"Golden Ear Award" Winner, 2011 – The Absolute Sound
'Class A' "Recommended Component" - Stereophile
"I Don't Hear How You Can Go Wrong Buying One."
VPI's top-of-the-line Classic 3 takes a significant step forward in turntable performance and aesthetics. It pushes the envelope to the limit, delivering the best sounding turntable that VPI has ever made. And considering the excellence of the Classic turntable series, that's saying a lot.
"The Classic 3 is the fastest, most coherent-sounding VPI turntable I've ever heard," reports Michael Fremer in his October 14, 2011 Stereophile review. "I don't hear how you can go wrong buying one."
"The VPI Classic 3 is an exceptional effort by a company that knows the analog landscape like few others," notes Neil Gader in his September 27, 2011 review for The Absolute Sound magazine. "With each spin it invites you to become reacquainted with every record in your collection."
"Harry Weisfeld's Best. Amen! Five Stars!"
"It is a work of art, Harry Weisfeld's best. Amen! Five Stars!" raves Harry Pearson in the May/June 2011 issue of The Absolute Sound.
VPI's critically acclaimed Classic line pays homage to the great turntables of the past that have been synonymous with state-of-the-art turntable design. The Classic has been the best selling turntable VPI has ever made and is still outselling its production. The sales and rave reviews from around the world are based on the glorious sound and the incredible speed stability normally associated with $10K plus designs.
Taking the Classic Series to the Limit
The Classic 3 improves upon the features that have distinguished the Classic series. It features a new plinth, which is so massive and well damped that it virtually eliminates resonance. The plinth consists of 1/2"-thick machined aluminum plinth bonded to a 1/8"-thick steel sub plate and bonded to 2"-thick MDF.
That's just the beginning of the enhancements. For the Classic 3, VPI updated the JMW-Classic 3 damped stainless steel tonearm with a new stainless steel arm-tube, bearing assembly, and base mounting, and added premium Nordost Valhalla wiring from cartridge to output jacks. A secondary mounting with an underbase has been placed between the arm rest and the arm lift to greatly improve the arm's rigidity, making these the only arms that allow you to make VTA adjustments while listening and then lock it as rigid as a solid mounted arm. A large knurled VTA tower with a smooth precise feel facilitates setting the VTA.
To maintain the amazing speed stability of the Classic design, VPI includes the extremely popular Periphery Ring Clamp and HR-X weight. New feet were designed for greater stability, better isolation, and a matching look to the larger chassis.
To complete the visual aesthetic of this state-of-the-art design, VPI chose a deep Piano Black finish to perfectly counterpoint the silvery sheen of the top section. Gorgeous and glorious, the Classic 3 is an absolute triumph!
The Ultimate in Low-level Resolution
VPI carefully designed the Classic 3 to deliver the ultimate in low-level resolution. Speed stability of the Classic 3 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.
Superior noise rejection allows the Classic 3 to sit on a wood shelf near four 15" subwoofers while experiencing virtually no feedback.
"The Classic 3 is the fastest, most coherent-sounding VPI turntable I've ever heard. Its measured accuracy and consistency of speed were about as good as a belt-drive turntable can achieve, and its combination of a high-mass plinth, a superbly machined aluminum platter, a carefully damped and isolated motor, and the JMW-Classic – a fully realized version of VPI's JMW tonearm – make this remarkably compact, easy-to-set-up turntable one of today's great values in analog audio. I don't hear how you can go wrong buying one."
- Michael Fremer, Stereophile, October 14, 2011
"The highest praise I can give a turntable is the way it imparts unwavering tracking stability to a recording. With the Classic 3, music simply locks in and asks you to enjoy the ride. Whether it's a flotilla of orchestral and choral images from the Bernstein conducted Carmen or a solitary arpeggio from Michael Newman's classical guitar on the Sheffield direct-to-disc, notes appear cleanly struck, fully retrieved, and devoid of ambiguity."
"The VPI Classic 3 is an exceptional effort by a company that knows the analog landscape like few others. With each spin it invites you to become reacquainted with every record in your collection. A class-leading product by any yardstick, and, simply put, a class act."
- Neil Gader, The Absolute Sound, September 27, 2011
"The new version sounds more stable, as if the speed control has been enhanced. The net effect of these changes is there is less detectable turntable between you and the music. The LPs seem to float on a cushion of air. It is a work of art, Harry Weisfeld's best. Amen! Five Stars!"
- Harry Pearson, The Absolute Sound, May/June 2011