By Ben Bowers
on 10.1.12
Photo by VPI

The world of the audiophile isn’t normally for the light of wallet, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t values to be had. VPI industries got its start 35 years ago as a record player component and accessories company, first making weights, then isolation bases and then record cleaning machines — all for incredible values. Inevitably, they got into making turntables and developed a reputation among vinyl purists as premier manufacturer of high quality tables at unbeatable prices. Their latest VPI Traveler Turntable ($1,300) continues that tradition and stands as the only entry level, high-end turntable made solely in America. Key features include a 10-inch Gimbaled tonearm with removable arm assemblies for fast cartridge changing, ultra low friction Sapphire Gimbaled bearing assembly (which is almost as low-friction as their as their $1,000 JMW 9t unipivot Tonearm), aluminum platter damped with stainless steel, belt drive 600 rpm low-noise motor, RAC jack connections, and tiptoe feet. Taken together, it’s an exciting addition to the VPI lineup and a great bet for those looking for a taste of good listening without taking the family to the plasma bank. Best of all, a portion of all Travelers sold will go towards the fight against Pancreatic Cancer and to support the Girl Scouts of America. Talk about feel-good music.

Editor’s Note: If $1,300 is still too rich for your blood, the Pro-Ject Debut III Phono USB turntable is another great entry-level machine for only $500.

Buy Now: $1,300