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  • Harry Weisfeld Sounds Off

    On the pricing of tonearms today.
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
    -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

  • #2
    So after that blast from harry, what is the new tonearm actually going to cost? BTW; you can have me down for one of those Plutonium Glow in the dark tonearms, although i do have some health and safety concernes :-)

    Comment


    • Johnny Vinyl
      Johnny Vinyl commented
      Editing a comment
      He said it should cost no more $2,000

  • #3
    I'd like to hear his opinion on some of the glorified chopsticks priced near and over $10k !

    david
    Manufacturer: American Sound Turntables and The Nothing Rack
    Distribution: NEODIO

    Special Sales: van den Hul
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    http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...stening-room-1
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    Comment


    • #4
      Originally posted by david k View Post
      I'd like to hear his opinion on some of the glorified chopsticks priced near and over $10k !

      david
      Yeah, I think HW missed a variety of wooden arms. I happened to be speaking to a maker of Tonearms last week and he said more or less the same thing as Harry. Pricing out of the range of sanity and some reviewers mesmerized by prices and not quality. NOT MYLES! I was at a friends house last night doing a musical soirée. He has a VPI 3 with 10.5 arm and a Clearaudio Maestro $1k mm cartridge and I have to say it sounded really wonderful. VPI makes some great product for real world pricing.
      TW Acustic TT with Ref motor & controller; Tri-Planar Arm; Ortofon Windfeld-Ti Cartridge, Harmonix-Combak platter matte & weight; Arcam R Phono Preamp; KLAudio Ultrasonic Record Cleaner.

      Bluesound Vault-2 Music Server & Streamer

      VTL 6.5 preamp Series II
      Pass Labs 150.8 Amp

      Piega C711 Loudspeakers

      Symposium Osiris Rack; Symposium Platforms and Roller Blocks plus grade 2.5 Balls

      Acoustic Revive RR-888 Low Frequency Pulse Generator

      Shunyata Hydra 8; Shunyata AC Cords; Synergistic Research Level 3 HC AC Cord and Level 3 power cord, Synergistic Carbon fiber wall plates & Blue Outlets, Furutech NCF Booster Brace, Audio Art Ref balanced ICs, MIT Oracle IC and Magnum Speaker Cables

      Sennheiser HDV 650 Headphone Amp; Sennheiser HD1200s Headphones.

      Comment


      • #5
        "It is a poison driven by magazine reviewers who constantly want more expensive and more expensive toys to write about. This goes for all the print and on line writers, I am singling out no one because none of them have any idea how you make something or they would write " Are you crazy with this price"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" - Harry Weisfeld

        Last edited by Rob; 04-14-2016, 04:40 PM.
        Simon Yorke S10 | My Sonic Lab Eminent GL | AcousticPlan PhonoMaster | Wadia X32 | Innuous ZEN Mini Mk II | Valvet Soulshine2 | Linear Tube Audio ZOTL10 MkII | Avantgarde Uno Fino XD

        "One of the great challenges of this world: Knowing enough about a subject to think you are right, but not enough about the subject to know you're wrong" - Neil deGrasse Tyson

        Comment


        • #6
          Originally posted by Billy Shears View Post
          So after that blast from harry, what is the new tonearm actually going to cost? BTW; you can have me down for one of those Plutonium Glow in the dark tonearms, although i do have some health and safety concernes :-)
          The 10-inch 3D armwand costs $1800 and the 12-inch version $2600. Add $1600 for the whole arm and base. I would think the new arm will come in around the same area.

          One thing to also think about -- and this adds to the cost with imported or exported products --is that you are adding another layer of cost to the sales price. So what might be great value in the US might cost 2X overseas and vice versa.
          Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
          Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
          ________________________________________

          -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
          -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
          -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
          -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
          -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
          -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
          -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
          -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
          -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
          -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

          Comment


          • Billy Shears
            Billy Shears commented
            Editing a comment
            So we are still talking 4200$ for the 12inch arm. I have no doubt it offers good value for that money but its still going to be out of reach even for most ;serious; audiophiles

        • #7
          Wasn't all that many years back ABEC/RBEC - 9 bearings couldn't even be mass produced, they were graded/selected out of grade 7 bearings. Tolerances on a small grade 9s are +0.0" -0.0001" inner and outer race diameters and radial runout is at +0.0 -0.00005" (yes, that is correct five one hundred thousandths).

          ​Of course, those numbers are meaningless if the machining of the assembly isn't the equal of the bearings. And I'd like a close up look at the tonearm wand and clamping assembly to see exactly how it sets preload as normally there is no preload on radial ball bearings. Normally. Excessive preload would cause the amount of torque required for movement to increase but since the amount of movement is only a few degrees it may not be quite as critical.

          At any rate, it looks interesting as is the choice for horizontal movement. Nothing wrong with what is essentially a sleeve bearing in conjunction with a thrust bearing and thrust plate. Wonder if the thrust bearing is ceramic.

          At any rate, Harry was not shy in stating his opinions. There may be some validity to his opinion of some folks jumping on the vinyl bandwagon and then jumping back off when things slow down.

          Comment


          • #8
            Frankly, I find what Harry said to be refreshing. People can't accuse him of not being in the audio business and not understanding what it takes to run a manufacturing business for the high-end.
            Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

            Comment


            • #9
              Frankly, I never understood VPI's pricing structure. For example, I had a VPI Prime which when I bought it, retailed from $3800 (now retails for $4000). Great table for the money. I came with the 10" 3d tonearm. The Prime allows you to add a 2nd tonearm, but of course to do that I needed the 10" VTA tower as well. The retail price to the same exact tonearm (10" 3d) with tower is $3500 - the same price as buying an entire NEW Prime! How does a new Prime cost the same as the 10" tonearm and tower that is on the Prime! Their is the feet, plinth/chasis, platter, record weight, etc. I decided not to do the 2nd arm, obviously. Makes no sense to me. Harry even recommend buying a new table rather than getting a second arm on it.

              Comment


              • #10
                Originally posted by Analog21 View Post
                Frankly, I never understood VPI's pricing structure. For example, I had a VPI Prime which when I bought it, retailed from $3800 (now retails for $4000). Great table for the money. I came with the 10" 3d tonearm. The Prime allows you to add a 2nd tonearm, but of course to do that I needed the 10" VTA tower as well. The retail price to the same exact tonearm (10" 3d) with tower is $3500 - the same price as buying an entire NEW Prime! How does a new Prime cost the same as the 10" tonearm and tower that is on the Prime! Their is the feet, plinth/chasis, platter, record weight, etc. I decided not to do the 2nd arm, obviously. Makes no sense to me. Harry even recommend buying a new table rather than getting a second arm on it.

                IMHO, I don't feel VPI want's to sell parts and upgrades and would rather sell whole tables. This is probably more of a business decision since the customer support required for installing upgrades and such would be a pretty big impact on their limited CS department. They wouldn't even sell me a tonearm finger lift direct anymore and wanted me to go through my dealer. Sorry, I'm not driving two hours round trip for a $20 tonearm finger lift. That being said, even though they have limited their direct support to customers a little bit, it's better than allot of manufactures who will ONLY support you through your dealer.

                Comment


                • #11
                  Originally posted by spinblackcircle View Post

                  I have always found dealers less effective for aftermarket parts. If anyone in the chain often doesn't want to deal with something other than the initial sale, it's dealers. I find a single distributor relationship much more effective after the sale. High Water Sound, Jeff Catalano, gets me the smallest nothing part when needed quickly, often at no charge. I'll add that he never forgets and my request never falls through the cracks.


                  IMHO, I don't feel VPI want's to sell parts and upgrades and would rather sell whole tables. This is probably more of a business decision since the customer support required for installing upgrades and such would be a pretty big impact on their limited CS department. They wouldn't even sell me a tonearm finger lift direct anymore and wanted me to go through my dealer. Sorry, I'm not driving two hours round trip for a $20 tonearm finger lift. That being said, even though they have limited their direct support to customers a little bit, it's better than allot of manufactures who will ONLY support you through your dealer.
                  TW Acustic TT with Ref motor & controller; Tri-Planar Arm; Ortofon Windfeld-Ti Cartridge, Harmonix-Combak platter matte & weight; Arcam R Phono Preamp; KLAudio Ultrasonic Record Cleaner.

                  Bluesound Vault-2 Music Server & Streamer

                  VTL 6.5 preamp Series II
                  Pass Labs 150.8 Amp

                  Piega C711 Loudspeakers

                  Symposium Osiris Rack; Symposium Platforms and Roller Blocks plus grade 2.5 Balls

                  Acoustic Revive RR-888 Low Frequency Pulse Generator

                  Shunyata Hydra 8; Shunyata AC Cords; Synergistic Research Level 3 HC AC Cord and Level 3 power cord, Synergistic Carbon fiber wall plates & Blue Outlets, Furutech NCF Booster Brace, Audio Art Ref balanced ICs, MIT Oracle IC and Magnum Speaker Cables

                  Sennheiser HDV 650 Headphone Amp; Sennheiser HD1200s Headphones.

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    VPI had a guy named "Mike" up until he retired a few years ago he could solve any issue with any VPI made and provide you with the parts to get you up and running again. He was their tech support and could make sense of what version of which table/arm combo you had. When he retired they closed the dept and put the burden on dealers, I dislike going to my dealer for a petty $20 replacement part for something the mfr can and should handle directly, JMO of course!
                    Simon Yorke S10 | My Sonic Lab Eminent GL | AcousticPlan PhonoMaster | Wadia X32 | Innuous ZEN Mini Mk II | Valvet Soulshine2 | Linear Tube Audio ZOTL10 MkII | Avantgarde Uno Fino XD

                    "One of the great challenges of this world: Knowing enough about a subject to think you are right, but not enough about the subject to know you're wrong" - Neil deGrasse Tyson

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      Originally posted by spinblackcircle View Post


                      IMHO, I don't feel VPI want's to sell parts and upgrades and would rather sell whole tables. This is probably more of a business decision since the customer support required for installing upgrades and such would be a pretty big impact on their limited CS department. They wouldn't even sell me a tonearm finger lift direct anymore and wanted me to go through my dealer. Sorry, I'm not driving two hours round trip for a $20 tonearm finger lift. That being said, even though they have limited their direct support to customers a little bit, it's better than allot of manufactures who will ONLY support you through your dealer.


                      Glad you found us and look forward to more posts!
                      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                      ________________________________________

                      -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                      -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                      -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                      -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                      -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                      -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                      -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                      -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                      -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                      -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                      Comment


                      • #14
                        There is a lot of truth to that regarding parts. The whole Prime process has become a well oiled machined (as well as our other tables). We have worked very hard on our production process. Most often when someone purchases the arm they are also getting the "adapter" or, semi DIY part, or "raiser" to make the arm work for that individual circumstance. The other issue, as mentioned in Rob's post is the dealer. We put that burden onto the dealer because it was mixed opinions from the dealership upon us handling that parts to begin with. Hence why we have put a greater focus on dealer training and certification. Also with the streamlining of the brand it is making the process easier. But still, I totally understand your point about calling for a $20 point and we are re-evaluating what components should stay with the dealership and what components VPI should take back into their control to help better support the customer.

                        Side note, kudos to MylesBAstor on this forum. I really am finding this to be an enjoyable place to read and post about the industry

                        Comment


                        • #15
                          Is that Mat posting or Harry under the VPI logo? The dealer is the key. They have to know the products they sell, and when it comes to mechanical devices, like turntables, must know the common issues and solutions. Granted, there are things that ultimately should be addressed by the manufacturer, but in many cases, the dealer should be able to handle a lot of the issues-- I suspect many of the "problems" are ones that come up frequently just in basic set up or operation. - The dealer is the one with the direct relationship with the customer, and it gives the customer a greater sense of comfort to know that they bought from a place that can field and address a question or problem quickly and get it resolved. It is also a reflection on the manufacturer- we hear the customer's side on the web many times, through complaints, frustration and the like, but much of that could be nipped at the beginning if the dealer is knowledgeable and providing the right level of service and responsiveness. I don't mind working through dealers and paying a premium for that kind of service. On the other hand, I've had experiences with dealers where it was clear that they carried a brand, and had no real knowledge about the product. (Note: I am not talking about a VPI product here). In that case, rather than work with the local dealer, I reached an out of state dealer who knew the product well, and even offered to send some parts as stop gap until the manufacturer returned from Munich. (This was a few years ago, during a show, when all the manufacturers seemed to be at that big trade show).

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