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Vol. 14, No. 1 Spring/Summer, 2011



NEW PRODUCTS

VPI

In issue 12, we discussed the introduction of the VPI Classic turntable. In the intervening time, the Classic has garnered serious praise, winning such awards as "Turntable of the Year for 2009" from Hi Fi Plus and two "Golden Ear Awards" from Harry Pearson (2009) and Anthony Cordesman (2010) of The Absolute Sound. The Classic is now known as the Classic 1 at $2750, and has had a few upgrades and updates since the Classic was launched. VPI has added two more models, the Classic 2 ($3500) and the Classic 3 ($6000). Features common to all of the models are:

  • Classic 2 tonearm wired with silver coated pure copper wire, 10.5" long arm tube made from aluminum and stainless steel, critically damped in the arm tube to keep the arm and wires from vibrating
  • New 6061 machined aluminum 18-pound high inertia platter with precision inverted bearing and stainless steel damping plate
  • Speed stability on par with a master tape due to the rigid mounting of motor, platter, and tonearm so there is no random motion to cause speed instabilities.
  • Noise rejection so effective that it allows the Classic Turntable to sit on a wood shelf near four 15" subwoofers with virtually no feedback.
  • Lack of random motion between the motor/platter/tonearm gives the ultimate in low level resolution. Not only does this rigidity improve speed stability, it also allows the retrieval of low-level information that challenges the world's great turntables and master tapes.
  • Absolutely solid, non-resonant laminated one-piece chassis holding all components. This is not a wooden frame; it is a solid laminated 2.5" thick MDF block with 11 gauge steel attached to the top with silicone and long bolts through all the layers. The chassis weighs 30 pounds and is totally non-resonant.
  • Solid black oak or solid walnut wood finish on all four sides.
  • RCA jack termination so you can use the interconnect of your choice. XLR jack termination block is optional.
  • Tonearm anti-skate for those that require the fine adjustment of anti-skate

VPI Classic 2 turntable with Classic 2 tonearmThe VPI Classic 2 turntable comes standard with everything on the Classic 1 plus the addition of the "VTA on the fly" micrometer adjustment base. This is the ideal turntable for music lovers who really want to dial in the proper Stylus Rake Angle (SRA) for different thickness records and even different cutting stylus angles in the same company's records. There is no doubt, verified by long listening tests, that the records made in the late 50's and the 70's were cut differently, with different thicknesses of vinyl, requiring differing SRA adjustments for optimal playback. For those who want to extract every last drop of information and to get the noise level as low as possible, the correct SRA is required.

VPI Classic 3 turntable with Classic 2 tonearmThe Classic 3 features a ˝-inch thick machined aluminum plinth bonded to a 1/8-inch steel sub plate, bonded to 2 inches of MDF creating a plinth which is so massive and well damped it virtually eliminates resonance. The Classic 3 has an updated arm that features new stainless steel arm-tube, bearing assembly, base mounting, and Nordost Valhalla wiring from cartridge to RCA (or XLR) output jacks. To take full advantage of the amazing speed stability of the Classic design, VPI includes the extremely-popular Periphery Ring Clamp and HR-X weight. New feet were designed for greater stability, better isolation, and a matching look to the larger chassis. To complete the visual aesthetic of this state of the art design, VPI chose a deep Piano Black finish to perfectly counterpoint the silvery sheen of the top section. The sound of the Classic 3 Turntable is powerful, airy, shockingly quick, and deathly quiet, with speed stability equal to any turntable in the world at any price.

VPI Scout II turntable with JMW 9T tonearmIn other important news, VPI has added another model to the Scout line, the Scout II at $2200. In the seven years since its introduction, the original Scout has become the best-reviewed turntable on the planet. The Scout II uses the same outboard motor and plinth, but the exquisite platter and tonearm are something quite special. Every VPI Scout II comes standard with the JMW 9T. This incredible tonearm features a redesigned arm tube that is tapered and filled with a proprietary damping material. This design greatly reduces internal resonance, yielding a full and rich sound, with a vast soundstage and increased resolution and detail. The added mass also produces deeper bass response and excellent compatibility with moving coil cartridges. For maximum stability and speed accuracy, the platter is made from 1 7/8-inch thick machined 6061 aluminum and is attached to a non-magnetic 303 stainless steel damping plate. The entire piece weighs in at an impressive 18 pounds. Because the aluminum is grounded to the steel, there is virtually no static buildup or sonic degradation. What's in the grooves is what comes out of your speakers. The VPI Scout II's plinth is made from 1 1/8" thick MDF bonded to a 12 gauge steel plate giving a rigid, non-resonant plinth. The massive platter sits on a chrome-hardened ball bearing held by a 60 Rockwell-hardened shaft, below which is a black Delran nut. The VPI Scout II generates absolutely no additional noise for a pristinely quiet spin. The AC synchronous motor is contained in a separate steel housing and drives the platter via an Aries belt. This combination produces quiet yet stable running with extremely accurate speed.

 

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