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 Post subject: Where to go with my collection?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:54 pm 
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Victor III
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Joined: Wed May 03, 2017 8:52 am
Posts: 591
Location: Louisiana
Hey everyone! Just looking for a little discussion and brain storming.

I’ve kind of hit that point where I’ve started running out of room and also I just don’t know what direction to take my collection now. I’ve collected almost exclusively Edison phonos, with a L door and Diamond Disc in the mix. For the curious right now I have: Edison Home A, Standard D, Fireside, Standard F, Concert, Opera, Triumph, Diamond Disc, GEM. Victor XVI L door, a small table top one can’t remember name and various knick-knacks. I’ve started to get select cylinders to play but I’ve kind of run out of steam on that. Still saving for one more big purchase of cylinders at the moment.

For a while I was saving money for other things I finally back to where I can finally focus on the hobby again, however I just don’t know what to do now. Have any of y’all got “stuck in a rut” in the hobby before? I thought of maybe selling like my common Home and grabbing a repeater machine. Just to focus on things a little more uncommon.
J.F.


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 Post subject: Re: Where to go with my collection?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:04 pm 
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Victor V
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:54 pm
Posts: 2394
My suggestion would be to get one or more of George and Tim's wonderful books as a guide to what's out there that you may or may not know about. That should give you many ideas about where to go next!


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 Post subject: Re: Where to go with my collection?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:29 pm 
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Victor IV
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:55 am
Posts: 1916
Location: Eugene/ Springfield Oregon USA
What piques your interest most? Are you bored with the whole thing or just aspects of it?

Next year marks 50 years since I started "seriously" collecting. Yikes. In those years I've had ebbs and flows. I tried being a "serious" cylinder collector a few times but never got there as the music I gravitate to most is all on disc. I've played with windups, both outside horn and "-olas" for decades but have sort of run out of steam... until I got my Duo 331 up and running well; now I'm finding evening time to play it and revisit my massive record collection again and really enjoying it- to the point I'm contemplating selling all of my single- play windups and concentrating on early changers.

I'm going to list the remnants of my cylinder hobby in the YT soon, and am considering starting to sell off some of the outside horn machines I have.

I think I have always been a record collector first, machines way second. the Duo is different, though, as I remember being fascinated by one of those machines my maternal grandparents had in their rec room when I was a toddler... so for me, this is starting to come sort of full circle.

Guess what I'm saying is go with wherever your ADHD takes you! :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Where to go with my collection?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:43 pm 
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Victor O
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:10 am
Posts: 57
First let me say there is no best practices when it comes to collecting, no right or wrong formula , its whatever each collector likes and what brings them joy. If your a compulsive buyer this may not work for you.That being said I made a conscience decision years ago to collect quality instead of quantity, I went from 60 machines to 25 or so , and I am currently downsizing that to 12 to 15 machines. I would rather have one machine that is uncommon , than a dozen that are common. Which would you prefer to have? A dozen standards or homes worth $400 each or one nice Opera that cost you $4000. Its all personal preference. But fewer are easier to display and take up less space.


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 Post subject: Re: Where to go with my collection?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:54 pm 
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Victor III
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Joined: Wed May 03, 2017 8:52 am
Posts: 591
Location: Louisiana
gramophone-georg wrote:
What piques your interest most? Are you bored with the whole thing or just aspects of it?

Next year marks 50 years since I started "seriously" collecting. Yikes. In those years I've had ebbs and flows. I tried being a "serious" cylinder collector a few times but never got there as the music I gravitate to most is all on disc. I've played with windups, both outside horn and "-olas" for decades but have sort of run out of steam... until I got my Duo 331 up and running well; now I'm finding evening time to play it and revisit my massive record collection again and really enjoying it- to the point I'm contemplating selling all of my single- play windups and concentrating on early changers.

I'm going to list the remnants of my cylinder hobby in the YT soon, and am considering starting to sell off some of the outside horn machines I have.

I think I have always been a record collector first, machines way second. the Duo is different, though, as I remember being fascinated by one of those machines my maternal grandparents had in their rec room when I was a toddler... so for me, this is starting to come sort of full circle.

Guess what I'm saying is go with wherever your ADHD takes you! :lol:


Hahaha! You are very right about the ADHD!

I love the hobby and the community...not stuck in that aspect. For this whole year and a bit of last year I was more money constraint due to having a baby and the wife working a less paying job etc, but now things are back to normal and I feel like now if I get something it needs to be very special, since I’m running out of room. (I need some shelves lol). This is what made me think, don’t keep the common stuff, when I find something with a rare attachment, repeater, or something else, to sell my run of the mill machines for that. Since I’ve purchased my Opera I’ve come to really appreciate the nicer machines. I’m hoping to add quite a few concert cylinders to my collection soon, so I think with that I’ll be setting my eyes on something else like a Herzog cabinet for my Opera (if I can get the wife to agree haha). Send me a message if you got something you think I might like!

As far as books, I’ve purchased almost all of them I think! There is some awesome stuff in those books! And I absolutely love getting my APS magazines!! Hopefully next year I can FINALLY make it to a show. Union is calling my name!
J.F.


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 Post subject: Re: Where to go with my collection?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:01 pm 
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Victor III
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Joined: Wed May 03, 2017 8:52 am
Posts: 591
Location: Louisiana
tictalk wrote:
First let me say there is no best practices when it comes to collecting, no right or wrong formula , its whatever each collector likes and what brings them joy. If your a compulsive buyer this may not work for you.That being said I made a conscience decision years ago to collect quality instead of quantity, I went from 60 machines to 25 or so , and I am currently downsizing that to 12 to 15 machines. I would rather have one machine that is uncommon , than a dozen that are common. Which would you prefer to have? A dozen standards or homes worth $400 each or one nice Opera that cost you $4000. Its all personal preference. But fewer are easier to display and take up less space.


I think this is the way I’m moving towards. I started when I was 18, so I bought what I could here and there and just never really sold anything. Now I have a bunch of machines although aren’t worth much I kinda have some fond memories playing them for my dad and such, but cabinet space is king right now :lol:
J.F.


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 Post subject: Re: Where to go with my collection?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:57 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: 5464
Location: New York's Finger Lakes
You've received some excellent advice, especially regarding quality vs. quantity, collecting what interests you, and deciding on whether your primary focus is on records, or machines, or truly a mixture. And especially the part about there being no "right" or "wrong" way to go about it. It needs to work for you. ...Which reminds me once again of a sign I saw in an antique shop when I was a teenager: "Buying things you don't want with money you don't have to impress people you don't like isn't worth it."

You can blend these approaches as well. For instance, I too focus on quality rather than quantity (and rarity is usually attractive as well), but I'm especially interested in the history of the early industry. This compels me to have examples of phonographs that made a major impact, and most all of those milestone machines are common. At the same time, in almost 52 years of collecting, I've never owned an Opera, and the only Victor VI I've ever owned was here only about 8 months. There are over 100 phonographs in my collection, but only 3 Victor back-mount machines. On the other hand, there are 7 different Eagle Graphophones upstairs. They all have major differences from each other, and I happen to really like Eagles, despite being common. I have a couple of phonographs that are the only known examples, and others whose siblings can be counted on one or two hands. But I know a guy with over 200 Edison suitcase Homes. He's obviously crazy about them (and so am I, but I own only one). Buy what you like.

As for records, it's industry history for me again, so I will acquire certain types of recorded media as artifacts, with little or no regard for what's on them. The music I enjoy most is on more common records from the teens into the 20s and 30s. The only rare operatic records here are those that happen to be on unusual formats.

Clearly, I like the technical and historical aspects of phonographs and records, and listening to them is something I do only occasionally (even though they all must work). Many would find this approach unfulfilling, and it's important to be fulfilled in your endeavor. Do what's best for you.

George P.


Last edited by phonogfp on Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Where to go with my collection?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:15 pm 
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Victor VI
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Needle Tins are Addictive
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:32 pm
Posts: 3583
Location: Belmont, North Carolina
"I know a guy with over 200 Edison suitcase Homes. He's obviously crazy... about them." :lol:

I know a guy who has over 40,000 records and two weeks ago bought 5,000 more. He's obviously crazy... but apparently loves records.

This hobby has so many nooks and crannies that you could concentrate on some obscure areas of both machines and records. I spent years searching for any and all of the puzzle records I could find, since they fascinated me. Now that I have a large number of different ones, I felt the need to move on to multi-colored splatter records with no regard to titles...

I guess what it all means is that if you are the type of personality referred to as a "collector", you usually never run out of different things to collect... until you run out of room, end up in a nursing home or die...
"The phonograph† is not of any commercial value."
Thomas Alva Edison - Comment to his assistant, Samuel Insull.

"No one needs a Victrola XX, a Perfected Graphophone Type G, or whatever you call those noisy things."
My Wife


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 Post subject: Re: Where to go with my collection?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 4:59 pm 
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Victor Jr
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James-Gail Co.
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:58 am
Posts: 14
Location: Kill Devil Hills, NC
I feel like I am relatively "new" to the hobby although I have been toying with it off and on for over 15 years. I think I concur with the other comments about narrowing a collection down based on quality and rarity, especially if "space and display" room becomes and issue. For me, it is more about the history and stories behind a machine than the monetary value - but that makes me a minority...

The real underlying issue for me, and I am sure fellow collectors experience this, is the lack of interest and value in the current market - as it pertains to the common machines. Back around 2000 - 2007ish, working generic Victrolas and Grafonolas could go for 250 to 350 at local antique shops... now, I see them on craigslist sometimes for $40 to $100. As an enthusiast and historian, that kind of stings. I hope the common entry level machines will find good homes as the market changes in the next 10 + years. I would be happy to let mine go to a entry level collector but I can't stand to see them go to auction and only go for $25 or $30 dollars...

That is a real issue a lot of downsizing collectors are facing... at least with the common machines. I think the higher end pieces are safe and still getting fair value...

I think a lot of "us" are ready to downsize, but how low are "we" willing to go (on price)....? Food for thought.
Christopher J. Stoessner
Enthusiast, Collector, Historian
Author of Norfolk's Greatest Home Furnishers: The Story of Phillip Levy & Co. and the Granby Phonograph

Founder
James-Gail Co.
www.james-gail.com


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 Post subject: Re: Where to go with my collection?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:24 pm 
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Victor VI
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Needle Tins are Addictive
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:32 pm
Posts: 3583
Location: Belmont, North Carolina
I have always thought that collecting things is about enjoying them, not so much their value. So, never buy something based on what you think it might be worth today or someday... only buy what you like with no regard for value... That way, if the price drops to nothing, you still have something you like, which is very different situation from buying something like stocks that can turn into worthless paper with no intrinsic value at all... I have 400 shares of stock from a tungsten mine in Colorado that my granduncle, an attorney in Detroit, bought in the late 1920s. The company went out of business in the depression and they are totally worthless. The only value to me was the lesson that I learned from them, otherwise the certificates aren't really enjoyable to look at... they are actually kind of depressing (maybe that's where the term depression came from to describe the aftermath of 1929).

So, if you are a phonograph investor that likes risk, now might be a great time to stock up on cheap prices and hope for future returns. Otherwise, it is a great time to buy some things you actually like at a reasonable price...
"The phonograph† is not of any commercial value."
Thomas Alva Edison - Comment to his assistant, Samuel Insull.

"No one needs a Victrola XX, a Perfected Graphophone Type G, or whatever you call those noisy things."
My Wife


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