On October 21st we announced the launch of our new Anniversary Turntable, the HW-40! At the event we also launched the debut of our new VPI House showroom! The purpose of the house is to create a listening experience showcasing different types of listening rooms in realistic home settings. It is also important to note the rooms are constantly changing as we swap through different brands in each room.
Room 1 - Life Style
The first room that you will see when you walk in features our partnership with Shinola. This system features the Shinola Runwell (made by us) with their new active Shinola speakers (made by Barefoot) and being isolated on the same shelf by Isoacoustics.
This set-up demonstrates a beautiful system for the first time music lover or the listener who might be more on a high-end lifestyle side and hasn't fully embraced the audiophile banner. However, they still want quality equipment with great sound, easy to use, and becomes a center piece in their home.
Room 2 - Entry Level Audiophile
The second room is for the entry level audiophile. The Audiophile who has made an investment into the high-end but is still scratching the surface. For our 40 Anniversary Launch we chose to use speakers from Totem Acoustics, Transparent Cable, integrated amp by Moon by Simaudio, our Cliffwood Phono, and Cliffwood Turntable with Ortofon 2M Red.
This system has been kept together since January's 2018 CES when it was first put together by Transparent Cable in their room. Their goal was to achieve a whole system under 10K that punched well above it's price point. They accomplished it! The combination created a wide sound stage with a clean mid-range. It also had a nice kick in the bass for what the system was.
Room 3 - Middle of the Road Audiophile
Next on the audiophile/music lover journey is a system that ended up being an all "Made in America" branded system. With our award winning Prime and Ortofon Quintet Bronze sourcing the system, it was driven with the powerful Roger's High Fidelity Tube Integrated Amplifier. The phono was our Voyager with Wilson Sabrina Speakers at the end of the chain and Transparent tying all of the equipment together.
We also chose to mount our gimbal tonearm to help capture the diversity the Prime and all VPI products. Not everyone likes a uni-pivot just like not everyone likes a gimbal. Having the option can be very powerful when deciding what to use for your front end. Warm, sweet, and smooth this system might have been one of the most relaxing rooms in the house.
This combination is meant to capture the system of an audiophile who has "drank the Kool-Aid" but still has created a system that doesn't look like it belongs in a Sci-Fi movie. This room was crafted together with fellow made in America brands with the goal to create a high-end system that could still fit in someone's house.
Room 4 - Hi-End Audiophile
The press and guests at the VPI listening house enjoyied the fantastic listening session with the VPI Avenger with Fatboy. Powered by Krell Audio, tied together with Transparent Cable, and Genesis Advanced Technologies, Inc. at the end of the chain the system had a large sound/sound-stage. The sound was natural, organic, and still took apart the notes in a clean and detailed way. It has been years since we have worked with Krell but after the sound we got from this event we will being using a lot more of their equipment.
Room 5 - "Fair Play" / Presentation Room
The final room and main event for the press launch was our "Fair Play" room, also call our "Presentation" room. It got the name the "Fair Play" because on the left hand side we have standard VPI product line from Prime Scout, Prime, and Prime Signature. All tables having the same cartridge, wiring, and plugged into all the same equipment. This gives the listener the chance to take the same record and listen to it right up the VPI line. We like the idea of a listener being able to experience the improvements they are getting form each model. However, for this event the hero was what was under the cover!
The HW-40 finally came to light! One of the first times in VPI history we were able to create a secret project and (for the most part) keep it a secret. Harry still had some teasing leak posts on his "Harry's Corner" forum, but much better than usual! The full system included the VPI Voyager, Moon by Simaudio Electronics, wired together by Nordost Cable, and KEF Blade speakers.
The event continued with Keynote speaking from our Electrical Engineer Mike Bettinger. Mike is previously known for his work on our Analog Drive System (ADS), and the Voyager Phono. Working with Harry, Mike was able to push our original Direct Drive motor to another level in speed accuracy, reliability, and quality.
This is the start of our 40 year celebration and new journey both with our Direct Drive technology and new VPI Listening house. We are excited to end 2018 with this launch and are looking forward to continue the celebration through 2019 with more surprises. We will continue honoring family values, Made in America products, and the love of music for another 40 years to come and our like everyone to visit us in the new house on their next trip to Jersey!