HP's 2010 Editor's Choice Award
VPI Classic (revised) turntable
The Classic, correctly named, has been made even better with a few quite small changes, which give it an even smoother sound. These are tiny changes, but consistent with Harry Weisfeld’s mechanical bent. The man is always on the lookout for a sonic improvement, no matter how slight. Oh yes, the changes, as told by HW himself: “I grounded the motor with an aluminum heat sink, the platter was changed to one piece of aluminum rather than two pieces, with a damping ring attached to its bottom (to make it quieter), and the arm increased by 6mm “for lower tracing error and better tracking.” And the price remains the same. You yourself can do a bit of improving if you opt to pay for the stainless-steel version of the Classic’s arm ($200), which I recommend for cleaner sound from your cartridges, and $700 for the stainless-steel record clamp that fits over the outside edges, the best way of the LP. The speed stability is so good thanks to Weisfeld’s design (based on earlier turntables, those from the golden age of same) that I think you can get by without the SDS speed control device (at $1200), which makes speed changes easier than does adjusting the Classic’s belt. A steal at $2500, this one does not suffer by comparison with the Clearaudio Statement and has prompted me to retire the much-loved Scoutmasters.