About 6 years ago we had the first showing of a Classic Signature in Rosewood with Keith Herron owner of Herron Audio. We thought it was very fitting for the first Prime Signature in Rosewood to be with Keith for Axpona 2017! Besides being an easy going person and having stellar sounding equipment, Keith had a major impact on my development and entry into the High-End world. I originally met Keith at the 2007 CES with my mom Sheila where Keith was sporting a VPI HR-X.
At the time I didn't know much of anything in the industry but that didn't stop Keith. He was patient and showed me every aspect of his system. Keith didn't just show me his equipment, he explained it in a way that was easy to understand. He also showed his invention on the HR-X that would later influence the Avenger motor design. (He also took me to the best rib place in Vegas but that is for another post!)
Fast forward 10 years and we are still making music together!
Using an Audio Technica cartridge, some minor fumbling with cartridge screws, it wasn't long before we had the system spinning. We dropped the needle and knew from first blush we had a great sounding system. Being a practical and innovative engineer, Keith rigged his system to turn on and off by stepping on a button on the floor (you can see it in the picture below).
We came back a later after some adjusting and were impressed how much the system warmed up. Of course it is never fair to accurately judge a show room on sound but this whole system I would happily have in my home living room. So much so that we recently reinstalled the Herron pre-amp in our own system at VPI.
Always enjoyable to partner with fellow American made manufacturers. What I like the most is that Herron units are easy to use, never break (I really miss handled one a few years back and it was totally fine!) and you can upgrade them! being a company that believes in the same paradigm, your Herron equipment is never obsolete because it can always be upgraded when something new comes out.
Already looking forward to the next showing with Herron.
There is a Titan at Munich and no, we aren't talking about Hans-Ole Vitus of Vitus Audio, though he certainly is one! For the first time the VPI Titan will be on live display at the Munich Hifi show in Atrium 4.2 room E208.
Vitus Audio (AVA Group A/S) room at the High End Munich 2017 show is ready!
The new Vitus Audio (AVA Group A/S) SM-103 mono amps on Franc Audio Accessories Wood Block Platforms, combined with Göbel High End - Patented Loudspeakers & Cables made in Germany speakers, hooked up with Purist Audio Design cables.
Analogue source, our VPI Industries Titan, a mighty turntable, with one tonearm from Acoustical Systems and one from VPI Industries. Cartridges from Acoustical Systems and Shelter (JP).
Once again showing the diversity of a VPI Turntable in its ability to mount multiple arms of different brands.
Digital source, the Media One from Alluxity by AVM TEC
Analogue and Digital sources cabled with Purist Audio Design and installed on Stillpoints.us racks
The room has been effectively treated by RW Acoustics
We would like to thank : Hans-Ole Vitus from Vitus Audio (AVA Group A/S) , Alexander Vitus Mogensen from Alluxity by AVM TEC, Oliver Göbel from Göbel High End - Patented Loudspeakers & Cables made in Germany, Kimberly Stahl from Purist Audio Design, Juljen Faganelj from RW Acoustics, Paweł Franc Skulimowski from Franc Audio Accessories and Manuel Lopes from Connaisseur-av for setting up a great cooperation. It's a true joy to have a team that understands teamwork ! :-)
I still have more Axpona and Montreal posts but we have to take a quick break for Munich. Jane and I arrived yesterday without a problem and only slightly jetlagged! This year we came a bit early so we could enjoy something besides the inside of a convention center. First we had to make sure our precious cargo survived the trip!
We usually bring record-mats for Munich to share with others. This year we thought it would be great to partner with our friends from Hifi Pig and go pink! Personally I'm loving the color. Make sure you find Stuart and Linettet and grab yours while can.
Another packed item, our non-production prototype JMW Titan (AKA Fat Boy) tonearm. Let me tell you, explaining to airport security that this plays records was rather difficult! This tonearm is a high-end "under development" tonearm we have been working on and will be officially available later this year. We brought it with us and are ready to share and talk more about it! But lets talk about something a bit lighter...
Jane and I hit to the the historical streets of Munich! Starting with a tour of the highlights of Munich we continued with a castle tour of King Ludwig II's life. For all the DIY designers who never finish a project, Ludwig takes the cake! He started but never finished 4 castles some of which cost in the range of 60 million Euros. Makes me feel a lot better about all of the tonearms my dad started but didn't finish!
In one of the villages they put Jane to work. I was starting to worry Jane would give up her career in VPI to become a metal smith in Bavaria! It was great to see dedicated craftsman who were eager to show something new to a visitor.
After almost 6 years of international traveling we have never seen anything besides the inside of an audio showroom. This trip it was our goal to break the mold and get a taste of the outside world. We recommend doing this to all fellow manufacturers, dealers, and music lovers.
Fun escape, but now back to work! Stay tuned for more on our Munich travels.
On this Mother’s Day weekend, anyone out there spinning a VPI please take a moment to remember a very important person. Sheila Weisfeld the VPI Mom and first voice you heard for almost 35 year when anyone called to ask a question about VPI. Both Harry and Sheila started VPI. While Harry was making turntables on the factory floor, Sheila was selling and communicating with VPI dealers and customers in the front office. She was also a gatekeeper for the calls that came in for Harry. Sheila loved to talk on the phone, help customers, and most of all talk about her family (mainly me!)
Sheila wasn’t the most musical but she appreciated and loved music. Growing up she loved to sing but wasn’t the greatest and was put into the “listening corner”. For anyone who knew Sheila you knew she wasn’t one who would stay quite in the corner! If you played by the rules and were honest Sheila would give you the world. If you played games, were dishonest, or didn’t do “the right thing” than you were in for trouble!
Sheila managed the office, answered the phones, emails, and invoicing (also with help from her mom, Shirley who still answers the phones). She also used to love traveling and going to audio shows to see her friends in the industry. For a person in her 60s, when I went to the 2007 CES and THE Show with her I was exhausted from all the rooms she took me to. She wanted me to meet everyone in the industry especially her friends, which was almost everyone!
The Scout turntables were named after Sheila since she was very active in Girl Scouts and the development/growth of strong independent women. The original idea behind the Scout was to be practical and economical but still packed a punch and be something greater than expected. With that description, the Scout and now Prime Scout embodies those characteristics of my mom.
Wishing everyone a Happy Mother's Day weekend and we hope everyone takes the time to enjoy it with or remembering their mom!
This was a surprising and unexpected room. I received a facebook message from Robert Kelly from German Physiks informing me we were making music together with an Avenger at Axpona 2017. Since I wasn't aware of this room my first concern was, "OMG how are we going to materialize an Avenger in such a short period of time"! Never fear, the good folks at Distinctive Stereo already had it covered with their Avenger Reference unit.
This isn't the first time we have made music with this setup. The VPI listening house is loaded up with Merrill Advanced Audio Technology equipment and the VPI Avenger was paired up with German Physiks at past audio shows. The German Physiks Borderland Mk IV loudspeakers produces one of the largest sound stages we have heard with a clean drive of power from the Merrill amplification and phono.
Topped off with a Lyra Delos cartridge mounted on the JMW 3DR-12 tonearm. Anyone who knows me is aware the Delos is one of my favorite cartridges I often recommend, especially with a VPI JMW 3D arm. However, we kicked it up a notch on the second day by mounting the Delos on a new prototype tone arm with the expected name of being the JMW Titan tonearm but has been more lightly labeled the "Fat Boy" tonearm.
As an added bonus, we are extremely proud that this room combination won thePositive Feedback Audio Oasis Axpona 2017 Award!
If anyone had a chance and enjoyed this room at Axpona 2016 make sure to swing by the LA Audio Show to hear this system again.
Merrill Wettasinghe of Merrill Audio Advanced Technology Labs, LLC and Larry Borden of Distinctive Stereo, celebrate the end of a successful Axpona show, before they get down to the hard work of breaking down the room and re-packing everything. Hopefully they will have recovered by now.
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