The VPI Avenger table was originally a project started by Harry over 12 years ago. In the process of the design the project was dropped in mid-production due to excessive demand by HR-X customers which left the design and proto-type chassis to be mothballed. The good news about the abandoned design is Harry instead shifted his focus into starting and completing the VPI Classic Turntable.
Shortly after the development of the Prime, and while cleaning out the warehouse in preparation for a dealer training event, the forgotten Avenger and its designs were re-discovered! The working name was the “Tri-Pod Project”. Being newly motivated, Harry has finally put in motion the table that will be his master piece! The unique iterations that had been crafted from the original process were completed as Special Editions.
The VPI Avenger chassis is three layers of bonded acrylic/aluminum/acrylic, with damping material between layers, locked in by 3 isolation steel corner posts, 3 bolts, and the massive bearing assembly. The corner posts which hold the tonearms (up to three will fit) have adjustable machined knobs giving the user the ability to easily raise and lower the height to level the table. The corner posts connect to the cone stabilizers which sit in a machined Delrin/ball bearing isolation base reminiscent of the same used on the Prime turntable. Fully adjustable armboards are made from 5/5” 6061 aluminum for rigidity and grounding. The table can mount up to three arms, any manufacture’s brand, and any length!
The VPI Avenger chassis is made to handle a standard Classic Platter or the upgraded Magnetic Drive Assembly.
The Magnetic Drive Assemble:
The drive platter is mounted to the 5/8” center shaft which goes through both platters and deep into the bottom of the bearing assembly. The bottom bearing is an oil bath, the PEEK thrust disc on the bottom bearing takes the full 30 pounds total of both platters so we made the thrust disc replaceable and will recommend changing it every year so you get a new table sound. We tried levitating the drive platter with opposing ring magnets for less wear but the low end deteriorated as you took off weight. Sorry other table makers, get a set of JBL Everest’s and you will hear it too!! Bass requires a good solid footing.
The top platter, or slave platter, is in a PTFE Super Lube inverted bearing with almost zero rotational motion so there is no wear on that thrust disc. The powerful magnets from the drive platter grab the magnets in the slave platter and send it rotating noiselessly with a beautifully damped motion. Wow and flutter levels are exceptionally low but noise level is approaching 100 db down!!!
The Atlas, which has very powerful Alnico magnets has no reaction at all to the platter magnets. Neither does the Ortofon A95, the Shure Ultra 500, the Sound-Smith Hyperion, etc.
Words from Harry: I am very pleased with the results. I have compared many 45 RPM records to 15 ips 1/2 track tape masters on a Mike Spitz modified Ampex ATR-102, and will not shy away from saying it is 95% direct drive sound for a lot less money and a lot easier repair or replacement.
The magnetic drive system will be available for upgrades on all tables eventually. I have a feeling a Classic 3 or Signature with this setup will be very, very hard to beat at anywhere near the price.
The 12” 3D Printed Tonearm: