VAS Industries, the US importer for VAS, Cayin and Aurum Cantus, was showing at NYAV with VPI. Which was really cool. Everything in this room was on the more affordable end of the high-end scale, and I like that. A lot.
Harry Weisfeld was very enthusiastically showing off a pair of brand-new VPI turntables. Two new ‘tables!
First up is the big Classic 4. $10k gets you a much bigger, beefier ‘table and two top flight tonearms. Is that crazy? I love it! This hunk of audio beefcake sits atop a long list of new ‘table intros from VPI in recent years, but with the dual-arm capability, it does something very few have to date. That is, it totally removes your need to make decisions. Two arms? Two carts! Which means — you now can play both kinds of music. Stereo and mono!
Some big HRX feet on the Classic 4.
The other big news? The VPI Traveler! This turntable is being offered at $1299. You may have heard that this ‘table is a tribute to Sheila Weisfeld, who passed away late last year. Her son Matthew worked with husband Harry to create a sort of father-and-son homage to her long years at VPI and a nod to her favored pass-time, the Traveler has got to be on the shortlist for the budding audiophile and hipster. An aluminum platter, an aluminum plinth and a brand-new 10″ tonearm is part of the package. The Traveler was swinging a Soundsmith “Carmen” cartridge; looks like they can be picked as a package deal for $1,750.
Electronics came courtesy of VAS. The retro-looking $5,000 VAS Citation Sound-1 preamp. This is nifty piece of work. In addition to having it’s own phono preamp built in, the unit uses a unique (as far as I know) feature called “blend” that allows you to create a center channel out of your stereo signal. Why would you do that? Well, why the hell not?
In the room were three $2,500 Aurum Cantus loudspeakers, for left, right and … center? Center! Played this way, the sound in the room was dynamic, detailed and quite exciting.
VAS Citation-2 mono amps were connected up to provide the power. These compact amps are $1,500 each. Tube complement is a pair of 6550EH / 6CA&EH / EL-34 tubes for 50wpc (in ultralinear, 25wpc in triode mode, selectable by switch).
Good luck persuading a dealer to sell you THREE speakers too, “sorry can you wait until someone else wants to?”
The preamp is a modern re-creation of the Harman/Kardon Citation IV preamp, which also had the center channel feature.
To the suggestion that the center channel is unnecessary, I say that if Harry Weisfeld likes it, it must be worth looking into!
With excellent 2 channel, there is no need for center channel.
Nice report. Question. Which camera did you use to shoot the show and are you using flash? Well done!
Everything was shot with my Canon 20d using a 24-70mm L lens or a 70-200mm L IS lens. Flash was a 580ex, used mainly for fill or bounce.