VPI Demos Nomad Headphone-Centric Turntable at SoundstageDirect.com Headquarters
The new Nomad features a built-in American sourced headphone amp and RIAA phono preamp. Just plug a set of headphones into the mini-jack, adjust the volume and your dorm room, office or bedroom becomes a vinyl-centric playback venue.
An additional set of RCA jacks on the back of the plinth outputs a line-level signal that can plug directly into a receiver's "aux" input. The plinth and platter are of MDF and there's a solid new tone arm too. The belt drive Nomad is expected to sell for $999.
VPI also showed a possible new turntable in the $1200 range, for now called the "Scout, Jr." It features an outboard motor, MDF plinth, the platter from the Traveler and a tone arm that was originally going to be used on the Traveler. The prototype was interesting in that it offers an upgrade path including better feet and tone arm.
When I questioned Weisfeld about a crowded field of VPI turntables prices at $1000, $1200, $1500 (Traveler) and $2000 (Scout 1.1), he claimed dealers have been requesting these price points be filled because of consumer demand.
Soundstagedirect had plenty of vinyl on hand for sale and they had a cake for me. It was my birthday. I treated myself to some records but wasn't particularly discerning: I bought the DECCA 6LP "analogue box" only to discover the "ADD" SPARS code after opening it at home and I bought a reissue copy of Nick Drake's Five Leaves Left but failed to note the circled "U" on the lead out groove area, meaning it was plated and pressed at URP.
It appears to be sourced from a UK lacquer judging by the handwriting and it was only $8 so no big deal. I have third Island UK pressing, which was close to the first pressing since poor Nick sold so few records when he was alive. I will compare and report back as soon as inhumanely possible.