The Talking Machine Forum — For All Antique Phonographs & Recordings

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 Post subject: Introduction - newbie Victrola owner
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:22 pm 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:47 pm
Posts: 7
Location: Wilmington, DE
Hello everyone,

I've somewhat unexpectedly found myself the new owner today of a Victrola that I found locally on Craigslist for $80. Just going off the plate pictured here, it's listed as a VV-XI with a serial number that appears to date it to 1921. The only description I received is that it "Works but runs slow. Needs spring drum cleaned, old dry grease probable cause."

Just wondering if anyone has any more info on what I have here and what my first steps should be as far as evaluating it, etc... if there are any good websites out there, parts sources, things like that.

Thanks in advance!


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 Post subject: Re: Introduction - newbie Victrola owner
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:43 pm 
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Victor II
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Greg
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:40 pm
Posts: 335
Location: Central Maryland
Well - mighty nice Victrola you've got there! I'd clean up great with Goop hand cleaner (the white tub - no pumice) and Howard's Restor-a-finish. The Victrola XI is one of the best selling models, and is of high quality like all Victor products. If you'd like to learn more about your machine, try http://www.victor-victrola.com/XI.htm

Try the machine with a record - if the motor runs too slow adjust the speed control, if that does not correct it then you may need a governor adjustment, something others could explain as I have yet to attempt this.

If the motor slows when you put down the needle, you may need to re-grease the springs. I've done it twice before, and I've never had trouble, but many forum members have had horror stories revolving around the strength of the springs. Exercise caution when doing this, with gloves and long sleeves. Clean the springs and barrel, and then return the springs with fresh grease. That'll correct it. In terms of playing quality, you should rebuild the reproducer. This is an easy process that requires disassembling the reproducer (device which holds the needle) and replacing the gaskets. You can find these on eBay.

I'd exercise caution, however. Victrolas and other phonographs are like the strongest of drugs. Once you get one, you'll get another, and another, and another :lol:... I own 6 machines and over a hundred records. I collected this in 6 months. That's all. I've enjoyed every second of it, but now I regularly check craigslist and Facebook market. It's an addiction for sure, but one guaranteed to provide joy in restoring and playing machines. I especially like saving machines headed for uncertain doom, and guaranteeing them a future by repairing the defects that put them on the curb.

Welcome to the hobby!
Greg


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 Post subject: Re: Introduction - newbie Victrola owner
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:31 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:55 am
Posts: 231
Location: North East Ohio U.S.A.
Before you play any records, you need a supply of new needles. You use one needle per play and then throw it away,. Needles are cheap and readily available on ebay or elsewhere on the internet. Go slowly with restoring this machine and you will be very happy.
John


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 Post subject: Re: Introduction - newbie Victrola owner
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:55 pm 
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Victor III
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:12 pm
Posts: 732
Location: Lubbock, Texas
Do you have records for it? In what area are you located?

Yes, John is right so get some new needles.


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 Post subject: Re: Introduction - newbie Victrola owner
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:50 pm 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:47 pm
Posts: 7
Location: Wilmington, DE
I have a dozen or so records that I'm pretty sure ended up coming into my house via my father-in-law, but I have no idea where he might have gotten them.

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I have two of these folders. This is the one in better shape of the two and is not written in. The other one has writing and is a little more beat up.

These are some of the records. There are a lot of fox trots for some reason. Someone must have liked to fox trot.

There are no records related to the Ed Sullivan ad... just a neat piece.


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 Post subject: Re: Introduction - newbie Victrola owner
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:58 pm 
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Victor O
I hate pot metal
Joined: Fri May 26, 2017 10:15 pm
Posts: 77
Milo Bloom wrote:
These are some of the records. There are a lot of fox trots for some reason. Someone must have liked to fox trot.


Fox trots usually mean jazz or dance band music.


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 Post subject: Re: Introduction - newbie Victrola owner
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:07 pm 
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Victor Monarch Special
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Who is John Galt?
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:08 pm
Posts: 5431
Location: New York's Finger Lakes
Welcome! ...And that looks like a nice XI.

There are some very helpful articles for newbies on the Antique Phonograph Society web site under "Articles/Introductory."

https://www.antiquephono.org/

This one is especially useful:

https://www.antiquephono.org/basic-anti ... onal-tips/

Best of luck, and have fun!

George P.


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 Post subject: Re: Introduction - newbie Victrola owner
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:41 pm 
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Victor V
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Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:17 am
Posts: 2916
Location: Where there's "hamburger ALL OVER the highway"...
If you're leery about servicing the mainsprings, there are a number of folks in the Resources section of the Forum who will remove, clean, regrease, and replace them for very reasonable cost.

The rest of the motor is fairly simple, and should only need cleaning and relubricating. Rebuilding the reproducer is not too difficult, either. Enjoy!

Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Introduction - newbie Victrola owner
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:32 pm 
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Victor III
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Say to yourself I am so happy hurray!
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 12:50 pm
Posts: 563
Location: Brookfield, Illinois
Lucius1958 wrote:
If you're leery about servicing the mainsprings, there are a number of folks in the Resources section of the Forum who will remove, clean, regrease, and replace them for very reasonable cost.

The rest of the motor is fairly simple, and should only need cleaning and relubricating. Rebuilding the reproducer is not too difficult, either. Enjoy!

Bill


Very good advise. Spring servicing is something left to experienced hands. Here is a You Tube video which will give you an idea how hard it is.

(Double-click the video above or click this link to go to the video on YouTube.)

"You can't take the phonographs nor the money with you, but the contentment the phonographs bring may well make your life better, and happier lives make the world a better place."


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 Post subject: Re: Introduction - newbie Victrola owner
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:06 am 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:47 pm
Posts: 7
Location: Wilmington, DE
Thanks everyone for all the info and tips. I'm hoping to get it into my basement today and start looking at it a little further.


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