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Victor Borgia II from San Diego
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Author:  Microtrol [ Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Victor Borgia II from San Diego

Hi all,
I picked this machine up last weekend at a really good price as the seller needed to get the machine out of his home as he was moving. A little history on this machine from him is that his family is the original owner and it has been with them since 1926. First his grandparents bought the machine and had it shipped to California. When they passed away, the machine stayed with his aunt until 30 years ago when he took possession of it. He was not a collector and didn't know much about the machine except that it did work. I tried the radio section and we tuned in a couple of stations.

The finish, veneer, external pot metal parts and plating on the machine is in real good shape and it looks like it was well taken care of. The only thing that I found wrong with it initially was that the speed control did not seem to have any effect on the turntable speed. I checked the governor and found that the speed indicator pad was stuck in position at a very low speed. Cleaned it up and the unit played very well and I was very happy to find that it had a brass reproducer on the unit.

Well, I opened it up to check the internals and found that a 50's type 5 tube radio chassis had been installed next to the original tube radio. They removed one of the variable condenser tuning assemblies to fit it in and installed a 12 inch speaker into the horn (explains why the grille cloth color looked off) The rest of the power amp and radio are there so I might try to find a parts chassis from another Radiola 28 and see if I can get the original radio and horn speaker working. It looks like the work was done nicely as they placed some gearing on the tuning condenser plates and drove the new radio condenser plates making the unit appear to be functional. It looks like from the wiring they used that it was done some time in the 60-70s.

The last thing I checked was the pot metal under the hood and found that the record - radio selector switch that rotates a mechanical valve to allow sound from the reproducer or the speaker was broken and the gearing removed if it is gearing. If anyone else has a picture of what this section looks like, please send it to me so I can start to repair this one.
I am not sure if the electric pickup works yet but I will find out after I get the original power amp working again.

link to more pics ... Phonograph

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Author:  Uncle Vanya [ Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Victor Borgia II from San Diego

Oh my!

It apears that you have the electrodynamic driver. These machines were fitted from the factory with a balanced armature loudspeaker driver which combined the lever-action vibratory system of the RCA 100 loudspeaker with an Orthophonic diaphragm. RCA offered an electrodynamic driver for certain large commercial installations, for the Automatic Orthophonic Electrola 10-51, and as a later upgrade for Electrola 8-60 and 9-40 machines which remained in dealer stocks after 1928.

Whilst these dynamic drivers can perform quite well, they seldom do,as they are made of a particularly poor pot-metal which warps, destroying the very close tolerances necessary to the proper operation of the original unit.

I have a couple of the factory original balanced armature drivers, should you need one.

Author:  Microtrol [ Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Victor Borgia II from San Diego

Does anyone have a pic of what the linkages for the Borgia select between the acoustic and the powered speaker. Part of mine is broken but I can repair it but would like to know what type of gearing if that was what it was. See pic below of the section

Gonna work on the dynamic driver but if you have a pic of the balanced armature, can you post it. just curious what it looks like compared to the one I have.


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Author:  Mr Grumpy [ Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Victor Borgia II from San Diego

Wow, That's a stunning machine. I can only imagine how great it must look in person.

Author:  Microtrol [ Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Victor Borgia II from San Diego

I was working on the dynamic horn driver and the front face pot metal is badly warped where the diaphragm is mounted. Maybe the main reason they added the 60s radio and speaker. The field and speaker coils ohm out good and I doubt if I can find a working horn to get it working again. I might try to model and machine an aluminum replacement and fix the power amp. Now off to find a few radiola 28 parts to repair the radio/electric pickup section.

added a pic of the warped driver


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Author:  A Ford 1 [ Tue Jun 23, 2015 5:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Victor Borgia II from San Diego

I have a Borgia II like yours. Mine is serial number 735 and as I recall Dr. Miller's widow said it was purchased in 1926 or 1927. When I received it some 20 years ago it had some what crumbled white metal gears the pinion i.e. the one on the knob shaft was smaller than the gear on the shaft that rotated the sleeve valve shaft. The remains were too poor and incomplete to determine the original gear ratios or diameters. It so happened a machines friend gave me a set of spiral bevel gears of ratio one to one that fit on the shafts and worked. I think I recall he said they came from Boston Gear. I rebuilt the electrical pickup by replacing the rubber between the magnet and the armature or variable reluctance device (the part moved by the needle). The radio, Borgia II and acoustical pickup all work but the variable resistors seem spotty. I removed the tubes when I move to my current address in 2004. I have not put the tubes in and tried it since that time. Oh the remains of original gears were not spiral but straight bevel gears. The maximum diameter of the gears I installed is about one and one quarter inches but the method of specifying gears is by pitch diameter which is slightly smaller, I just looked at the gears and I had to have a thin spacer about one sixteenth inch thick behind the gear to keep them in mesh.

Author:  phonogfp [ Tue Jun 23, 2015 5:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Victor Borgia II from San Diego

The Borgia II will always have a warm place in my heart, as the delivery of one about 30 years ago was the catalyst for one of the strangest phonograph stories in my arsenal. :) Not something to be put on the Internet, but ask me in person when you have about 10 minutes to kill... :shock:

Very nice looking example! They're bloody heavy as well.

George P.

Author:  Silvertone [ Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Victor Borgia II from San Diego

This is what the valve looks like.

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