IT was merely a matter of time… and finally, renowned American turntable manufacturer VPI Industries has announced its home-grown phono preamplifier, the Voyager, which has both MM and MC stages (with selectable gain and loading) and provides two sets of inputs.
We quote from the VPI press release to give you the lowdown on the Voyager:
Since we hired electrical engineer Mike Bettinger we have been asked about VPI’s future in electronics. Mike is known for his award winning Arion phono, which is how we met him. (VPI co-founder) Harry Weisfeld liked his phono so much he bought one for his personal use. Mike has taken what he learned combined it with the R&D resources and feedback of the VPI team and together has created a more affordable and robust flavour.
The goal of the Voyager is to create an easy phono option for music lovers getting involved in the VPI line. Voyager has been designed using VPI turntables and is naturally synergistic with our line. In addition, the Voyager gives customers who might own a different turntable brand a chance to join the VPI family through our phono preamplifier.
The Voyager is a true high-performance design that provides both MM/MC gain and two -input capability. With a front panel selection of inputs and MC/MM gain and loading, tonearm and cartridge swaps are easily accomplished.
MM gain is 42db, loading 47K ohms; capacitive loading is selectable between 100pf, 200pf and 270pf. MC gain is 62db with loading selectable between 100, 500 and 1K ohms. Internal switching of gain and loading is accomplished using high reliability small signal relays.
The Voyager faceplate is interchangeable and can be swapped with different finishes in future.
The Voyager utilises a two-stage design – a JFET-based input stage providing the interface with the cartridge, and the gain and drive for the 75 microseconds passive equalisation network that follows it. The second stage provides an additional 24db of gain and provides active feedback for tracking the low frequency portion of the RIAA curve. Both stages are based on matched cascoded Linear Systems JFETS and are servo controlled. Cascode references are supplied by precision/ low noise reference devices.
The power supplies are unity gain voltage reference designs for fast response and low noise. The circuit layout is a work of engineering art and the results of many years of study and experimentation.
The Voyager will retail at US$2,500 and is expected to ship in the USA early to mid-November, and internationally in the first quarter 2018. Book us one, Mat!