VPI was started in 1978 by Harry and Sheila Weisfeld who still own and operate the company. Their first products were accessories being a record clamp and an isolation base both designed to improve turntable performance.
Their first major product was a record cleaning machine still available in updated for, as the HW16.5. Their top model, the HW17F, is a magnificent constructed machine for heavy duty and volume work.
VPI was born out of a desire to reproduce, at home, the dynamics of live music. Harry Weisfeld believed that the illusion of reality could not be duplicated without convincing resolution of low-level detail, along with a natural sense of acoustic space. Who can argue? In its pursuit of this goal VPI uses over 1000 reel-to-reel tapes and live concerts as well as a Yamaha Disclavier grand piano as sonic references. Dedication indeed.
Undoubtedly, VPI bring the highest level of engineering to their products. There turntables represent a level of engineering unequalled at their modest prices. They are probably the finest value in high end analogue audio.
Harry Weisfeld’s fertile mind never rests certainly not on its laurels. He is constantly introducing upgrades to existing turntables and adapting components from his top echelon models to those lower down the line, good news for the audiophile on a budget.
VPI have never wavered from their favour for the unipivot tonearm. The difference is in the engineering and manufacture. Most unipivots are flimsy, being little more than pipes on spikes. The VPI arm is beautifully and strongly engineered with innovations such as a heavy stabilizing ring around the bearing assembly perimeter.
It would be impossible to print all the ‘Product of the Year’ and other awards won by VPI products.
On May 6 1995 tragedy struck Harry and Sheila when their 17-year old son was killed in an accident. Even at that tender age he was deeply involved in the design and development of their current range of tonearms hence the model designation JMW9 Memorial. A fund, the JMW (his initials) Memorial Fund was established to further arts and music, in his memory. A percentage of the company’s profits are paid into the fund for, among other things, the presentation of an annual musical scholarship to a high school student in their home town of Cliffwood, New Jersey. Follow this link to the official VPI Industries website.