The first day of the Montreal show kicked off just as one would expect... lots and lots of snow! But that do not phase the good people of Quebec in the least, I guess they are used to it. Instead to our surprise we found a show that was filled with smiling faces ready to explore the different rooms and enjoy music. The first important fact to point out is that technically this is the Show's first year. The Montreal show has been around for many years but this is the first one after last year's vindication. As most are aware the Montreal show Almost vanished due to a last minute cancellation before Sarah and Michelle jumped in to save it. One could say last year's success was the industry coming together as a family, but would it really catch on? This year really identified if this show was going to have the chops to stand out and regain the industry's confidence. Snow or no snow the people showed up to be part of the experience.
It was exciting to have more VPI products on display this year and to see the increased interest in our brand in Canada. This can be attributed to our refinement/improved brand identity in the product line, VPI attending the shows, and having Bleu Stereo as our VPI rep. This is Bleu Stereo's first show representing the VPI line and the positive reactions was fantastic!
Bleu Stereo is run by Dany Poulin who originally was a VPI champion at a Montreal dealership. Dany wanted to take his dedication and passion to the audio industry a step further. We will post more on Dany and his room later, but we loved his music selection for the show.
Initially we had planned to bring an Avenger Reference for the "big room" which was paired with Joseph Audio speakers, Transparent Cables, and electronics from Sim Audio (cartridges as well but more on that later!). However, after some requests and ideas to shoot for the moon, we brought the VPI Titan with us. Now it is up to you on whether you want to consider the Titan to be the turntable or VPI founder and designer Harry Weisfeld! We had such a great time last year and talked up the Montreal show so much that Harry decided to join on this adventure and see Montreal first hand. Also, he was excited to take a picture of ducks hanging out in the snow!
The overall setups for all rooms were smooth and easy. When everything was dialed in, Harry went to each room and dialed them in just a bit more. It is amazing how the finest adjustment can make all of the difference! But it is more amazing to have people coming to the show who appreciate and enjoy the music. Audio shows have a bad rep for bringing in "tire-kickers", people who talk through the music, visitors who listen for less than a second before getting up and leaving... but not Montreal! Our demonstrations played through entire records because the listeners were enjoying the music and embracing the experience.
Last year was our fist time attending the Montréal Salon Audio / Audio Fest! We had such a great time that this time we are coming back and bringing a Titan! VPI founder and former president Harry Weisfeld will be attending the Montréal Salon Audio / Audio Fest show. We will also be bringing a Titan with us! The VPI Titan was made as a collaboration ultra high-end turntable between Harry and current president and son Mat Weisfeld.
VPI Titan - Leonard Room
VPI will be making music with Joseph Audio, Transparent Cable and MOON by Simaudio in the St Leonard room. This was a combination that was a crowd favorite at the show last year and this time all companies are stepping up their game and bringing reference level equipment!
VPI Avenger with Bleu Stereo - Room 1233
In room 1233 with our VPI Canada representative, Bleu Stéréo, VPI will be showing the Avenger with Balanced Audio Technology, Elac, Isotek, Mofi, and Luna Cables. Led by Dany Poulin, Bleu Stéréo has improved the presence of VPI product in Canada and dealer representation. We are excited to have our first show together with this positive new partnership.
VPI with Tru-lift - Kiosque
In addition Tru-lift, a turntable's best friend, will be showing how their products compliment a VPI and all turntables out there.
VPI... something new? You vote!
There will also be something extra special at the show where consumers can vote on the potential of a VPI product and whether it should be made. It is a potential product that was inspired by the people and would be made for the people!
We have been encouraged for many years now by customers and distributors to really push the limit on our engineering. After our visit to Munich and the strong cases made by the overseas market, a sketch on the plane ride was born. The idea in mind was based off our Avenger Reference Magnetic Drive. We double stacked the chassis and machined a 4-inch-thick (weighing in at roughly 40 pounds) platter being driven by a master magnetic sub-platter. I brought the initial sketch to Harry and from there he refined and moved the needle on the project.
Once meeting with our machinists, it was decided to bring back acclaimed Rim Drive Dual Motor Flywheel. Or, as Harry has been putting it, the “Magneto Rim-drive”. The initial prototype was constructed and demonstrated at our recent VPI training event. At the event were many dealers who own and use our Classic Direct, and Avenger Reference and were blown away by this new table. We had not come up with a name until during the listening session Harry turned and said, this Titan is giving us the best sound! It was agreed by all attending dealers that “Titan” was the perfect name for the table.
There have been hints and leaks to this for the past few months. The "Prime Scout" is a blend of the original Scout turntable (originally named the "Aries Scout") and a VPI Prime. A little over 2 years ago the face of VPI changed with the creation of the Prime turntable by Mat Weisfeld (yes that is me who is writing this post!). In creating this table the company shifted towards the curvy, easy to use, and sonic powerhouse of the Prime. Retails for 2,200 USD.
The goal of the Prime Scout was to solidify the consistency and identity of the VPI Brand as it gets ready to embrace the next 40 years of making turntables in America. The Prime Scout has all of the best qualities of the original Scout but now refines performance. The motor is upgraded to a 300 RPM (500 RPM overseas) in a machined aluminum housing.
This motor can easily be upgraded with a standard Prime or Prime Signature motor housing. The tonearm now has an additional metal arm-base which helps with grounding and makes it even easier to upgrade the table. The new upgraded feet are similar to the rubber-isolated ones originally used on the VPI Classic turntable. The Prime Scout ships with VPI’s American-made cuing device as well as with the original Scout’s machined aluminum platter. The platter can now easily be upgraded to the Prime’s (formerly known as the Classic) more massive platter that includes a Delrin clamp. A new JMW 3D-9 tone arm will be available as an option to both new Prime Scout and original Scout owners.
If you are in Sarasota Florida today, March 4th 1 to 5 PM is the day you have been waiting for! Our dealer Suncoast Audio is having their Grand Opening
7353 International Place, Unit 309
Featuring: Magico, Soulution, Focal, VAC, Aurender, Esoteric, VPI, Raidho, Vandersteen, Ayre, Berkeley, Chord, Vitus, and more! Suncoast owner Mike Bovaird, owner of Suncoast, has been a long standing VPI dealer who continues to bring quality service and performance to the customers in Florida.
Suncoast Audio is a trained and certified VPI dealer and is ready to help with all of your VPI questions and needs. Make sure you don't miss today's exciting event and we can't wait to get over there to see their new place!
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