The Victor-Victrola Page
Acoustic Performance and Technical Analysis
This section covers acoustic performance information on Victor Phonographs, using modern instrumentation to make measurements on a variety of machines. The intent is to provide some quantitative insight on the improvements made during the early years of the phonograph. A great deal of misinformation has been disseminated in hobbyist publications and books regarding the operation and performance of antique phonographs. References to acoustic horns as "amplifiers" (this term was even misused by Victor in some of its advertising) and drawings showing sound waves "bouncing" inside a tone arm like a rubber ball only serve to propagate misunderstandings. There are also a host of questions that come up on occasion. What are the actual acoustic differences in performance between an "Exhibition" and a "No.2" Soundbox? How much louder is a "loud tone" needle?
There are two introductory sections provided to assist those without an engineering background. The "Introduction to Acoustics" article (linked below) is recommended for those who have not been exposed to this field, and a comprehensive "Glossary" is provided to attempt to decode some of the jargon, and hopefully convert it into understandable English. It is strongly recommended that the reader review the "Basics of Acoustic Phonographs" page before delving into this more complex material.