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A few Album Binder Reviews -  
 

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Posted 12/05/2016   08:37 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, I purchased it from Amazon. I also read they are the only ones that they are the only ones that sell this particular style in US. I will likely get more. I was looking at the Mystic premium binder and it looks very similar to the Lighthouse including the raised section. The rings are D shell and not the you shape.
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Al
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Posted 12/11/2016   9:13 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Just to reiterate what has been noted above: The Lighthouse G binder is different from the Lighthouse Grande binder. It's easy to confuse as (like me) many people may just assume that the "G" is merely an abbreviation for "Grande". Not true.

The Lighthouse G binder is a "regular" sized (about 8.5 x 11" but I have not measured it) 3-ring binder with round rings. It has very nice padded and textured vinyl covering on the binder itself, and it comes with a matching vinyl covered slipcase. The whole thing is very nice indeed. However, I find the 3-ring appearance much less sophisticated, less "stamp album-like" than I prefer. So, personally, I don't mount my main collections in these binders which seem a little too much like very nice, very fancy school notebooks. But the slipcase makes them work particularly well as stamp binders since the point of a slipcase is to keep dust off your collection and to prevent loss of any stamps that might fall out as well as to allow removing the album from a shelf more easily without scraping it against the shelf every time. A dustcase also supports the binder. We've all had binders which eventually sagged sideways over time. This is not good for stamps. For these reasons, I want a dustcase for any stamp album I use. The extra expense of a dustcase can be minimal. For Davo albums, for example, buying a dustcase for an album that lacks one costs only around $10 U.S. Even at $20, I think a dustcase is worth it. But for many that's going to be too expensive, I suppose.

The Lighthouse Grande is a larger binder. It has squared off rings of a much larger size than on the "G" binder. The whole binder is thicker and taller than the "G" binder -- maybe an inch in each direction (I haven't measured). It also comes with a slipcase. But the Grande is not padded like the G is, so it has a less luxurious feel too it. To me, this binder is more utilitarian looking, but still very nice compared to the majority of three-ring binders. Because it's somewhat larger, it will hold moderately larger sized pages, but not Scott sized pages or larger. You could put Minkus sized pages in a Grande but you'd have to three-hole punch the pages first -- and their width would create a somewhat tight fit on the right edge of the binder when closed and might even stick out just a bit. So maybe not ideal. There is one size larger in Lighthouse binders, but I can't recall the name, and it does hold Minkus-sized paper a little better than the Grande.

Neither of these binders fits most brands of stamp album pages that I'm aware of. They are designed mainly for the Vario stock pages (vinyl stamp mounting pages). The "G" binder also fits regular U.S. 8.5x11" paper just fine, so with stamp page printing software you an easily create your own albums very inexpensively. Printing from a disc or a website onto 60# or 100# white or cream colored paper using any ordinary computer printer, you can quickly produce a pretty nice album very inexpensively using pre-printed pages like the Steiner stamp pages which are extremely inexpensive off his website.

As for the other more regular three-ring binders, even when they're covered in nice vinyl, to me their lack of a matching (and fitting) dustcase has always made me avoid them. That plus the three-ring appearance just doesn't appeal to me. But that doesn't mean they're not useful, especially for smaller more specialized collections. But because they don't hold as many pages generally, I think if you tried to collect the world using three-ring binder stamp albums like these, you'd quickly need thirty or more. For smaller collections, a few binders (and hopefully slipcases) would most likely do it. I have Tunisia, for example, in three of the Vario G binders with slipcases. But I may be moving them to a blank album with larger pages (like Schaubek's nice blank pages, all of which fit their various album options including springback, two-post, and six-ring). I like larger pages for their greater elegance and the "breathing room" they give a page of mounted stamps -- another drawback for me of most three-ring binder albums. But I don't want to be too negative about what can be a pretty decent looking and very inexpensive way to collect stamps.
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Edited by DrewM - 12/11/2016 9:37 pm
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Posted 12/12/2016   06:29 am  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Drew

I wonder if you're looking at a more restricted US/Canada range of Lighthouse binders? In Europe, the Grande is available in similar forms of padded binder/slipcase to the Vario.

http://www.michaelkay.co.uk/brochur...brochure.pdf

Geoff
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Posted 12/12/2016   07:39 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I ended up ordering 5 more Vario G binders but also getting more of the Memory Keepers for my souvenir page collection. The seller claims they import directly from Germany and implied the binder is different that what is normally sold here. I could not really confirm this.



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Al
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Posted 12/12/2016   08:04 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add kirks to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
You guys are talking about MIT_63. He's very good to do business with. MANY of us on SCF use his eBay store to purchase Vario Pages & Binder.

http://goscf.com/t/18163
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Posted 12/12/2016   10:53 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Jkjblue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Again, just to be aware, the binders come in either 3 ring or 4 ring. Make sure you are ordering the correct one, if that is important to you.

My Steiner pages are 3 hole punched, and so I am practically limited to the 3 ring type. I have suffered the mistake of receiving 4 ring binders (I thought I was ordering the 3 ring Vario F), and was sent a 4 ring version, with an explanation that this was an extra feature that I should be grateful for, as it provided more security. !

I ended up obtaining a European style hole puncher that could do 4 holes, and re-punched some pages with 4 holes, but it was a hassle and I was not happy that the number of rings was not disclosed by the seller. Of course it was my fault for not doing greater due diligence before ordering also. So, a word to the wise from a (now) wiser customer.
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Classical era collecting with the Blues
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Edited by Jkjblue - 12/12/2016 5:08 pm
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Posted 12/12/2016   11:31 am  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
In general, the more rings, the more secure the binder and the greater the ease of page-turning. Three-ring binders are pretty much unknown in Europe, so less chance of ordering mistakes here. I find that a range of hole-punches is a small and useful investment for the collector of printed ephemera, especially one of Jim's eminence.
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Posted 12/12/2016   11:33 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
On Amazon, there is one listing for a Vario F that states 3 ring but in the description below states 4 rings. Reviewer comments ordered thinking it was a 3 ring.
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Al
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Posted 12/12/2016   12:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dutchman1948 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The Lighthouse G binder is a "regular" sized (about 8.5 x 11" but I have not measured it) 3-ring binder with round rings.

Drew:

I don't believe this is correct. The Vario F has the round rings, the Vario G has "U" rings and the Vario Grande has D rings.

The Vario F's have the textured appearance like the turnbar binders, and both the Vario G and the Grande have the smooth vinyl appearance.

The F's hold the least number of pages, the Grande next, and the G holds the most.

The F's and G's are designed for similar size pages and the Grande is designed for larger size pages but has less capacity as stated earlier.

The G's hold the most, look very nice, but the "U" rings do not allow easy turning as you have to lift the pages over the "U" instead of just turning them. If you want to move a number of pages at once, it can be difficult. If you are not careful, it is very easy to damage pages.

If you have to use interleaving, it is an even bigger problem.

Right now I have about 75 of the G's, 20 of the F's and only 1 Grande. I may move some of the pages out of the G's into International binders, especially the Minkus Internationals which require interleaving. They are also punched with holes way too big and tend to hang in the normal binders.

Amos in their wisdom, punched all the holes the same size instead of the 2 post larger than the 3 ring holes.
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Edited by dutchman1948 - 12/12/2016 12:16 pm
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Posted 12/12/2016   1:27 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Jkjblue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
The Vario F has the round rings, the Vario G has "U" rings and the Vario Grande has D rings.

The Vario F's have the textured appearance like the turnbar binders, and both the Vario G and the Grande have the smooth vinyl appearance.

The F's hold the least number of pages, the Grande next, and the G holds the most.

The F's and G's are designed for similar size pages and the Grande is designed for larger size pages but has less capacity as stated earlier.

The G's hold the most


dutchman1948"s descriptions are essentially correct in my experience also.

A couple of additional comments..

The three ring Vario F's hold about ninety 8.5 X 11" one sided Steiner pages with the stamps in mounts (No interleaving).

The three ring Vario G's have about three times the capacity of the Vario F's.

In my view, the Vario F's are more elegant with the padded binder and smaller capacity, with the fewer pages therein being highlighted. If I had my preferences, and didn't have to worry about cost, I would use all Vario F's.

What the Vario G's have going for them is the much larger capacity. The same capacity would require three Vario F's with a much higher cost outlay. Also, for larger WW countries (I collect the 1840-1940 WW era) that exceed 90 pages up to 270 pages, the Vario G's would house them in one binder.

The Vario G Binder also houses a larger page than the Vario F Binder. For instance, the Vario G Binder will accommodate the Minkus Supreme three hole punched pages (as sold now by Amos) and fit into the slipcase, while the Vario F Binder is too small for the Minkus pages.
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Classical era collecting with the Blues
http://bigblue1840-1940.blogspot.com/
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Posted 12/12/2016   2:11 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dutchman1948 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
jkjblue:

Do you also have the new Minkus pages in the G albums? If so, how do you find the you rings for use with those pages?
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Posted 12/12/2016   4:58 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Jkjblue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Do you also have the new Minkus pages in the G albums? If so, how do you find the you rings for use with those pages?


dutchman1948-

I keep my primary collection on Steiner pages (1840-1940, British Commonwealth to 1952) in the Vario Fs and Vario Gs binders.

My secondary collection (1840-1967) is in Minkus Supreme pages in Avery Heavy Duty three ring (D-ring) binders. This is a work in progress, and I haven't proceeded very far, so most of the stamps are still in feeder albums or pages. I use interleaving for the Minkus pages as they are two sided, and the stamps are mounted with hinges.

So to answer your question- yes, the Minkus pages fit in the Vario G's, but I don't house them that way.

As you know, the Vario G's have "U" rings. Actually, for the Steiner pages I have, they work fine- but I don't use interleaving, as mentioned, for the Steiner pages.

You said the "U" rings were a bit of a pain with the Minkus pages, and especially with interleaving. Your experience trumps (perhaps I shouldn't use that word anymore ;-) my lack of experience in this area.

Best Regards!

Jim
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Posted 12/12/2016   5:52 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jkelley01938 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have MYSTIC and PALO albums. And, despite the lower quality. I like the MYSTIC's better. Probably because of the "D" rings.

Jack Kelley
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Posted 12/16/2016   1:47 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Blaamand to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting reviews. I would like to add that Lighthouse also produce the "Grande Classic Signum "- which is similar to Grande Classic but with a pre-arranged slot on the back of the binder for a back label.



I have just started to transfer my collection into these albums on Grande Vario pages - and I am very satisfied so far. 4 D-rings. Superb bookbinding leather quality, elegant and the right classical look. The label seems to me "a must" as I am expecting to end up at around 100 of these albums....all in black.

As already pointed out - I will highly recommend Nordfrim AS Their prices seems unbeatable on the market - and shipping is free anywhere in the world if making a significant order. They even granted me a significant discount (on their already low prices) when purchasing a large bulk lot. Excellent customer support and follow-up by them, no doubt I will continue using them for the future. (....and no, I do not have any shares in the company or economic motivation for my recommendation - I am just eager to let others get their albums at best possible prices so you can save your money and rather buy more stamps!)

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Posted 12/16/2016   3:22 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I had asked Mystic for a bulk price on albums and slip cases and the customer service rep said they do not do that. This is how I ended up looking elsewhere.
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Al
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