VPI Avenger turntable with Grado Labs Epoch cartridge. My mini-review is here, post #296..

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Steve Hoffman, Dec 14, 2017.

  1. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    VPI avenger.jpg VPI is sending me this beauty with TWO arms and boards so I can compare the GRADO LABS "Epoch" cartridge to others on the same turntable and do a really good review of both the table and the Grado, etc. carts..

    I'm quite looking forward to how the Avenger compares with my (way) lower priced VPI Classic 2 table. It should be quite interesting.

    I think the VPI Avenger is $9,500.00 list or something like that. There are upgrades but I want to hear the base model. It was built last week for me and shipped today. We'll see what gives in a few weeks. @Warren Jarrett and David Shreve (the VTA KING) will set it up. I'll report on ease of set up as well as sound, etc.

    Stay tuned!
     
    backeast, Pythonman, Jonboy and 37 others like this.
  2. Cliff

    Cliff Magic Carpet Man

    Location:
    Northern CA
    Nice! That is one bad-ass turntable. Looking forward to hearing your feedback, Steve.
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  3. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    Should be interesting..
     
    Pythonman likes this.
  4. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan

    Location:
    Atlanta
    I am considering one for my next table.
     
    FLEMKE likes this.
  5. ggergm

    ggergm red right returning

    Location:
    Minnesota
    Hummm. If I remember right, you've been using a Classic 2 for a while, Steve. As I am, too, I'll be very interested in what you hear.
     
  6. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    I love the VPI Classic 2. Works well, sounds beautiful, easy to use, adjustable VTA, not much money (considering.)

    So, it will be a fun comparison..
     
    SandAndGlass, Jonboy, Mr Bass and 2 others like this.
  7. Catcher10

    Catcher10 I like records, and Prog...duh

    Ok this will be good.......I've never really heard a VPI in action. My wandering eye looks at the VPI Prime, doubt I could muster up $9K for an Avenger. From an engineering/tooling perspective these tables are fantastic.

    Keep us posted and pics too please.......Thanks
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  8. FLEMKE

    FLEMKE Forum Resident

    Location:
    CROOK COUNTY IL
    Steve,
    My friend owns one. It's fantastic.
    Tim
     
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  9. ggergm

    ggergm red right returning

    Location:
    Minnesota
    :agree:

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Burnout from the smoke pit

    Location:
    Ohio
    The 3D arm is on the avenger and not on your classic? That should be an improvement with just that.
     
    Jim in Houston, Tullman and ggergm like this.
  11. mreeter

    mreeter Forum Resident

    Location:
    Midwest, USA
    Nice, one can only Dream:winkgrin: Looking forward to your Review!
     
  12. Arnold_Layne

    Arnold_Layne Forum Resident

    Location:
    Waldorf, MD USA
    Love my Classic 2 as well. Can't afford the Avenger, but want to upgrade to the 3D arm.
     
    ggergm likes this.
  13. teag

    teag Forum Resident

    Location:
    Colorado
    Why? Because it’s the latest design? The prior arm was deemed fantastic when it came out.
     
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  14. Cliff

    Cliff Magic Carpet Man

    Location:
    Northern CA
    Have you heard a 3D arm?
     
    ggergm likes this.
  15. sirmikael

    sirmikael Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    Can I have whatever turntable is getting bumped out of your collection? :)
     
  16. notesofachord

    notesofachord Forum Resident

    Location:
    Utah's Dixie
  17. ggergm

    ggergm red right returning

    Location:
    Minnesota
    When I upgraded to the 3D arm on my Classic 2, it better defined the air between the instruments. Everything was more tightly placed in the soundstage. This difference, which might seem subtle, was pretty astounding over time. The space around the instruments was more real, which made the instruments themselves more palatable.

    Yeah, Steve, I think you're in for a heck of an experience. Add the better drive and suspension (adding a better base was another huge improvement for my Classic 2), and this turntable should be smokin' hot. Plus, as the old jingle goes, with two arms, something I've always wanted, you'll get to double your pleasure/double your fun.
     
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  18. Guss2

    Guss2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Florida
    I have no doubt that you'll love this table and it will offer you an amazing upgrade path down the road. I'm very anxious to hear what you think about it after you play with it for awhile. Are you also getting an ADS with it, or do you use something else for controlling speed?
     
  19. costerdock

    costerdock Forum Resident

    Location:
    Prescott, AZ, USA
    I heard vpi s recordings of it (both)a while back and like others that posted i didn't notice any change. I have no urge to try it because of that.

    I'll be looking forward for Steve's results.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
  20. costerdock

    costerdock Forum Resident

    Location:
    Prescott, AZ, USA
    Speed should be fine if it is anything like the Classic.

    I look forward to the results.
     
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  21. Guss2

    Guss2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Florida
    Speed is good, but can be improved with a controller. You can use an HRX pulley(triple belt) for better stability and you don't have to move the belt manually every time you want to switch 33/45.
     
    costerdock likes this.
  22. teag

    teag Forum Resident

    Location:
    Colorado
    I agree you can control the speed with the controller.

    As far as the effort saved with not moving the belt - this is a 2 second operation with the Classic's outboard pulley. It's not like a Rega where you have to take the platter off to go to 45rpm.

    I have both Rega and VPI tables and the ease and speed involved in changing the belt to 45 on the VPI is what got me into enjoying so many of them. When I only had the Rega, it was a pain to switch the belt to 45. Now I can go back and forth - in 2 seconds.
     
    arisinwind likes this.
  23. Guss2

    Guss2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Florida
    At the moment, that's exactly how I'm using my Avenger. To me, the better speed stability with controller is the selling point. I'm taking a wait and see approach, as VPI will be releasing their reference controller in the near future, and there are a few others worth looking at.
     
  24. Cliff

    Cliff Magic Carpet Man

    Location:
    Northern CA
    Well, I'd never go back to the metal wand. In fact, the 3D was such an improvement in my system that I bought a second one to mount an upgraded/spare cartridge.
     
  25. costerdock

    costerdock Forum Resident

    Location:
    Prescott, AZ, USA
    You are lucky and must have had some issues. I don't have any issues with the standard arm that I can detect. The only way I've been able to detect tuning differences (system changes) is by immediately flipping back and forth with both versions running - unless of course something is obviously wrong with the sound to start with. I'd need a second VPI to be convinced of the change. Also there is infinite adjustments with these arms. So easy to have it slightly off.

    I just don't have the detailed memory to recall the detailed sound after seconds have past doing the change over - it only works for me with a remote button press.

    If I get a second arm - I'd certainly opt for the 3D - but for now - no urge to.

    Again - I'm glad you are enjoying your new arm. Would be interesting to hear your system as I'm a Norcal native.
     

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