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 Post subject: Re: SOLD! Victor VV-XX VTLA - $7500 (Discussion)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:26 am 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2019 11:13 pm
Posts: 38
Location: Louisville, KY
Every time I hear this discussion, I think back to a comment made on a forum probably 20 years ago or more. One person replied "why would I want that piece of crap sitting in my living room?"

I think there is a condition or line above which you only clean and polish and below which you do whatever is necessary. I collect and restore vintage banjos. It is pretty much accepted that the old, nickel-plated parts should be cleaned and polished. Very often, pearl inlay has fallen out over the years and must be replaced. All of this enhances the value, beauty and sometimes playability of the instrument. Indiscriminate refinishing, however, is seldom beneficial to the value of the instrument. Early violins are seldom refinished but are almost always heavily repaired and their shorter necks have been replaced by longer ones. All of this is considered acceptable.

If one studies antiques, the items that retain their value more than anything over the years are paintings, especially those by the old masters. Restoration is almost universal in this domain, particularly with the older ones. Old varnish is almost always removed as are smoke stains, etc. Areas are touched up or replaced where there has been paint loss or damage. No one would probably want to look at "The Last Supper" had it not been extensively restored. Again, all of this is acceptable and expected.

So, with phonographs I think everyone needs to decide where that line is for them. Every collector wants to obtain examples that are untouched by a restorers hand. That way, they can guide the restoration in the direction they desire. Few, however, would turn down the examples of the VV-XX's that have been presented in this discussion.


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 Post subject: Re: SOLD! Victor VV-XX VTLA - $7500 (Discussion)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:30 pm 
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Victor VI
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:55 am
Posts: 3113
Location: Eugene/ Springfield Oregon USA
Django wrote:
This is a forum and a place to exchange ideas, so I applaud Raphael for putting this example before us for discussion. I don’t believe that the machine was over-restored or ruined. I think that it was beautiful before and after. I also think that it is beautiful now and that it will probably hold up better for having been refurbished.

Even after so many years of working on phonographs I still feel a little strange when I take something apart knowing that it was assembled by someone long gone. You can feel the history and I try not to disturb anything more than necessary, but sometimes it is preferable.

Some may remember a Canadian Berliner that I restored a while back. The machine had been converted to a string drive. I actually considered preserving it as a string drive, (weight driven or pull start machine), but in the end I went with a fairly extensive restoration. I still have mixed feelings about that one because the modification was so cool and done so long ago.

I was also more recently parting out a VV-XII that had great components, but a cabinet that had been stripped, badly repaired and appeared to have had a number of attempted restorations done, (each one making it worse). Eventually, I decided to try my hand at restoring the cabinet. It is not original, (but it wasn’t original when I started either), but it is now presentable and I can enjoy it. My point is that I could have left it alone, but not been willing or able to enjoy it, I could have put the parts on eBay, but I couldn’t seem to let myself, or I could make an attempt to bring it forward and make it presentable. I think that what Raphael did made the machine more of a centerpiece. It may be a little less historic and may not be exactly as it left the factory, but it probably looks closer to the way that it did originally than it did when he received it. I think that IMHO it looks great and I also think that it was treated with respect. I also think that it takes courage to open this up for discussion.


I look at it as a tribute to the skills of those long- ago craftsmen. Isn't the reason we restore things like the Sistine Chapel to keep the wonder alive to be enjoyed by subsequent generations?
"He who dies with the most shellac wins"- some nutty record geek


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 Post subject: Re: SOLD! Victor VV-XX VTLA - $7500 (Discussion)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 3:54 am 
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Victor III
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:49 am
Posts: 681
Location: British Columbia, Canada
The machine in question looks wonderful to me in either state. It boils down to the owner's aesthetic and what brings the greatest enjoyment.

Steven


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 Post subject: Re: SOLD! Victor VV-XX VTLA - $7500 (Discussion)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 9:44 am 
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Victor V
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Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:41 pm
Posts: 2200
Location: Linden, NJ 07036
I see this discussion just like a political one. We all have our personal views on things as well as our likes and dislikes of issues. We can talk about the issues all we want but at the end of the day almost nobody will change sides. So here’s my question, does Raphael get the popular vote or will the issue go to the Supreme Refinishers Court?

Rich Gordon


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 Post subject: Re: SOLD! Victor VV-XX VTLA - $7500 (Discussion)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 11:12 am 
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Victor III
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Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:44 am
Posts: 932
Location: Davie, FL
I appreciate all of the comments on this lively thread, some more than others, haha.

One more thought on this subject: when the XX was made, it was not a technical marvel or engineering breakthrough. What set it apart was the cosmetics, and the astronomical price. Thus, it was aimed at the rich and famous, rather than the working man. Displaying it how it looked back in the day, to me seems true to it’s heritage. None of it’s original customers would have wanted anything less for their fine homes.

Raphael


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 Post subject: Re: SOLD! Victor VV-XX VTLA - $7500 (Discussion)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 11:39 am 
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Victor O
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 9:14 pm
Posts: 76
Putting the discussion back on track--this is not simply a matter of what pleases a particular buyer or seller aesthetically. This is about a modern refinisher applying Gold Leaf to the trim--Gold Leaf was most definitely NOT the authentic original gold finish applied to the trim on XX's at the Victor factory. So applying gold leaf would not constitute a restoration ("restoration" would be a good faith effort to duplicate the original factory finish). And if (as Raphael correctly states) cosmetics were indeed what set these particular models apart, if needed, the hue and polish should also be carefully restored to the way they would have looked. Another concern also centers on inauthentic embellishment and finishes being applied to a significant number of rare machines that are among the holy grails for phono collectors. And (last but not least), machines with gold leaf or inaccurately altered hue and polish should not be improperly marketed for sale as "restored" or having an "as new" appearance.


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 Post subject: Re: SOLD! Victor VV-XX VTLA - $7500 (Discussion)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 12:21 pm 
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Victor Monarch Special
Stop for a visit when in Oregon.
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:25 pm
Posts: 7472
Location: Albany, Oregon
Why wouldn't gold leaf have been used? Victor used gold leaf on this machine. Jerry Blais


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 Post subject: Re: SOLD! Victor VV-XX VTLA - $7500 (Discussion)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 12:58 pm 
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Victor III
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Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:44 am
Posts: 932
Location: Davie, FL
Victor VII wrote:
Putting the discussion back on track--this is not simply a matter of what pleases a particular buyer or seller aesthetically. This is about a modern refinisher applying Gold Leaf to the trim--Gold Leaf was most definitely NOT the authentic original gold finish applied to the trim on XX's at the Victor factory. So applying gold leaf would not constitute a restoration ("restoration" would be a good faith effort to duplicate the original factory finish). And if (as Raphael correctly states) cosmetics were indeed what set these particular models apart, if needed, the hue and polish should also be carefully restored to the way they would have looked. Another concern also centers on inauthentic embellishment and finishes being applied to a significant number of rare machines that are among the holy grails for phono collectors. And (last but not least), machines with gold leaf or inaccurately altered hue and polish should not be improperly marketed for sale as "restored" or having an "as new" appearance.



It's about time you got off your high horse. Your demeaning of my business practices is more about your frustration with me, because previously I refused to sell you an unrestored XX after you insulted me by saying that you wanted to buy it before I "ruined" it (your word, not mine). I know for a fact that you have highly restored phonographs in your collection, such as a Duplex, B-375 and Sonora Invincible, all supplied by me to your satisfaction. And your obsession with the gold trim is almost laughable, other examples I have had (restored by experts such as Bob Johnson, RIP) had gold leaf applied and a legitimate debate about that is welcome, but your insults are not.

Raphael


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 Post subject: Re: SOLD! Victor VV-XX VTLA - $7500 (Discussion)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 1:53 pm 
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Victor III
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Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:16 pm
Posts: 554
Jerry B. wrote:
Why wouldn't gold leaf have been used? Victor used gold leaf on this machine. Jerry Blais



Wow I need my sunglasses! 8-) That machine sure is blingy!


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 Post subject: Re: SOLD! Victor VV-XX VTLA - $7500 (Discussion)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 2:27 pm 
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Victor III
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college collector
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2019 11:37 pm
Posts: 735
Location: Knoxville Tennessee
Raphael,

I like the machine both ways. I personally would have just cleaned the finish and polished the gold leaf.

BUT with that said, I also really like the way the machine looks now... your restorer did a great job on it. I would be very pleased to have a machine like that in my collection.

Cheers,

David


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