1930 RCA Victor Orthophonic Portable Victrola Model VV 2-65
PICTURES WILL TAKE A FEW SECONDS TO
Check out these Videos recorded on the
A program by the great band leader of
the 1920s and 1930s: Leo Reisman
Body and Soul (1930), Sweeter than Sweet, A Year from To-day, Something to Remember You By (from the Helen Kane Talkie: Sweetie)
Irving Aaronson and his Commanders in
1928 OUTSIDE risqué song
Giuseppina Huguet, Fernando de Lucia
and Antonio Pini-Corsi in
1906 Milan Monarch Record of Barber of Seville: Oh qual colpo inaspetto
1930 – 1933 Price $35
This is the
last wind-up Victrola ever actually produced by Victor. There were RCA-badged
portables sold after 1933, but they are generic models of very mediocre
heavy 2-55, RCA Victor did a surprising redesign with the 2-65: Light wood
construction lowered the weight to 18 lbs, polished lid, real gold plated
hardware, and a dark green velvet covered turntable and interior make this a
very attractive machine.
machine one finds a tag of “Stevens Manufacturing”, which most likely made the
case and the molded cloth horn, which are of light construction and high
quality, but motor and other hardware are original Victor parts.
associate molded cloth horns with cheap portables, but the 2-65 demonstrates
that careful manufacture will yield superior results. The horn is reinforced
with wood in the high pressure area, and it is sealed in a way to provide and
airtight passage. The gold plated “backsplash” at the horn opening not only
serves holds tone arm and crank during transport, it also reflects the sound
The motor of
usual Victor quality, a triangular two-plate assembly that snugly fits inside
angled crank not only makes winding easy, it also does not interfere with the
Again, Victor quality means strong and smooth running motors for 5 minutes without slowing down.
The absence of wow and flutter is very impressive.
As on the
2-55, the tone arm and bracket is a scaled down design from the full-size
victrolas, this time with real gold plating: Its ball bearing base and solid
drawn brass construction guarantee air tightness. The tone arm bracket (and the
sound box) are the two pot metal parts in the machine, which are usually in very
good condition. However, the wall thickness of the bracket is ludicrously thin,
one dropped lid may crack the bracket.
broken brackets can be repaired and structurally strengthened.
thing of the 2-65 cost saving measures is the use of rivets instead of screws:
The tone arm base and brake lever are riveted, as well as the spring barrel of the motor,
which makes servicing a challenge. Nevertheless, the ball bearings need to
be filled with heavy grease to ensure a full tone.
from HMV is the novel on/off brake: It is entirely actuated by the tone arm:
When the tone arm is pulled outside the diameter of the 12” record, the motor
will start, the oval Victor end groove will stop the record with the usual
For the 2-65, the famous
Victor Orthophonic sound box was slightly modified by removing the spider and
phasing plug. The face of the soundbox is covered a thin brass mesh in front of a felt pad to reduce
needle talk. The RCA spiderless soundbox is actually very interesting,
especially when used with a large machine like the Credenza: While it produces
full range and full bass, the treble is much more prominent, and allows you to
get a much more vivid rendition out of “dull” acoustic or early electric
Victor Orthophonic Soundbox
RCA Spiderless Sound Box
1925 – 1929
1929 - 1933
The portable portable soundbox
is a regular Orthophonic soundbox with a felt cover. It retains the diaphragm
spider and the phasing plug. Finish is either reddish gold or gold paint.
The RCA portable soundbox
is a modified Orthophonic soundbox: diaphragm spider and the phasing plug
have been removed. The face is covered with a fine brass mesh. Finish usually
is a greenish gold.
On the 2-65, the portable sound boxes usually do not
have pot metal problems. They are uncracked and have no swelling.
Indeed, in term of pot metal quality, these RCA
soundboxes are some of the best ever produced.
However, the ball bearings in portable soundboxes need
to be rebuilt: They were originally held in place with rubber cement, which
has hardened and causes excessive friction. The inside of the solder joint in
the RCA soundbox should be checked for air tightness.
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