With this new product, the US manufacturer returns to its roots! VPI's PRIME manual turntable bridges the Scout and Classic ranges with a few technical and musical features shared by both turntables, and a number of innovations. It is also Matthew Weisfeld's first development.
The turntable uses the Scout's textured MDF base with a star-shaped design (X) reminiscent of the famous HR-X. It sits firmly on four Delrin cones. They are separate from the base via large cups made out of the same material. A larger cutout on the left makes room for the motor. It is the most precise on the market to date (+/- 0.001%). To ward off any vibration or oscillation, it is encompassed in a 4 kg steel case! It drives the 8.5 kg aluminium platter via the silicone belt typical of Classic models. The platter features internal damping to eliminate resonance. It is associated with a relatively thick rubber platter mat. The novelty of this VPI PRIME turntable resides in the tonearm. We are still looking at a 10" Unipivot, except that this one is in aluminium! It stems from 3D technology like that of the mighty Classic Direct. It is associated with the VTA adjustment with a micrometric screw for accurate stylus tracking angle adjustment. The Delrin record clamp comes with the turntable but can be replaced with the VPI HR-X Clamp. However, as always with VPI, the phono cable is optional … Like all VPI products, the PRIME turntable is entirely made in the USA!
We tried this newcomer with Ortofon's Quintet Black MC cartridge, Dynavector DV XX2 and Soundsmith's Boheme HO.
From the opening bars you can tell that this fine machine is bursting with potential! The sonic performance is vibrant, punchy and textured on the most expressive sections. The bass is powerful, articulated and very detailed. The soundstage is very stable and the stereo is very convincing. The vocals are perfectly in place and very realistic. The overall balance is great and favours neutrality and authenticity. The PRIME turntable does justice to every register and shows no over-brightness. The technological choices and design produce amazing results. It boasts many assets that are akin to some turntables worth twice or three times the price!
Yet another top product for VPI! Highly recommended!
WHAT HI-FI (Temptation award 2015) Franck
Principle: Rigid turntable
Plinth: Textured MDF with resonance control
Platter: Aluminium 6061, 9 kg with damping
Bearing: Inverted with oil bath. Phosphor bronze
Motor: Synchronous 300 RPM/24 pin. Separated in aluminium and stainless steel unit
Platter mat: Rubber
Feet: 4 x Delrin adjustable anti-resonance spikes and counterspikes
Clamp: Delrin and stainless steel
Rumble: 85 dB
Speed precision: <0.1%
Weight: 20 kg
Tonearm: 10-inch Unipivot
Design and manufacture: 3D
Shielding: Copper foil
Effective length: 273.4 mm
Setting: VTA on tonearm support
Wiring: Premium copper
RMS distortion: 0.311 %