For more than 40 years, the brand VPI has been offering high end turntables each of which are considered as references in their range all over the world. But although the American manufacturer offers products worth thousands of euros, it had not yet adventured in the world of “affordable” audiophile vinyl turntables.
With this new Cliffwood turntable, VPI finally offers an entry level product making the brand accessible to a greater number of music lovers.
As with every VPI turntable, this Cliffwood is completely manufactured in the production unit located in New Jersey, and more precisely in Cliffwood! The majority of companies that offer entry level products purchase the components outside their country of origin... This is not VPI’s case!
VPI CLIFFWOOD: CHASSIS AND PLATTER
The chassis is made out of non resonant MDF (medium density fiberboard) covered with a thick vinyl finish. This vinyl turntable is available in a black or chocolate finish.
The aluminium platter rotates on an oil bath bearing. The bearing has a PEEK thrust disc and graphite impregnated brass bushings. It offers a hardness of 60 Rockwell.
VPI CLIFFWOOD: DRIVE PRINCIPLE
The platter is driven via a belt by a 600 RPM AC motor. It has a 2 speed pulley which enables a manual speed change (33 RPM and 45 RPM).
VPI CLIFFWOOD: TONEARM AND CARTRIDGE
The VPI Cliffwood is equipped with a 9 inch tonearm in aluminium. The horizontal rotation is ensured by a bearing and the vertical rotation by a gimbal. The manufacturing is excellent: precise, simple, and robust. This tonearm is cabled with very pure copper wires, twisted with a specific insulating jacket.
To offer a quality but affordable phono cartridge, VPI teamed up with their friends in Brooklyn, the company Grado! This cartridge is designed based on a Grado Green-2 cartridge. It has an aluminium casing for an easier assembly. This also increases the effective mass in order to make it fully compatible with the tonearm.
VPI CLIFFWOOD: TESTING AND LISTENING
Since this turntable does not include a phono cable, we therefore carried out tests with an Atlas Element Integra TT phono cable.
The restitution is faithful to the philosophy of the American manufacturer. The dynamics and impact of VPI's more ambitious models can be found in the bass. The soundstage is perfectly clear and solid, without being unreasonable. The midrange is present, with substance and enough details and precision. The overall listening experience is very “rock”. The VPI Cliffwood is perfectly adapted to modern music and “shines” on jazz, blues, folk or electronic music. It favours the dynamics, swing and substance.
VPI CLIFFWOOD: UNBOXING
The plug and play is of biblical simplicity, even if we can regret that VPI delivers this Cliffwood turntable without a phono cable.
This VPI Cliffwood turntable is a pleasant surprise and an unquestionable success. Its restitution and musicality make it a new rival against the leaders of the market.
A VPI turntable at this price is a real bargain. We highly recommend this product!
Haute-Fidélité - Besy buy Franck
Chassis: non resonant MDF covered with vinyl
Platter: 30 cm aluminium
Bearing: oil bath bearing
Tonearm: 9 inch Yoke type
Arm tube: damped machined aluminium
Effective length: 240.7 mm
Conductor: very pure copper, twisted with a specific insulating jacket.
Armbase: compatible with JMW 9
Drive principle: belt-drive
Motor: 600 RMP AC
Speeds: 33/45 RPM (manual change)
Cartridge: Moving Iron (Grado Green)
Dimensions: 470 x 343 x 109 mm
Weight: 5.9 kg
Cartridge technical specifications:
Frequency response: 10 hz-50 Khz
Principle: Moving Iron
Channel separation at 1KHz: 30 dB
Load: 47 Kohms
Output at 1KHz (5cm/ sec.): 5mV
Tracking force: 1.5g
Inductance: 45 mH
Resistance: 475 Ohms