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  VPI Traveler vs Pro-ject Xpression III?
Anyone heard these tables side by side in the same system with the same cartridge yet?

Sbrownnw  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

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10-09-12: Sbrownnw
Resurrecting a thread here. Anyone put these side-by-side yet? I hope to be able to do this at the end of October when I plan to purchase a Traveler and complete the overhaul of my analog source.

I recently upgraded my phono stage from the Pro-ject tube box II with upgraded tubes to a Jasmine 2.0LP mkII. Very noticeable upgrade and the tube box is a pretty good phono stage (it beat out the Vincent Pho-8 2 boxer).

If the Traveler works out, I will have an Pro-ject Xpression III and tube box II phono stage with speed box I for sale locally (Redmond, WA near Seattle). Already received one damaged turntable from shipping. Do not want to be part of that again.

Sbrownnw  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

10-10-12: Chriscox000
I can't speak for the Pro-ject, but I can say that the Traveler is a very well made piece. It is built like a tank, and when I upgraded from a Rega RP1 with custom acrylic platter, Ortofon OM-20 cartridge to the VPI it was leagues better. The sound is very nimble, yet it has alot of weight to it.

It sounds unbelievable compared to the Rega Rp1 and RP3 that I have heard.

I am running the Traveler through an Avid Pellar phono stage, a Dynavector 20-2H, Onkyo A-9555 integrated (Japanese built), and Focal 1027S floor standers

Chriscox000  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

10-26-12   Thanks crhiscox000. did you notice better bass with the tra ...   Sbrownnw

11-28-12: Sbrownnw
Got a chance to hear the Traveler very briefly yesterday. It was at a local high end dealer that sells VPI, Audio Research, Linn, Wilson Audio, etc.

What I don't understand is that they had the Traveler (with a Dynavector 10x5) hooked up to a major high end Audio Research (their reference line, I think) driving some very expensive looking Wilson Audio speakers. I think they were using the Audio Research built in phono stage, and to tell you the truth, I think my Xpression III / Ortofon MC-3 turbo / Jasmine LP2 mkII / Audio Refinement / Tekton 6.5t monitor setup sounded much more involving, less dark and much more fun to listen and rock out with...

With that said, it was just one record (that is pretty much all they had, which I thought was pretty lame since they are a Linn dealer and did not have any Linn released LPs) and a very different system.

I hope to be able to bring some of my own LPs in very soon, or even better, borrow their VPI Traveler demo to take home and listen to in my system.

I guess I am pretty lucky that there are similar cartridges installed on the two tables I will be comparing (again, the Dyna 10x5 vs the Ortofon MC-3 turbo) but would people consider the VPI to be darker than Pro-ject and similar tables (Rega)?

Any comments, ideas, etc. would be appreciated here, especially if I am unable to bring the demo Traveler home.


Sbrownnw  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

11-28-12   Yeah, i'd try to get it home in your system (or get a travel ...   Roscoeiii

11-29-12   Sigh, they are not going to let me take the traveler home. ...   Sbrownnw

11-29-12   Well, there are ways to get a traveler into your home that w ...   Roscoeiii

12-30-12: Sbrownnw
So yesterday I got to listen to the Traveler with a 10x5 Dyna through a Linn system (pre with MM phono with separate power amp and 109 speakers). Probably as close to my system as I'm going to get without being able to take the Traveler home. I brought some of my own records in from classical Vivaldi Four Seasons (Argo - Academy of St.Martin-in-the-Fields) to Talking Heads (B side of True Stories, one of my favorites) to Art of Noise (In No Sense? Nonsense). All very good recordings and record condition). I also brought in my antistatic carbon brush and my Clearaudio Clever Clamp. Here is what I heard:

Pros: big neutral to warm soundstage with nice definition and imaging

I never heard the harpsichord on the Vivaldi sound the way it did with this system. It might have been a combination of the Traveler sound and the Linn system having the 109 monitors farther from the wall with more room tuning. It sounded amazing and right there. The violin on the Art of Noise Opus for Four was telling its sad agonizing story. Imaging and soundstage playfulness was there in spades as the tape loop master played with phase and other effects. The Heads sounded defined but just ok (more on this later). I also put on some Dire Straits Down to the Waterline and Knaufler's guitar did call out very nicely, similar to when I saw him live both times.

Cons: head belt squeak on startup (only listened to 33s), heard the VPI system dependent pop on turning off the Traveler and this table has very very different PRaT than my Xpression lll.

First of all, the belt squeak on startup is not a big deal at all. I usually give belt drives a nudge on startup anyway and I don't think I was nudging it enough because of the much heavier platter. The power off pop was disappointing to hear but not a deal breaker. No idea if this would happen on my system at home. Also, but just once I depressed the Traveler's power button while running at the table did not power down. My Xpression does not squeak or pop in my system and I like its 2 position toggle power switch better. But the big difference was the PRaT between the two tables. The Heads did not have their usual energy that makes you want to get up and hit that air guitar. Art of Noise did not have their same dance techno house beat energy. I even asked the salesperson to get a strobe disk, which he had, but it was a large paper one that did not also allow for the stylus to be on a disc to correctly measure speed with any stylus drag. My Cardas Freq Sweep LP allows for this and my Xpression shows pretty much dead on with a speed box mk l. So was the Traveler a little slow with stylus drag? Not sure as it looked pretty much dead on with the paper strobe disk. But the PRaT was very different. So different it made me double check the speed of my Xpression when I got home.

Conclusions: I wish I could combine both tables Pros into one table without the Cons. I could live with ether table but I bet I would lead to some kind of speed correction or adjustment with a controller to maybe tweak the Traveler's speed to be a tad fast. Is VPI's controller the only option here? Can you power on / off at the controller and avoid the pop? It does seem over the top wanting to purchase a $1000 speed controller with a $1300 turntable.

My system is listed in my profile system and the dealer's system was the Linn Akurate pream and amp with 109 monitors on factory stands probably 3x farther from the back wall than the 12" my Tekton 6.5t monitors are from my back wall. My listening room is also my family and TV room with the usual furniture and the dealer's room was minimalistic and setup for listening only with a single chair and I'm sure a great amount of room tuning and conditioning.

I really think both tables would be enjoyable in my system and I wish the Traveler had a little more pace, rhythm and tempo out of the box. Are there any speed adjustments I can make on the Traveler without any additional components? The manual did not mention any.

My $.02

Sbrownnw  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

12-30-12   All vpi tables benefit greatly by the use of terrastones, or ...   Stringreen

01-01-13: Sbrownnw
Does anyone suspect that there was something wrong with the Traveler setup? What do previous Rega and Pro-ject owners think that have switched to a Traveler?
Sbrownnw  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

01-02-13   I have had a traveler for about 2 weeks and one thing i can ...   Zenblaster

01-08-13   The traveler and the linn gear was on what looked to be a ve ...   Sbrownnw

01-08-13   Vpi tables have never been known for prat.   Dayglow

01-09-13   Thanks dayglow   Sbrownnw

01-26-13   What is prat? i've been away from vinyl for 30+ years, and d ...   Davemm

01-26-13: Sbrownnw
Pace Rhythm and Tempo. The Pro-ject and Rega tables are known for this and others...
Sbrownnw  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

01-26-13   Dayglow.....if set up correctly on a proper stand/bearpaws, ...   Stringreen

01-27-13   "vpi tables not known for prat," you gotta be kidd ...   Stevecham

01-26-13   Thanks sbrownnw! researching tts before making a purchase is ...   Davemm

01-28-13: Sbrownnw
@Stevecham: What comparisons of VPI to other tables have you made? I'm asking because I am puzzled and curious to what I heard with the Traveler in the demo room vs what I hear in my system at home with my Xpression III. I also heard the same PRAT characteristics of the Xpression III in my dealers demo room (pretty much all analog shop that sells Regas and Pro-jects) - the VPI dealer carries a much broader product line. I wonder if the VPI dealer did not setup the table correctly as they only had one LP for demo use and are putting their efforts elsewhere??
Sbrownnw  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

03-04-13: Sbrownnw
Re-read the Stereophile VPI Traveler review done on Nov 5th, 2012 and it seems like what he heard with the RP3 vs the Traveler is very similar to what I heard with the Pro-ject Xpression III and the Traveler:

For its part, the Rega-Dynavector combo sounded just a bit faster and hurried, less at ease. And while the Rega did a fine job of distinguishing voices and instruments within its shallower, narrower soundstage, the VPI-Dynavector did a better job of infusing those voices and instruments with purpose, meaning, and life. Chan Marshall was brought more clearly into my listening room [swoon!], and images in general were rounder, fuller, more three-dimensional. Interestingly, the Rega consistently produced the more aggressive, more precise imaging, with seemingly faster transients, for an overall sound that was snappy and exciting. But the Traveler's more leisurely, deliberate way of making music—its smooth, easy sound and steady, confident pace—kept me listening longer, wanting and needing to listen to LP after LP after LP.

The question is, is there a table that is between the Rega RP3 / Pro-ject Xpression III and the Traveler that does the best of both worlds? How about a RP3 with the Groovetracer subplatter to correct the "Regas run a little fast issue" plus maybe their acrylic platter? I don't really like Rega's VTA solution...

Sbrownnw  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

05-09-13: Sbrownnw
The Rega RP6 beat the two others out, IMHO. My Rega has an Ortofon mc-3 turbo like my Xpression lll. It has the PRAT and the imaging I was looking for. :)
Sbrownnw  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

05-09-13   The project 3 is a nice turntable that comes with carbon fib ...   Zenblaster

05-09-13: Sbrownnw
I would have used the ortofon mc-3 turbo, so that is a fixed cost of $350 and puts the Xpression lll at $1050 + $30 more for a clever clamp. It puts the Traveler at $1750 and puts the RP6 at $1850 + $25 for the diuble-sided suede mat I am using. You can find all of these at lower "demo" prices. I was lucky to hear all 3 tables with the same or very similar carts: the mc-3 turbo on both I owned and the Traveler had a 10x5 dynavector. I think the RP6 showed up in spades doing exactly what I wanted. I liked the traveler also except the startup belt slippage and creaking plus I wanted a little more PRAT from it.
Sbrownnw  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

05-10-13   I'm a music lover and physicist working in a lab full of equ ...   Omsed

05-10-13   There, if you don't trust a biochemist/molecular biologist ( ...   Stevecham

05-11-13   About biological things i trust the biologist. about mechan ...   Kiddman

05-11-13   Prat: for years i wondered what the devil folks were dreamin ...   Omsed

05-12-13   I think the prat acronym speaks for itself if you listen, pl ...   Sbrownnw

05-13-13   It's all about speed stability. making up a ridiculous acro ...   Omsed

05-15-13   Then if speed stability is a determining factor to prat, ple ...   Stevecham

05-15-13: Sbrownnw
@stevecham, does this mean that tweaking a VPI SDS to run a tad fast with a VPI turntable with not result in more noticeable PRAT? If so, yet another reason why I am glad I have a RP6 instead of a Traveler that replaced my Xpression III.
Sbrownnw  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

05-16-13   Stevecham, a wow and flutter meter and an accurate test disc ...   Omsed

05-19-13   A wow and flutter meter i do not have, so if you have the da ...   Stevecham

05-21-13   Stevecham, i'll call your bluff. what part of the country a ...   Omsed

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