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Getting ready for VPI presentation and demo at PNWAS meeting May 6th

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  • Getting ready for VPI presentation and demo at PNWAS meeting May 6th

    I thought Audio Nirvana members would be interested in my preparations for a unique turntable demo for the VPI presentation by Mat Westfield at the Pacific Northwest Audio Society on Saturday May 6, 2017. The meeting will be held at the club's normal meeting place on Mercer Island, WA starting at 1:30 pm. Meetings typically run 2-3 hours, but we will be hanging out as long as people want to. After the meeting people can hang out and chat and or listen to music. So everyone is encouraged to bring LP's if they want to listen to them on the VPI tables.

    After Mat's presentation, we will demo the tables. Gary Koh and I will set-up three VPI tables and have sets of three identical LP’s so we can switch between each table in real time. (I am the new VPI dealer in the Seattle area and have the same set up in my Reference room.)

    Following is are playlist of four albums that will take about an hour to demo:
    The Beatles Love ( 2007 Dutch Pressing)
    Note Smoking (1978 Discwasher D2D)
    La La Land (2016 Original Motion Picture Sound Track)
    For Duke (1978 M&K RealTime D2D)

    As an additional listening treat, Gary will play a real lacquer from his recent direct-to-disc recording of Anne Bisson’s new album, “Four Seasons in Jazz”, recorded at Bernie Grundman Mastering. This is true unobtainium.

    We'll have a bunch of other LP's and unobtainium to play.

    We'll start set-up about 8:00 am at the club in order to have the tables tuned and warmed up for the start at 1:30pm. Then we will pack everything up at the end of the day and head for home to unload... As you can see, it takes a lot of prep and hard work to do a demo like this.

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    Speakers/Amps: Genesis G2.2 Jr with Powered Servo-Sub Bass, Genesis GR1440 Mono Amps, 5,000 watts total power
    Preamp: SMc Audio VRE-1C Preamp (fully balanced inputs and output)
    Analog 1: VPI Signature 21 Belt-Drive Turntable w/ 10” 3D Printed Fatboy Gimbal Arm and Ortofon MC Windfeld Ti Phono Cartridge driving Lehmann Silver Cube Phono Preamp
    Analog 2: VPI HW-40 Direct-Drive Turntable w/ 12” 3D Printed Fatboy Gimbal Arm and Ortofon MC Anna Diamond Phono Cartridge driving Genesis Gold Phono Preamp
    Analog 3: Studer A810 R2R tape w/ Bridge Console. Using built-in tape preamp
    Digital: Lumin Network Player with Lumin NAS
    Cables: Genesis Advanced Technologies/Absolute Fidelity Interface Interconnects, Speaker, Phono and Power
    A/C Power: Extensive System Upgrades, Sub-panel w/hard-wired power cables, and IsoTek Super Titan Passive Power Conditioning for Amplifiers
    Accessories: Custom Acrylic Equipment Stands, Klaudio Ultrasonic RCM

  • #2
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    Scout Set up

    For the three-table comparison, I wanted to pick low, medium and high priced models to demonstrate a good, better and best kind of demo like we did for the club a few years ago with Thorens tables. So, Gary Koh and I have experience doing this kind of thing. This time we are cranking it up a bit with performance quality for each of the three models. For the low-cost table, I selected the Scout, at $2200, which includes the JMW-9 metal arm. It may not meet most people’s idea of a low-cost table, but it’s really VPI’s least costly component type table, not including the lower cost Player table which includes Ortofon cartridge and phono stage which is VPI’s entry level table more for plug-and-play operation.

    Normally I would pair up the Scout with the Denon 103R as an appropriate price/performance choice, but I wanted to have some consistency in phono cartridge sound so we went with the Transfiguration line. The Scout is using the Transfiguration Axia, the least costly Transfiguration cartridge. The Axia is more expensive than the Scout, and normally would be an absurd match from a budget standpoint, but I was amazed that the Scout is good enough to exploit the performance of high quality cartridges, preamps and cables. So, the Axia works.

    I am finding that all of the Transfiguration cartridges; Axia, Phoenix, Proteus and Proteus D punch way beyond their price points. The least costly Axia is an exceptional cartridge which is quite close to the Phoenix and Proteus sound quality. The trickle-down design does not give up much in performance loss. The Axia is the real deal, a true high performance cartridge with exceptional price/performance.

    To keep the total price of the Scout set-up within sanity, we are using the Heed Quasar phono preamp which is another product that punches way beyond its price point. The Heed works well with the Scout/Axia and produces sound quality greater than the sum of the parts.

    For cables, we are using Gary Koh’s latest Absolute Fidelity Tonearm Interface and Component Interface cables. Gary’s Tonearm Interface is literally hot of the soldering iron and is the latest generation design, the result of years of development. Again, to keep things somewhat sane, I am using the much less expensive IsoTek EVO3 Elite power cables with the Scout set-up.

    All tables will sit on Foundation equipment stands.

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    Speakers/Amps: Genesis G2.2 Jr with Powered Servo-Sub Bass, Genesis GR1440 Mono Amps, 5,000 watts total power
    Preamp: SMc Audio VRE-1C Preamp (fully balanced inputs and output)
    Analog 1: VPI Signature 21 Belt-Drive Turntable w/ 10” 3D Printed Fatboy Gimbal Arm and Ortofon MC Windfeld Ti Phono Cartridge driving Lehmann Silver Cube Phono Preamp
    Analog 2: VPI HW-40 Direct-Drive Turntable w/ 12” 3D Printed Fatboy Gimbal Arm and Ortofon MC Anna Diamond Phono Cartridge driving Genesis Gold Phono Preamp
    Analog 3: Studer A810 R2R tape w/ Bridge Console. Using built-in tape preamp
    Digital: Lumin Network Player with Lumin NAS
    Cables: Genesis Advanced Technologies/Absolute Fidelity Interface Interconnects, Speaker, Phono and Power
    A/C Power: Extensive System Upgrades, Sub-panel w/hard-wired power cables, and IsoTek Super Titan Passive Power Conditioning for Amplifiers
    Accessories: Custom Acrylic Equipment Stands, Klaudio Ultrasonic RCM

    Comment


    • #3
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      Avenger Set up

      For the medium-cost table, I selected the Avenger, at $10,000, which includes the JMW-12 3D printed arm. I upgraded the arm to the JMW-12 3DR reference arm which has Nordost internal wire. This is VPI’s entry level model in their Reference line.

      We are using the Transfiguration Phoenix cartridge and Genesis Phono preamplifier, Gold Edition model. Gary Koh’s phono preamplifiers are world class.

      Even though the Avenger is VPI’s entry level in the Reference line, it’s in super-table territory in my opinion and another exceptional price/performance example. You can spend a lot more money and not do better.
      Speakers/Amps: Genesis G2.2 Jr with Powered Servo-Sub Bass, Genesis GR1440 Mono Amps, 5,000 watts total power
      Preamp: SMc Audio VRE-1C Preamp (fully balanced inputs and output)
      Analog 1: VPI Signature 21 Belt-Drive Turntable w/ 10” 3D Printed Fatboy Gimbal Arm and Ortofon MC Windfeld Ti Phono Cartridge driving Lehmann Silver Cube Phono Preamp
      Analog 2: VPI HW-40 Direct-Drive Turntable w/ 12” 3D Printed Fatboy Gimbal Arm and Ortofon MC Anna Diamond Phono Cartridge driving Genesis Gold Phono Preamp
      Analog 3: Studer A810 R2R tape w/ Bridge Console. Using built-in tape preamp
      Digital: Lumin Network Player with Lumin NAS
      Cables: Genesis Advanced Technologies/Absolute Fidelity Interface Interconnects, Speaker, Phono and Power
      A/C Power: Extensive System Upgrades, Sub-panel w/hard-wired power cables, and IsoTek Super Titan Passive Power Conditioning for Amplifiers
      Accessories: Custom Acrylic Equipment Stands, Klaudio Ultrasonic RCM

      Comment


      • #4



        Vanquish Set up

        For the high-cost table, we selected the Vanquish, at $40,000, which includes the JMW-12 3DR reference printed arm. The Vanquish is actually a special limited edition table and VPI’s top of the Reference line is the Titan. The Titan is a beast of a table, and we’ll have to do a comparison some other time. Meanwhile, we will be using Gary Koh’s Vanquish table for the comparison at the club.

        We are using the Transfiguration Proteus D cartridge with diamond cantilever and Genesis Phono preamplifier, Platinum Edition model, Gary Koh’s best phono preamplifier.

        This is the best table set-up we have now.
        Last edited by Joe Pittman; 05-10-2017, 02:06 PM.
        Speakers/Amps: Genesis G2.2 Jr with Powered Servo-Sub Bass, Genesis GR1440 Mono Amps, 5,000 watts total power
        Preamp: SMc Audio VRE-1C Preamp (fully balanced inputs and output)
        Analog 1: VPI Signature 21 Belt-Drive Turntable w/ 10” 3D Printed Fatboy Gimbal Arm and Ortofon MC Windfeld Ti Phono Cartridge driving Lehmann Silver Cube Phono Preamp
        Analog 2: VPI HW-40 Direct-Drive Turntable w/ 12” 3D Printed Fatboy Gimbal Arm and Ortofon MC Anna Diamond Phono Cartridge driving Genesis Gold Phono Preamp
        Analog 3: Studer A810 R2R tape w/ Bridge Console. Using built-in tape preamp
        Digital: Lumin Network Player with Lumin NAS
        Cables: Genesis Advanced Technologies/Absolute Fidelity Interface Interconnects, Speaker, Phono and Power
        A/C Power: Extensive System Upgrades, Sub-panel w/hard-wired power cables, and IsoTek Super Titan Passive Power Conditioning for Amplifiers
        Accessories: Custom Acrylic Equipment Stands, Klaudio Ultrasonic RCM

        Comment


        • MylesBAstor
          MylesBAstor commented
          Editing a comment
          I'd love to hear that setup. The Proteus D in the TW-Akustic table at Axpona sounded very good.

        • garylkoh
          garylkoh commented
          Editing a comment
          That very Proteus D just came back last Friday and I've got it optimized on the Vanquish. I missed it when it went away on a roadtrip to Axpona!!

      • #5
        That is a huge effort. I wish we had a group like this around here. Congratulations on what promises to be a great day.
        Phono: Aesthetix Io Eclipse with 2 Power Supplies and Volume controls
        Brinkmann Balance & RonT Tube Power supply with Kuzma 4-point ,FR64S, Brinkmann 12.1 , .Koetsu Jade Platinum,Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum, Lyra Atlas Lamda, Lyra Etna SL Goldfinger Statement, KLAUDIO RCM, HRSM3X
        Amps: Custom Direct Drive, Wyetech Topaz, Futterman H3 Quad II,Citation II, Marantz 8b, 5 ,2. Bedini 25/25
        Pre-Amps:Marantz 7, Marantz Model 1 Consolette Pair
        Speakers: Beveridge Model 3 Direct Drive amps, REL S/2 x 2, Quad ESL pair
        Otari 5050BXII, DeHavilland 222

        Comment


        • #6
          Looks to be a fantastic event! Looking forward to reading about the comparisons.

          Comment


          • #7
            Looks great Joe. Hope/plan to make it.

            Comment


            • #8
              good times to be had, good luck Joe.
              TechDAS | Graham Eng | ZYX | Boulder | Magico

              "Listening to Analogue music is an act of rebellion in a digital gulag" - Simon Yorke

              Comment


              • #9
                At some point, will you be trying the same cartridge across all tables? Should be a lot of fun, but it'd be interesting to know how various table/arm combos work with identical carts. I can see how knowing the "sweet spot" between Scout and Titan price points could be interesting for some of us . . .
                Lyra Kleos SL, Dynavector XX-2MKII, VPI JMW 10.5i, VPI Aries, VPI SDS, ModWright PH-150 Reference Phono, Sony HAP-Z1ES server, McIntosh MR80, McIntosh C2300, McIntosh MC352, Vandersteen 5A, PS Audio P10, Bright Star Audio Rack of Gibraltar. Cables: Shunyata Cobra Ztron IC, PS Audio Statement AC, Synergistic Research AC, Harmonic Tech Silver Phono, Cable Research Labs Silver IC, Audioquest Gibraltar bi-wire.

                Comment


                • Joe Pittman
                  Joe Pittman commented
                  Editing a comment
                  The neet thing about VPI arms is they can easily be removed from the mount, and swapped on each table so as long as the length is the same. The Avenger and Vanquish use the identical 12" arm (JMW-12 3DR with dual pivot mod), so those can be swapped, and we will be able to hear the Phoenix and Proteus D on each table. The Sout uses the 9" arm, so I would need 2x cartridges to pull that off at the moment...

                • Goheelz
                  Goheelz commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Right you are, Joe, and as a VPI user that should have been obvious to me. I need more coffee or something! Thanks very much for the explanation. I'm looking forward to hearing your impressions in due time.

                • MylesBAstor
                  MylesBAstor commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Harry's done that too at demos too. A while back he swapped the Atlas back and forth between the Avenger Reference sans at that time the rim drive but magnetic drive and Vanquish. Fascinating comparison. The DD is very special

              • #10
                Very impressive. Huge investment in time, energy and thought to be sure. I wish the event was closer to my neighborhood!
                CJ Gat, Lamm ML1.1, CJ Tea1 S3 phono, TW Acoustics Raven AC, Tri-Planer MK Vll SE, Vdh Crimson Stradivarius, Exemplar Modded 205(Tube Version), Rockport Avior ll Speakers, Shunyata Denali 6000t,Triton V3, Shunyata Python Zitron IC's & Sigma Speaker Cables. Shunyata Sigma Power Cables, Audio Desk Pro LP Cleaner, Stillpoints, Stillpoints Aperture Panels & MG Corner Tunes.

                Comment


                • #11
                  It's a huge investment of time and effort to put something like this together for the club. Thanks also to Jerry Pomeroy (Club President Emeritus) for the help.
                  Gary L Koh, CEO and Chief Designer
                  Genesis Advanced Technologies, Inc.
                  www.genesisloudspeakers.com

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    Wish I lived in Seattle. Would love to come...Beautiful audio racks there!
                    Primary 2 channel stuff: Atma-Sphere MP-1 Mk 3.3, Pass Labs X600.5 amps, Aerial SW 12 subs, True Sound Works Ultimate Apogee Divas, Dunlavy SC4s, VPI HRX Reference w Avenger mag drive and Reference footers, Gimbal Fatboy, Yamaha GT2000 for Mono, Miyajima Kansui, Miyajima ZERO, Fidelity Research MC-201 & 202, VPI ADS, Vendetta Research SCP-1, Audio Note UK- 3.1X II balanced DAC, Meridian Sooloos, Western Electric Speaker wire, mostly diy balanced interconnects, Furutech Power Cords

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      Originally posted by Letsmakeadeal View Post
                      Wish I lived in Seattle. Would love to come...Beautiful audio racks there!
                      I was out there last summer. Beautiful city!
                      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                      ________________________________________

                      -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
                      -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
                      -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                      -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 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 Mk. 2, 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. 6, 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 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

                      Comment


                      • #14
                        The meeting's going to officially be from 1:30pm to 4pm. However, we start setting-up at 8am in the morning, and it is going to be a real shame to break the system down early. So, I'm going to be bringing some nice albums to play. I'm thinking of:

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                        Gary L Koh, CEO and Chief Designer
                        Genesis Advanced Technologies, Inc.
                        www.genesisloudspeakers.com

                        Comment


                        • #15
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                          Gary L Koh, CEO and Chief Designer
                          Genesis Advanced Technologies, Inc.
                          www.genesisloudspeakers.com

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