VPI's $900 Cliffwood introduced

Discussion in 'Vinyl Nutjob World: Turntable and Related Gear' started by ButtUglyJeff, Jul 1, 2017.

  1. ButtUglyJeff

    ButtUglyJeff Stunningly beautiful IRL

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,634
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Rochester, NY


    Maybe something like this could be a sweet new entry point to vinyl?

    Specs:

    [​IMG]

    The Table:

    • 1.25”" thick textured vinyl covered non-resonant MDF chassis.

    • 16" x 11" footprint

    • 19” x 14” x6” overall size

    • Aluminum Platter

    • Platter rotates on an oil bath bearing

    • The bearing has a PEEK thrust disc and machined graphite impregnated brass bushings using a Thompson Engineering 60 Rockwell case hardened shaft.

    Tonearm:

    • New 9” vertical Yoke type tonearm with lateral type bearing.

    • Pivot to spindle: 223mm

    • Effective length: 240.7mm

    • Overhang: 17.7mm

    • Offset angle: 22.85 degrees

    • Average RMS distortion: .36%

    • Damped machined aluminum armtube.

    • Very pure copper wire, twisted with special insulating jacket.

    • The armbase is upgradeable to a standard JMW 9 arm.

    Additional Specifications:

    Type Belt drive (manual turntable)

    Motor 600 RPM AC Motor - 2 speed pulley

    Turntable Platter Aluminum

    Diameter 11.81” (30.0 cm)

    Turntable Speeds 33.3 RPM and 45 RPM

    Cartridge VPI/Grado Green

    Dimensions 18.5” (470 mm) W x 13.5” (343 mm) D x 4.3” (109 mm)H

    Weight 12.9 lbs. (5.9 kg)


    Cartridge Specifications:

    Frequency Response: 10-50
    Principal: MI
    Channel Separation at 1KHz: 30
    Input Load: 47K
    Output at 1KHz (5CM/sec.): 5mV
    Recommended Tracking Force: 1.5
    Stylus Type: Elliptical
    Inductance: 45mH
    Resistance: 475
    Compliance CUs: 20
    Stylus Replacement (U=user): U


    http://www.vpiindustries.com/cliffwood

    Well, what are the expert's opinions here?
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2017
  2. shaizada

    shaizada Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,772
    Trophy Points:
    93
    That's very impressive....that is really a LOT Of table for the money. This might be the new entry level turntable king from what I am reading.

    I would need to hear it to be sure. One wrong material mismatch and a great product can be reduced to something lesser. My main concern is the overlay of the vinyl on the whole mdf plinth. That would change the resonant characteristics of the whole unit. Constrained layer dampening helps MDF become more inert and fuller sounding.

    All conjecture...I would love to hear one. If SBAF wants to buy one and have me evaluate it, I'm game. I can give the yeah or neigh depending on what I hear.

    EDIT: that Nude Grado cartridge Moving Iron cartridge looks super interesting as well! Looks like Matt Weisfeld is coming out guns a blazing to capture the entry level market segment....my my he is growing into a smarter business man it may seem!
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2017
  3. JayC

    JayC Resident Crash Test Dummy

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    748
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Eindhoven
    Yes please! I dont have a say on this but I'd love to know what you think!
    Its a fight between this and the new MoFi StudioDeck, isnt it? Or do you think based on the specs that one is already better than the other?
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2017
  4. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex SBAF's Imelda Marcos

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    12,994
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Uhh, SBAF runs on donations. Why wouldn't you buy it and evaluate it and let us know what you think if you're interested, Gaurav? You can always resell easily. People listen to you.
     
  5. shaizada

    shaizada Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,772
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Ravi, if it makes its way into my setup, I'll gladly review it. The only reason to do it, for me, is to help the SBAF community, as I have always been doing from the very first day since I've joined :)

    Also, please feel free to PM me next time you want to call me out. Thanks.
     
  6. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex SBAF's Imelda Marcos

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    12,994
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I love you to death, Gaurav, but you get honest open feedback publicly just like all of our members. This is "super best audio friends," not "super best audio awkward family who can't talk openly with each other."
     
  7. drfindley

    drfindley Secretly lives in the Analog Room - Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,531
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Austin
    uh, I think he's just talking about the loaner program, right? Regardless, this vs. the MoFi would be really interesting to hear.
     
  8. shaizada

    shaizada Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,772
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Ok Ravi, that works for me...good explanation.

    Now, if I come across any of these turntables and am able to hear them in my system, I will GLADLY review it. The community really needs a solid entry level table to get their feet wet properly. To see what the fuss is all about with analog. The MoFi and this new VPI are shaping up really nicely for that.

    If someone does end up buying either of them, feel free to bring it by to listen at my place. We can figure out together how well they perform.

    Personally, I don't care. I care for just one thing....allowing the membership here to get the absolute best performance for their hard earned funds. The analog world is a jungle and if I can help it, I will help to navigate it.

    EDIT: Yes Adam, I was talking about in terms of the LOANER program that SBAF has to figure this stuff out. Thanks for clarifying that.
     
  9. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    81,306
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Padre Island CC TX
    The loaner program is figured out. It's been going on for a while now. Turntables are poor candidates for the program because of their nature. They are heavy, delicate, and require someone who is anal to set up correctly. By the time a table reached Iowa, it might be destroyed.

    Maybe a sub $400 table like the U-turn, but not these.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2017
  10. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    81,306
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Padre Island CC TX
    But anyway, if anyone has an "in" with any of these vendors or retailers, let me know. We can make exceptions in this case because the costs are reduced or risks are shared.
     
  11. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,322
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Do any of these entry tables have tonearms with azimuth adjustability? I dont see an obvious method on either the Mofo or VPI provided arms. Though it looks like the VPI allows for easy/direct mounting of a JMW 9". And if it were to be a choice between azimuth or not, and possibly VTA on the fly, that'd be the deciding factor at least for me.
     
  12. TheIceman93

    TheIceman93 El pato-zorro

    Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2016
    Likes Received:
    1,192
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    SoCal
    VPI Cliffwood vs MoFi Table. Decisions, decisions.
     
  13. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    81,306
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Padre Island CC TX
    That arm looks like a POS. Don't see adjustments for azimuth. Heck, the U-turn unipivot arm is better.
    cliffordarm.png
    The best thing about the table is the hefty platter; but not sure about the oil bath bearing = cheap low tolerances.

    A HUGE step down from the prior entry level VPI Traveler which had a better gimbal arm and a composite aluminum/delrin plinth (and supposed could take the Classic platter), but this will also be priced much less.

    You get what you pay for. Those who snatched up the heavy Classic 1's at $1800 used or even less got the best deals. Seems used prices on the Classic tables are going up.
     
  14. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,322
    Trophy Points:
    113
    For 900 total, I don't think we can assume that platter is solid aluminum. Maybe it's hollow and filled with the cheap tonearm epoxy - or nothing. And plinth... there are obviously cutouts underneath for the motor mount, spindle, phono junction box, DC converter and so forth. [EDIT: Oh shit, it's an AC motor.] You're left with very little plinth mass. How can you isolate the motor. Probably $0.05 shock mounts from Grainger. And, ya, dat arm!! Good googlie, I'd want to grease/oil that lateral bearing interface weekly. I wonder how long you can go before friction starts to cause mistracking.

    Man I feel like I'm basking in negativity, but I'd definitely recommend holding out / saving up for a used Classic 1. It wouldn't surprise if Mat's wet dream is to sell through at Best Buy.
     
  15. Chris F

    Chris F Boyz 4 Now Fanatic - Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    802
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Why not a new 1200GR at $1699? Beyond the obvious cost delta I think you get a lot more quality materials and engineering for your money. If keeps most of the 1200G sound it's going to be a big winner IMO.
     
  16. ButtUglyJeff

    ButtUglyJeff Stunningly beautiful IRL

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,634
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    While I don't disagree with you, at what point do you jump in? Don't get the U-Turn get the Cliffwood. Don't get the Cliffwood get the Mofi. Don't get the Mofi get the Technics....

    How long should should one wait before making the plunge? Not until you have $2k in the bank? That seems extreme.

    I was kinda hoping the veterans would not think about what they have now, but what they started off with. If you had to do it again, would you maybe start here instead?

    I know there is zero real world impressions out there, so I guess its mostly speculation...
     
  17. MrTie

    MrTie Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2015
    Likes Received:
    808
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    A.B.E. - PA
    I wonder why they didn't just make a 3d printed arm for it and save some more money. :)
     
  18. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    81,306
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Padre Island CC TX
    $500 to $1500 new for turntables is no man's land. There is a huge gap in this area. While these tables may pique the interest of the vinyl boys here, I don't see any of them, including myself, rushing out to buy these tables.

    The higher end MoFo looks good, but it's $2000+. Better off with a used $4000 table if you are going to spend $2000. Otherwise go U-turn. There's not an insignificant chance that new entrants will tire of the vinyl thing. I've already seen it happen. Unless you have money to blow, you want minimize your monetary downside.

    Personally, I'd rather use digital or a U-turn than go for a compromised $900-$1200 table. Keep in mind that this price does not include a needle or a phonostage. Or better downstream components to take advantage of your legacy high resolution source.

    There are great rewards doing a TT properly, but this is very much a high rollers club. Poor people need not apply. People without significant assets or aren't at least semi-winners working for winnerish companies need not apply. Yeah. It sucks to be you. Doesn't feel good being poor. I was poor once too.

    If you can't save up $2000 for a good TT setup, then you probably shouldn't be getting one. TTs are about patience and perseverance. Stick with digital or a U-turn.

    Don't bother with no man's land tables that are in some aspects better than digital, other aspects horribad compared to digital, and overall worse than a decent DAC.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017
  19. Stapsy

    Stapsy Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    339
    Trophy Points:
    63
    As someone who is in a similar situation to you, I think you have to remember that the experts are recommending where you get the best bang for your buck. A Classic 1 will allow you to experience vinyl at a high level for a reasonable price (in the hi-fi world). That doesn't necessarily mean you need to drop 2 grand on a table to enjoy vinyl.

    My advice is to figure out what you want from vinyl and what you get at different price levels. I don't think it is news to anyone that the Cliffwood's plinth, platter, and arm won't match the quality of a Classic, but we also know that a Gungnir Multibit won't be as good as a Yggdrasil. Buying a cheaper turntable will mean some sacrifice. As long as you understand what you are getting then I say give it a try and see if you like it. I find the hardest thing is understanding the "vinyl sound" when you don't have any experience. At some point you have to take the plunge. Worst case scenario is you gain some experience, lose a little money on re-sale and buy something else.
     
  20. gaspasser

    gaspasser Flatulence Maestro

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2016
    Likes Received:
    5,656
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Suburban DC
    Marv's advice (among others) is why I really like this place. @ButtUglyJeff your line of questioning mirrors my exact frustrations. @Marvey's post really is excellent advice that tempers my enthusiasm for vinyl. I am in this boat, and have a midfi analog setup and a decent collection of records. However, with the rising price of used records and insane prices of new releases and audiophile half speed remasters; vinyl is looking more like a wealthy persons' game. I'm more inclined to keep with digital; especially with the dropping prices of used CDs, availability of good transports for cheap, and excellent value proposition of Schiit multibit DACs (among others).
    Frankly, after recently getting a Gungnir Multibit, I haven't touched a record and I'm cool with that.
     

Share This Page