VV-XII S/N 1990 Red Mahogany with Matching Salter No. 777 Base
Build Date: Approximately September, 1909
Originality: 3 Beautiful museum-level restoration done in 2010
Overall Condition: 2 Shows very slight wear
(See the Ratings/Condition page for our grading scales)
Here is an opportunity to own a rare Victrola and matching cabinet. The VV-XII was Victor's very first attempt at producing a tabletop Victrola model. The original floor-model Victrola, designated the "VTLA" had been introduced in 1906, and proved to be a huge success. Victor decided to leverage off this success with a new, lower-cost model, designed the "XII". For those customers looking for a small internal-horn machine that could easily be placed on an end-table or library cabinet, the new VV-XII would (hopefully) be the logical choice. The first XII came off the assembly line in June, 1909, and was an immediate "dud". Plain in design, and with a very small horn, it did not hold-up well acoustically when compared to the low-cost external horn models; the sound volume was simply too anemic. However, the quality of the machine and components was very high. At a cost of $125.00 (which equates to about $3,200.00 in today's money), it was just too expensive for the performance it provided. Six months later, Victor made an attempt to enhance the cabinet design by adding a filigree trim around the base of the lid and additional trim to the cabinet. This effort did little to stimulate sales, so the XII was quietly discontinued in 1910, replaced by the lower-cost and better-sounding tabletop versions of the VV-X and VV-XI. Only 4,912 VV-XII's were produced, making it one of the rarest and truly collectible early models.
It was common for most Victor dealers to offer base cabinets for tabletop machines, including the VV-XII. However, since so few XII's were produced, the base cabinets for these machines are extremely scarce. Victor made their own base cabinet intended for use with this model, as did The Salter Manufacturing Company of Chicago. This machine was sold with the Salter Model 777 cabinet, which is a high quality piece, with ornate carvings on the feet and columns, and plenty of record storage inside. We believe that the machine and base were together since new.
This machine and cabinet was restored to a museum-level quality around 2011 by a well-known professional in this field. From there, we lost track of its history, but it showed-up at auction a few years ago. We purchased it, and completely reworked all the mechanics and made a few adjustments on the door hinges. It is in exceptional condition, showing slight signs of wear from use. (Note that the large external flash used in a dark room causes white reflections on corners and edges of the machine and cabinet pictures. These do not show-up in normal light.) The Victrola runs perfectly, and functions as new. It is historically correct in all respects. It is truly a spectacular and gorgeous machine, that will hold its own in any world-class collection. You have to see it in person to appreciate the quality and depth of finish. It is expensive, but is priced commensurately with rarity and current market conditions. Try to find another set like this, in any condition. Then add the cost of an extremely high-quality museum restoration. You may find that this set is not so expensive after all.
For more information on the VV-XII, please click here.
As with all our phonographs, the motor, soundbox and all mechanical components have recently been torn down, cleaned and correctly rebuilt. It comes with our 2 year unconditional performance warranty.