Has anyone seen or heard this in person yet? It looks like a sweet table from the pictures on the VPI web-site.
Also looking into the VPI classic and saw it in the Esoteric room at the CES 2009. At that Time I didn't know it's price or much about it. HP is pretty high on it and gave it a golden ear award for 2009 along with almost every other VPI table that is released every year. Is there a VPI table that's not fantastic or doesn't win golden ears? lol If anyone tested it let us know. Is it really better than the VPI superscoutmaster rim drive????
Harry Weisfeld has built some pretty amazing products over the years. He does a huge amount of analog research, is extremely knowledgable and is one of a very few people who will answer your questions honestly. Even though I don't own and never have owned a VPI, I have tremendous respect for Harry's design abilities and will most certainly give him the benefit of doubt regarding the above post.
It's an interesting endorsement, especially not having owned a VPI ever. Him being a great guy, and doing research and knowledge is all great, but has anyone actullay tried it in their system and if they did what other components did you use associated with it.
Go look in audioasylum.com .
I recently purchased the VPI Classic with the SDS speed controler, the outer ring and balanced connectors. I use a Dynavector 17D3 Karat thru the Ayre phone stage. All I can say is I am extremely pleased with the sound. It is as good as any TT I have heard (and I have had the pleasure of attending the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest the last two years running). In fact, the proof is that there were more rooms equipped with the VPI Scout than any other TT .
I am curious about your setup, because my PLC isn't working and I'm considering the SDS. Have you tried your VPI with and without the SDS in the setup? If so what are your impressions? Thanks.
There is an underground dealer in South Florida that sells all of VPI turntables and parts at a modest discount. It turns out that some of these , if not most are defective factory seconds or prototypes that could not be sold to reputable VPI dealers.
Myself I purchased a bearing this way that disintegrated after at most two hundred hours. Later the same underground dealer sold me (prepaid weeks in advance $1200) a platter with inverted bearing and stainless steel clamping ring that would not fit on the platter. After sending the platter & clamping ring back to a N.J. private address at my expense, I later received the same platter and honed out ring that is now too big. To compensate for it being too loose someone stuck three pieces of tape on the inside of the ring, and to this day I cannot use the clamping ring, but still have it as a reminder not to deal or even talk to him anymore.
Later that year (around 2004) Music Direct was selling the same upgrade kit for less than what I paid ($1200) for the reject kit. You just don't have any recourse when you prepay to an underground dealer who doesn't give receipts, and then after finally receiving defective goods, have to send the defects to an address of someone other than Harry Weisfeld for exchange not knowing if you will get anything at all returned.
Anyway, I don't know who is still to this day sending VPI turntables and parts out the back door(I have never spoken to Harry Weisfeld), but I do know that the reputable South Florida VPI dealer (Hollywood Sound) is being hurt financially by these unscrupulous deals.
Do I know this guy?
new review of the VPI Classic that just came out on The Audio Beat (new audio website from Marck Mickelson, former editor at Soundstage.com, and Paul Bolin, formerly of Stereophile). Review emphasizes the Classic's rythmic and timing stability and dynamic presentation. Interesting review. Here it is:
Does TAS have any plans to review the VPI Classic any time soon? There seems to be a fair amount of enthusiasm by early adopters of this new tt from VPI on various forums and also a fair amount of controversy given the seeming 180 turn Mr. Weisfeld has taken in reversing certain key tt design principles (integrated motor in plinth vs. stand-alone motor, aluminum vs. acrylic platter, etc...). I know HP gave the VPI Classic an Editor's award mid-year but was wondering if TAS plans to do a more comprehensive review. Thx
So, have you auditioned one yet?
Waiting for my local VPI dealer to get one (has one on order).
And if you like it, will you purchase it, or still wait for the TAS review?
i.e., do i need external affirmation to make me feel good about my audio purchases?
I hope you don't, but you'd be surprised how many people need to see a review first.
Hi fi+ reviewed it in the recent issue 68 (available online) and also awarded it Turntable of the year award for 2009. I doubt that TAS will review it after H.P's quick note on it. I don't think HP's was really a full review, its more like a summary. It would be nice if Stereophile reviews it. There is a reviewer in the recent Stereophile issue who did a followup on the Nagra phono preamp with the VPI Classic and he is pretty high on it too. But no full review of the Classic in Stereophile yet. I don't see anything wrong with cmalak wanting the views of several experts on the turntable to make a good purchase. All of sunday niagara's comments are like that or may be its the tone....I don't know and couldn't care less. I do care to know what other experts who have actually heard this and many other tables think of this product specially when Harry Pearson says "the classic holds its own against the Clearaudio statement turntable". ..... the more expert views on this the better.
Have you been able to hear the "Classic?"
Here it is: http://www.avguide.com/review/hifi-plus-68-the-vpi-classic-turntable. It is now posted on AVGuide. Similar to Marck Mickelson's review that I posted earlier from TAB, Roy Gregory's review from Hifi+ focuses on speed stability, power, and dynamic range of the VPI Classic. Also emphasizes the Classic's ability to portray space very well. He says resolution/detail is there for the listener to pick out but it is not spot lit, which to me is a positive more natural sounding presentation. Sam, if you get a chance to audition the table please report on your findings. i will do the same once my local audio dealer receives their Classic.
"You are not authorized to access this page."????????????????????????????????????????????????
Hey Mark...sorry looks like the review of the Classic on Hifi+ was released first to GEC members and should be released i think to everyone else in a week (i think) on the AVGuide site. I didn't see the GEC moniker next to the article when I fist posted it. It will be out shortly I guess.
SundayNiagara...I don't need to wait for the review...if I like what I hear when I audition it, then it gets on the short list. the only reason I am asking about a potential review is that this would be my first tt setup ever and so the reviews help me classify the sonic qualities of the competing tables in the price range i am considering, and since tt auditioning at high-end audio dealers is not as prevalent or easily done as it once was, what the reviews do is help supplement the auditioning process...thx for asking :-)
Sam...i don't take offense to either SundayNiagara's question or his tone...although I do seem to recall someone harassing a certain JV about his opinions on recenlty introduced gear from ARC :-)
it's all good
"although I do seem to recall someone harassing a certain JV about his opinions on recenlty introduced gear from ARC :-)
it's all good"
And that wasn't me. I'm a card carrying member of the ARC fan club.
PS: I think this is what you referred to:
"Anonymous_XXXUserXXX (not verified) -- Thu, 10/22/2009 - 15:41
What's the rest of your system? Have you heard the ARC yourself?
Mr. Valin seems to be very tepid about it. Does that mean you will steer away from it?"
as am I :-) just giving you a hard time...
Hi, I'm thinking about upgrading from my Marantz TT-15S1 to either the VPI Classic or VPI Scoutmaster w/the JMW 9 signature tonearm. Has anyone compared the VPI Classic with the Scoutmaster?
I am puzzled. VPI made superb decks with proper, well thought out suspension (I enjoyed a TNT 3 for many years.) Recently there has been a fashion for offering decks with no real suspension at all (its cheap and easy!)...something Mr Gregory and a few other reviewers seem at pains to ignore. Excuses such as the difficulty of combining suspension with speed stability are just that..excuses. Overcoming such issues is what good design and engineering is all about. I have never heard a suspensionless deck which did not have feedback issues .....not always immediately obvious but always there. Without a good suspension that is certain. Mass alone won't do it (think of vibrations in the frame of a well-built house). Frankly, offering expensive decks without suspension is as stupid as offering a car with no suspension. As for 'aftermarket' solutions...how lazy is that? Sorry if that seems a bit of a 'rant' but some reviewers seem far too ready to go along with this sort of corner cutting. In the end, the 'classic' will be limited by a tendency for feedback..whether reviewers are willing to hear that or not.
A good test is to listen, then install such a deck on a laboratory grade isolation device. The differences are pretty stark. Far more so than with a good suspension, such as the bigger SMEs etc. The laws of physics will not be ignored!. Let's have a return to some good old-fashioned proper engineering.
Have you tried this?
ABSOLUTELY WELL SAID, SIR!
Why should audiophiles go back to less developed engineering "solutions" that are more cost-cutting that anything else?
My system is heavily modified by myself as a way to permanently search for a better sound through a D.I.Y. approach, seriously and painstakingly pursued, based on my 31 years of engineering practice; which has teached me that every time someone claims that an "improvement" is easily and magically done (while bending the laws of Physics), he is either lying, or trying to steal from people, or just happen to have a too-large imagination!.
I do not have the money to go out and buy two or three of the most expensive and so much praised turntables just to compare and choose the best one for me, so I'm forced to apply some very basic (and sound) principles and keep modifying and modifying my old Thorens belt drive, that now has only a few of its original parts remaining, with a series of newly built parts, tried and fitted or discarded when such modifications show no improvement or worse.
Now, if I (or a few of my friends) am/are capable of performing several modifications to a turntable with audible improvments, why is that a "new" model of a formerly solid and respectable turntable design could be "improved" by removing well proven geometries and structure to employ much crude,simpler but cheap "redesigns"...
It is the lack of solid knowledge and technical background that makes many present day reviewers praise the latest models, when they should be criticizing them. Present day Audio is full of B.S. and plainly stupid esoterism, that has more in common with black magic than real engineered designs of the past. And your 'rant' is welcome, and badly needed.
I have not heard the 'Classic'; however I have done tests on the VPI' Scout' and several other decks which lack proper suspension...including the Judith Spotheim 'La Luce', a well-mounted Garrard 401 and a Rega. In each case I compared their performance used on a good wallshelf with their sound when on an air-pump controlled Vibraplane. Each deck sounded good on the wall shelf, with a complete absence of obvious feedback. However, when put on the Vibraplane it was obvious that a whole layer of 'grunge' disappeared. And this was in conditons favourable to the decks. I then did the same test on two decks with suspension, a late model Linn LP12 and an SME 30.Again, the use of the vibraplane brought audible improvements, but of a much much slighter nature than for the suspensionless decks. The decks with suspension were audibly suoperior at filtering out external noise.
Reviewers such as Mr Grewgory have claimed that issues of speed stability favour suspensionless decks, and presumably outweight the feeback issue (remember here that the cartridge signal is being magnified by up to ten thiousand times. Any vibration will be greatly magnified.) The trouble with this argument is that it is demonstrably false....both the Linn and SME haave impeccable speed stability, indeed they measure as rather more speed stable than much of the suspoensionless competition. Even worse, the lack of concentric holes in most (most) vinyl ensures that many records will have audibly speed instability, regardless of how stable the actual deck is. I adore vinyl, but it doesn't do everything so well. In practice the ability to isolate the cartridge from vibration, within the deck and from the wider enviroment, is basic to good design. Sorry, but that is the empirical truth and verbiage from reviewers cannot change it.
You are missing the point and blowing smoke from years of reading nonsense in audio magazines, isolation is wonderful, just not between the drive and the platter. Roy Gregory has it absolutely correct, suspensions like the Linn and the SME will induce FM sidebands that cause a smearing and loss of absolute focus. At HP's the Classic is sitting close to the 4 15" woofers of his reference system, sitting on a wooden shelf, and the sound is exactly as HP says. Put the Classic on a microscope isolation platform and it will sound better, and cost $10,000.00. You have to compare apples and apples.
A Classic sitting on a 3" thick butcher block shelf sitting on 4 rubber balls will give you speed stability and isolation for $2700.00. The SME 30 is 14 times the price and the Linn is more than double and neither has the speed stability of the Classic. I've heard the Clearaudio and the Classic in the same room on the same system with Goldfingers in both and the difference was not 30 times in price, not even double. Remember, the Clearaudio was sitting on a 700 pound seismic table the Classic on a 3/4" piece of plywood.
The Classic is a breakthrough in lower priced high end tables, this may bother you but the truth is the truth. Note, VPI does not advertise so there is no incentive to give good reviews (as some people think) yet they get them because the reviewers actually feel they are good turntables and have the knowledge and experience to know the differences.
A great first post and welcome aboard!
I have my Thorens TD-124 (original owner, 1963) sitting on a turntable isolation base you made back in the 1970s. A steel plate mounted on a number of springs, set in a wooden frame. I have been using it since the '70s. Nice job!
I hate buying stuff that doesn't last.
This isssue has been discussed in here previously and is sure to provoke a lively debate.
You must live in a different universe to mine...isolate with blocks of wood....dream on! As for reviewers having 'knowledge and experience'...I bet quite a few people on this forum have more knowledge and experience. Reviewers are poorly paid and have to turn over too much equipment. . They are desperate not to offend manufacturers, from whom they get the equipment to review. I don't criticise them for that...it must be a tough world to operate in. But frankly, real people with deep experience of real decks will give you a more informed view (and have often used more decks too!). Tell you what...bet the Linn LP12 is still regarded as a true 'classic' when the VPi is long forgotten ......I like VPI decks, and have spent my own money on them. But that is why I know their limitations. Sorry, but you rarely get something for nothing in this world. VPI decks are great value, just leave it at that......
You are correct that isolation is more complex that merely blocks of wood and squash balls. It's more complex than you describe too. By using a suspension system, you don't remove feedback, you simply move it elsewhere depending on the Q of the suspension system. This is both measurable and audible; it's why decks with a high Q suspension typically sound airy if well done and bass light if not, a low Q suspension deck sounds deep if well-designed, but often sludgy and why critically damped decks either mean the best - or the worst - of both worlds. It's this last reason why an LP12 typically stands or falls on the quality of the set-up (I know, I owned one for many years). It's also why Linn released the Trampolinn baseboard.
Also, if the LP12 has impeccable speed stability, why has Linn gone through a series of upgrades to the turntable power supply, each one offering better speed stability than the last? SME did a similar upgrade to its power supplies early on to give the same improved speed stability.
A deck without a suspension has its own problems; you either need very, very high mass rigidly coupled to its support to act as an energy sink or you need to use a combination of isolating feet and good equipment tables to act as a low-Q virtual suspension. Massy platters are effectively their own flywheel and inertia keeps speed constant, but having the motor on the same body as the deck can pose vibrational issues that are hard to solve without throwing the baby out with the bathwater (many European high-mass decks like the Nottingham Analogue and Acoustic Solid designs place the motor in its own housing to physically separate one from the other).
The short-form answer is that I have no problems with well-engineered suspended turntables. I have no problems with well-engineered turntables that don't have a suspension system in place. The key words in both places are 'well-engineered'. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. Both are engineering compromises, just compromises in different directions. And neither is necessarily compromised by being built down to a price - a La Luce deck is wonderful, so is a Kuzma Stabi XL. They each go for different goals and one is not better than the other simply by virtue of the design criteria.
Editor, Hi-Fi Plus Magazine
editor [at] hifiplus [dot] com
Thank you Alan, perfect answer, and very generically correct. My reference to the Classic and the 3" thick maple platform sitting on balls is from experience with that particular setup only. It works and it works because the entire table is isolated at the proper frquency for its' design. Another table and arm and suspension would give totally different results.
I was trying to explain that a table does not have to be expensive to get a lot of work done pulling info out of a groove. If you consider the table as a system the end result is really not dollar dependent for good sound. Would the Classic sound better if we made it $10,000.00 and threw money at it, maybe, maybe not.
SORRY, Mr Sircom, you got it all wrong.
You definitely have to revise most of the first paragraph of your answer. It contains a lot of misconceptions.
Please take a few minutes and go back to basics (even to Wikipedia; look for "Q factor") it has only a couple of errors, but is much, much better that you when trying to explain this concept, with due respect.
In ANY turntable you NEVER want to have ANY resonance. Period.
It is almost impossible not to have some degree of resonance in the real world, but going to the extreme to actually desiring to introduce an extra resonance to try to compensate a given shortcomming in another area is not a correct approach.
Q factor is NOT related to the frequency of resonance like you said, it only affects the AMPLITUDE of the resonant peak and its WIDTH. You are confusing terms, if you wanted to say that the frequency of the fundamental resonance is displaced to a certain value ("you simply move it elsewhere depending on the Q of the suspension..."), then you should have used the correct term, that is "k" (the spring constant, again, please see Hooke's Law at Wikipedia) The Resonant FREQUENCY depends on the product of mass and "k"... but never "Q". In other words, the resonant frequency depends of mass and stiffness of the suspension. A suspensionless deck is equivalent to a quite high stiffness suspension... thus there is almost no isolation (and little damping). Whether this is desirable or not depends on many variables, but you must bear in mind that a deck that has little isolation is more prone to resonate badly with the acoustic sound waves from the speakers and also to the vibrations mechanically transmitted thru the suspension; picked up by the base, the shelf, the wall, the floor and the room structure. Now, if you WANT to add an extraneous signal, that could be perceived as "airy" because it complements what could be perceived as too dry or "bass light"... well, that is another thing; but I question the validity of such play. Some people argue that some delayed energy resonances add "ambience", "soundstage", etc. go figure.
In any case, those are artifacts that detract from neutrality.
Suppressing the isolation of the suspension by eliminating it altoghether is a shure way to lower cost, but is a poor way to "improve" the design (it certainly would improve the manufacturer margin!). If a certain deck in certain conditions, with a certain installation and a given arm and cartridge delivers a nice sound, it don't means that approach is better overall. In the vast majority of installations, mechanical isolation is desirable and probably more important than other alleged effects.
It is NOT "rocket science" or Quantum mechanics, it is only elementary physics, any reasonably dedicated high school student can help you clarify these concepts.
Finally, what did you meant saying that a critically damped deck can be either the best or the worst...?
I have to accept you really confused me with that phrase.
(again, you can find many good examples and explanations of "Critically-Damped systems" in -you guessed it- Wikipedia, or your old elementary physics textbook from your high school, just read it).
The problem with reviewers and self proclaimed "experts" is that they fail miserably when they begin to try to explain basic concepts and end up mixing only vague and approximate explanations that are totally mixed and grossly misunderstood. Sorry to insist on physics, but vinyl is totally based on mechanics. To really understand it requires straight facts, not subjectivisms.
I didn't see this at the time, but feel I should comment.
Yes, in an ideal world, we wouldn't have resonance, but you can't just magic it away either. Given that you are dealing with an inherently resonant system, coping with this comes down to coping with the amplitude of that resonance in the audio band. And in a suspended turntable, that depends on the Q of the suspension system.
You can investigate this for yourself if you get one of the low mass, lightly sprung turntables that were popular in UK circles in the 1980s and 1990s (Systemdek, Pink Triangle). By raising or lowering the suspension slightly from the optimum, you effectively under- or over-damp the suspension and the tonal balance changes accordingly. As the suspension is not put past its yield point at both 'extremes' and the components in the system are not changed, Hooke's law is, in this case, irrelevant (cetaris paribus).
I'm not sure I agree with the idea that a "deck that has little isolation is more prone to resonate badly with the acoustic sound waves from the speakers." Notionally, I know this is a potential problem, but it doesn't seem to stop DJs from using suspension-free Technics turntables in unbelievably loud environments without resonance issues. Generally, they are more likely to get howl-around from a poorly placed microphone than having a turntable resonate or feedback from airborne sources (DJs often use neoprene pads under their decks to prevent them from feeding back from loudspeakers built into the same cabinet as the turntables, but it seems you could almost point the speaker at the deck and not get a problem). Given we work at far lower volume levels, and use considerably better isolation systems, our turntables should be less prone to problems from sound waves irrespective of basic design. I use an old, not so stable table on castors that I place in front of the loudspeaker to check for feedback. It's there, but we grossly overstate the issue.
As to mechanical transmission through the suspension, squidgy rubber feet should take care of structure-borne resonance (again, the resonance is still there at around 3Hz, but the feet should lower the amplitude of that resonance to negligible levels). Footfall on loose floorboards can be a problem irrespective of whether the deck has a suspension system, but this is a function of 'poor installation'. The assumption holds that the suspensionless turntable owner does have an equipment support of suitable quality and placed so that it does not move, but we've been saying the same things about suspended decks like the LP12 for 20+ years.
I find it far too reductionist to suggest the sole reason for removing the suspension from a turntable is to lower cost. By removing the suspension system, you also guarantee the precise position of motor, platter and arm-base relative to one another. If you add mass (a lot of mass) you get a helpful flywheel effect to further maintain speed stability and either resonance damping from the high mass, or an energy drain system.
In fact, you could argue that the only reason for the use of a suspension system is as a clever cost-saving exercise. We've just become so used to the concept on AR and Linn designs that we can't think past it. A suspended design allows for a low-mass and therefore low cost subchassis, it allows use of a low-cost AC motor (because cogging effects are masked by the rubber belt in constant shape-change), and that the vibration and feedback-reducing suspension system is just a low-cost way of doing without a properly designed plinth and support system. Given that you need a chunk of obsidian the size of an aircraft carrier's flight deck to help make a Technics SP10 come to life, this is no small consideration.
All of these design decisions are based on compromise. Just different compromises for different designers and those appeal to different users. Having used low-mass suspended and suspensionless designs and high-mass suspensionless designs, the one thing I can say with confidence is that no system should be rejected merely because of its engineering compromises.
As to a critically damped system, I stand by what I say. A SME Model 20 is designed to be overdamped, a Basis is designed to be critically damped and a Linn is best with a slight underdamping. Overtighten the Linn because you think it should be critically damped and the result is dreadful. If you could do the same with an SME and find some way of making it underdamped, I would lay bets it would sound dreadful too.
Very nice response from Mr Sircom, and I appreciate him taking the trouble. However I can't agree with an argument that says that as all approaches to design throw up some problems, none can be judged superior. I'm afraid that as a piece of logic that doesn't work at all. The issue boils down to which set of criteria offer the best all-round solution, perfect or not.. The only real defence I have seen for the 'suspensionless' designs is that they are more speed stable..but where is the evidence for that? Look at the lab tests on the latest Linn (which is why I mentioned ''late model'' Linns in my first post) or any SME, Suspended Basis. Clearaudio etc. ..You will find no real difference between the design types..add that to the problem of concentricity and speed issues with vinyl are put firmly in context...it can never be perfect and always inferior to Cd etc. (I still love vinyl best though!). And . finally, if decks with well-designed suspension are no better than well-designed suspensionless decks, why do VPI , SME, Linn, Clearaudio, Basis etc etc all offer suspension on their top decks..? Anyway, enough of all this. Have a happy Christmas!
People are different and they react to criteria of speed accuracy, noise, detail retrieval, extension, linearity, warp control, resonance of actual parts,etc to greater and lesser extents. I have found over the years that I must have a turntable produce a soundstage wider than the speakers (by a large margin actually) for me to begin to feel the drama of the real event. I also need a very detailed pinpoint presentation in that soundfield, with solid bass and smooth highs. While spring suspended tables produce that soundstage they do not produce the imaging that for me brings the concert hall home.
I can no longer listen without the ring clamp, I find warps to be worse than the differences between great tables, that is my preference while another listener will spend $35,000.00 on his SME and happily watch the arm bouncing up and down. For me it is a non starter at this point because I hear the warp as a speed variation and linearity change as the cartridge coil is moving in and out of the focus point of the magnetic field. We make choices when designing tables and we usually build what we enjoy listening to. I love the sound of the Classic and it has taken 29 years and some really great machining to get here.
''Happily watch the arm bouncing up and down'' on an SME 30-12...?..sorry, that really is a bit of an odd comment. and Harry Weinsfeld ought to perhaps be a little more circumspect. The central clamp on an SME (or other good decks) is fully capable of clamping a disc flat, and the sheer stability of the SME really has to be heard. VPI make excellent decks, and clearly have their own theories....but having owned both high end VPIs and SMEs my ears tell me something a little diffferent (although I much admire VPI products, not least the lovely arms). Anyway, let's all enjoy our chosen decks and not worry to much...long live vinyl, whatever the flavour.
It would appear HW is relating to the fact that many well-engineered tables have ignored the periphery of the lp when it comes to compression clamping and warp control, rather than vibrational control. Sota was once a long-time competitor, and still is, and they of course take yet another approach to warp control (and vibration control) by using a vacuum hold-down system in the the platter itself. It has proven to be an effective way to control warps, but perhaps over-controlling vibes as well, as AS showed some hypothetical concerns, and past reviewers have found it to be 'darkish' (or yin) in nature. HW has posited that his periphery ring clamp (and others after-market) does more to control medium-severity warps than what many other manufacturers have tried to do by central/spindle clamping only or by engineering elsewhere on the deck. I highly doubt that HW was trying to be callous in regards to well-regarded British turntable designs.
"The central clamp on an SME (or other good decks) is fully capable of clamping a disc flat,"
Having plenty of experience with record clamps, "I own a Goldmund clamp" I find this hard to believe.
So what is the argument now? That the 99% of turntable engineers who chose not to use a peripheral clamp are all fools? Just as all those who use suspensions (which includes the very HW who now seems to attack them) are all fools too? Everyone is wrong except VPI...that seems to be a the thrust of this thread. Good luck with that one!.
Neither does vacuum completely flatten warps. Having no experience with the outer ring, theoretically it should do a better job along with a spindle-type clamp. Interestingly, Harry makes a center clamp and a center weight. I wonder what Harry's thoughts are on this?
I think it might be possible to over-egg the pudding. A spindle clamp, outer ring and a vacuum system in combination should reduce warp influence significantly. It could also totally undermine the performance in the process. I'm wondering if the same applies to the inner and outer clamps.
As I'm not a VPI user, couldn't say for sure.
No paskinn, the peripheral clamp is yet another example of 'how do you take your coffee?' Whether you decide you like to clamp at the spindle (like the SME), at the edge (like the VPI) or not at all (like the LP12), the choice is open to listeners, although it is informed by the system you use... a clamp on an LP12 is generally considered a no-no even if you rebalance the suspension, whereas it's intrinsic to the SME's overall performance.
I'd hate to try to work out a definitive engineering solution to this - it seems that whether a clamp works or not is best determined on a case-by-case basis.
The outer clamp is used with the center weight and produces a flat like glass record 99% of the time. No spindle clamp (we made them long before the others, 1982) can match that and if you think it can passkin you are wrong and have no in depth turntable experience. Alan is right, the Linn is designed with no clamp, and the SME is designed with a screw down center clamp, neither option will work for me anymore as I can hear what a flat record brings to the party.
I am commenting on my enjoyment of music, not any other designer or engineer. Furthermore, all the other tables availabe are as valid or more valid than the tables I make, but they all sound different and do different thing. The Classic does things that make me remember live music, no more no less. Let's not turn this into a "He said this about that" because I am commenting as an audiophile, not the head of VPI.
What about using the center weight on a suspended 'table, such as a SOTA?
Thx HW for responding. It seems that you have scared Paskinn away :-) . It sounds like between the outer clamp and center weight, as well as, a Gingko Cloud-type base (home brewed or an actual Gingko platform), there need not be any additional tweaks to the Classic to get the best performance out of it. Looking forward to audition it.
I am curious if the "Classic" only shines with the ultra gear that HP has? Most people reviewing/praising it are inserting this $2500 deck in $30K+ systems. One of the other Harry Pearson favorites was the Grand Veena Reference 3a speakers which he thought in his system outshined most anything in the 80K+ range while the speaker only costs 7K. To be frank, in shows and at auditions that speaker was merely average or less. So, I question if the same is true of the classic. Do some of these audiocomponents really need multithousand dollar associated equipment to perform as the reviewers are highlighting them? Any one hear them in different systems? if so in what kind of systems? H.P. also claims that the classic sounds better than the 8K reference rim drive scout series that just won product of the year awards in Stereophile.......It's hard to believe that the classic would perform at that level. I have given up on running around immediately for auditions based on these knee jerk reaction reviews only to get dissapointed. MR. HW any thoughts?
I haven't been 'scared away' but I am a bit worried that I am being pushed into an 'anti VPI' argument when I actually like and respect VPI products! The one point I have been trying (unsuccesfully it seems) to make in this thread is that over-praising fine products does them a dis service. I am sure that the 'Classic' is superb value, and an excellent choice if you want to (or can only_) spend that much money. But the HP/Roy Gregory approach seems to try to push this argument way beyond what the facts will bear. And that is a shame.
It's always true that a variety of approaches can be made to work, ; my position is that a thoroughly engineered deck with a good suspension has proved the best path...but it is expensive. It is unwise to try to dismiss such a path .
I am left with the feeling that the real agenda here has been to try to promote a cheaper methods of producing a deck (such as the Classic)by mis-describing what can be achieved if you are able or willing to spend on 'bigger' engineering . We all compromise in our lives, we all make choices, based partly on money. But I don't defend my second-hand Toyota by claiming it is 'better' than (say) a Mercedes. .One other thought...won't a peripheral 'clamp' just add another bit of metal to rattle away?