Sunday, March 24, 2013

New turntable: VPI Aries I

This was an unexpected purchase since recent events have cut back on my audio acquisitions.  But this was one deal that I couldn't pass up.  Featuring a thick MDF plinth, the heavy-duty metal platter from a TNT table, and a JMW 10.5 tonearm, the Aries is one heck of a piece of engineering.

I've always been impressed with the sound of my old HW19 Mark III turntable and though the Aries would only be a minor step up in quality.  But even with the only cartridge I currently have - the Denon DL-110, I heard a major improvement.  With the Aries I the background is quieter and blacker with less of a washy sound.  Bass goes lower and with more impact, while detail and treble quality has also improved.  I obviously need to upgrade the cartridge, so this isn't a real review, but more of a revelation.  I've always distrusted solid plinth turntables, intellectualizing the superiority of suspended designs.  But I guess with enough mass loading, a great tonearm, and a heavy platter, the more "primitive" solid plinth designs can compete.

More later when I've had time to process the changes and have a better cartridge installed.