A Video VPI Tour with Mat Weisfeld

Last week, I embarked on a nearly three-hour public transportation trek from Queens to Cliffwood, NJ to take a tour of turntable and tonearm manufacturer VPI Industries, with Mat Weisfeld as my host. During the tour, I got to meet every member of the VPI family, learn about each step of the process, and get a firsthand look at a couple of unreleased products!

Here's the video tour of VPI:

volvic's picture

I own their HW-19 MKIII, with an SMEiv/Shure V15 mk V, on it and love the sound, coupled with their SDS, it is a killer in my book. The great thing about that table is the ability to raise and lower the platter height through the bearing from underneath, allowing the right arm height adjustment without playing around with the tonearm. Their service is fantastic and Mat and is a great guy. Great company, great products. Thanks for the video, very insightful.

Staxguy's picture

Was the HW-19 MK III much better than the MK IV? (A sort of Selmer MK VI vs VII situation?) Have you heard the Aries [1994]?

I had the 19 IV, but I didn't do much with me.

Tried it with a number of Goldring cartridges, and settled on a Lyra Clavis Da Cappo. I loved the look of that one.

When that broke, I got a cheap Grado.

Always wanted to try Van Den Hull cartridges, who'se cables I admired.

Also, Benz and Miyajima.

As for arm, I settled on an Eminent Technology ET-2 (Air Bearing) Tonearm, which was nice, and added the popular surge ballast tank and upgraded (sort of fish tank) compressor. A few other things.

VPI sold a huge number of what I though of expensive table upgrades.

I really admired their business, and that they could actually get people to splurge on the most minuscule of things.

I missed out on a great number of upgrades for that table, and ended up giving it away in the end.

I'm glad you've still got yours.

While I wasn't a huge fan of it, due to the suspension mechanism, and would of preferred a VPI TNT or a Michell Engineering ala A Clockwork Orange, it brings back some huge happiness to see this video!

Today, I might go for a VPI Avenger Reference, or Prime Signature!


With Shinola, they make a gorgeous looking turntable called the Runwell. Gorgeous!


volvic's picture

I was always told the Aries with the heavy platter bested the HW-19 but mine started as the JR. that I bought for $200 in stellar condition. Found the MKIII platter for $100, found the top metal plate for $300 and an SME armboard for $30. Also bought the suspension pods that sit where the springs sit, I never had springs on mine only sorbothane. Over the years thanks to VPI, I acquired two bearings as spares and recently changed the motor. It works very well and sounds good to my ears. I never pulled the trigger on some NOS MKIV platters and bearings that went on sale a few years ago from some dealer and regretted it. Someone who had the IV and compared it to the III told me that the difference wasn't that huge, so just left it as is. Motor has plenty of torque and the table is easy to tweak. I have acquired other tables that are better built, look better and maybe sound better but at this level I believe the differences are small. If anyone is looking to upgrade their Project table or move up they can do no wrong buying a used VPI or one of their new wares. I think it is a credit to the Weisfelds for putting out such great products with reasonable prices and great service. Bonus! Also made in the U.S.A.

dmineard HT's picture

I always enjoy seeing videos from TT manufacturers like this one. Keep them coming and than you for sharing. Del

Bruceov's picture

Owned this turntable and did not like it, Because it had no anti-skating it skipped at the end of a record even new ones. Also it was poorly constructed: the RCA terminals had to be replaced. Maybe the expensive ones are better.

Glotz's picture

Absolutely loved it. Matt is a funny, personable and dedicated dude. So glad to see that the whole family is still involved on every level. RIP Sheila, you were always real and dedicated.

Thank you to VPI for creating turntables that last decades and allow an upgrade path to keep them up to snuff. My HW-19 is an absolute dream, and over the years I've replaced every part on it, less the dustcover... and it is considerably better than the original in every way.

oldskooldude's picture

I don't think the looks of a TT have anything to do with it's sound. I'm not buying on aesthetics.You can get really good looking cheap junk and you can get ugly that sounds live. Go figure.