Victor offered only two machines in mahogany -- the top of the line Victor VI, and this machine, the Victor IV. Relatively few Victor IVs were sold. Mahogany was the province of the wealthy and upper class -- the middle class furnished their homes in oak. I was fortunate enough to receive a little provenance with this machine -- it traces to the estate of a wealthy industrialist in the Cleveland area. The serial number would date it between 1905-1912.
This is by far the nicest Victor IV I have ever owned. It's a great all original machine and maintains very good original finish, clean pinstriping on the back bracket, and clean nickel. The brass bell horn is quite large, approximately 29 inches long with a 20 inch bell, and gives this Victor the impressive appearance it deserves. There is some typical dimpling and stress on the horn, but overall the shape of the horn is far, far better than average.
Most important, I have performed a total mechanical rebuild on this Victor IV. I have rebuilt the reproducer and installed a new flange for maximum sound. I have totally taken the motor apart, put it back together, and readjusted everything. This means that I have cleaned and polished the governor assembly, cleaned and re-oiled the turntable shaft bearing, and removed and re-greased the mainsprings. It's a big job to clean and re-grease the springs, but it really needs to be done, particularly on Victor machines. The old grease dries and cakes up, causing the spring to stick to itself as it lets down, and the machine never runs properly.
Listen to the mp3 and you can hear how beautifully this machine reproduces the sound of its era. (Yes, the artist is Al Jolson.) I invite you to compare this Victor IV to any Victor you may find on ebay or some other venue. You will not find another so esthetically or mechanically right.
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