A long anticipated musical collaboration was VPI and Genesis Advanced Technologies. Having been paired many times together in systems around the world, both companies respect each others engineering, love for music, and love for great American Hi-Fi. CEO Gary Koh visited us at our factory in New Jersey back in October with our shared distributor Wuti Larnroongroj, owner of Audio Excellence. Together we all enjoyed a day of listening to music while exchanging audio ideas and methodology for improved sound quality. At the end of the visit it was decided that Gary should be one of the the few use an extremely limited Harry Weisfeld Vanquish Turntable (AKA Avenger Direct).
The Vanquish is based of the original award winning Classic Direct Drive turntable we made years ago. The Classic Direct received multiple reviewer awards including product of the year from Tone Audio, Stereophile, and Class A+. The only limitation was its inability to mount multiple arms and the desire for improved table suspension. Harry furthered his original design by creating pneumatic air-suspension feet and fitting the direct drive motor into a VPI Avenger Chassis. This opened the design to house up to 3 tonearms of any make or finish.
Words from Gary:
"Serendipity, that's what it boils down to. Sometimes, things happen for a reason.
I was already re-designing the cabinet of the Genesis Maestro to improve the quality of the bass - depth, nuance, texture, timbre - and already had another pair of prototype cabinets on the way. Then, my friend Wuti Larnroongroj introduced me to Harry Weisfeld and when we visited his home, and I listened to the VPI Vanquish, I knew that I had to have it for demo to show off the bass ability of the new Maestro.
If it ain't in the source, then it ain't gonna come out the speakers. Just about then, Bob Clarke sent me the new Transfiguration Proteus D with the diamond cantilever.... which was designed for better bass. I then had to improve the Genesis Platinum Phono to handle the improved dynamics and bass of the new cartridge.
And just 3 weeks ago, Amedeo Schembri flew from Italy to Austin. Visiting Bob Clarke to incorporate the latest power supply upgrades into the Viva Aurora monoblocks that we were going to use. To improve the bass......
The Friday before we had to ship the system for CES (on Monday), I received from Mat Weisfeld a new tonearm for the Vanquish...... to improve the bass, said Harry.
And, literally the day before coming to Las Vegas, Steve McCormack put the final screws into his new power supply..... you guessed it, to improve the bass.
The result of all these upgrades, is not more bass, but as Bob calls it, "stupidly good bass"."
One of the great joys of coming to audio shows is meeting with friends in the music industry. The lovely Anne Bisson turned up with a signed copy of her latest album, Conversations for me..... and the cover for her next project - the 45rpm, 2-disc version of Blue Mind re-mastered by Bernie Grundman. Pre-orders on her website!! This album is a personal favorite in our listening room at VPI and was a wedding present from Anne Bisson's partner in crime, Vincent Bélanger.
From the first moment Jane and myself sat down in the room we were blown away by the sound. Gary has an eclectic taste for music from classical to heavy metal and punk! A crowd favorite was the sound track from Star Wars, the Force Awakens. Considering the usual setup issues at all trade shows, the Genesis room had none of those problems having a seamless and well thought out setup. It was a pleasure being a part of this musical system and we hope this is the first of many more like it!
We are no strangers to making music with KEF! They have been our neighbors, partners, and friends for years now with the Blade 2s featured in our listening house. KEF also has an appreciation for a quality simple to use system that can spin vinyl. This year they debuted their blue-tooth, wireless LS-50s with the VPI Player and the Amazon Echo at the Consumer Electronics 2017 Show. This combination showed what could be the easiest, well rounded, and affordable system you can find with a high-end flavor. Listen to your records when you want to embrace your music, than switch to "Alexa" through the LS-50s when you want to take a break and have some background music (or if you just want to yell at "Alexa").
With the VPI Player having a built in headphone amp and phono-stage it is a simple plug and play to use with the the LS-50s. The room at CES was one of the more colorful displays showing the three different finishes the blue-tooth, wireless LS-50s are available in. As usual, it was tied together with the warm and knowledgeable Johan Coorg and Dipin Sehdev. Anyone who follows me on facebook should search for the live stream we did with Johan as he played a musical love letter to VPI founder Harry Weisfeld.
Personally, the black and blue are my favorite!
There was always an assumption that the Shinola Runwell would be well received by the lifestyle and standard customers of Shinola products. What was not assumed was how the high-end audiophile music lover would react. The Runwell shares both VPI and Shinola DNA making it the perfect product to accommodate both audiences. From the initial announcement of the Shinola Runwell we received positive feedback from both walks of life but this was reinforced at this year’s 2017 Consumer Electronics Show
Partnered with Roger’s High Fidelity, Transparent Cables, and Egglestonworks works, the Shinola Runwell was the final piece to bring this Made in America system together. The system was put together to be an easy to use, high-end experience for under $10,000. Having an i-pad user interface, the Roger's EHF-100 MK2 Integrated Amplifier made usability a pleasure. It gives the user the ability to operate the whole system from the comfort of his or her chair. It was convenient for us at CES being able to raise and lower the volume while customers were checking out and asking questions about the system.
To demonstrate how robust the Shinola Runwell turntable is I did my usual durability demonstration of removing the tonearm and slamming the bearings against the table. After repetitively hitting the tonearm I put it back onto the turntable to continue playing without skipping a beat. It was a happy accident that all units had similar matching finishes to nail the looks and sound of quality high-end, yet affordable system and those Egglestonworks speakers know how to fill a room! More importantly is having partners in sound that enjoy making music together! The members of all camps are dedicated to quality, performance, customer service, making music, and loving the journey in doing so. VPI is already looking forward to the next time this system gets to play together!
VPI's Jane Weisfeld and Transparent's Jon Zimmer
CES is upon us and we want to make sure everyone knows where to go to see VPI turntables!
- VPI Player with Master Dynamic in Suite 29-105
- VPI Player with Riva Nation at the Westgate Hotel - East Tower - Suite 2976
- VPI Player with KEF America in Suite 29-210
- VPI / Shinola Runwell with Roger's High Fidelity in Suite 29-124
- VPI Prime Signature with Increcable Acoustics, Joseph Audio, and LKV Research in Suite 29-137
- VPI Avenger Plus with Audio Technica USA in Suite 29-236
- VPI Avenger with Roger's High Fidelity in Suite 29-124
- Something "NEW" with Mark Levinson in Suite 30-101 and the Hard Rock
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