Has anyone seen or heard this in person yet? It looks like a sweet table from the pictures on the VPI web-site.
Joe. You are a funny man. I'm glad u enjoying the new classic.
I own a SOTA Sapphire table. It just boggles my mind that this, "Classic" 'table has been on the market for the better part of two years and there are people out there who haven't purchased because they haven't seen a review in TAS, or Stereophile. What was wrong with the reviews in The Audio Beat and Hi Fi Plus? Surely-to-God there are dealers out there who can properly demo this 'table.
Very interesting. I too owned a Sapphire from 1986 till this year. It was outfitted with an ET2 and gave admirable service. The ET2 was on its' last legs and I was looking for a replacement arm that wouldn't be a huge step down from the ET when it was in its' prime. I was having a difficult time finding what I wanted when I heard the VPI. I wasn't looking for a deck just an arm. My main dealer was spinning some vinyl while we talked and the sound really caught my attention. When I realized the whole turntable wouldn't cost me a lot more than I planned for an arm the wheels started turning. Still working from a budget I avoided the ring or SDS (for now) and kept the cartridge I was using as it wasn't old. Interestingly I think that makes this as much of a ceteris paribus situation as possible just a drop in of deck and arm with absolutely nothing else changed. My only objective was to not degrade from what the Sota/ET gave me when the ET was still in good shape. Boy was I surprised to find the VPI not only didn't degrade my listening experience it improved it in every respect. Considering the whole deal cost about what I paid in 1986 the Classic is a stellar achievement. Never a bad word against the Sota, it gave me decades of pleasure but I can truthfully say dollar for dollar the Classic may be one of the finest TTs ever made. As for reviews, I find them more useful in deciding what to audition than what to buy. Having said that I haven't come across a single bad word from professional reviewers and the only negatives I have seen in forums are from people like our unnamed friend who insist TTs must have this or that such as "proper suspension" or direct drive and judge from that perspective without a real listen so their belief system can remain intact. Personally I would buy a sewing needle glued to a paper cone if it sounded better to me. Keep the posts coming you add value to this forum.
I went the other way and bought the classic after one song. I had been planning on keeping CD as the main source.I was going to add a turntable but something cheeper like a P3. I listened to a Rega and a Cambrige Audio CD player that had both gotten great reviews. Then after a long listening session with the Cambrige (840 C?) I asked to hear something on the Classic. I wanted to hear what the hype was about and my wife had seen it in the demo room and thought that it was cool looking. So after one song I scraped the new CD player and switched to vinyl. For me it was the rhythm and pace that stood out the most. Notes just flowed together. Having owned it for a couple of months now it is just as fun as the first listen. It sucks me in every time. I can no longer put on some music and read a magazine or channel surf. When the classic is on I am in the sweet spot tapping my toes and nodding my head. The only problem is I noticed some ware on the belt already. The only thing I can think of is that I must have got some record cleaner on it or something.
I have the VPI Classic Table with the HRX Center Weight, my next upgrade is the periphery ring clamp. I was wondering if I should consider the TTWeights outer rings. I know better records.com recommends TTWeights, they said they like the sound better.
I will probably go with the VPI, I was just wondering.
I bought the TTWeights copper periphery ring and am very happy with it. Since I haven't tried the VPI I can't tell you that one is better. They are definitely different. The TT weighs just over 2 lbs, the VPI is stainless steel and weighs around 7! One owner on another board had a problem with the VPI drawing his Benz cartridge into the ring. It was somewhat controversial as to whether his problem was due to the heavy VPI ring bending the edge of his record downward (in conjunction, perhaps, with slightly less than optimal tracking force) or due to magnet interaction between the cartridge and the supposedly but not quite completely non-ferous stainless steel. I have a Benz Glider and have zero problems with the TTWeights. TT supplies a clever plastic tray that serves as a template so that the ring is centered over the spindle. My advice-obviously-buy the TTWeights. Larry Denham is great (as is HW).
Not everying that can be counted counts, and not everything that should be counted can be.
Thanks for the reply. I have the glider also, medium output. How about you? What Benz cartridge was the other person having trouble with?
I have the SL (low output). My Simaudio LP5.3 has no problem handling it. I am so happy with the Glider SL that I recently bought a second one-brand new-for a back-up. I do not recall which Benz the owner of the VPI ring had. The thread was over on the audioasylum vinyl board and I am sure you could find it with a search.
Lots to think about there. I had often wondered why copper was so popular but had never considered magnetic attraction. A simple test for the cause would be to zero VTF the arm and place it near the ring. If indeed magnetism was the culprit the arm should drift outwards. Considering the possibliity that the very heavy ring was bending the vinyl downwards wouldn't the center weight or clamp also be a factor. It would seem that a 7 pound ring would would require a substantial weight to resist the tendancy of the record to bow up. If the center weight was adequate or a screw clamp was used, bending would have to occur within the small overhang between the perimeter of the platter and the outer edge of the disc. I doubt even 7 pounds would be sufficient to bend vinyl over that short a distance. I could be wrong but I don't want to test the theory on my collection. I'm glad not to be considering a ring in the near term, I'm happy to wait for the posts to mature befor having to decide.
I have a Benz LP S and it has gotten drawn out to the periphery ring a few times ( and scared the bejesus out of me. I don't know how much the cartridge can take when this occurs. It has been for a fraction of a second but nonetheless not cool.
I wonder if this problem mainly occurs wiht benz cartrdiges, or have others experianced the same issue with different cartridges?
I just picked up the VPI Periphery Ring Clamp today. I will let everyone know what type of improvement I hear after a few listens.
Who can comment on VPI's phono cables. I have a minor but noticable RFI problem and am hoping shielded leads will be the solution. Further, can anyone offer a good reason as to why most high-end, and very expensive phono cables are not shielded? I know there is probably more theory (fact and opinion) surrounding cable design/performance than virtually anything else in audio but to my thinking the very low level through a pnono lead and the resultant downstream gain required would dictate a phono cable be as resistant to unwanted signals as possible.
I have vpi phono cables and I have no hum issues. The cables sound fine to me. I will probably upgrade to nordost but this is the last upgrade on my list. From what I understand they are very good cables for the money.
Thanks for that. My problem is I'm picking up a local FM station which is why I hope shielding will help. I had a lend of some very nice and very pricey Heimdahl phono cables which sounded lovely but did absoutely nothing for the RFI. I plan to order the VPI cables and will post my findings.
Funny the same thing was happening to me, and my local dealer gave me round grey circular clamps to put on my interconnects (It is escaping me what their called at the moment) and it worked. I was a picking up a local radio signal. My dealer new exactly what I talking about, I though for a second I was hearing voices. He was telling me back in the 70's and 80's that would happen all the time especially wiht all the cb's.
Yeah, lots of receivers and integrated amps had poor shielding or comnponents arranged on circuit boards in such a way they became fine tuners. Each seemed to have its' own peculiarity. I had an Akai receiver that picked up all taxi's and police radios nearby. I've tried severl different coils and RFI/EMI suppressing devices but the best I can get is modest improvement.
Here is an interesting update. Recently I felt my anti-skating wasn't optimized so I did the trick where you remove the lemo connector and turn it once to "tighten up the spring" and amazingly the radio interference completely disappeared and the noise floor dropped about 12dB. I use Sound Forge for archiving my vinyl and before putting on a disc the level meters used to sit at about -55dB but since this little trick they have dropped close to -70. I know theoretically why this might happen, think cat-3, cat-5, cat-6 computer cable, but I am still amazed that such a little thing would have such a profound effect and yes channel balance and soundstage seem improved so my initial objective has been met as well.
I was wondering if any has upgraded their classic table and added the VTA base? I emailed Mike from VPI and he said they offer an upgrade kit. The kit includes everything along with the drill bits and thread taps.
What's the price for the upgrade kit. Sounds like major surgery given how much "of one piece" the Classic is. I ordered mine with VTA on the fly but consider it more of a convenience upgrade than performance. I might be wrong on this, has anyone done a serious A/B with the two arms?
Actually now there are 3 different models of the Classic: the VPI Classic 1: $2750, Classic 2: $3495 and Classic 3: $5995.
Guess it was inevitable. I think a lot of people (myself included) have been ordering with the VTA base upgrade without actually considering it to be a different model. My understanding from VPI is that the arm tube for the Classic is slightly longer (~6mm) than the stock JMW-10.5i meaning the arm of the "Classic 2" is potentially superior. Anyone with a response to this or listening tests to confirm or refute. Probably a helluva thing to comfirm because of all the necessary variables. What I'm waiting for is the Classic 4, that's the one with the enlarged base to fit the JMW-12.7. That would be some table. Makes my head spin to think aboout it except I don't know where I would put it. Still amazed by the Classic, I think all the early posters to this forum raving about "flavor of the week tables" may have choked on their words considering how quite they have been of late. Thanks for the link. I notice nothing yet on VPI's own site.
I feel like the classic 3 at least appears to be somewhat of a different model or version of the origional classic with upgrades and more than DOUBLE the price of the origional.
The ring and clamp are obviously a big part of the $$ but mention of "much heavier" etc. does make me curious. This table is so good for the price the concept of improvement scares me (excepting my comment re. the Classsic 4). Listening to the Specials as I type, it is hard to imagine more pleasure from recorded music. I am going broke buying vinyl online from Acoustic Sounds and Rhino Handmade.
joe, where did you order your classic from? What associated equipment are you using..(if you havent mentioned it earlier...Phono pre amp, linestage, speakers, phone cable.etc?)
I orderd my table from a Audio Store called Audio Den in Long Island, New York.
I am using the following equipment
Audio Research Company PH5
Benz Micro Glider SM
VPI SDS / Periphery Ring Clam / HRX Center Weight
B&W CM9 / REL B2
Have you heard a substantial difference in sound using the SDS controller? If so, can you please describe it? Thanks, Ed
Yes it has a made a substantial difference. The sound is much quieter more refined, better definition. Essentially less noise.
Was the SDS added sometime after the initial purchase and if so how much time did you have with the Classic before upgrading?
Yes it was added about 12 months after my initial purchase.
I'm intrigued by your reply because an SDS is definately on my wish list but have been hesitant as most posts regarding this seem to imply that of all the VPI tables the Classic benefits the least from this pricey upgrade. That's a good thing I'm sure but I did wonder what the extent of improvement would be given the consensus seems to be "nice but not necessary". Do you think really clean power would the same or similar effect?
I think a great person to ask would be the "King of Analog" Brooks Berdan. He has had a lot of these tables to set up in various configuratiions and with various cartridges. He is very honest and has an incredible ear and reputation. It would be interesting to hear what he says about the SDS on the VPI Classic.
Sam . I purchased mine from Absolute Audio/Video in Calgary. I have the black oak with the newer rounded corners. The only option is the VTA tower as I felt the rest could be added piecemeal as budgets allowed. I am currently running a Dyna 10Xs which I carried over from my Sota as it was nearly new. I am looking at possibly a Dyna 20, Benz or Shelter when the time comes but am having trouble deciding. The phono stage is a Clearaudio Symphono into newer Bel Canto electronics. Speakers are nothing special, just old small Kef's and an Energy sub. I really like the Bel Cantos despite all the negative, and I feel somewhat misinformed,comments on class D. I am also considering a phono stage with XLR inputs but I think the whole phono stage market is such a carnival of trade-offs I might never decide.
Yea it seems like the classic fits in different types of systems. When I first saw it, it was at the CES 2009 in the Esoteric room, It looked really cool and at first look I thought it must be super expensive given the room it was in and the equipment it was with. HP has a super system as well and there it performed great. I wonder if the classic does just as well in moderate or budget systems as well. Thats why I was curious what everyone is using. (one example are the Grand Veenas speakers that HP reviewed. They shine only with very appropriate associated equipment or system). If the classic is not picky about what its associated with then that would be great. Heres a picture of what I saw at CES: http://www.soundstagenetwork.com/lasvegas2009/jan11b/vpi_table.jpg
For the Phonostage I am thinking Musical Surroundings Nova Phenomina or the Aesthetix Rhea. Any one try any of these two combinations with the Classic? Also is the Rhea an overkill in this application or would this be reference level/near reference level?
If any audio device was perfect it would either be immune to deficiencies in associated equipment or shine a light on those deficiencies. Sadly perfection is as much a dream today as it was 50 years ago if not more so given modern trends in listening. Although I have shaken my head in wonder over much of what Tiefenbrun has written over the decades he was bang on when he claimed (to much derision) that the source was the single most important element in the playback chain. Pay close attention to the "much derision" insert because even today this belief gets disputed. CDs got a fine reception from the buying public 30 years ago not because they were so much better than analogue but because the garden variety turntable was so bad. Nobody wanted to hear that their stoboscopic controlled PLL hunk of junk was just that so they sang the praises of the emperor's newest suit instead. Nobody with anything approaching high-end playback heard the so-called improvement but I digress. What the Classic does is is simple, it GETS IT RIGHT. Is it perfect? Silly question. Is it the best table in the world? I seriously doubt it given what endless cash can accomplish. Does it belong in a system so expensive you have to write the price in words to avoid breaking your zero key? Why the hell not? If you decide after an extended listen and full break in period that your neighbor's (SME, Clearaudio, Brinkman etc.) sounds noticibly better put the thing in the back alley and go buy whatever you want. Considering the Classic would barely equal the sales tax on what some are considering acceptable entry level Hi-Fi why not. I think we get so caught up in focusing on microscopic differences between very good equipment we lose sight of what makes each piece good in the first place. If I was able to put a $15,000. cartridge on my Classic and realized I was only hearing 98.5% of the cartridges capability that would be like being forced to endure life with a $14,775. dollar cartridge. What I am really trying to say is why not let a Classic hang out with the elite. You will probably listen to some very fine sounds or else you will discover what everyone else has missed so far which is what the shortcomings of this table are. As to letting a Classic go slumming, I have always been able to appreciate the music from a crappy system with a good front end but never the reverse. Have fun, go with your gut.
I was actually ready to purchase the basis 2200 with vector 4. Even met with AJ conti. Then ran into the classic. Would I rather get something nearly as good as the 2200 for 3x less and use the rest on records? Ofcourse. It has been fun following these 2 tables in the press, at audioshows and with forum people. System synergy and matching is certainly equally important as HW discusses. Put the wrong cartridge, phono, linestage and everything can collapse and not sound how it should sound.
Has anyone used a Goldfinger V2 with the Classic? How did it sound?
I think I am probably using the classic in a system that most would think of as a "budget to moderate" level.
Parasound P 3
Focal 30th anny 826w
I bought the whole system at the same time so I may never know how much better performance I could be getting from the classic. I will say that it doesn't seem out of place in this system. It is much preferred to my cd source (oppo 980). Upgrades my be down the road but I'm not sure where the biggest bang for the buck would come from. Sam, I wish that these tables still came with the record clamp shown in your picture the plastic one that I got is not nearly as cool looking. But I wouldn't trade the upgraded wood on the tables now.
The Classic 3 is here guys:
Wow Sam, you must really be in a tizzy now, with three different versions of the "Classic." Just wait for the reviews, no matter how long they take!
Sunday, u r a prick man. So I take interest in this table. Am i required to make a purchase of a model or required to by one on ur given deadline and criteria?A new exciting design is out. Is it a crime to share the news with fellow audiophiles who may be interested in this table? What's wrong with waiting for reviews of this or any other product? That's why I subscribe to the magazine. I enjoy it as a hobby. Why are u helll bent on what and how I should purchase anything? I have an old basis table and even though it's 20 years old it works. What's wrong in looking into other models and their reviews out of interest. Should I not read a review of wilsons, magico, walker just because I can't afford it or u think I should just purchase one. What exactly have u been contributing to these pages? What's ur interest here other than just being a jerk? I just don't get you and ur rude remarks. If U have something to say relating to the vpi then surely share with everyone. Otherwise why waste the space, ur time and other peoples time. Go do what gives u satisfaction. Unless satisfaction for u is what u wrote in ur post.
Sorry you got slagged Sam, it was more than a little sarcastic. Being interested in what other interested individuals have to say about a product is not a crime. Making your decisions based solely on the opinion of others is not a good idea but neither is buying with no research whatsoever. Lots of times reviewers will point out strengths or weaknesses in products that you might easily discover yourself if you got to live with the gear for a month or more but how many get that privilege, Keeping track of what's new is part of being a hobbyist as is sharing your discoveries with others. For that I thank you. I don't intend to buy a "3" I'm perfectly happy with my "1A" but I would love to read an A/B between the two or even better do one myself. Sadly forums always seem to devolve into opinion pieces with littlle added to the original topic. I had really hoped for more setup tweaks and reports of personal experiences here but it's a free country so you take what you get. Case in point, this forum had a regular poster (gone but not missed) who raved ad-infinitum about "proper" suspension, whatever that means, ignoring the fact that what comes out of the speakers is all that matters not how it gets there. This unnamed P-something-something was very knowledgeable and experienced in high end sound but had a hobby-horse to ride and was determined to ride it to death. Weekend-Waterfall also comes across as very knowledgeable and I tip my hat to his (?) many valuable insights but his particular OC issue appears to be people who wait for reviews of new gear before buying. I don't know why but "it is what it is". Rambling on is one of my worst traits but I'm working on it. Thanks for the link to the "3" of which I was previously unaware. As posted elsewhere I'm waiting for the 4 which is a 1 with a 2x4 nailed to the side to allow for a 12.7" arm. I gladly read the reviews on that one :)
Joe, thanks for ur reply. Yea it would be great if more people discussed setup and tweaking of this table. Speaking of which, have you tried any isolation platforms under the classic like brightstar or symposium? It would be interesting to hear from those who have. Also AC of TAS in the GE awards for this said it's remarkably neutral with a wide variety of cartridges. It would be nice to hear from those who own multiple cartridges. Also do u find the 45's sound significantly better on the classic? Is the speed stability just as good with 45 as with 33 without the speed control? So much possible things to be discussed rather than personal attacks on each other. I still think for the most part the forums are great. Lots of knowledgabe and good people out there. Thanks for ur contributions here.
So Sam, are you ready to buy?
The new "Classics" are old news!
Many points and questions. My situation regarding isolation: the table sits on a large Target frame bolted to outside wall studs behind a stone pillar which extends ~6 inches beyond the front of the table at right angles to the listening area. I built a platform of 2 layers of 1/2" MDF cut to fit the deck of the Target stand and a third layer of the same but much larger to fit the Classic footprint (yes the board hangs over on all sides). Levelled it all up and Robert is your Mothers sibling. I know many will tell me what I have done wrong but so what . Remarkable isolation I think , I remember events where low frequency feedback was very evident wth my previous set but nothing at all with this one. As to 45's, in my house, The TomTom Club for my teens and T.Bone Burnett for me. I have some Reference Recordings and other 45"s but I only want to discuss what I really care about. Impact with all my 45's puts a big smile on my face so I conclude speed is at least close. Thanks for your efforts as well :)
Sam -- Tue, 07/07/2009 - 21:33
"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????"
Allmost a year later"
SundayNiagara -- Sun, 06/27/2010 - 15:42
"So, have any of the original posters on this thread purchased this table yet?"
Sam -- Mon, 06/28/2010 - 02:21
"No. Not in a rush. Waiting for Stereophile or TAS to review the table. Some hints have been given in both TAS and Stereophile.....i.e...that some reviewers have this table at hand, and they have briefly commented on the table, but no full review yet. May be we will see a review in the coming months and hopefully they will compare this table to other reference level table(s)/arm(s).."
And now 2 new "Classics!"