Return to Home Page

The Victor-Victrola Page   


RARITY: ¤   VALUE:  ¤ 


Proceed to Rarity and Value Analysis Page

The VV-IX or Victrola the Ninth, was a very popular "Victrola"; it was the company's premiere tabletop model with a closable lid.  It featured a larger cabinet than the  VV-VIII model, and also offered the choice of a mahogany or oak veneer finish. Its introduction in the summer of 1911 was concurrent with the launch of a wide lineup of newly-designed machines which included models such as the VV-X and VV-IV.  The IX featured a well-crafted cabinet, nickel plated hardware, a two-spring motor, and Victor's Exhibition Soundbox. Along with nearly all of the other newly-introduced models, sales of the VV-IX were strong from the start. Production of the IX ran for more than 13 years, which was certainly a tribute to its success. It became Victor's fourth best-selling model of all time
The earliest VV-IX machines (top left) used simple wood baffles to direct the sound internally from the tonearm base to the downward-facing 'slats' at the front opening; closable 'tone doors' were used to control the sound volume. A full-size 12" turntable was used. It was not until 1913 that an actual horn assembly (consisting of a cast iron elbow and wood horn mouth) was used internally to improve the sound volume. At the same time, the cabinet was enlarged slightly. In early 1915, small 'feet' were added to the cabinet (bottom left). While many of the IX model's design features evolved over the years (see breakdown below), it remained about the same in form and function as when it was when first introduced. 
Incremental suffix letters following the serial number indicate small upgrades to the motor and/or mechanical components. The original 1911 selling price was $50.00, which equates to approximately $1,400.00 in today's money. Per factory documentation, a total of just over 569,000 Victrola VIII models were produced. Production of the IX was likely terminated in the spring of 1924.
As with many other Victrola models, the VV-IX was a huge success for the company; but when sales of Victrolas began to slow in favor of radio, Victor failed to respond to the market changes by slowing their production rate. Therefore, in spite of lagging sales, many thousands of these machines continued to come off the assembly line, and the large network of dealers and distributors began bursting at the seams with unsold Victrolas. Due to this considerable overproduction, it is likely that many late-production VV-IX models were shipped to markets in Latin America, or were sold during the company's 'half-price' sale during the summer of 1925.  For more information on Victor's financial crisis of 1924-1925 and the overproduction of phonographs, please click here.
Several suppliers produced custom base cabinets for the VV-IX (right). Many of these cabinets merged into the base of the phonograph so perfectly, that the combination of phonograph and base appears as one floor-standing machine. These cabinets were made by a variety of companies, including the Pooley Furniture Company of Philadelphia. While Victor never produced a base cabinet for this model, they were frequently sold as aftermarket accessories by Victor dealers. 
Due to the large volume that were originally produced, the VV-IX (and many similar low-cost Victrola models) are typically ignored by collectors today, unless in exceptional original condition. Far too many were produced to be considered 'collectible' in the current market.

The survival database currently shows the earliest existent VV-IX to be S/N 581 and the latest to be S/N 557084

VV-IX Manufacture Date Approximate Serial Number Range Feature Notes
1911 501-15000 First machines use bullet brake. Bullet brake ends at S/N 6394. Late year machines use an A suffix
1912 15000-47000 Some machines have an A or B suffix
1913 47000-87500 Some machines have a B, C or D suffix
1914 87500-149000 Some machines have a D,  E  or F suffix.
1915 149000-214000 Early year machines have an F suffix, most year's production has G suffix. Feet added very early in year around S/N 149000 on G suffix machines. Some machines begin using a dash mark after the model identification
1916 214000-286500 Most machines have a G suffix
1917 286500-357500 Some machines have no suffix letter, others continue the G suffix. Small glass speed control introduced at S/N 316350. IX-A* designation used after September 1917 
1918 357500-401500 IX-A designation ceases after December 1918. 
1919 401500-461000  Suffix letters permanently discontinued. Some machines between S/N 409000 and 421000 have a leading "zero" prior to the serial number. This was due to a stamping error on some plates, wherein duplicate serial numbers were issued. The leading zero likely allowed production auditing during this period. 
1920 461000-529500    
1921 529500-535000  No. 2 Soundbox added
1922 535000-545000    
1923 544000-555000    
1924 550000-558000  Some machines use orange turntable felt cover

* Note: the "A" designator after the model indicates a revised motor design. The A was later dropped from the dataplate, but the improved motor remained

Do you own a Victrola VV-IX? Please take a moment and enter some basic information about your machine into the collector's database by clicking here. No personal information is required.

Return to Victor Product Page