Harry's at it again, a stripped down Scout with options that will run it into the $3K class. Great marketing. Best look for used VPI units, better value, better sound. Don't join the upgrade bank wagon.
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I am not thinking about upgrading at this point. I am entry level enthusiast and I thought this might be way of getting into quality table and company. My other options would be something like Rega RP3 or say Sota Comet
In addition, the traveller can be purchased $1299 without cartridge, so what cartridge best for price and value.
Also "B" stock is $1399 without cartridge
Just trying to get quality table that will last me for a few years
The arm on the new Traveler table is completely different from any other VPI arm. All of the VPI arms to date have been unipivot designs. The Traveler arm is a gimballed bearing design. The cartridges that worked on the unipivots "might" not work as well on this design.
We will have to wait until the table is released and owners have a chance to try different carts on it. I'm sure it will work well with most cartridges, but you never know...
If you don't know the arm mass or any other details, let alone having tried the arm, it is hard to recommend cartridges. I haven't received any dealer info on it yet. If it is a medium mass arm the Black should work but that is a guess as opposed to experience. I would wait to find out more about the table; VPI tables are usually good buys used if you want to go that way. This is both good and bad for we VPI dealers; we have to compete with our own products but their reliability and continued desirability is good for us in the long run.
My point was that it is hard to comment on something you know nothing about. I have faith in Harry but I would at least like to see one before comparing it to existing models. IF it were me I would look first at something like a used Scoutmaster; I think I saw one recently in the $1700 range; that is a very good table that I have used myself and can recommend.
You know the scout is a very good "entry" level for true high end tables. So if you can get one that cheap B stock which I have found means very minor issues (so far fingers crossed) like a scuff mark etc. I would choose that or as the VPI dealer says a used even higher end VPI. With those tables there has been a lot of experience with cartridges and everything else.
We used the SoundSmith Carman at the New York Show. Retails at $450?... I think it might have gone up a bit. We have also used (and love) a Grado Gold and Dynavector.
Also, Testpilot, we originally didn't plan on releasing any new tables. Initially HW was very resistant on making a new table because of the very reason you mentioned. After Sheila passed away I wanted to do something in honor of her and to help her live on through VPI and the music. HW and I thought of, designed, and built the Traveler (with the help of our suppliers and machinists) in 4 months.
We are also in the process of moving/expanding VPI, I plan on us having a better handle on all of that by mid June.
Hope that helps :)
This is an old thread, but as a VPI traveler owner I'll put my 2 cents in. I have a fuller write up on Audio Circle. I've tried the original Grado Gold, a Sumiko Pearl, an Orotofon 2M Red and Rondo Bronze, and with the exception of the Pearl, seemed to work fine. The Pearl has narrow diameter pins, so unless you squeeze the Travelers leads, you will not get a connection. This is not the fault of the VPI - it's sumiko's. I've had this problem with every table I've tried to mount it to except the Project 1.3. it originally came with.
@jarcher, thanks for your post. Does the pro-ject 1.3 have a carbon fiber arm? How does the pro-ject compare to the traveler (both having the ortofons you mentioned)?
I have a pro-ject Xpression III, speed box, tube box ii, wall rack and ortofon mc-3 turbo and I'm wondering if the traveler would be a noticeable upgrade or sideways move?
I found another review by jarcher on Amazon - hope neither parties mind the repost:
"I formerly had a Pro-ject RPM1.3, which while pretty, was a fisher price joke compared to this table. Can not tell you how impressed I am with the quality & fit / finish - and how the table alone was such an upgrade from the Pro-ject. Yes, it is almost three times as expensive as my former table, but the sound quality is at least twice as good. The photos don't do it justice - a seriously well built machine. I have a more detailed review at audio circle forum.
These sometimes ship with the Grado Gold - and in fact this table was designed with that cartridge specifically. Nonetheless I found that I preferred other options. So unless you know & like the particular sonic signature of Grado's, the safer bet might be to buy it without a cartridge, as it seems to be sold here."
Now I really want to demo the Traveler! Looks like my baseline Xpression III betters the 1.3 but the Traveler could be a notable upgrade here.
I posted this over on Audio Circle; thought some here may be interested...
Got a blue Traveler in my rig for the last week. Run it into a Yamaha A-S2000, Daedalus (hot rodded) DA-1s, w/a Dynavector 10x5 cart.
Sounds wonderful! No pops on start/stop via the motor. A bit of belt squeak on startup when set for 45rpm, but never on 33rpm. Great build quality,
beautiful table. Don't have as much experience w/tables as many here, but I love the arm. Works flawlessly & tracks quietly. Seems
very nice compared to a prior Rega P3 rb300, entry Sota Comet, & most recently an Empire 598. Can't wait to 'hear' what others think the arm can
'get the most out of', cartridge wise. Oh, & the MM/MC on the Yamaha, which I had never heard, is a wonderful match. Damn good & & easily
a match for my modded Transporter & 8g Mac mini server. This thing soars! Esperanza Spaldings 'Chamber Music Society' will remind you of
'Ella'. Jackson Browne's 'Time the Conqueror' is relaxed, warm & inviting in a way the digital never is & will remind you of why you liked Jackson
in the first place. Dave Matthews Band 'Away From The World', is striking, sublime & evocative as Dave's voice is captured as rhythmically primal, a ritualistic creative instrument, casting its musical spell in an enchanting & mature forest of instrumentation. Did I mention I like the Traveler very
much? A high quality product, @ a most reasonable price, that reminds oneself that music is indeed a "long, long, journey". A beautifully built
product that invites one to stop, come inside, have a closer look & consider what the artist has achieved all with minimal cost or fuss. Seems to me,
that this one is pretty special....
I've also a question as to the MM/MC on the Yamaha A-S2000. As mentioned, I'm using the Dynavector 10x5 cart. It seems a very sweet match w/the arm/phono..... but as always, down the road a bit, does the specs on the integrated support a move to a low output MC? I've only owned MM & don't
really understand the 'lingo'. Yamaha says, 100(?)v/50?, & the volume control
is plenty loud around 10 o'clock, so would I run into any problems attempting
to run the 20xl or the 13d dynavectors?
@Jarcher and @Regismc, do you feel you noticed more and tighter bass upgrading to the Traveler?
When I upgraded my phono preamp from the Pro-ject Tube Phono Box II with upgraded tubes to the Jasmine LP2.0 mkII, the bass definitely tightened up (less boomy and bloated), which is a good thing, but I also feel the need to increase the bass frequencies on a bass tone knob that does not exist on my main preamp. I do not want to add a sub to my system and I hope that the Traveler gives more good tight bass than my Xpression III. My cartridge, the Ortofon MC-3 Turbo is known for delivering a good amount of bass and hopefully the more weighty plinth plus the nice non-carbon arm on the Traveler deliver the goods I want.