It’s not just that it seems to be packed with the most out there exhibits on the US audio show circuit. It’s the fact that it’s just so much of a good time that everyone wants to get in on the party — even when they’re not officially attending.
Take VPI Industries as your example. Mat Weisfeld and Jane Cai made a last minute decision to hop a plane to California just to hang out and enjoy the fun. They also brought enough cameras with them to pass for members of The Part-Time Audiophile crew. Between wandering around gawking and taking pictures, they also loitered in the lobby with the newly-reborn VPI Nomad ($995) all-in-one turntable.
The new Nomad is the product of a new supply chain and completely overhauled quality control procedures. The original may have been a hell of a deal, but it still showed signs of being an artisinal product. The new edition has more of an industrial feel to it, with more consistency and reliability as the main features.
Even with lobby power and a tilted table, the Nomad’s speed stability let The Stones punch right through a pair of KEF M500 headphones. I liked it. In fact, there probably wasn’t more elemental fun to be had in any exhibit room. VPI seems to have found its focus again.
But if Mat and Jane want to keep carrying stupidly large cameras around audio shows, we’re going to have to have words. Stay on your side of the industry, folks. You don’t see us making turntables, do you?