So, I drove to New York.
I had to work the day job today, which was a bummer, but since that’s the paying gig, that’s how that goes. That said, I still managed to escape early (yay, half day!), which meant piling into the cruiser just after noon and steering off into the general direction of New York, by way of Pennsyltucky. Whoops. Did I just type that? My mistake. I meant Pensylvania. Right.
Anyway, 7 hours later, I arrived in Brooklyn. Fried. Jangled. Half deaf. Somebody remind me why I do this, again?
Ah, right. The Weisfelds of VPI. They’ll do it, pretty much every time.
In case you were wondering, I’m a big fan of Harry and Mat. Big fan. So, when a little bird told me that there was something new hitting the New York show, something that may or may not be called “Prime”, I was ready to storm the Bastille. Or brave NYC traffic. Either way, my loins were girded.
So. You ready? Say hello to Prime!
Prime is an all-new, Mat Weisfeld design. It’s an evolution of the Scout line, as opposed to the Classic, featuring all manner of tasty bits. The plinth is very similar to the rest of the Scouts, but will have a slightly different flair — think “HRX” and you’re getting there. HRX isolation feet with a double-sized Pabst motor, the platter from the Scout 2, and then there’s that tonearm. That’s a new 10″ 3-D printed job! Oh, yeah. And the cartridge? An Ortofon Cadenza Bronze. $3,500 includes the … everything. (Well, the cart is extra, but the “everything else” is in there).
I’ll let that sink in a moment. You’re welcome. General availability — before the end of the year.
Feeling frisky? Another $1000 (when purchased with the SDS, otherwise, it’s $1,200) adds the VPI SDS system — as Harry suggested, it’s a big deal. If you’re on the fence, get one, and you’re welcome.
But that’s not all.
This is the new VPI integrated amplifier. Yes, I said “VPI amplifier”.
In cooperation with their friends and long-time audio-show compatriots VAS (who makes Cayin amps), Harry and team have commissioned an assembled-in-the-USA Scott clone, based on KT88 output tubes. $4,000 (or thereabouts) will land you one, and yes, it includes a phono preamp. General availability in about 90 days.
This room also featured the Merrill Audio Jens phono preamp and some really spectacular vintage Tannoys that Harry snagged off of eBay. I can hear Mal Kenney jumping up and down right now. And yes, this room sounded dynamic as an Energizer bunny on a trampoline.
But that’s not all.
In the very next room, VPI had another surprise — the new Scout Junior. At (under) $1,500 (ish), the new Junior looks to be replacing the outgoing Traveler. This is a sneak peek, and won’t be available until after New Years, but the new Junior will feature some serious upgrades, including the same Scout motor I was so enamored of in that TAS review. Quieter, better speed control, better materials — the new Junior is going to be the new entry point into the upscale line.
No, no need to panic — the Nomad, at $999 and including the phono pre and headphone amplifier, is still in the lineup. No worries there.
Shown here, with some crazy lighting (Pink Floyd really demands nothing less, after all) and a pair of my favorite Joseph Audio loudspeakers, the Perspective and a Cayin integrated.
Jeff Joseph, as long-time readers may be aware, is a room setup wizard, and his skills were on full display. Absolutely slammin’ sound in this room.
Hee hee! What a great way to kick things off!