Stereophile's Products of 1992 Analog Source

Analog Source of 1992

VPI HW19 Mk.IV turntable ($1800; reviewed by Guy Lemcoe, Vol.15 No.8, August 1992 Review)

Now, I'm a Linnie—my turntable loyalties lie toward Scotland. Yet if the LP12 hadn't sprung fully formed from the forehead of the sainted Ivor Tiefenbrun, it would be a VPI that would probably be spinning my LPs. In its Mk.IV version, VPI's HW19 features the bearing and 11/2"-thick, 20-lb, lead-impregnated, four-layer, precision-machined acrylic platter of their TNT flagship model—changes over the ealier '19 that bring the sound, thinks Guy Lemcoe, into competition with "the megabuck darlings of the audio elite." With the excellent Eminent Technology 2 tonearm, "the music arises from a background as pitch-black as the dry, haze-free Santa Fe night sky," sayeth GL. The good news for VPI owners is that the upgrade is available for earlier versions of the turntable for just $700. It's ironic, as Guy pointed out in his review, that analog playback is reaching an unprecedented level of excellence just as new vinyl becomes as scarce as unobtanium.

Finalists (in alphabetical order

AudioQuest AQ 7000 phono cartridge ($1595; reviewed by Robert Harley, Vol.14 No.6, June 1991; Arnis Balgalvis, Vol.15 No.1, January 1992)
Day-Sequerra Reference FM tuner ($4800; reviewed by Larry Greenhill, Vol.14 No.12, December 1991)
Expressive Technology SU-1 transformer ($2950; reviewed by Robert Harley, Vol.15 No.7, July 1992 Review)
Koetsu Pro IV phono cartridge ($3995; reviewed by Dick Olsher, Vol.14 No.12, December 1991; Jack English, Vol.15 No.11, November 1992)

dalethorn's picture

Sonus Faber speaker: I bought their first headphone, the Pryma ($550) in 2015, yet it's still essentially unknown months later in headphone circles. So do I assume their speakers have fallen out of audiophile favor?

Spica SC-30 budget speakers: I think Stereophile's earlier reviews of the Advent and the FMI-80 fell into this category, or maybe even moreso.

michael green's picture

Thank you Stereophile for the mention and Guy for the fun listening! "92" was an exciting time!

michael green