VV-120 Serial Number 3641 in American Walnut
Build Date: Approximately August 1921
Originality: 1 Totally original in all respects, including turntable felt
Overall Condition: 3 Very nice original machine with great hardware, veneer, and no absolutely damage. Moderate varnish crazing on some surfaces
(See the Ratings/Condition page for our grading scales)
The VV-120 is a near-clone of the Victrola "Flagship" VV-XVI. The XVI was renamed as the "VV-120" during Victor's attempt to freshen the product lineup in May, 1921. Sales were dying out at Victor as radio came into vogue, so the name change did little to stimulate sales, as only 8,425 spring-wound VV-120 models were produced before they were quietly discontinued in 1923 (as compared to nearly 200,000 XVI's produced in prior years!). There are very minimal differences between the XVI and 120 models, so it's almost impossible to tell them apart without a very discerning eye. It is quite unusual for us to have two VV-120's in stock at one time, since not that many were made. The vast majority of these models were made in mahogany, with a very few coming off the production line in oak or walnut. This one is a "killer" original featuring a rare (and expensive $50,00 option when new) "AW" (American Walnut) finish, which has one of the most spectacular figuring and grain contrasts we have encountered on a late-vintage "VV" machine. (We also have a very nice VV-120 with a fumed oak finish available).
This Victrola was purchased many years ago at an estate auction in Chicago, and is absolutely an untouched original right down to the turntable felt. It is truly in exceptional condition (even the top of the lid is in near-perfect shape), and would be ranked as a strong #2 in our grading, except for some moderate surface crazing of the varnish on some of the surfaces. As you can see from the pictures, it does not detract from the appearance, nor does it "cloud" the great contrast and figuring of the veneer. But it does have some "krinkling" (crazing) that is visible when the light strikes it at an angle. This is solely due to the age of the varnish.
This would be an outstanding selection for anyone looking for a spectacular floor model in an unusual finish, without spending a ton of money. Not too many 120's are around, and only a handful of walnut examples remain. If originality is important to you, this is about as original as they come. As with all our phonographs, the motor, soundbox and all mechanical components have been torn down, cleaned and correctly rebuilt. It comes with our 2 year unconditional performance warranty.
You can find more on the VV-120 by clicking here. Considering how few VV-120's were made, and that most were made in mahogany, this is truly a good find!
YouTube video coming soon!