We are proud to be part of this fantastic event for International Women's Day. Especially since our company was built by VPI founder Harry and Sheila Weisfeld, but everyone knew Sheila kept the office and customer service going while Harry was on the floor designing and building turntables! Sheila Weisfeld was very active in the Girl Scouts and was a "Trainer of Trainers". She traveled internationally to be part of Girl Scouts events and activities to help create educational opportunities to build strong women!
We lost Sheila/Mom to cancer but keep her memory alive through VPI and our continued dedication to our customers and any opportunity to give back to the community.
Years later we know mom would be proud to have our Plink Player part of this fundraisers for WAGGS!
Thanks to Renaissance Audio for putting this together!
We are excited to be back in Tampa for the Florida Audio Expo! The Florida show was the last event we did before the world shut down! I remember at the show a lot of attendees and visitors were talking and theorizing about what the impacts of this unknown COVID-19 virus would be. While talking to some about the impact on audio shows I had this dark sinking feeling and turned to my wife Jane and told her we need to really enjoy this trip, "I have a feeling this is the last trip we will be taking for awhile. Florida Audio 2020 was the last time we were on a plane until now.
We weren't really locked in to going until as recent as last week! I'm never against shows but this year I was still going to hang back since the idea of traveling on a plane with children is already a rough one. Traveling with little ones while adhering to COVID-19 regulation, even tougher! My little ones handled it like champs!
Anyway, we made it and we are here at the Florida Audio Expo. At the moment it looks like we have VPI products in 4 rooms.
We are showcasing our new Avenger Direct Turntable with House or Stereo and Audio Shield in room 715 and 716 with a whole lot of other fantastic gear!
Our Signature 21 in Rosewood with Suncoast Audio Tampa Terrace Room on the second floor.
We are also excited to have finally gone through our Limited HW-40 40th Anniversary Direct Drive. There has been concern about what we would do with the HW-40 after we ran through the limited 400 tables and we are proud to continue a "non limited" flavor in the lineup. At the Florida Audio Show we are debuting the standard VPI Direct Drive with essentially everything you already loved about the HW-40. The table will be in Piano Black Sides and the ability to easily change tonearms. The limited serialized anniversary plate has been removed for a standard serial plate and the dust cover is no longer included but available as an accessory. This will be showcased with CAT Audio on the 12th floor.
Anyone who wanted that limited anniversary flavor start making phone calls and see who still has them in stock!
We will be providing more information on the rooms and experience at the show across platforms to make sure everyone is part of the experience!
But the main reason we are excited to be here is to celebrate my daughter Shyla's 4th Birthday! We will be having an industry celebration tonight during the hotel Happy Hour for cake, singing, and presents!
See you all at the show!
Dear VPI Family,
Happy New Year, it has been one heck of a year and we are excited for 2022. We wanted to reach out to let you know what's going on at VPI and our plans for the New Year.
We have been having a lot of struggles with backend issues with our emails, website, and forum. ,
Before the end of the year we were able to resolve our email service issues but we lost a lot of communications (New and old) in the process. That is back on track and the staff has been on them. If you haven't heard back feel free to reach out to make sure your email wasn't lost in the transfer.
We are in the process of updating a lot of the pages on our website and bringing back information on a lot of our legacy products.
Our forum has been a struggle . We lost our two staff members who were responsible for the forum and have been working to install a new forum while archiving the old forum so we don't lose a lot of useful information. Last year we experienced bugs where people were unable to log in, post, or retrieve their password. We couldn't fix the problem. A few days ago the whole forum disappeared. Our service provider told us because the platform was incompatible with the updates, but we are still working to recover it. Our goal is to establish our forum as a point place of VPI communication and support!
Ultimately there just isn’t enough hours in the day to get everything done all at once but we are trying!
We are proud to announce we are on top of this supply chain crisis and are feeling confident to continue to build and ship all VPI products in a reasonable time period. The HW-40 Anniversary Edition has come to an end as we have sold through the 400 Anniversary Editions but don’t worry there will still be a “Non Anniversary Edition” available in the near future.
At the moment we are continuing to hold our prices and last year made some serious decisions to hold the course as long as possible. If supply issues continue there might be a forced price increase later in the year but we are hoping to avoid that from happening.
While keeping COVID-19 precautions and safety we are proud to have reopened the VPI House and are working on an event schedule to start in late February/March (dates to be determined pending upon the impact of COVID).
Regarding Audio shows, no final decision has been made yet regarding the Florida show but at this time we will not be participating in any shows besides Capital.
As always thanks for being part of the VPI Family and bearing with us during these difficult times. Any questions, concerns or service issues always feel free to reach out to let us know.
We have still been playing catch up and getting more information about the rooms who used our product at Capital Audiofest. Check out Distinctive Stereo and Living Acoustic's experience at the show!
We recently returned from Capital Audio Fest, the first audio US show since pre-COVID, and it was great to be back in the swing of things. Gary Gill and his staff did a great job, and we of course appreciated all the attendees, without whom there would’ve been no show.
In this Newsletter, Larry describes what a show is like from our perspective (see A Show From An Exhibitor’s Perspective below), Isaac, our analogue guru, describes Genesis Advanced Technologies’ The Player (see Genesis Advanced Technologies’ The Player below) and we showcase our visitors’ discography gallery (see Visitor’s Discography below).
As the cold weather approaches many of us spend more time inside. It’s a great time to get those stereo upgrades you’ve been thinking about, so we are running some Winter specials (see Winter Specials at the bottom of this newsletter). The list is only partial, so feel free to contact us about any products we carry as well as cartridge setup.
We wish everyone a happy holiday, and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.
With best regards,
Larry and Isaac
Genesis Advanced Technologies’ The Player
At CAF Genesis Advanced Technologies debuted The Player: a complete phono system which includes a direct drive turntable with a suspended chassis, the Genesis Platinum phono stage, a power supply, a power conditioner, the supporting rack and all power cables and interconnects. Ultra low distortion, high speed stability and superb micro vibration control make this phono system sound super dynamic, detailed and three-dimensional. Check out this short video snippet of a visitor’s vintage Chicago LP during CAF.
A Show From An Exhibitor’s Perspective
By Laurence Borden of Distinctive Stereo
As an audio enthusiast, and later as a reviewer, audio shows were something I always looked forward to. Going from room to room, hearing many new systems (and new music), talking to the designers, manufacturers, dealers, and other enthusiasts, seeing old friends and making new ones – it was like being a kid in a toy store. The days flew by, and despite having often visited all (or almost all) the rooms, some multiple times, I wished there were more, and it was sad when the show ended and it was time to head home.
I knew it was a lot of work for the exhibitors, but didn’t realize just how much until I started Distinctive Stereo. For those who are interested in what it is like from “the other side,” what follows is brief summary of what went into preparing for the recent Capital Audio Fest, which took place November 5-7, 2021. I will try to list the steps in chronological order, but there was considerable overlap.
Of course, we all hope for positive feedback from visitors, rave reviews from the Press, and sales. Regarding sales: For the second CAF in a row, we sold a pair of Maestros. Selling $40K speakers is not an everyday event, and we were of course delighted (an understatement, if ever there was one). However, we have now set a dangerous precedent as Gary Koh - owner and designer of Genesis - informed Isaac and me that he now expects us to do the same at every show. Talk about pressure!!!
With all the “moving parts” necessary for a successful show, it is hardly surprising that sometimes things go wrong. Some of the things that can go wrong are what a politician once termed “known unknowns,” and include equipment failures (usually due to damage in shipping), poor electrical power in the hotel rooms, weak WiFi, sonic “interference” (especially bass) from neighboring rooms, and the like. To the best of our ability, we prepare for such events. Indeed, this year we experienced one such problem.
While Gary and Isaac were setting up the brand new, state of the art Genesis Record Player, I was setting up the digital side of the system. As is well known, systems often need time to warm up/settle in before sounding their best, and digital is the easiest way to keep the system playing non-stop; after warm up, we would begin the task of optimizing the speakers’ positions and settings). (The digital system was the Aurender N30SA streamer/server-->EMM Labs DA2 DAC. The rest of the system was the Merrill Audio Christine preamplifier-->Merrill Audio Element 118 monoblock amps-->Genesis Maestro loudspeakers). As soon as the connections were made and I hit “play,” I heard sound from the right channel, but not from left. “Nothing serious” I thought to myself, “a connection is loose.” (A connection to the equipment, not in my head as is often suggested!) So after turning off the amps I disconnected and re-connected interconnects and speaker wire, powered up the amps, but still no sound from the left channel. Uh oh. Gary and Isaac were fine-tuning the turntable and cartridge; I tried explaining that what they were doing would be moot if we couldn’t get the second channel working but they were deeply engrossed in what they were doing, and ignored me. (They also ignored me because I can be a pain in the butt, but that is a discussion for another day.) At the time Merrill was wandering around the room, likely pondering when and where he could get parts to finish the new Christine MX preamplifier - which, BTW, is spectacular, as we will describe in our next newsletter. (Said parts, like so many other things in the age of COVID, are either not available, or are sitting on a boat that is unable to dock and/or be unloaded.) I was able to get his attention, and explained the situation. Two heads are better than one - especially when one of the heads is as smart as Merrill’s - and we were quickly able to ascertain that one of the Element 118’s was damaged in shipping. Thankfully, about a week before the show, I suggested to Merrill that we bring a pair of the Element 116’s as a back-up. Disaster avoided! (A number of years ago - at RMAF if memory serves- the power went out in the entire hotel and surrounding area for well over an hour. To the best of my knowledge, none of the exhibitors brought gas-powered backup generators with them - probably a good thing, as the exhaust fumes would likely have killed everyone. For future shows perhaps we should all go hi-tech and bring Tesla Powerwalls!)
Then there are the “unknown unknowns,” by which I mean things that are not only unknown, but that we are unlikely to even imagine. Two such events happened this past show though thankfully, neither had any serious consequences.
Because our exhibitor room was in my name, when I went to the hotel desk Thursday morning to check in, I requested four keycards - one for me, and one for each of my colleagues. After filling out some forms, they gave me only two cards. There were a number of people behind me in the line who were as eager to get to their rooms as I was to mine, so rather than adding to the delay I took the two cards, assuming I could come back later to get more cards. I met my colleagues at the room, and we began the task of setting up the room. On Friday my colleagues asked for a keycard in case they arrived earlier or stayed later than the rest of us, so I went to the front desk to request two more keycards. So far, so good, right? The desk clerk balked when I asked for two extra keycards, and then mentioned that there was a $500 fee for any lost keycard. “Five hundred dollars?” I asked, incredulously. “For a plastic card with a chip that probably costs the Hilton $5?,” to which the clerk replied “didn’t you read the agreement you signed?” Alas, in my haste I had not read the agreement. Suffice it to say I did not get any more cards, and cautioned Gary (the holder of the other card) to please not lose the one I had given him. Thankfully he and I both took care, and at the end of the show I returned both cards without incident.
The second “unknown unknown” surprised me more than the keycard. Isaac and I were showing a perspective customer a product we had on a static display. Out of the blue, a representative from a competing manufacturer came into our room, put his hand on the customer’s shoulder, and physically steered him out of our room. Isaac and I looked at one another in amazement. I stepped outside of the room into the Atrium, looked to my right where I knew that manufacturer had a booth, and sure enough - there he was with the customer. I went back into our room, and continued to take care of our other guests. A bit later I again stepped outside our room, and seeing that the representative was not with a customer, I walked over, introduced myself, and as politely as possible explained that it was not proper for him to take a customer out of my room, while I was talking to him. He defended his behavior by telling me that the customer had previously been to his booth but that he was unable to speak with because he was with another customer, and thus asked him to come back later. I told him that I understood his desire to try and make a sale with said customer, but that it really wasn’t cool for him to come into my room to take a customer away, especially when I was speaking with him about one of my products. He still wasn’t getting it but finally agreed to not do it again “in MY room” (his emphasis). I replied that, with all due respect, he shouldn’t do it in anybody’s room, and then offered him my hand and assured him I was not angry. We shook hands, and that was that. Or so I thought, until the next day when he saw me passing by, and said that he owed me an apology. I thanked him, said that his apology was accepted, and that there were no hard feelings. But then he again began to justify his actions, using the same logic as the day before. I realized that this was not going to be a fruitful discussion so I again shook his hand, wished him a good day, and walked back to our room, SMH [text-speak for “Shaking My Head”].
But there were also many high points of the show, including of course the positive feedback (often glowing) we received from visitors to our room, some of whom came back repeatedly, and some who remained for long periods of time. And of course, a high point of all shows is enjoying music with new and old friends, learning about new music (not necessarily newly recorded, but new to us), and introducing visitors to some of our favorites. This was fun throughout the show, but three occurrences – all of which took place on Sunday, the last day of the show - especially stood out for me. The first involved my buddy Mike, and his buddy Ken, both of whom had attended the Genesis event with special guest Gary Koh, held at my place in September 2019 (https://www.audionirvana.org/forum/title-to-be-added/audio-events/123670-distinctive-stereo-thows-weekend-event-featuring-genesis-advanced-technologies). Mike is an avid (an understatement) collector of incredible first-class recordings of great music. He and Ken stopped by our room on Friday, and arranged to come back on Sunday to listen to Mike’s recordings. As promised they returned on Sunday, and stayed for close to two hours, dazzling everyone in the room with extraordinary music. (The Genesis Record Player, Genesis Maestro loudspeakers, and Merrill Audio electronics certainly didn’t hurt!)
Later in the day on Sunday, Gary and I both immediately recognized another visitor, as he had visited us at CAF 2019 with a fantastic album of Prince playing piano. This year he again knocked our socks off with different music with which we were not familiar (see Visitor’s Discography below).
But the high point of the show for us was something we truly could never have imagined. After the show ended on Sunday, as we were collecting our energy to face the task of dismantling the gear and packing it all up, a security guard looked in as part of his rounds. He apparently liked what he heard, and asked if he could come in. We welcomed him, and showed him to the chair at the sweet spot. We asked what type of music he likes, to which he replied “gospel.” We then played a few tracks of gospel - or as close to it as we could - including Fairfield Four “My God Called Me This Morning.” The look on his face was incredible; he was truly in ecstasy, and couldn’t stop expressing his amazement at what he was hearing. (As an aside, he mentioned that for the three days at the show, almost all he heard while walking around was bass boom.) It is unlikely he will become a customer, or that our paths will ever cross again, and I don’t remember his name - nor will I know if he stumbled upon us by chance, or if (pardon the pun) God was calling him to our room. But none of that matters; what my colleagues and I will never forget is the sheer joy we brought to him. That made all the work worth it, for all of us.
In closing, I want to give a sincere and hearty “thank you” to Gary Gill for organizing CAF, to all the exhibitors who took a chance despite the uncertainties associated with COVID, to all the attendees (without whom there would not be a show), and to my colleagues Isaac, Gary and Merrill.
Inspired by Audio-Technica's flagship ART Series, and a collaboration between the iconic Japanese cartridge manufacturer and the analog experts at VPI, the Shyla dual moving-coil cartridge combines expert design and natural, musical voicing focused on the midrange while also dialed-in to provide strong, deep lows and detailed highs. Featuring a premium magnetic core, special line contact stylus, and 0.26mm-diameter solid boron cantilever, Shyla proves a fantastic tracker that refuses to lose its composure even during challenging passages. Once it hit the grooves of an LP, this premium, high-separation, wide-response model reproduces music with enticing presence, imaging, liveliness, and dynamics.
On the technical side, Shyla boasts all the elements that have helped make both Audio-Technica and VPI renowned names in the high-end industry for decades. As such, Shyla's coils and terminal pins use PCOCC to maintain exceptional purity and conductivity. Its neodymium magnet and permendur yoke significantly increase magnetic energy, while the rated 0.6mV output speaks to its powerful performance.
Shyla's exterior construction is equally important. Modified with advanced internal dampening, its mold ensures exceptional stability and rigidity, limiting unnecessary coil movement and reducing distortion. Similarly, its machined aluminum/hard plastic hybrid body further lessens resonance. Last but not least, the presence of threaded holes allows for easy, hassle-free mounting.
Partnerships between revered high-end companies don't come better than Audio-Technica and VPI. Hear Shyla and experience why.
Frequency Response: 15-50,000 Hz
Channel Separation: 30 (dB at 1 kHz)
Vertical Tracking Angle: 23°
Vertical Tracking Force: 1.6-2.0 g (1.8 g standard)
Stylus Construction: Nude square shank
Recommended Load Impedance: Min. 100 ohms
Coil Impedance: 12 ohms (1 kHz)
DC Resistance: 12 ohms
Coil Inductance: 25 µH (1 kHz)
Output: 0.6 mV (1 kHz, 5 cm/sec.)
Channel Balance: 0.5 dB (1 kHz)
Stylus Shape: Special line contact
Cantilever: 0.26 mm diameter solid boron
Dynamic Compliance: 15 x 10-6 cm/dyne (100 Hz)
Weight: 8.5 g (0.30 oz)
Dimensions: 17.3 mm (0.68") H × 17.0 mm (0.67") W × 25.6 mm (1.01") D
The Story Behind Shyla
Named after VPI owner Mat Weisfeld's daughter, Shyla came about from VPI's desire to have a high-performance MC cartridge for under $2,000 with the company's name on it – a cartridge that captures the sound, experience, and quality VPI values when enjoying music. When listening to Audio-Technica ART Series cartridges, Mat and VPI founder Harry Weisfeld got an idea for a collaboration with Audio-Technica. After an initial conversation, the companies strove to create a product founded on AT's long history of cartridge design complemented by VPI's voicing and natural/musical sound. Harry and Mat first met the AT design team in Munich, after which an initial prototype was developed. Mat followed up with a second trip to AT's home base in Japan to continue the communication and design for the cartridge. During the visit, VPI toured the AT sound room and research-and-development facility where the cartridge would be subjected to the highest level of quality and compliance testing.
The Shyla is also a perfect pairing and option with our Prime 21 turntable and can be ordered with the Shyla mounted as the VPI Prime 21+!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.