Images shown in walnut finish.
"Turntable of the Year" - HiFi+ Magazine
An Aptly Named Classic Turntable
The renowned VPI Classic 1 gives any turntable in any price range a run for its money, thanks to its fast, clean, wide-open sound, and deep, powerful bass. Unequalled in speed stability, it provides the perfect platform for extracting unparalleled realism from LPs.
The VPI Classic 1 comes standard with the incredible new stainless steel version of the JMW-10.5i unipivot tonearm in rigid mount mode. Other performance-enhancing features include a solid mounted AC synchronous motor, new cast aluminum platter, silent inverted bearing, and new isolator feet derived from the HR-X. VPI pure copper wire is used for ultimate signal transfer. A solid plinth with black oak or walnut finish contributes to the look and sound.
Also included in this package is the highly acclaimed Grado Prestige Gold1 phono cartridge.
"It's an eerily quiet turntable so records appear to have significantly lower surface noise, even compared to exotic turntables that sell for double or even triple the Classic's price. If you never heard a high-end turntable before you'll be amazed by the difference," reports Steve Guttenberg in Home Entertainment magazine for October 21, 2009
"The Classic isn't just about scale and power. Play something delicate like Janis Ian and the musical coherence and intimacy are underpinned by the easy musical flow, the levels of low-level instrumental resolution and detail," notes Roy Gregory in his HiFi+ magazine review for October 23, 2009.
JMW-10.5i Unipivot Tonearm
When the speed is so accurate and the noise so low it is imperative to make an arm that does not resonate so the cartridge can separate the music in the grooves from the music in the arm. The JMW-10.5i unipivot tonearm is fully up to the task.
The JMW-10.5i arm is a full 10.5" long for very low tracking error, solidly mounted to the \base, VTA adjustable with a ship captains wheel adjuster, RCA or optional XLR jacks, ultra stable design. The arm is fast, clean, stable, very low in distortion, and dynamic like a master tape.
The Ultimate in Low-level Resolution
VPI carefully designed the Classic to deliver the ultimate in low-level resolution. Speed stability of Classic is on a par with the original master tape. Due to the rigid mounting of the motor, platter, and tonearm, random motion is eliminated that might otherwise cause speed instabilities.
Rock-solid One-piece, Non-resonant Chassis
An absolutely solid, meticulously-laminated one-piece chassis holds all of the turntable components for rock-solid operation. And VPI didn't saddle this gem of a Classic with an inexpensive wooden frame. Instead, the company relies on a solid laminated 2.5"-thick MDF block featuring 11-gauge steel attached to the top with silicone. Long bolts through all the layers provide additional stability.
The chassis weighs 30 pounds and is totally non-resonant. In fact, the Classic's inherent noise rejection allows the "Classic Turntable" to sit on a wood shelf near four 15" subwoofers and having virtually no feedback.
Grado Prestige Gold1 Phono Cartridge
The Grado Prestige Gold 1 was honored by being included in The Absolute Sound 2012 High-End Audio Buyer's Guide. According to the magazine, "These strengths include a somewhat warm yet pleasant balance, a sweet if not hugely airy treble, a dynamically expressive midrange, and a taut and powerful if not richly textured bass. The overall presentation is lively and conveys an engaging sense of openness…"
The Prestige Gold won the coveted "Editors' Choice Award" in the October 2006 issue of The Absolute Sound magazine, which praises it for "very pleasant (and yes, euphonious) balance" along with a "sweet" treble and "taut" bass. "The overall presentation is lively." The newly redesigned Gold1 offers even better performance than the original Prestige Gold.
Newly Redesigned Gold1
The newly redesigned Silver1 and Gold1 cartridges have had their coil design reconfigured, and the effective moving mass of their generating system has been reduced by 17%. This decrease in stylus mass allows for enhanced tracking with improved imaging, giving a quicker, more accurate reproduction of the music.
The Silver1 and Gold1 models use a four piece OTL cantilever technology, ultra-high purity long crystal (UHPLC) oxygen free copper wire in the coils and Grado's specially designed elliptical diamond mounted on a brass bushing.
The Gold1 model is selected from the Silver1 production run and meets higher test specifications. Approximately 5% of the production run meet these standards and become Gold1 models.
Grado has recently made a number of upgrades to the Prestige series to take cartridge performance to the next level.
In the cartridge body, Grado has cut back on the number of turns of wire in the coils. The resulting shorter signal path increases the speed and lowers signal distortion, thus improving the accuracy of the signal.
Grado has also improved the control of the resonance of the coils. The company's engineers took the lessons they learned from Grado's wooden body cartridges and found a way to incorporate the benefits into the Prestige series. The 'potting' of the coils decreases vibration, lowering noise and distortion within the coils.
All of these enhancements have contributed to the world famous Grado sound: the warm, smooth, full bodied, non-fatiguing, and rich sound qualities.
"Big, Convincing" Soundstage
"I'd forgotten how big a Grado cartridge can sound," reports Art Dudley in the July 2009 issue of Stereophile. "The results were more convincing than I had any right to expect from such an affordable thing."
Hi-Fi Choice Award Winner
England's audiophile journal Hi-Fi Choice bestowed its prestigious "Product of the Year" award for 2003-04 on Grado's Prestige Gold.
According to the special Awards 2003 issue of Hi-Fi Choice, "midrange is excellent, with great presence and vitality, it images well, placing instruments and voices with decent precision, and it follows complex lines with apparent ease. Bass is deep and imaging is strong - you can't ask for more at the price."
"Up The Path Toward Analog Excellence"
"While the Prestige Gold cannot provide quite the same ultra-refined, take-you-to-the-mountaintop listening experiences that big buck moving coils can, it takes you a long way up the path toward analog excellence, and for a pennies-on-the-dollar price," remarks Chris Martens in The Absolute Sound.
"The Prestige Gold's sound was readily identifiable, but after just a few seconds it didn't matter much, so engaging were the results," notes Wayne Garcia in The Absolute Sound.
AudioEnz "Best Buy"
"The Grado Prestige Gold is definitely a 'best buy' in the cartridge stakes," reports Michael Jones in the February 2002 issue of New Zealand's AudioEnz magazine. "It's cheap enough to be an impulse purchase, yet musical enough to satisfy. Very highly recommended! Hand-built All the Way
The hand-built Gold1 uses a four-piece OTL cantilever technology, ultra-high purity long crystal (UHPLC) oxygen-free copper wire in the coils, and Grado's specially designed elliptical diamond mounting on a brass bushing.
A proprietary "flux-bridger" generator system requires fewer coil turns for lower cartridge mass and electrical inductance. This contributes to a frequency response to 50 kHz and beyond, plus tracking forces from one to two grams.
VPI Classic1 Turntable
VPI Classic1 Turntable
"The Classic isn't just about scale and power. Play something delicate like Janis Ian and the musical coherence and intimacy are underpinned by the easy musical flow, the levels of low-level instrumental resolution and detail."
"Its mastery of time and space, its almost boundless dynamic range and energy, its sure-footed confidence set it apart from almost all other decks at this price."
- Roy Gregory, HiFi+ magazine, October 23, 2009
"Bass. There's something about the way the Classic does bass that gives the music a vitality that CDs never have. The rhythmic pulse is better, groovier and has more get-up-and-go."
"It's an eerily quiet turntable so records appear to have significantly lower surface noise, even compared to exotic turntables that sell for double or even triple the Classic's price. If you never heard a high-end turntable before you'll be amazed by the difference."
"If you want to know why vinyl is still going strong nearly three decades after the introduction of the CD, listen to a great turntable. The Classic would be the best place to start."
- Steve Guttenberg, Home Entertainment magazine, October 21, 2009
Listed in The Absolute Sound 2012 High-End Audio Buyer's Guide
"These strengths include a somewhat warm yet pleasant balance, a sweet if not hugely airy treble, a dynamically expressive midrange, and a taut and powerful if not richly textured bass. The overall presentation is lively and conveys an engaging sense of openness…"
- The Absolute Sound 2012 High-End Audio Buyer's Guide
"I'd forgotten how big a Grado cartridge can sound in a system that's tuned to allow such a quality. On every orchestral record I tried, the Prestige Gold reproduced a soundfield noticeable larger than average, and... the results were more convincing than I had any right to expect from such an affordable thing."
- Art Dudley, Stereophile, July 2009
"While the Prestige Gold cannot provide quite the same ultra-refined, take-you-to-the-mountaintop listening experiences that big buck moving coils can, it takes you a long way up the path toward analog excellence, and for a pennies-on-the-dollar price."
- Chris Martens, The Absolute Sound
The $ensible Sound "Best Buy"
"It was lively and detailed but never edgy on vocal sibilants, and didn't overemphasize leading edges on acoustic guitar. Gold? Smooth? Mellow Yellow!"
It "wrested plenty of information from the groove and dug down into the music's fabric to unearth its character and gestalt. It also imparted a proper feel to the music... The Grado's presentation was extremely easy to live with and comfortably communicative... And as it only costs $180, yet holds its head up in more expensive company, it's a definite Best Buy."
- Alan Sircom, The $ensible Sound