The Victor-Victrola Page
How do I get my Victor or Victrola to work correctly?
ANSWER: Instructions for operation of most spring-wound machines can be found here. It covers the basic use of a particular model (the popular VV-XI); other models may have slightly different operating features and appearances. However, in most cases, the VV-XI manual will be adequate for most users to get their machine working.
Note that the "tone doors" on a Victrola (the ones that open and close just below the lid on most models) are NOT record storage shelves. The "slats" or "directing panels" are there to aim the sound toward the user (at least that's what they were intended to do). Store your records in the bottom of the cabinet, not in the tone door slats. Note that some tabletop models will not have tone doors or record storage capability. And you must be using a shellac 78 RPM record. Not "vinyl" or 45 RPM records. Most problems that users encounter are due to the fact that they are trying to play the wrong type of record on their machine, or that they have problems with the motor and/or soundbox function. Many of these mechanical problems require an overhaul of components, and you should contact one of the service providers on our RESOURCES page.
The needle/soundbox should always be placed on the record to the right side of the center spindle. In other words, the motion of the record must be such that it is spinning in a direction from the rear of the tonearm toward the needle. Many people incorrectly place the needle/soundbox to the left side of the center spindle, resulting in a "plowing effect" which will quickly destroy records. See picture on right, showing the correct position of the soundbox at the end of a record.
By the mid-1920's some very complicated phonograph and radio/phonograph models were introduced, and it is impossible to include instructions for each model. However, you can contact us if you need help to get your Victor or Victrola working. We can't possibly answer all inquiries, but we will respond to as many as we can.
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