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VPI Player Review | The Millennial Audiophile

by Eric Franklin Shook in Analog

VPI re-imagines the turntable, and creates a new product category with the Player When I speak about record collecting with the under thirty-five crowd, initially many of them see vinyl as a low-fi medium, much like cassette tapes, and 8-tracks. This impression was created by dusty hand-me-down turntables, and record collections of which most have unkempt and dirty grooves. Along with many of the new records purchased during the “2008 vinyl resurgence” being played on these [...]


  • ZYX UNIverse Optimum

    ZYX UNIverse Optimum 1Ω MC Cartridge | Review

    August 25, 2018 // 4 Comments

    Astonishment, personified US $16,995.00. There, I’ve said it, in bold. That’s nearly seventeen thousand dollars for a phono cartridge. I still remember the first turntable I bought back in 1981, it was a Luxman PD-284 which cost me $150 dollars. If I had known that 36 years later I’ll be laying my hands on a $17,000 cartridge, I would have taken up aerobics or knitting instead. To put it into perspective, the price of Gold closed trading at $ 1,225 per ounce at the COMEX exchange today. [...]
  • Pure Fidelity Eclipse Turntable Review

    August 10, 2018 // 0 Comments

    Pure Fidelity Eclipse Turntable Review: Total Eclipse of the Art, as originally seen in The Occasional Magazine. [...]
  • by Carlos Guzman Technics RS M63. That was the first cassette deck recorder I bought with my own money. On monthly installments, I paid $21.50 for 24 months with my funeral home’s attendant part-time job. I would prefer the RS M85, but I couldn’t afford the payments so, I was very happy with my new acquisition. A 3-head machine with a decent sound and beautiful digital meters. By those days, TDK was my preferred tape and I bought it by boxes of 10. I recorded hundreds of tapes on that [...]
  • Audio Cassette Revival: For Real?

    June 16, 2018 // 6 Comments

    by Carlos Guzman With the new tape revival around the world, more and more audiophiles are getting into the exclusive, and sometimes expensive, hobby of open reel playback. Many companies have resurrected the old “pre-recorded” reel tapes market but this time with exclusive music and performers dubbed on high quality tape from ATR or RTM, running @ 15ips on a 1/2 Track format and with such a high sound quality that right now this is the best media to take you closer to the “real [...]
  • This is an article that first appeared in our new online PDF, downloadable magazine The Occasional this February in our Winter 2018 edition. We’ll be rolling out articles from it over the next several weeks in anticipation of our upcoming third issue – the Spring Edition – which is scheduled for publication this month. We hope you enjoy this new, exclusive content, and that you’ll check out the current Winter Edition of The Occasional and its 140 pages of fresh high fidelity [...]
  • Review: ZYX 4D Ultimate MC Cartridge

    March 31, 2018 // 2 Comments

    This is an article that first appeared in our new online PDF, downloadable magazine The Occasional this March in our Spring 2018 edition. We’ll be rolling out articles from it over the next several weeks in anticipation of our upcoming third issue – the Summer edition – which is scheduled for publication in May. We hope you enjoy this new, exclusive content, and that you’ll check out the current Winter Edition of The Occasional and its 140 pages of fresh high fidelity reviews, [...]
  • Playing records is – as my good friend once told me – the audiophile version of the Japanese tea ceremony. It is all about preparation, and presentation. There is a strong visual aesthetic to the act of putting an LP on a turntable, cueing up the tonearm, and dropping the needle into the groove. If you’re not sure of how to do it, it shows, and you lose some of the inherent grace, intelligence and sophistication that having a turntable, and a record collection, connotes in many [...]
  • The List: Five of the Best Turntables in the World

    November 26, 2017 // 13 Comments

    Welcome to something new we’re going to try here on PTA thanks to our friend Wynn Wong of Wynn Audio in Richmond Hill, Ontario. I’m going to be curating a new list every month featuring different categories of gear that I think you – our readers – have to hear under any circumstances you can arrange: beg, borrow, steal, drive for hours, hop a train, take a plane… you get what I’m saying. Price will not be a factor, with individual pieces on each list reflecting a spectrum of what [...]
  • Virginia is for Lovers. That’s what the bumper sticker said on the car in front of me. The air was muggy, and charged with electricity as the windshield wipers tried to clear the rain from a summer thunderstorm. I was sitting with Christopher Hildebrand, and Sara Moriarty in their station wagon idling at a traffic light; that’s when I noticed the slogan. As I took in the scene of strip malls, and gas stations my mind wandered past the lowland forests in the distance, and the surrounding [...]
  • KEF LS50 Wireless loudspeakers, Shinola Runwell turntable, Roon Labs, TIDAL and Spotify -- all in one system. [...]
  • Review: Audio Research Reference Phono 3

    August 6, 2017 // 5 Comments

    By Richard Mak Closer to the master tape In the world of high end audio two of the most revered names in the industry are McIntosh and Audio Research. McIntosh, founded in 1949 by Frank McIntosh and Audio Research in 1970 by William (Bill) Johnson, represents two of the oldest U.S manufacturers still in operation. Their coveted and fiercely loyal customer base can only be matched by the loyalty of their employees, many of whom have been with the company for over 30 years Together, McIntosh and [...]
  • When the McIntosh MP1100 phono preamplifier arrived at my doorstep,  I was as excited as when I saw the first McIntosh product at 12 years old. I admit, I am a McIntosh fan boy, perhaps not blindly starry -eyed enough to buy the $1,800 USD McIntosh wall clock, but I have a  long enough family history with McIntosh to prove my street cred. It all began with my grandfather who purchased a pair of MC-60s from a movie theatre and became one of the earliest McIntosh owners in Hong Kong. The post [...]
  • If you’ve got a thing for vinyl, then you’ve got a thing for turntables too. Both are dependent upon the other, and as worldwide sales of LPs hit upwards of 3 million copies in 2016 according to several news outlets, turntable manufacturers saw demand for their products rise in kind. According to SEV Litovel – the manufacturer referred to as the largest producer of quality turntables in the world, and which provides Pro-Ject Audio with a number of models – the [...]
  • Review: Dynamic Sounds Associates Phono II

    February 18, 2017 // 5 Comments

    Being an audiophile is difficult. Being an audiophile into vinyl is more difficult. Being an audiophile who is so into vinyl that you have more than one turntable is bordering on a personality disorder. Having a turntable is often looked upon as a lot of work by those into digital for good reason: One has to consider drive types (rim, direct, belt, idler, AC or DC motor supply for example), tonearm approaches (gimbal, unipivot, suspended, linear mount) then there’s the cartridge, and the [...]
  • Five turntable mats: An audiophile shootout

    February 15, 2017 // 23 Comments

    Please don’t shoot me, I’m only the record player. That’s what I imagined my turntable saying to me after spending an entire weekend going back and forth listening to five different turntable mats varying in cost from $30 USD to $350 USD. Why did I do this? Because I’m interested in getting the best sound (to my ears) out of my system, and since I had a number of mats in the house, and needed to write something about them, I decided to throw them all in the mix, and [...]
  • Helping to run one of the most well known, and revered turntable companies in the world is no easy task. Just ask Mat Weisfeld, president of VPI Industries who I caught up with in Denver at RMAF to discuss the company, his turntable designs, upcoming model changes, and his inspiration for the design of the new Prime, now available with a walnut finished MDF/steel sandwich plinth. The Prime Signature – a hot-rodded version of the Prime – should see its retail debut in the new year, so look [...]
  • For those of you out there on the Internet reading this who grew up in the ’70s, you might remember a suspense thriller called The China Syndrome. It details how a series of events lead to a climactic conclusion at a nuclear power plant in the United States. The film is driven by the strength of convictions in each character, with suspense, and a healthy dose of fear created as events inexorably draw the viewer to a heart-pounding finish. The Hana SL had a similar effect on me while I had [...]
  • Politicians can be extraordinarily annoying. Every election season, we hear something misleadingly optimistic (or not) about “American Jobs”, specifically focusing on topics such as: manufacturing in the USA, the state of the states in the Rust Belt, the fact that those “good jobs” are now overseas and are/are not coming back. This is usually followed by a screed that includes commentary on how everything is going to Hell seventeen different ways to Sunday but that a [...]
  • NEW: Shinola Launches Audio in Fall 2016

    November 15, 2016 // 7 Comments

    Color me “intrigued”. Shinola and VPI have gone ahead and done something that makes my shriveled little heart grow three sizes, and just in time for the holidays. Shinola has been brand-building and brand-expanding for the last several years. You’ve probably heard of their watches, perhaps their bikes, and maybe even their leather goods. Their appeal is only in part due to their nifty hip product line, but perhaps even more so in the fact that everything they do is based in [...]
  • Once upon a time, I was young and innocent, brash and bold. I believed in the superiority of digital playback. Cables could have no impact on the sound quality of my system. You could never have too much power. “Once Upon a Time” was actually a fun-to-watch TV show. Ah, me. Such halcyon days. Sadly, time marches on. One of my favorite “Scot was wrong” moments (somewhere down the list from “Oh, sure, I can drink an entire fifth of rum” and “running a [...]