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Vic R Rigid Arm - my new toy!


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I recently found this machine and it is something I have wanted for close to 20 years. It is, at least to me, a bit over restored, but it is still quite lovely. And it works! The machine was always a rigid arm machine. It was not converted from a front mount.

 

When I found it the wrong reproducer was on it. They had drilled an extra hole in a taper arm concert reproducer which did work and did not hurt the reproducer at all. But, I wanted it to be correct. I found the correct rigid arm reproducer that belonged to another forum member and we made a deal so it is now correct. It also had a brass bell horn which isn't the end of the world. But, it should have a black horn. So, I switched it with the black horn on my front mount R and how it looks all correct and plays like a million bucks. I may make a video one day soon.

 

And, just to avoid the Victor I vs. Rigid Arm R name... I know about the opinions and there is reason to use either name. But, to me since the tag says R, it is an R. I have what everyone thinks of as a Vic I as well, and this is much more special and absurdly more rare. It deserves its own unique name.

 

The machine as it came to me:

20201016_162440.thumb.jpg.01824f75111da5a64eb7c691c1dec45a.jpg

 

The drilled taper arm concert reproducer:

20201021_174607.thumb.jpg.4680a22f3adbb232092a4f3c80ef09ce.jpg

 

And now with the correct reproducer and horn:

20201028_081513.thumb.jpg.e6b57c73e5038596c7a61f413e86dde1.jpg

 

20201028_081527.thumb.jpg.c903af32abea67bae9f9040245c7d66f.jpg

 

20201028_081546.thumb.jpg.6e364ff611b332ca2bdcad6f1de3c5ab.jpg

 

20201028_081558.thumb.jpg.b0f3b1148bd617b8bd02f0f7750abbcd.jpg

Edited by melvind
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Very nice! I believe the brass bell horn was correct for late rigid arm Rs. Mine has a serial number in the 12000s. It has no record hold down and the horn is brass-belled. The back bracket is black; I have no reason to believe it is not all-original.

 

I've had a few rigid arms, the R is definitely my favorite.

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Congratulations again, Dan! 

 

At the top of the page below is a 1903 Victor catalog illustration of your machine:

 

1001.thumb.jpg.992b8f9f0e510db99c81c69008a810f5.jpg

(From Phonographica, by Fabrizio & Paul.  All Rights Reserved.)

 

As scarce as is any rigid-arm Victor, these early Is are downright rare.

 

George P.

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Thanks for the comments and info guys. Rene, there is not a lot of information on any of the rigid arm machines that I have found. I believe what you are saying about the later R. George, thanks for the picture! It is a nice image that exactly matches my machine.

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I have an all original Victor R Rigid Arm.   It's Serial No. 8712.   It has an all black horn, record hold down, and a copper flashed back bracket.  It's a real nice original example.  Like Rene, it's one of my favorites.

 

What I find interesting is that the catalogue that George references to as a Victor I indicates the price as $22.50.  Mine has most of it's original paper tag on the underside that references the price as $20.00.  Maybe there was a change in machine designation that coincided with a price change.

 

And congratulations Dan...!!

 

Victor R Rigid Arm - 01.jpg

Victor R Rigid Arm - 18.jpg

 

Victor R Rigid Arm - 15.jpg

Edited by Phonomark
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Mark,

 

Thanks for the comments and the great pictures of your all original rigid arm. I looked at the bottom of mine and there is no sign it ever had a paper label. But, it has been restored so it might have been removed during that. They made these for such a short time it is amazing that any still exist. I am really happy to have one.

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By the way, I noticed the announcement of the new search engine on the APS main site. So, I tried it searching for Rigid Arm and the search returned lots of great references. Thanks a million for the upgrade APS folks! 🤓 👐 :classic_smile:

 

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What a terrific machine.  It's on my "Wanted!" list as well.  Mostly I got a chuckle about the Rigid Arm R vs Rigid Arm Victor I debate.  

 

Congratulations, Jerry Blais

 

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In about 2001 I found a rigid arm Victor M and did not realize what it was. I at the time did not know much at all and no one to talk to about it. I had no facebook or APS at the time. When I bought it I do not even think I noticed the rigid arm. I have grown to love it. It was was not restored and only recently I cleaned up the arm and a few other parts. Hold down, brake and a few other parts are brown with rust I suppose. I did have to buy a crank for it from APSCO. I love your machine and appreciate the rigid arm much more then when I bought my Victor M. 

rigid arm work (7).JPG

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1 hour ago, Neilvanstem said:

In about 2001 I found a rigid arm Victor M and did not realize what it was. I at the time did not know much at all and no one to talk to about it. I had no facebook or APS at the time. When I bought it I do not even think I noticed the rigid arm. I have grown to love it. It was was not restored and only recently I cleaned up the arm and a few other parts. Hold down, brake and a few other parts are brown with rust I suppose. I did have to buy a crank for it from APSCO. I love your machine and appreciate the rigid arm much more then when I bought my Victor M. 

 

I love your machine. In fact it is one I hope to also find down the road. There were only 4 models made with rigid arms. The R, E, M and MS. I have all but the M. Your M is a fine example. Thanks for the post.

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Melvind I noticed in the Victor Data book the lowest serial number shown is 12697 and often wondered since mine is 12771 does that mean anything at all? One of the earliest perhaps? Or does it mean nothing? Often wondered. I thought perhaps you might know something. Neil

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3 hours ago, Neilvanstem said:

Melvind I noticed in the Victor Data book the lowest serial number shown is 12697 and often wondered since mine is 12771 does that mean anything at all? One of the earliest perhaps? Or does it mean nothing? Often wondered. I thought perhaps you might know something. Neil

I don't know how significant is is, but that means yours is very early in the run which I think is a good thing. Maybe someone else will chime in with more info.

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I made a crude little video of my Vic R playing a 1901 7 inch Victor record. The sound is very noisy. Just part of the deal with Rigid arm technology, and old record, and a loud tone needle. The soft tone needle would not record well enough. Anyway, it is fun to watch it in action.

 

“I Want to be a Lidy” by American Band of Providence 1901 Played on a Victor R Rigid Arm

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, melvind said:

I made a crude little video of my Vic R playing a 1901 7 inch Victor record. The sound is very noisy. Just part of the deal with Rigid arm technology, and old record, and a loud tone needle. The soft tone needle would not record well enough. Anyway, it is fun to watch it in action.

 

“I Want to be a Lidy” by American Band of Providence 1901 Played on a Victor R Rigid Arm

 

 

 

Wow a nice video. Huh! If you think that is crude you should see the videos I make. Wonderful video and did not hear the noise. I have it seems a noise blocker in my ears. I only hear a lovely sound coming from a lovely machine. Oh so lovely!!!! Thanks for the video.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/2/2020 at 3:40 PM, Neilvanstem said:

 

Nice video Dan.  I've never heard a rigid arm machine being played before.  You are right that it does not sound great, (compared to front mount or tapered arm)  but that's the way it sounded.  It wouldn't have sounded much better with an N- record.  The vide helps illustrate why that design was so short lived.

 

Edited by Valecnik
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8 hours ago, Valecnik said:

 The vide helps illustrate why that design was so short lived.

 

   My rigid arm Monarch sounds great. Remember he was playing a very old record (a tad newer sounds better) and had the microphone on the side of the horn. Stand in front and record in front and the sound is much improved. There is I admit a difference with the tapered tone arm but the rigid arm to me sounds just wonderful.

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