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Old 06-19-2021, 04:08 PM
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Vintage Pete Vintage Pete is online now
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Default It's been a long time coming!

I've always loved vinyl. Yes, I took some lengthy breaks from it, especially in the late 80's and early 90's when it appeared CD's would rule the roost going forward. But I never ditched my LP collection, or my turntable.
In the early 80's, I decided I needed to upgrade my turntable from the Scott automatic I'd been rolling with for a few years. I was dreaming of high end tables then-the Oracle Delphi was high on the list, but it was a lofty goal
for me then. I thought about Micro Seiki, and others. One day, I came home with a Harman Kardon T60 turntable, which was really a nice table for the money. And it really did a nice job, so nice in fact that it served me for
about 38 years, until exactly one week ago.

I'd been seriously thinking of going for a truly high end table for the last few years. Last week, I finally set up a gorgeous VPI Prime Signature turntable, together with an Ortofon Cadenza Black moving coil cartridge. With critical
help from Ivan, I was able to procure this statement turntable in Rosewood, the last of its kind that will be produced. Since my McIntosh C40 preamp only has a moving magnet phono pre, I had special ordered through a local
dealer a McIntosh MP100 MM/MC phono preamp. Capping it off is a Stillpoints LP1-V2 Record clamp (from Ivan, of course).

There were challenges to integrating these items into my living room system. Firstly, the phono pre should be in fairly close proximity to the turntable, and not too far from the system preamp. Next to the new turntable wasn't
going to work either, as I need room there for my vinyl accessories, as I have for years. I had my Harmon Kardon table atop a nice butcher block style platform that I had built way back in my high school years, along with my
cabinet for my vinyl LP's. This platform was really not quite large enough for the Prime Signature turntable, especially if a dust cover would be eventually added. So, the solution I arrived at was to construct a new platform, wider,
deeper and thicker than the old, and also elevated. In this way I could locate the McIntosh MP100 underneath the turntable. This is not only ideal, but also buys me more real estate next to it for a future component. It took a bit
over 3 months (13 weeks) to complete, from the time the first check was written. There was the wait for VPI to produce the last table in Rosewood, the ordering of of the materials for the platform, finding a local woodworker to
construct the platform with legs based on my design using the 1.75" thick walnut butcher block I ordered from a lumber company in Ohio. The legs had to be reinforced such to support the very heavy turntable. Once completed,
I finished the assembly using danish oil. I mounted Dayton Audio isolation spikes to the bottoms of the legs, raising the platform another roughly 1.5" to reach the design height. Then there was the wait for McIntosh, production
behind due to Covid-19 related parts shortages. The MP100 finally arrived at my door on Friday, June 11.

The results have certainly been worth all the time, expense and effort....











A few thoughts on the individual components.....

The VPI Prime Signature-Rosewood

This VPI Prime Signature is, quite simply, a work of art. In my quest for my dream turntable, I kept coming back to this one. The Rosewood was the real icing on the cake, I just couldn't stop looking at this table.
It is finished to perfection, is massive, very heavy and well isolated. The platter is also massive and heavy (20 lbs) and the beautifully finished motor is also quite heavy. I believe the whole package is roughly
80 pounds.

My particular table is supplied with the JMW10 Gimballed arm. Many VPI tables utilize a Unipivot arm, including the Prime Signature. Although I did not specify an arm preference, I think I would prefer the gimbal
version as it does not have the "wobbly" feel of the unipivot. The unipivot does offer one nice perk-the leveling side counterweights to achieve proper azimuth. Using the supplied leveling gauge, I determined that
the headshell was not perfectly level to the platter surface. Lacking the unipivot side weight system, I ended up putting one of the supplied very thin washers between the top of the Cadenza Black cartridge and
the underside of the headshell on
one side. The cartridge is now perfectly level.

The JMW10 Gimbal arm is a beauty:





The arm has the well known VPI feature of "on the fly" VTA adjustment. I believe I have this set to be roughly correct, though I confess I'm still trying to figure out what is truly the correct starting point, from
which I adjust for thicker, 180 gram pressings. There are also opinions as to what is "best" for a particular cartridge. If there are Cadenza Black owners out there with thoughts on this, I'd welcome them.

Since this table does not of course have an auto-lift feature for the arm built in (as my HK did), I have an Integrity Fidelity Tru-left automatic arm lifter arriving tomorrow.

The Ortofon Cadenza Black Moving Coil Cartridge

The Ortofon Cadenza Black sits at the top of Ortofon's Cadenza line. I had listened to the cartridge many times at our late friend Dan's (aka jdandy) home in North Florida. I was really floored by its performance
in his Michell Gyro SE turntable, and from the start of my turntable project there was little doubt this was the cartridge I would opt for. It is smooth, dynamic, great soundstaging, everything you could want. Not
exactly cheap, but well worth the money.



The McIntosh MP100 Phono Preamplifier

The McIntosh MP100 was McIntosh's first standalone phono preamp offering, and was introduced I believe in 2016. I've been interested in it since I first learned of it. It is compact, has lots of features, and like
any McIntosh piece, is beautiful in appearance. Most reviews I have read have been very positive. Some have the opinion there are better, but phono preamps are rather like headphone amps-everyone has an
opinion as to who makes the holy grail, and you can spend a fortune. McIntosh has a higher end offering-the mighty MP1100, a full sized vacuum tube phono preamp. But at $8500, I don't have the budget for it,
or the space, for that matter. The MP100 has features I likely will not use, such as the ability to digitize your vinyl. Since some believe the introduction of these digital circuits could compromise fidelity for die-hard
analog listeners, this circuitry can be easily deactivated. I really don't know what detriment, if any, is inherent by leaving the circuits on, but I have deactivated it. The unit also allows one to experiment with cartridge
loading via convenient front panel controls. This is much more convenient than the DIP switches we have to fiddle with on the underside, or even inside some products. So far, I have listened almost entirely using the
25 ohm MC setting, which seems to be what Ortofon recommends for the Cadenza Black.



My overall impressions

Since the VPI Prime Signature, Ortofon Cadenza Black, and McIntosh MP100 phono preamplifier we all purchased and set up at the same time, I really can't review any one of the components, as compared to the one
it replaced (i.e. the phono cartridge). All I can do is give my impression of the entire setup, and how it melds into my existing system. And I will say this: it is fabulous to listen to and visually stunning. The soundstage
is wide and deep. The Ortofon Cadenza Black is everything I expected. The McIntosh MP100 seems to be a very fine phono preamp, especially for the money. It is very transparent, and very quiet. Isn't that what we want? I
t is very likely the only phono preamp I will ever need. The overall performance of the combo is, at times, breathtaking. For example, I've played a few times the soundtrack from Flashdance-Irene Cara's What a Feeling is really
something to hear on this turntable. The vinyl can be played very loudly with no ill effects whatsoever. Smooth, clean, powerful and very three-dimensional. Visually, I could not be happier with the new setup. It has transformed
the system's appearance in a big way, making a statement every time I walk into the room.

The VPI Prime Signature is, without a doubt, a world-class product, and I'm quite sure it will be my last turntable purchase. My Harmon-Kardon T60 has been repurposed-it is now on duty in my Florida Room's vintage system.
It is a fine performer in its own right-perfect for that system with its Ortofon 2M Black moving magnet cartridge.

I will post further impression as the turntable, phono preamp, and cartridge break in, and as I accessorize the setup. In the very near future, a VPI periphery ring will be inbound. I also need a dust cover. So, this thread will be
updated from time to time.


Finally, here's a huge shout out to Ivan, for your help on the turntable and cartridge side of this project. Your help made a monumental impact, as it has so many times. I thank you my friend! I only wish our friend Dan could have
been here to watch this one come together. He was well aware of my plans to eventually make this move.
__________________
Pete

No. 35


Main System: VPI Prime Signature TT in Rosewood, Ortofon Cadenza Black, McIntosh: MP100, MR78, MCD1000 Transport on Stillpoint ultra minis, MDA1000 D/A Converter on Stillpoint ultra minis, MS750 Music Server on Rollerblock Jr's, C40, MC501's (3), Soundcraftsmen: DC2215 Eq/AS1000 Real time analyzer, DBX 3BX II, Carver C9, Nakamichi Dragon, Crown SX724, Crown D-75A (as headphone amp), Sony XBR55X900E 4K TV, JBL L220A's, JBL B460, Sumo Delilah active crossover, WireWorld Silver Eclipse audio interconnects, WireWorld Starlight and Silver Starlight Coaxial Digital interconnects, Wireworld SuperNova 7 Toslink digital interconnect, WireWorld Aurora 7 and Silver Electra Power cords, Wireworld Silver Eclipse 8 speaker cables, Terk AF-1 Powered Antenna, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-Ray Player, Bryson BUC-1 USB Converter, Wireworld Gold Starlight XLR Digital interconnect, PS Audio Direct Stream Power Plant 12, PS Audio Dectect, FuruTech Flux-50 NCF Inline Power Filter, Add-Powr Eau2 Electra-clear AC harmonic resonance generator

Florida Room/Art Studio System: Harmon Kardon T60 TT/Ortofon 2M Black, McIntosh: MR77, C32, MC2205; Crown Power Line Four, Wyred for Sound DAC-2 Digital to Analog converter, Soundcraftsmen AE2000 Eq, JBL 4313B's, JBL 2241-based Sub, JBL BX63A Active Crossover, Oppo BDP-105D Blu-Ray Player, Samsung 5500 Series 32" Smart TV, Terk AF-1 Powered Antenna

Master Bedroom System: McIntosh: MX120 Theater processor, MC206 6-channel amplifier; MR74 AM/FM Tuner, Oppo UDP-203 4K Blu-ray player, JVC HM-DH40000U D-Theater Digital VHS, Phase Technology PC80 Towers (now used as stands), (2) JBL 4401's, (1) JBL Studio 6IW speaker, (2) JBL Studio 6IC speakers, Sony XBR-49X900E UHD TV, Panamax 1000 Line Conditioner, (2) JL Audio E110 Subwoofers, Wireworld Solstice speaker cables, Wireworld Aurora Power cords, Wireworld Equinox and Solstice speaker cables and various other flavors of Wireworld and Audioquest cabling

Office System: Marantz 150 Tuner, Crown DL 2, Crown EQ 2, Crown SA 2, Crown D-75A (as headphone amp), McIntosh MCD7009 (as transport), DBX 3BX Series II, Oppo BDP-103 Blu-ray player, JBL 4401's, JL Audio E112 Subwoofer, Samsung 5500 series 32" Smart TV, Wire World Oasis audio interconnects, Wire World Solstice speaker cables, Wyred for Sound DAC-2 DSDse Digital to Analog converter, Wireworld Starlight Coaxial Digital Interconnect, Sennheiser HD800 Headphones, Sennheiser HDVA600 Headphone amp, Wireworld Silver Eclipse Balanced Interconnects, Wireworld Platinum Starlight USB Cable

High Resolution Source: HP Omen 17" Gaming Laptop

Last edited by Vintage Pete; 06-20-2021 at 08:22 AM.
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  #2  
Old 06-19-2021, 04:36 PM
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Yamaki Yamaki is offline
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Wow!

Pete...that is a fantastic upgrade.

Congratulations!
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Old 06-19-2021, 04:38 PM
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Pete… Extremely well done; great photos, and write up as always too!

Enjoy it in great health.
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MX136, MC1.2KW(10) MC2KW(2), MCD1100, MS750(2) MVP881, C1000C/P/T, MPC1500, HT-2 SUBS(2) HT3F(2) WS350(2) XRT2K, XCS2K, XR27(2) XCS350(2) JL GOTHAM v2 SUBS(2) SILENZIO MUSIC SERVER, LUMAGEN RADIANCE SCALER, SONY VPH-G90U 4K PROJECTOR, STEWART 120" MOTORIZED SCREEN, CINEMA-TECH SEATING, WW PLATINUM CABLES
Reference System: ACCUPHASE A250 AMPS, C3850 PRE-AMP, DP950 CD/SACD TRANSPORT, DC950 DIGITAL PROCESSOR, DG-58 DIGITAL EQUALIZER, T1200 FM STEREO TUNER, PS1230 POWER SUPPLY, HRS-SXR CUSTOM RACK w/ M3X SHELVES, TAD REFERENCE ONE MK2 LOUDSPEAKERS, WW PLATINUM CABLES
CAPE COD

MX150, MC501(2) MC1.2KW(10) MC2301(2) MR88, MVP881, MCD1100, MDA1000, C1000C/P/T, MPC1500, ESOTERIC K-01X 30th ANNIVERSARY (BLACK) SACD/CD PLAYER, G02-X CLOCK, HT3F(2) XRT2K, XCS2K, XR27(2) JL GOTHAM v2 SUBS(2) JL FATHOM F113v2 SUBS(4) SOUND ANCHOR STANDS(2) KALEIDESCAPE STRATO & TERRA SERVERS 80-TB, LUMAGEN RADIANCE SCALER, SONY VPH-G90U 4K PROJECTOR, STEWART 120" SCREEN, SONUS FABER STRADIVARI, SILENZIO MUSIC SERVER, FORTRESS SEATING, WW PLATINUM CABLES
Analog Rig: CLEARAUDIO INNOVATION WOOD, UNIVERSAL ARM w/ Da VINCI' CART, 2nd UNIVERSAL ARM w/ GOLDFINGER STATEMENT CART, HRS-MXR REFERENCE RACK-GLOSS BLACK w/ M3X SHELVES, AESTHETIX RHEA SIG PHONO-PRE, BRYSTON BHA-1 HEADPHONE AMP, WW PLATINUM CABLES
Reference System: BURMESTER 911MK3 AMP(3), 088 PRE-AMP, 089 CD PLAYER, 100 PHONO PRE-AMP, 948 POWER CONDITIONER, ACCUPHASE DG-68 VOICING EQUALIZER, AVID ACUTUS REFERENCE SP TT, GRAHAM PHANTOM II SUPREME ARM, BENZ MICRO LP-S CART, GRANDIOSO P1/D1 STACK, G1 RUBIDIUM MASTER CLOCK, N05 NETWORK PLAYER, SILENZIO MUSIC SERVER, HRS-SXR CUSTOM RACK w/ M3X SHELVES, SONUS FABER AIDA SPEAKERS, JL FATHOM F113v2 SUBS(2) SOUND ANCHOR STANDS(2) WW PLATINUM CABLES

Library System: GRANDIOSO M1 MONOBLOCK AMPS, C1 LINESTAGE PRE-AMP, K1X CD/SACD PLAYER, G1 MASTER RUBIDIUM CLOCK, E02 PHONO-PRE, SILENZIO MUSIC SERVER, AERIAL ACOUSTICS 20T V2, AERIAL SW12 SUBS(2), CANTON REF K1’s, VPI HRX TT w/ SDS POWER SUPPLY, ORTOFON CADENZA BLACK CART, KLAUDIO RCM, SHUNYATA DENALI 6000/S v2, SHUNYATA OMEGA QR’s, WW PLATINUM CABLES
Esoteric/Bryston System: ESOTERIC C02-X PRE-AMP, P-02X TRANSPORT, D02-X DAC, G02-X CLOCK, BRYSTON 28B3 CUBED MONOBLOCK AMPS, BRYSTON BHA-1 HEADPHONE AMP, SHUNYATA DENALI 6000/S v2(2) EVEREST 8000 POWER CONDITIONER(2) AMR-DP777-SE DAC, SILENZIO MUSIC SERVER, TAD REFERENCE ONE MK2 LOUDSPEAKERS, QUADRASPIRE RACK, WW PLATINUM CABLES
Accuphase/Canton System: ACCUPHASE E800 INTEGRATED, DP570 CD/SACD PLAYER, T1200 FM STEREO TUNER, DG-68 VOICING EQUALIZER, PS530 POWER SUPPLY, CANTON REF K3’s, CANTON REF K5’s, SILENZIO MUSIC SERVER, HRS MXR REFERENCE MAHOGHANY RACK w/ M3X2 SHELVES, WW GOLD CABLES
Bryston Active System: BP26 PRE-AMP, MPS2 POWER SUPPLY, BAX-1 CROSSOVER, BDA-3 DAC, BDP-3 PLAYER, BCD-3 CD PLAYER, BIT15(2), MODEL T ACTIVE SPEAKERS, 21B3 CUBED AMPS, SILENZIO MUSIC SERVER, TARGET RACK, WW SILVER CABLES
Vintage System
: LUXMAN CL-38u SE PRE-AMP, JBL L300 SPEAKERS, BRYSTON BDA-3 DAC, BCD-3 CD PLAYER, BIT15, 3B3 CUBED AMP, SILENZIO MUSIC SERVER, WW SILVER CABLES

Shunyata Power/Digital cables, HRS Damping Plates, Stillpoints throughout all systems
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  #4  
Old 06-19-2021, 04:42 PM
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Congratulations Pete..beautiful TT!
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Audio/Rip Travel Setup: Apple MacBook Pro 15” 2019, 6-core i9, 32 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD, Audirvana+ v3, iTunes, REW for MacOS, dbPowerAmp, DVD Audio Extractor
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Old 06-19-2021, 04:55 PM
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Pete, I'm happy for you!
As always, a review that is a joy to read.
Your enthusiasm is infectious.
Your photographs breathe the cosiness of your listening room.

I smiled when I read:
'...but also buys me more real estate next to it for a future component'
Pete, stating this immediately after such an upgrade... you are a true audiophile!
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AV: Hegel C-53, Marantz AV8802A, Oppo BDP-203EU, Pioneer Kuro 60", Vivid Audio C1 & V1w's, Wireworld Platinum Eclipse, SE & E
Second system (veranda): Halgorythme preamp and monoblocks, Burmester 061, Avalon Avatar, Sharkwire & Wireworld cables
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Old 06-19-2021, 06:01 PM
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Looks awesome Pete! Great additions to your system!


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Old 06-19-2021, 06:29 PM
clpetersen clpetersen is offline
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What an amazing system! Congrats!! The photos are excellent as well, and thanks for sharing all the details.

Enjoy!
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Old 06-19-2021, 07:06 PM
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Congrats Pete!
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Stillpoint Apertures, Minis and Ultra SS footers, GIK Bass Traps, Vicoustics Waveguide panels, WW Platinum Eclipse 8 SCs, Shunyata Sigma HC v2 PC, 2 X Alpha v2 NRs, 2 X Delta v2 NR, Venom Defender, Cable risers, HRS dampeners
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Old 06-19-2021, 09:34 PM
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Thank you gentlemen....one and all!
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No. 35


Main System: VPI Prime Signature TT in Rosewood, Ortofon Cadenza Black, McIntosh: MP100, MR78, MCD1000 Transport on Stillpoint ultra minis, MDA1000 D/A Converter on Stillpoint ultra minis, MS750 Music Server on Rollerblock Jr's, C40, MC501's (3), Soundcraftsmen: DC2215 Eq/AS1000 Real time analyzer, DBX 3BX II, Carver C9, Nakamichi Dragon, Crown SX724, Crown D-75A (as headphone amp), Sony XBR55X900E 4K TV, JBL L220A's, JBL B460, Sumo Delilah active crossover, WireWorld Silver Eclipse audio interconnects, WireWorld Starlight and Silver Starlight Coaxial Digital interconnects, Wireworld SuperNova 7 Toslink digital interconnect, WireWorld Aurora 7 and Silver Electra Power cords, Wireworld Silver Eclipse 8 speaker cables, Terk AF-1 Powered Antenna, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-Ray Player, Bryson BUC-1 USB Converter, Wireworld Gold Starlight XLR Digital interconnect, PS Audio Direct Stream Power Plant 12, PS Audio Dectect, FuruTech Flux-50 NCF Inline Power Filter, Add-Powr Eau2 Electra-clear AC harmonic resonance generator

Florida Room/Art Studio System: Harmon Kardon T60 TT/Ortofon 2M Black, McIntosh: MR77, C32, MC2205; Crown Power Line Four, Wyred for Sound DAC-2 Digital to Analog converter, Soundcraftsmen AE2000 Eq, JBL 4313B's, JBL 2241-based Sub, JBL BX63A Active Crossover, Oppo BDP-105D Blu-Ray Player, Samsung 5500 Series 32" Smart TV, Terk AF-1 Powered Antenna

Master Bedroom System: McIntosh: MX120 Theater processor, MC206 6-channel amplifier; MR74 AM/FM Tuner, Oppo UDP-203 4K Blu-ray player, JVC HM-DH40000U D-Theater Digital VHS, Phase Technology PC80 Towers (now used as stands), (2) JBL 4401's, (1) JBL Studio 6IW speaker, (2) JBL Studio 6IC speakers, Sony XBR-49X900E UHD TV, Panamax 1000 Line Conditioner, (2) JL Audio E110 Subwoofers, Wireworld Solstice speaker cables, Wireworld Aurora Power cords, Wireworld Equinox and Solstice speaker cables and various other flavors of Wireworld and Audioquest cabling

Office System: Marantz 150 Tuner, Crown DL 2, Crown EQ 2, Crown SA 2, Crown D-75A (as headphone amp), McIntosh MCD7009 (as transport), DBX 3BX Series II, Oppo BDP-103 Blu-ray player, JBL 4401's, JL Audio E112 Subwoofer, Samsung 5500 series 32" Smart TV, Wire World Oasis audio interconnects, Wire World Solstice speaker cables, Wyred for Sound DAC-2 DSDse Digital to Analog converter, Wireworld Starlight Coaxial Digital Interconnect, Sennheiser HD800 Headphones, Sennheiser HDVA600 Headphone amp, Wireworld Silver Eclipse Balanced Interconnects, Wireworld Platinum Starlight USB Cable

High Resolution Source: HP Omen 17" Gaming Laptop
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Old 06-19-2021, 09:58 PM
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audioguy3107 audioguy3107 is offline
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Pete - nice photos! That's a great looking table, no doubt. Enjoy! (I think the gimballed arm is the way to go).

- Buck
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