the slightly different top front corner carvings, which are simplified in the later version. It will likely have the "fat" tone arm ("taper tube" in Victorspeak) and a no. 2 (rather than an Exhibition) sound box, which means a somewhat improved sound when compared to the earlier version---or so I've read; I've never been able to do an A-B comparison. For two bills I'd say you came out looking real good! Congrats!


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie, considering a Victrola XI
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:33 pm 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 8:23 pm
Posts: 29
Excellent! A little beginners luck then, I guess :)

I now remember reading about the Ultona in some book, but I never saw one in person before. So that's what that thing is! Where can I research the Brunswick? At a minimum, I'd like to find out the year and model.

The Victrola has a serial number in the 648XXX range and yes, a #2. What year does that make it?


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie, considering a Victrola XI
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:43 pm 
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Victor O
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Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:43 pm
Posts: 98
Location: Berryville, VA
Big Beat wrote:
The Victrola has a serial number in the 648XXX range and yes, a #2. What year does that make it?


Take a look at the bottom of your cabinet. The factory label might still be there & will have the date on it. Oh, sometimes the factory label is inside the record storage area.


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie, considering a Victrola XI
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:16 pm 
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Victor III
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Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 3:51 pm
Posts: 611
Location: Burbs of Washington, DC
Big Beat wrote:
The Victrola has a serial number in the 648XXX range and yes, a #2. What year does that make it?


1920

http://www.victor-victrola.com/XI.htm


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie, considering a Victrola XI
PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 8:47 am 
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Victor IV
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:22 am
Posts: 1000
Big Beat wrote:
Where can I research the Brunswick? At a minimum, I'd like to find out the year and model.


Most Brunswick phonographs have a small round medallion near the turntable with the model and serial number stamped onto it. You don't see one on your machine?

I'll echo the sentiments of the group and say that you got a good deal for these two machines. I absolutely love Brunswick machines and the Ultona reproducer is very nice to have. It's very practical, you have 3 machines in one.

If you start buying Edison or Pathé records to play on your Brunswick, here are a few things to note. So, not only doe the reproducer head swivel into the three different positions, but the tone arm also extends in and out / forward and backward. For Edison, the tone arm is to be pulled forward all the way. The counterweight (little sliding weight) should be set all the way back. The weight should only be moved forward for lateral cuts. The machine will still play if you do not do this but will cause a tracking error that will start to cause minor, but cumulative, damage to the record grooves.

And I believe you have a Brunswick Model 175 - as seen here:
http://www.mulhollandpress.com/Bruns175.htm

This very attractive oak phonograph was built by the Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company in approximately 1918. The model 175 sold for $200 when new and competed against some of the nice instruments from Victor, Columbia and Edison. It is easy to see why Brunswick phonographs became the second most popular brand in the United States. The machines were well designed and well built. The #175 was offered in a choice of oak or mahogany and was supplied with a three-spring motor.


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie, considering a Victrola XI
PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 12:42 pm 
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Victor VI
I have good days...this might not be one of them
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:23 pm
Posts: 3741
Location: Albany NY
I think you've got yourself a nice Brunswick there- the cabinet is a bit fancier than the common ones and having it in oak is an added attraction. The pull out record files are particularly nice. Once you get it working properly you may find it plays Edison discs quite well, providing the diamond is in proper shape.


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie, considering a Victrola XI
PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 10:05 pm 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 8:23 pm
Posts: 29
Well, here I am, 5 years later. All this time the machines have sat in storage, waiting for a day when I'd be able to devote some time to them. That time never came until last month, when I had to clear my storage space. I finally took the Brunswick home and spent a week rebuilding the cabinet. I practically had to rebuild it from a mess of loose panels, it was all in pieces, much worse than the pictures above can show. And it actually came out pretty good. BUT... just when I had the cabinet almost done and was installing the last top panel with the motor and tone arm, it fell. And I found out the hard way that those Ultona parts are made of very brittle pot metal. The tone arm shattered.

So, no happy ending. The cabinet is done and stands on all four feet for the first time in decades. The wood has been oiled and looks good. The motor cranks up. And if I stand there holding the shattered tone arm in place, it even plays.

The Victrola I haven't touched yet, it is just as I bought it, except I found an original crank for it, so now at least it is that much more complete.

I am now in the process of moving and cannot keep these machines. If there is any interest in buying them, please contact me. I will also consider buying an Ultona tone arm for parts if anyone has one. I definitely need the part that attaches to the wood with three screws and on which the tone arm sits, and possibly more. I do not need the reproducer, but will consider buying the whole assembly. I will post current pictures soon. I am in New York City.


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie, considering a Victrola XI
PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 8:41 am 
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Victor V
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I'm Feeling Cranky
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:22 pm
Posts: 2558
Location: Finger Lakes Territory, RONYC
Sorry to hear of your unhappy experience.

If you want to sell them, there is a forum for that here: http://forum.talkingmachine.info/viewforum.php?f=9

Good luck,

Fran
Francis; "i" for him, "e" for her
"Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while" - the unappreciative supervisor.


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie, considering a Victrola XI
PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:50 am 
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Victor II
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:01 pm
Posts: 306
Location: Seattle, Washington
I am also very new at this, but for $200, I would think you got a deal!


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