Anyone have a victrola

I am wondering if anyone has a victrola? My cousin purchased one recently and it plays very well for being an antique.
No, but I would love to have one even if just as a show piece if I came upon one in good shape and not too expensive. Don't know how likely that is though.

I recently recorded all my families heirloom 78s that used to be played on a Victrola years ago when purchased to CD and ripped the CDs to my music server. I picked up a 70's vintage ceramic cartridge 4 speed player made by Admiral at a yard sale for $10 specifically for this purpose. I connected it up to my system via line level inputs and the results were quite good.

These old recordings have very sharp microdynamics that makes for a distinctive and overall pleasant listening experience, despite the background noise, limited frequency range, etc. On a few of the better recordings I found the sound to be actually quite good, at about the level of some of the better professional remasters of other old 78 recordings to CD out there, like say many of the older cuts on the Ken Burn's "Jazz" collection.

Hearing these old recordings designed for the technology of the day spinnning and playing on a good modern system for the first time was quite cool, a definite eye and ear opener.
Wow that's cool Mapman. As for having one even just for show, that is not a bad idea. At times you can find them at an inexpensive price (at auctions). That is where my cousin and her husband found theirs. And it even worked pretty well.
The closest thing I have managed to-date with a Victrola is a rear lit clock on my wall behind my system with the RCA Victrola/Nipper logo on it. I found that from a vendor on Ebay for about $100.
I have one that was passed down through the family. I have a couple of boxes of the old thick 78s with it.

It's a fun unit and it has a lot of sentimental value.
I have two - one a table top (that is in MINT original condition) and the other a console model that I paid an expert to recondition the spring, reproducer and felt. The wood is not in quite as good of condition as my table top model but I have chosen to leave it in original condition.

I always get a kick out of the fact that I have a high-end system worth a crapload of money yet when my wife and I have company (other than my audio buddies), the only "audio" component I ever play for them is one of these Victrolas because it's such a hoot and is so appreciated.

I didn't buy them as an investment (which for the most part the large majority of these old Victrolas are not) but just because I love how they look and I am always amazed by both Edison and his genius and that something over 100 years old with no electric parts still plays so reliably (when my multi-kilobuck high-end gear seems to break down if I even look at it crooked!).

Finally, there is nothing quite like hearing the big band era music on an old phonograph to transport one back to simpler days gone by. Days when your imagination was something you actually used!

I guess I am just getting old!

You have two of them that is pretty cool. I can imagine that they do attract some interest and attention when you have company.
" I love how they look and I am always amazed by both Edison and his genius and that something over 100 years old with no electric parts still plays so reliably"

I'm in that camp as well.

I remember Quentin Collins playing his soothing music on his ornate Victrola in the 1890's sequence back on the old daytime soap "Dark Shadows" when I was a kid. I think I"ve always been fascinated by them (and audio equipment in general) ever since.
Yes I own a 1916 model VV-VI. It is all original and still works great (yes we can make quality equipment here in America). This is a table-top model made with solid mohagany. I have 200 needles, you are supposed to change the needle after each record (sure glad I don't have to do that with my dynavector 17D2 on my main system). I also have about 12 records from the time period 1909-1920 (smile and the world smiles with you from 1909 sounds good on this machine). So when the power goes out I play a few pieces of nearly 100 year old vinyl and am amazed every time with the fact that the unit still works as designed and sounds remarkably good for what it is. Anyone looking for info on Victola can visit the Victor-Victrola page on the net.
Hey Dwr... I also have two of them and a bunch of the old thick 78's. My prize record is a copy of "Yes, We Have No Bananas", from around 1923. That one will put a smile on your face.
Mapman, you sure are bringing back memories for me too. WOW, I had almost forgotten about Dark Shadows.

I know that what is "expensive" is a relative term. However, given what many of us in this hobby are willing to spend on cables, let alone amps and speakers, many of these old Victrolas (not the original cone shaped horn units) are not all that expensive. You can get a pretty nice table top unit from the early 1900s for $250-$400 most of the time. Especially now, given the economy and the fact that our society is aging, many people sell them at garage sales or on the net. You just have to do a little research (see the post above with the link for a start) and try to avoid the junk or fakes.

My wife and I were on vacation in Seattle about 6 years ago and went to Widby Island (sp?). We were in a little antique shop and she saw the table top unit we now have. She knew I has always wanted one and told me to just buy it (it was $400). What shocked us was the outrageously good original condition it was in. I hesitated because of my concern about damage during shipping (I live in Michigan). So, I took the lid off, wrapped the lid and bottom in thick towels, packed them in two big duffel bags and carried them on the plane storing them in the overhead compartment. It was heavier than heck and a bear to carry but worth the effort as I never let it out of my sight so it didn't even get close to getting damaged!!! Too bad we can't do that with full range speakers!! ;-)

Take care!!
I have the family Victrola in storage, with no real place to display it.

I remember play with it when I was a kid. I also BROKE a copy of Bunny Berrigan's 'I can't get started' with the flip side being 'The Prisoners Song'.

That disk would be worth $$ today, i'm sure.

Also, Edison invented the cylinder form of recording......But who is the party responsible for the disk?
Also, Edison invented the cylinder form of recording......But who is the party responsible for the disk?
Emile Berliner

Also, here is a good article on the Victor Talking Machine Company, which produced the Victrola's.

-- Al