by Paul Elliott
Mat and Harry Weisfeld did not escape NJ to the sunny south, Mark Boyle was down repping VPI in a couple of rooms, so I asked Mark about the design philosophy. VPI is a family based business, producing performance level products at affordable pricing. Most of the turntables also have an upgrade path. They service all their ‘tables, even the first ones built.
The goal is to provide an accurate representative of the source. Building turntables isn’t just a science; one must listen to see if it is producing something that is natural and real.
VPI is glad to support the Florida Audio Expo and only hope for great success in the future. “The timing and location could not be better.”
“The Tape Guy”, Greg Beron does not claim that he started the resurgence of reel to reel tape audio playback as an audiophile source (but Publisher Scot Hull is pretty sure that he did), but Greg does admit that he was out in front pushing hard with his products. He built his first machine 11 years ago — for himself. The music he enjoyed was music that was recorded on tape in the studio, so he felt it is the best way to play it back. There are so many steps in the process in producing an LP, he says, and each step takes away something from the original. There are far fewer steps in producing a tape, so you are far closer to the original. When he started playing his machine for people, all were just blown away with the sound. So he took a chance and presented at Rocky Mount Audiofest and received great reviews from many major audio publications, and internet blogs. When The Absolute Sound did their “Top Products of the last 40 Years”, United Home Audio tape playback machine was given a place on the list. When that happened Greg felt humbled and honored.
The tape machine has been in high demand for over eight years, always tweaking, with better power supplies, more reliable motors, and more. His latest models are Phase 11, 12, and Ultima 4.
His design criteria is simply “Get everything out of the 1/4 inch tape that is already there.” He feels that the audio shows are the best way for him to advertise. “You got to hear to believe it”. He exhibits at all the show and feels his success is partly due to the Audio Show experience.
I met Dennis Chern at an Capital Audiofest show a number of years ago and without a doubt one of the nicest guys in the industry. To say he is easy going and laid back is like claiming the sky is blue. I told him that I think the MartinLogan logo is the best in the industry and wanted to know the history.
It was Gayle Sanders that found an interesting bit of a graphic that sort of looked like and “M” and asked it that piece could be isolated out. The graphics people worked on it and we now have the famous ML logo. I was expecting some long involved story of research and testing but no it just happened very simply.
MartinLogan considers themselves as an accuracy company, not a speaker company. They feel it is there job to get out of the way of the music, not to get in the way of the recording. Dennis said that MartinLogan is “a lens that tells no lie.”
They chose electrostatics because they found them to be the most accurate. There are no crossovers, no cabinet, the space-age low mass diaphragm is driven uniformly. There is nothing there to take away from the music. What I found most interesting is that Dennis told me that there are a lot of musicians that work at MartinLogan.
John Wolff is a music lover. He seeks out unamplified music venues. He wants to hear how the instrument sounds. He voices his speakers with piano and violin music, which he feels are the most difficult to get right.
He stated this quest of building loudspeakers because he would go to a concert and then come home and play his hifi and be dissatisfied.
He uses field coil driers because the field coil controls the voice coil better, preventing overshoot which smears the sound. He just wants to get it right.
John Wolff uses Purist Audio Design cables simply because they make his system sound better. He bought those cables before he hooked up with Jim Aud, who builds them. They have been sharing rooms at many audio shows for the past eight years. This is an example of the synergy of two companies products that just work well together.
Both of Nick Doshi’s parents are musicians; he grew up in a house of good music. When he was six years old he was at a concert where one of his parents was playing and after the concert he noticed a man at a table with a tape recorder and headphones. The man let him hear the playback of the concert and it was at that moment he knew what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. Later in life he became a recording engineer and spent 25 years in the radio and TV broadcast industry. At one point he wanted to build amplifiers and formed Doshi Audio 4 years ago.
The prime goal is to build for the music lovers.
Because he is a relatively new company the audio shows are the best way to get his products out front of other music lovers so that they can have the experience of bringing emotion to recorded music.