I love the Fall. It marks the return of college football, the return of "serious" movie releases, and Stereophile magazines with some beef between the covers. And right on cue, out comes the most ambitious edition of S'Phile I have seen in years, with tons of juicy analogue content capped with a review of the Classic 3 by none other than Mikey.
Was the review positive? Indubiously yes! Was the review informative? I'll give it a "B" on that one. Unless I missed something, there wasn't a single quote from Harry nor a good explanation of what sets the Classic 3 apart from the current Classic or Classic 2. From an editorial standpoint, I understand the desire to steer clear of the murky waters of VPI-evolution and morphiing. I sense that reviewing a VPI product is a very trechorous exercise that few other than Mikey would be willing to undertake. Harry does not suffer fools, and it he who decides who is foolish and who is not. Did Mikey do a good job of describing the strengths and weaknesses of this particular table and arm in light of it's 6K price? I give a solid A on that. After reading the appetizer piece in the Analogue column on low-priced phono pre's, I was concerned my main course of feasting on the Classic review would entail a review primarily based upon the dinosaurish Shure V15 VxMR, but thank goodness the entree was adequately spiced with a variety of cartridges and left me with a very good sense of the vital character of the table and arm.
History could prove me wrong, but I predict that in ten years time the VPI Classic will be cited as the single most influential table of the past four decades in terms of convincing reluctant digital-bound audiophiles to return to vinyl. I heartily congratulate all involved at Stereophile and particularly Mikey on undertaking the review. I would have preferred a review of the Classic at half the price, but I suspect the decision to review the tricked-out 3 was the wiser one.