VPI Directions in 2017.

Discussion in 'Vinyl Nutjob World: Turntable and Related Gear' started by Wfojas, Jan 19, 2017.

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  1. Wfojas

    Wfojas Friend

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    My friend Jonathan Towle posted this in another group. He is usually a very reliable source. Not sure if VPI expanding to electronics is wise. I know reception to their integrated amp is fairly muted, at best.


    Yes, this is the new top of the rationalized VPI line.

    As Mat Weisfeld explained at a recent gathering at Harry Weisfeld's house in New Jersey, the new approach is to have one turntable at each price point. In the past, they've gone in all different directions, confusing their customers and themselves with too many models. The lineup is now: Player, Scout, Prime, Prime Signature, Avenger, Avenger Plus, Avenger Signature, Titan. That is if Harry can resist building custom models and one-offs.

    We got to see the latest 3D printed arm in the new dual-pivot configuration on a prototype of some sort. As Mat explained to me, the arms now look much nicer, and the dual pivot makes the arm seem more stable to customers, but the sonic effect is not all that great.

    One of the other rooms had the Mark Levinson turntable that VPI designed and built for Harman, whose fate is now uncertain after the acquisition by Samsung. It was playing with the double Ohm F speakers, a staple at the Weisfeld residence.

    VPI is apparently going to introduce their own phono preamp, and have hired an electronics specialists to help them do that work and upgrade some other things. He has already made substantial improvments in the built-in preamp in the Player, formerly the Nomad. The room with the Player had been set up with Joseph speakers by Jeff Joseph, who was in attendance with his son, but the room was wide open and very noisy with partying guests. So I listened through headphones into the built-in headphone jack, and it seemed quite good for the money.

    I did miss one important announcement. While I was in some other room, Mat said that VPI was going to bring the manufacture of the direct-dirve motor in-house. They have had a lot of trouble with their current supplier, and for this reason have not been able to sell as many direct-drive turntables as they would have liked. I would also hope they are able to cut the price; the existing motor cost over $3K delivered to Clifton.

    https://parttimeaudiophile.com/2017...eyes-on-challenging-top-reference-turntables/
     
  2. JoshMorr

    JoshMorr Friend

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    I can see the business side of things, wanting to make fewer models, one at each price point, etc - but why kill the Classic line, beloved at several price points, and evolutionary descendant of the HW-19 - which has a whole subculture keeping it alive. I also seen several people jump from Classic 1/2 to Classic 3/4 as they realized the limitations of their systems.

    One on hand I feel for Mat - I am also a son taking over his fathers business and over the years I thought I saw ways that the old man was doing things wrong and room for improvement. But as the previous generation steps back, its important to remember what got the company to this point. Do not cut quality or customer service. Listen to your loyal customers. Its easy to be lost in thinking about the future and what you should become that you lose your footing.

    On the other hand I tend to support companies more in Harry's direction - people with a true passion for their work, never being satisfied with good enough, and accounting be damned.
     
  3. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    It will be interesting to compare their phono against MFSL's. I do think simplifying their lineup is smart. I wish they hadn't ditched the Classic but many people seem very happy with their new offerings and at least those of us with Classics won't lose support should something need to be fixed on our tables.
     
  4. Wfojas

    Wfojas Friend

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    Current line and MSRP prices.

    New Scout @ 2k (which looks like a Prime Jr)
    Prime @ 4k (replaces Classic 2 price point)
    Prime Reference @ 6k (replacing Classic 3 price point)

    Beyond 6k we get into the Avenger-style architecture:

    Avenger (10k)
    Avenger Plus (15k)
    Avenger Reference (20k) (new lower price)

    Then there is one they're calling Vanquish which is basically an
    Avenger Direct Drive and I believe that's coming in @ 40k

    And lastly the Titan @ 48k (or 50k IIRC)
    The original Classic Direct did in fact carry an MSRP
    of 30k. That was the official retail price.
     
  5. Dino

    Dino Friend

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