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VV 8-9 / VE 8-9 X

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The VV 8-9 was a floor-model Orthophonic phonograph introduced in the spring of 1928, and was one of the last large acoustic phonographs that Victor ever produced. At the time this model was introduced, the price of Victor's Electrolas (electronically amplified phonographs) had dropped significantly; these newer machines provided better performance than the acoustic models. Consequently, the popularity of acoustic phonographs such as the 8-9 was rapidly diminishing during the latter half of 1928. But these late-vintage acoustic Victrolas provided exceptional performance, and are still considered to be amongst the best-sounding non-electronic machines ever produced. Interestingly, the 8-9 utilized a re-entrant (folded) horn design as did many other Orthophonic models. However, the 8-9 (and a few other late acoustic models) utilized a stamped steel horn, rather than the usual pressure-formed wood horn. It retained the same exponential horn design as had had earlier Orthophonic machines, but the use of steel proved easier to shape and assemble during production, and also had the benefit of providing exceptional volume and performance. These machines have a very lively sound quality with improved high-frequency response when compared to their wood-horn counterparts. The 8-9 (and its 'cousins' the VV 8-8 and VV 8-7) had the largest and most efficient all-steel horns of any Orthophonic Victrolas, and many collectors today consider them to be the pinnacle of acoustic reproduction.
The 8-9 was a highly decorated version of the VV 8-8 (the 8-8 was a plain machine on wheels intended for use by schools, utilizing the same cabinet and mechanics as the 8-9).  The 8-9 was available only in a fumed oak finish, with blue painted trim panels and decorative appliques. In addition, the 8-9 featured a large art-deco 'cross' on the grille cloth. Sales literature of the era indicates that this model was designed to appeal to immigrants from Europe. The 8-9 was manufactured for only a few months during the first half of 1928 before it was abruptly discontinued. However, demand remained low for this model at a time when sales of acoustic machines were rapidly waning, and many remained unsold in inventory. 8-9's were sold by dealers at significant discount well into the early 1930's.
The original 1928 selling price of the 8-9 was $175.00, which equates to more than $2,600.00 in today's money. An estimated total of 9,200 hand-wound Victrola 8-9's were produced. 
The 8-9 was also available with an electric motor option (VE 8-9) for an extra $35.00, and approximately 1,000 of these machines were produced. 

 The current survivor database shows the earliest existent VV 8-9 to be S/N 520 and the latest to be S/N 9525.

The earliest existent VE 8-9 (electric) is S/N 502 and the latest is S/N 1496



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