It has been two years since turntable manufacturer VPI made waves with the highly affordable, 100% ‘Made in USA’ Hi-Fi turntable, the Traveler. This was a noteworthy occasion because it was the first ever vinyl turntable the company had made for this price range. And, to this day, the Traveler remains the cheapest vinyl turntable ever made on American soil.
Despite limited project specifications, Mathew Weisfeld's team has managed to make several shrewd changes to this best-seller to improve its performance even further without increasing the retail price. The design still draws on the technology developed for the brand’s more high-end models, and sticks closely to the philosophy that has made it such a success for over 35 years. The Traveler V2 is still dedicated to the memory of VPI co-founder Sheila Weisfeld, who sadly passed away in 2011, and a share of all profits generated by the product is donated to pancreas cancer research.
The 10.5” tonearm is incredible! It has been constructed with the utmost precision, with an aluminium tube that in this new version is coated with metallic grey paint to improve its damping properties. Its ruby bearings have been crafted and assembled to create minimum friction and to resemble the brand’s famous unipivot tonearms as closely as possible.
The aluminium and stainless steel platter sits on an inverted brass bearing. It also has a new platter mat made of a rubber mesh. This vinyl turntable is very rigid and is made of an aluminium and acrylic sandwich construction. It sits on four new conical feet made of an elastomer material that is rigid enough to bear the weight of the turntable and flexible enough to absorb vibrations. The 230V motor of the original model has been replaced by a new, more discreet version with an external 48V power supply. The motor is not decouple from the vinyl turntable, but its mechanical and vibration insulation has been developed to make it as still and noiseless as possible. The platter is driven by a round silicone belt.
From the opening bars, the VPI TRAVELER V2 displays all of the elements that have made the brand such a success, with detailed playback that seems to possess even more precision and clarity than its predecessor. The bass is very physical and expressive. It sinks very low, with incredible depth and and precision. The mids are full of transparency and presence. The sound stage is fully three-dimensional, showing as much precision in its width as in its depth. When paired with a good MC cartridge, the tonal balance achieves impressive quality and fidelity. The VPI Traveler V2 delivers VPI’s famous refined and dynamic sound, high-quality production quality, and astounding user-friendliness. This is hands down one of the very best options in this price range. A best buy!
The VPI Traveler V2 manual turntable is also available as part of a package: the VPI Traveler V2 Turntable Package, which contains:
One VPI Traveler V2 turntable
One Dynavector High Output MC cartridge (DV 10X5)
Stereophile Analog Component of the Year - 2013 Franck
Tonearm: 10.5 inches
Gimbal: gyroscopic with low coefficient of friction
Bearings: Sapphire tips
Mounting: removable and replaceable
Plinth: Acrylic + Aluminium
Platter: Solid aluminium damped with stainless steel
Motor: synchronous, minimum vibration
Drive principle: Silicone belt
Wow & Flutter:
Rumble: >-80 dB
Speed precision: 0.1%
Power supply: 48V, external
Feet: 4 dense/solid TPE-damped feet
Weight: 11 kg
Dimensions: 47.5cm x 37.5cm x 18cm
Dust cover and phono cable not included.