VPI Avenger Direct Turntable Package Review

January 30, 2023 Comments Off on VPI Avenger Direct Turntable Package Review


The second change I made was to swap out the cartridge. The Miyajima-based VPI Anniversary has a sweet nature that suits the likes of soft, smoky jazz to a tee. Fed with ‘Love Dance’ from Diane Schuur’s The Diane Schuur Collection [GRP Records GR-9591], it made a good case for itself, offering up an emotive, warm performance. Unfortunately, outside of this fairly narrow window I found the cartridge wanting. None of the adjustments I made to VTA, tracking force, azimuth or loading made it sound anything other than a little too soft and vague for my tastes. Swapping it out for my regular Ortofon Cadenza Black MC transformed the performance of the Avenger Direct and showed what this deck and arm were capable of.

Now that smoky jazz still gave me a warm tingle of pleasure, but the violins of The Locrian Ensemble playing the ‘Allegro’ movement from Mendelssohn’s Octet [Chasing the Dragon VALLP015] had a proper sense of bite and realism to them. The horseshoe-shaped layout of the performers was also uncannily realistic as the Avenger Direct once more set up an almost holographic sense of imagery.


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