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 Post subject: Re: Victor VV-X-A Restore guidance
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2020 6:20 pm 
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Victor IV
I've got both kinds of music--classical & rag-time.
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:39 am
Posts: 1932
Location: South Carolina
This restoration has been turning out so well that it deserves a beautiful new decal. Mr. Gregg Cline's decals are my favorites, ever--they look just like the originals even down to a bit of texture.

Installing them is tricky but entirely worth it; the phonographs on which I installed Cline decals remained beautiful. I put them on my horn phonographs because the ones I can afford seem to frequently show up in really bad condition, so thank g oodness for Phonodecal.com.

I've really enjoyed following this thread. Victrola X and XI models are interesting--the big ones may be more advanced; the earlier ones are more collectible, but the X and XI are just kind of cute--like a pocket-sized floor model. Usually they don't show up in nice shape, so seeing a fully restored one always makes me smile. The fact that it has family history is even better.


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 Post subject: Re: Victor VV-X-A Restore guidance
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 3:06 pm 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 12:24 pm
Posts: 12
I've been a little slow posting this update.

I've finished making the new frame to support the motorboard. I was going to attempt a restore on the rest of the cabinet, but I don't think it would have looked as good as a complete refinish after all the repairs were done. so now i'm slowly stripping it.
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As a preview for the wife, after finishing the motor, I did the complete motorboard refinish.
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Did another try on the cast portion of the horn using Cabernet from Krylon...Still not close. Need more of a brown with red in it. If this last shot doesn't look right, I'll just go with the Black.
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Just as a test, I've been brushing the lid with an antique stripper, then letting it dry. after a few coats, it's almost looking restored, then i messed up and spilled a bunch on which raised some of the grain.
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Needless to say, this will be stripped too, and a new decal from Mr. Cline.

And finally, the cast portion of the tonearm i picked up looked bad, so I refinished it.
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Pin stripes, which I'm usually bad at, looked good. so then a little clear coat.
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It didn't like that, so starting all over there too.

Hope y'all enjoyed this update.
Stay safe and cough free!

-Ron


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 Post subject: Re: Victor VV-X-A Restore guidance
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 9:28 pm 
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Victor IV
I've got both kinds of music--classical & rag-time.
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:39 am
Posts: 1932
Location: South Carolina
Looking sharp! Ambitious restoration, but that's turning out fine--the new deck frame is going to be great with stain & finish on. I like how the corners are clean & don't look like they have clumps of sawdust or varnish piling up in them.

I don't think you will need to clear coat things right away on that tonearm bracket, but your pinstripes looked great. The hand-painted look is quite authentic to the period & matches what I'm looking at on my own Victrola.

If you want to get the red stuff for sure right on the horn, Rustoleum primer might turn out the right color. I stripped & primed the base of a little 1910s iron desk fan and the red Rust-Oleum primer did a great job matching that color. It's gloss black now and waiting on wires, brass polish, and other little bits. (I'm doing to that fan what you're doing to the victrola...full rebuild.)

Now for that motherboard, it'd be a shame to take a beautiful piece of wood and a nice restored motor & stick them together without some washers between to dampen the noise of the gearing. Did you save the old felt washers or do you need to get some more? There should be some sort of pad between the motor & the board just to keep the noise down otherwise it will sound like a concrete mixer when the motor is on.

This is turning out great and I hope you & your wife really enjoy the results of your labor!


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 Post subject: Re: Victor VV-X-A Restore guidance
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 7:55 pm 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 12:24 pm
Posts: 12
I did reuse the original felt washers. Once i get to test it out, if it's too noisy, i now know to replace those first, thank you.

I've been looking for the shelves for the lower cabinet, but feel i may have to fabricate those too.

Im also on the search for the proper reproducer for this model. So far i have found an Exposition, a #2, a #4, and a Silvertone. Any suggestions?

-Ron


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 Post subject: Re: Victor VV-X-A Restore guidance
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 10:24 am 
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Victor V
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Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:01 pm
Posts: 2387
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania
The Victor Data Book, p. 124, and the website http://www.victor-victrola.com/X.htm are at odds on the sound box. It's either an Exhibition or a no. 2, though, depending on whether yours has the "fat" tone arm, which takes the no. 2.


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 Post subject: Re: Victor VV-X-A Restore guidance
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 6:55 pm 
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Victor IV
I've got both kinds of music--classical & rag-time.
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:39 am
Posts: 1932
Location: South Carolina
Silvertone is a different brand, made by Sears, Roebuck, & Co.

A No. 4 is designed in the 1920s to play the new "electrically recorded" records and has better frequency response than the early reproducers. It's also simple to restore. I guess you could put that on there and have it as an upgrade to your phonograph's fidelity.

That said, there is absolutely nothing wrong with an original Victor Exhibition or Victrola No. 2. They are wonderful reproducers. If we see the tone arm you need, someone can tell which kind of reproducer went on there originally.


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 Post subject: Re: Victor VV-X-A Restore guidance
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 1:21 am 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 12:24 pm
Posts: 12
Im finally staining the cabinet. Ll post pics once im done with the lacquer.

Here's the tonearm i picked up.
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Looks like 11/16ths opening

I also found that i had a crate of records. 60 to be exact. Some in albums, but most lose. I didn't know they were there, so they've been sitting in a trailer for 3 years. Time to research cleaning and restoring these too.
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Also a few strange ones in the mix.
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 Post subject: Re: Victor VV-X-A Restore guidance
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 12:57 pm 
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Victor IV
I've got both kinds of music--classical & rag-time.
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:39 am
Posts: 1932
Location: South Carolina
I bet that cabinet ought to look good before we know it!

About the tonearm the No. 2 Victrola soundbox will fit either "fat" or "skinny" arms. A Victor tonearm is technically called the "taper tube," and its crook is called the "gooseneck." If we see gooseneck tonearms mentioned somewhere then that is what they are talking about.

The narrow tonearm is basically the early, early Victor Talking Machine parts turned upside down and put in a cute bracket instead of needing a large iron back bracket to brace up the tonearm and the elbow and horn. The plumbing just had to be enough to get from the record to the horn. Nothing fancy here.

I added a picture of a 1914 Victrola which I like very much, a VV-XIV-E. It has a little bigger cabinet and motor, and therefore a longer tonearm, than your VV-X-A but shares a very similar structure. You can see how in both these pictures of a Victor taper arm, the reproducer in at-rest position is lying on top of the tonearm.

A Victrola No. 2 reproducer is bigger around than the little Exhibition reproducer and therefore, on the bottom of the "fat" tonearms made for that, you can sometimes find a little crutch or hook on which to hold it. The back of the "fat" tonearm is going to flare a lot quicker than the "skinny" tonearm, and almost looks like a little horn. Either the No 2 or the Exhibition should be very easy to find, and as earlier, you can also fit a No. 4 on there to have a bit of an upgrade in case you want the fidelity boost for later post-1925 "electrically recorded," "Orthophonic," or "new process" records.

Now as for your records, well, it looks like they've been in water to get all that pitting on the edges of the discs. That Decca 10" disc of Bing Crosby is definitely a shellac 78, recorded 1937. I suppose you could play it on your Victrola when it is cleaned up and you can get all the cardboard peeled off of it. The red vinyl disc is an early RCA Victor 45, and I was unable to get the title & numbers. As it is a Red Seal it is likely classical music and might be fun to try out on a modern turntable. You have a home recording on a lacquered aluminum disc in the sleeve marked "Audiodisc Recording Blank." These were popular in the 1940s and '50s with vacuum-tube home recording turntables available. It's really interesting to find these, but I never play the ones I find because my Victrolas are too old. They cannot be played with a steel needle or you will end up peeling the lacquer, and with it the grooves, right off the disc. The "Ancient Age Bourbon" promotional is neat, but that postcard record is a 33 ⅓ RPM microgroove disc and will play only on a modern turntable if you have one.

You want to find the old shellac 78s in your crate of records, and see what you have that can be cleaned up & gotten ready to play. 78s are so easy to find--even the old pre-1925 ones--that I have been listening to them almost exclusively--almost, because Edison cylinders need love too!


Attachments:
File comment: If you can find some of the old Victor "batwing" records those will be a lot of fun and correct for the era of your Victrola. The label was used from 1914 to 1926. However, there are some amazing pieces from 1913 and much earlier on the "batwing" Victor label, such as this incredibly crisp and clear recording from April 23, 1906. This copy was pressed sometime around 1914-1916 and it sounds absolutely amazing.
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File comment: The skinny arm thing started with this kind--if this arm, from a Victor III, were removed and flipped upside down it would fit the same profile as the skinny arm, for a very early tabletop Victrola like the VV-IV.
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File comment: Very slim profile of Victrola thin tonearm from 1914. Reproducer is the original Exhibition but it would be functional with a No. 2.
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File comment: Skinny tonearm from another angle. The peg leg underneath is only for the brake.
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 Post subject: Re: Victor VV-X-A Restore guidance
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2020 1:04 pm 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 12:24 pm
Posts: 12
VanEpsFan1914, thank you for all your valuable input. I've read the I should only use soap and water to clean the shellac 78s, so I'll be working on that in between sanding and polishing the cabinet. I'm also on my fourth retry for the cast tonearm mount. It's not coming out as satisfactory as the first.

Instead of posting all my labels, I'll post the infor on what I have after a little cleaning and research.

-Ron


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