Everything That Is Addictive, Fun, and Tangible About High-End Analog: U.S.A.-Made Prime 21 Turntable Features Easy Operation and 10.5-Inch 3D-Printed Gimbal-Bearing Tonearm
Designed for hassle-free setup, simple operation, and transfixing sound, the U.S.A.-made VPI Prime 21 turntable epitomizes all that's endlessly addictive, fun, and tangible about high-end analog. Start with the pre-mounted, 10.5-inch 3D-printed gimbal-bearing tonearm, which equals the acclaimed performance of VPI's older uni-pivot arms all the while granting dramatic improvements in ease of use. VPI's famed adjustable VTA on-the-fly mounting base? It's here, too. The updated hit list continues with a steel top plate for superb dampening and a substantial ground plane, both of which translate into phenomenal focus and dark-black backgrounds during playback. Equally formidable, the same isolation feet found on VPI's elite HW-40 turntable add resolute stability and sleek looks. Speaking of the latter, the name of the 'table comes silk-screened on the top to add an additional touch of class.
As for the remainder of this audiophile champion? Pure inspiration all the way. Housed inside an eight-pound steel-machined chassis, a 300RPM motor drives a 20-pound Classic platter with inverted bearing, producing reference-grade speed stability. Wow and flutter, as well as rumble, remain well below audible levels. An advanced cylindrical motor housing and a platter/bearing with high tolerances help round out Prime 21. Ditto an instructional video placed on a supplied USB stick and all the tools you'll need to get Prime 21 up and running in just 20 minutes time.
Once you do, prepare to experience your favorite music blossom with detail, dynamics, tones, textures, and depth that will place the artists in your room – and which will continue without having to constantly tweak your deck. Beyond all the meticulous parts and technology, such convenience and immersion are what Prime 21 signifies. 100% Music Direct Satisfaction Guaranteed.
"You can start almost any review of a VPI turntable with, 'A few years ago, VPI revolutionized a sector of the high-end vinyl market. Now it's done it again.' And guess what? With the VPI Prime 21 and Prime 21+, it's changed the game once again.... There are two 'versions' of the Prime 21: the standard version, and the Prime 21+. What the 21+ adds is the Shyla moving-coil cartridge and the new Weisline tonearm cable.... In the Prime 21+, VPI has achieved the turnkey high-end turntable without compromise.... I find this a tough act to beat at anywhere near the money."
Prime 21+ Bundle Adds a Preinstalled Cartridge and Upgraded Wiring
The Prime 21+ Bundle adds a VPI Shyla moving-coil cartridge, upgraded Nordost tonearm wiring, and a VPI Weisline tonearm cable, also wired with Nordost wiring, so that the arm features the same cabling from cartridge to connectors.
VPI Shyla MC Phono Cartridge
Inspired by Audio-Technica's flagship ART Series, and a collaboration between the iconic Japanese cartridge manufacturer and the analog experts at VPI, the Shyla dual moving-coil cartridge combines expert design and natural, musical voicing focused on the midrange while also dialed-in to provide strong, deep lows and detailed highs. Featuring a premium magnetic core, special line contact stylus, and 0.26mm-diameter solid boron cantilever, Shyla proves a fantastic tracker that refuses to lose its composure even during challenging passages. Once it hit the grooves of an LP, this premium, high-separation, wide-response model reproduces music with enticing presence, imaging, liveliness, and dynamics.
On the technical side, Shyla boasts all the elements that have helped make both Audio-Technica and VPI renowned names in the high-end industry for decades. As such, Shyla's coils and terminal pins use PCOCC to maintain exceptional purity and conductivity. Its neodymium magnet and permendur yoke significantly increase magnetic energy, while the rated 0.6mV output speaks to its powerful performance. Shyla's exterior construction is equally important. Modified with advanced internal dampening, its mold ensures exceptional stability and rigidity, limiting unnecessary coil movement and reducing distortion. Similarly, its machined aluminum/hard plastic hybrid body further lessens resonance. Last but not least, the presence of threaded holes allows for easy, hassle-free mounting.