Matej Isak takes under the scope Italian high-end audio manufacturer via Enrico Datti from V.Y.G.E.R. and VYDA Laboratories...
How did all started with V.Y.G.E.R.?
Everything started as a passion, then it became a company and, above all Vyger is an unceasing research laboratory.
Why the name?
Vyger takes inspiration from the 1979 film "Star Trek".
Like the "Voyager 6" was sent into the universe to search and collect data, so Vyger was created to explore and improve the big analog playback.
A very peculiar character, an authentic researcher. A person with uncommon IQ, and, for this reason, it is not easy to have a confrontation with him. However, he has the ability to clearly and intuitively explain even the most complex concept.
He does not meet many people, and in recent years it seems having lost his interest to talk and stay in touch with society and people.
You should know that near our Vyger laboratories there is an experimental laboratory of the INFN (acronym of National Institute of Nuclear Physics), University of Rome "Sapienza". Among the personnel there are some researchers and professors that, beside being friends of Giuseppe, are dedicated to the study of gravitational waves. Frequently Giuseppe talks with them about technical concerns.
I have personally heard some conversations between Giuseppe and a Russian Physicist that is an expert in cryogenic processes. I must say that sometimes their conversations were somewhat incomprehensible to me...
Giuseppe is not suitable to the world of marketing, public relations, and customer care. Now I know that the laboratory is its unique world where he can express his talent.
He can comprehend the intimate functioning of some complex systems.
Pino, as we usually call him, has no more any interest in economic and commercial aspects within the Vyger. He is only devoted to research, development, always trying to obtain the best results.
As a consequence, I take care of the management and public relations of the brand because, I believe, the world should know the Vyger and Vyda Lab, their new design philosophy and their new partnerships.
Enrico Datti has an important role in V.Y.G.E.R.. Please explain when did you joined the company and why?
I started as an hobby and in 1996, then becoming an audiophile I met Vyger. Going forward in time I started to collaborate actively in the Vyger production and, above all, I was able to get in tune with both the design philosophy and research approach of Giuseppe Viola. In 2003, we obtained an important award from Michael Fremer at CES in Las Vegas and from there on, everything has evolved.
Stereophile Show - Retrospects Good and Bad Sound "My votes for best sound go to LumenWhite-Vyger-Ayon" Stereophile US, Sept. 2003, ( Analog Corner ) by Michael Fremer
What is your present role in V.Y.G.E.R.?
My principal role is to promote the Vyger products all over the world and, moreover, to manage the company from both a commercial and financial point of view.
I personally support the entire customer care and, additionally, I handle the relationship with the distributors... in few words, I can make possible that the Vyger and his collaborators can create and build the best equipment and that audiophiles can benefit from these works. I firmly believe in the philosophy of sound that lies behind the Vyger company, and my work is oriented to support it.
When did V.Y.G.E.R. introduced their turntables abroad?
About 23 years ago, in 1993
Why do you think so many people choose V.Y.G.E.R. turntables?
Vyger usually is chosen from very demanding users that real need for a highly sophisticated product that is characterized by a transparency of the signal without compromises.
Would you consider yourself an audiophile?
Of course, a part of me is still very emotional, but a relevant part of me really prefers the scientific approach, just like the approach of Giuseppe, who always search for a scientific verification.
How did you got involved with the high-end audio?
Because around our turntables we have created an aura of magic and extreme performance.
Who was your inspirations or still are in high-end audio?
No one in particular, but we appreciate the fact that some companies have a strong scientific approach. For this reason, we believe that when proposing a kind of sound rather than another this choice should be supported by a strong scientific foundation.
Kindly list the current V.Y.G.E.R. product line.
Indian Signature IV generation
Atlantis IV generation
Indian Master IV generation
Krimon I phono stage
What led to the creation of now legendary Indian Signature?
Indian signature IV is the result of handling (and, of course, correctly applying) those physical laws governing the mechanical turntable system.
How does Indian Signature IV differ from the original one?
We have created a digital control interface for the user. A new continuous Vacuum system with a fine (i.e. extremely accurate) depression regulation. Centesimal control of the arm pressure since, as the arm pressure varies, certain tonal values changes significantly, especially at the low frequencies and for the transient attack. The arm is equipped with a new high-modulus carbon (i.e. Young modulus of about 800 GPA that is about 4 times stiffer than that one of tempered steel). Furthermore, it has a new geometry and an optimized distribution of the masses. These are, in extreme synthesis, the main strengths and innovations of the new system.
What is the common DNA across all V.Y.G.E.R. turntables?
Typically, the first thing noticed by a listener is the high signal dynamics of Vyger turntables.
High transparency of the micro signal and the sharp transient response.
What makes Indian Signature IV so special?
Personally I think that Indian Signature IV is going to become a new global standard in the analog reproduction. I firmly believe that, at present, it is very hard to obtain similar performances from analogous equipments.
How much of the original analog master tape quality one can expect via Indian Signature IV?
We all know that an analog master is upsetting for what concerns the dynamics and details, as well as other relevant musical parameters. Anyway, I firmly believe that the Vyger Indian Signature IV is the only turntable that is able to get closer to the analog master reproduction.
V.Y.G.E.R. Indian Signature seems to be a product of the future back at its creation. Can you elaborate?
The design solutions applied are consistent to the physical laws involved. Giuseppe Viola uses to say: "Whoever designs without satisfying the relevant physical laws, will inevitably produce an error that is proportional the square or to the cube"... essentially every design's mistake, even small, produces significant effects on the final solution because of the non linear behaviour.
Are grand proportions a must for such a statement turntable?
In a turntable system (substantially a dynamic mechanical system) the masses are really important.
Even if our Indian Master IV is a relatively light turntable, it assures uncompromising performance since it represents an optimized solution from a scientific design approach.
How would you describe company past 10 years? What was happening in this interval?
In the past decade Vyger has always been involved in the development of innovative solutions to achieve maximum performance.
It must be pointed out that some products are prototypes for research purpose and have been never commercialized.
In fact, we are always concerned about the device performances, and we are not interested in commercial strategies. This means that a new product for the market should actually contain sound and technical innovations. Another strength point of Vyger company is the ability to provide personal solutions to its customers: we have produced a lot of turntables that are unique, custom-made pieces based on the buyer's requirements.
How would you say the Indian Signature IV compare to the current state of the art turntables at the market?
I think that no comparison could be really made if we look at the uniqueness of the involved technical solutions.
What does 21st century vinyl playback means for you?
The hearing human system has a strong emotional component that differentiates a men from a measuring instrument. Surely, the analog system is characterized by the maximum extension of the musical signal, even if both dynamic level and signal to noise ratio are sometimes less than in the digital system. But, because of our emotional imperfection that distinguishes us from the measuring instruments, the turntable, if well-designed and correctly set up, could provide an higher music's listening pleasure.
Have you ever considered any other types of motor drives?
No. We are mainly involved in the development of an innovative rotation system based on pressurized air cushion. In practice, the high-mass platter floats on a pressurized air film, thus avoiding friction between rotating parts (i.e. the platter and the table) and, of course, the generation of spurious vibrations.
Why is an air system needed at your flagship turntable?
For the reasons explained above, the use of air ensures proper insulation and constancy of rotation, thus leading to a performance level that is not comparable to conventional bearing systems. All the relevant parameters can be easily controlled and fixed to constant values.
How important is a precision in designing the ultimate turntables?
The mechanical parts of a turntable should be realized with a strong geometric accuracy to obtain uncompromising performances. For example, the system spindle / bearing of the Indian Signature IV is characterized by a roundness (i.e. the geometric shape error) less than one micron.
These accuracies are achieved with sophisticated processes such as manual polishing with natural diamond paste.
WOW and rumble. To what degree they can be taken?
Rumble measurement in our analog system is greater than 90 dB, therefore it can not be measured with conventional measuring systems.
The WOW is strongly affected by ripple vinyl. For this reason, our new turntables are provided with a disc vacuum system. Beside reducing the WOW, it also reduces the Doppler Effect, i.e. the return of the mechanical wave that crosses longitudinally the disc back to the cantilever's diamond, thus introducing an audio signal shifted in time.
Please tell us more about the Vision IV tonearm?
Vyger has always supported the superiority of the tangential air tonearm systems. The last Vision IV tonearm, has the geometrical characteristics, the dynamic stiffness and the damping property that are superior to any system on the market.
Do you strictly recommend it with the Indian Signature IV or there are other tonearms you recommend also?
We highly recommend it, even if tangential arms are not so simple to use. But we are speaking about machines dedicated to maximum performances. You can not run with a F1 Ferrari in the city streets with many holes ....
Please tell us more about the unique tonearm pneumatic suspension?
The air suspension system is, in practice, the only one that guarantees a near-zero friction. We can predict with mathematical exactness the inertial performance of the arm. We can control the dynamic response to stress that the arm experiences. Friction is no more a dynamic variable, it becomes a constant!
Tangential vs regular tonearm?
In our opinion, a tangential arm that is properly designed can assure a musical signal with higher purity.
How important is VTA for the ultimate replay?
The VTA is very dependent from the cartridge diamond cut. The smaller the cutting radius (e.g. Gyger S II) the more is sensitive to changes of the VTA angle. For a correct disc reproduction, it must be carefully monitored and even adjusted from time to time depending on the disc. We suggest to write it on the disc label as a technical specification.
How about the azimuth?
Azimuth represents a second source of skating force, that introduces a signal distortion such as in traditional arm. We always recommend to measure it with a test disc and an oscilloscope
Air floating system seems to be much more functional the magnetic bearing system?
The magnetic support system can not be considered a constant parameter, since it is susceptible to many external disturbances, such as electromagnetic fields. Furthermore, the magnetization of the field (magnetic field) is not perfectly constant. This can not guarantee a perfect rotation. It also creates significant torsional forces and repulsions that are difficult to control.
Indian Signature and Atlantis suspension system is also a push forward. Kindly elaborate?
It should be clarified first what is the function of a turntable suspension:
Isolate the system from the environment by resonating at a the lower frequency as possible.
Anyway, by applying a mechanical low-pass filter at 2 Hz, the filter inherently responds with a decay of 12 dB per octave that is far from a decay with infinite slope, as we would like. Using the appropriate materials such as elastomers, it is possible to slow down the propagation of the mechanical wave speed considerably.
In metals the sound speed is about 6000 m / s while it lower to about 40 m / s in elastomers.
How do you deal with the damping?
For the control of the damping coefficient Q of an elastic system should be used viscous fluids, such as high viscosity oil, or magnetic forces based on the Foucault currents. Clearly, the damping should be calibrated in order to obtain curves with a low ripple. The damping factor must be carefully controlled because its increase leads to the rise of the arm friction and decreases the cartridge's response speed to the tracking.
Is the primal role of state of the art turntable to absorb or dispatch the unwanted hubris energy?
We believe that the turntable should be infinitely isolated, with a slope of the mechanical low-pass filter that theoretically goes to infinity. Of course, this is not possible, but is however important to obtain the maximum insulation at the lowest possible frequency, trying to slow the wave speed as much as possible.
The classic turntable is an incorrect application of the ideal turntable system.
How much of the Indian Signature IV DNA have other V.Y.G.E.R. turntables?
All our air turntable models have these technical qualities.
Krimon I is no ordinary phono stage by all means. Please elaborate?
The project of the Krimon phono stage aims at obtaining the maximum possible speed in the reproduction of the transient musical signal, because we all know that music is ruled by the impulsive regimes.
Consequently, all other parameters will be facilitated by a device that reproduces exactly in phase and amplitude these transients.
The design solution is extreme. Our printed circuits are made with a Teflon support coated by150 microns of copper. Then an additional silver coating and a final a gold coating are realized for protecting the circuit board. No protection to the printed circuit is applied (solder resistent) making it as if it were a wired device in the air.
What led to the creation of the Krimon I?
The Krimon I is the result of the research carried out for setting up a reference phono unit to support our analog experiments. In practice, it has been created and designed to sustain our research's needs..
Vyda Laboratories are an intriguing new venture. What led to the creation of this brand?
As I said before, we did not have time to put on the market all the prototypes we have studied. So we decided to create a new brand that will be the evolution of Vyger, even if it maintains the same DNA and research approach.
This brand represents the evolution of Vyger, collects all the know-how gained in about 25 years. Vyda has the goal of being able to realize a complete reference audio system.
Where does high-end stops and ultimate high-end comes in?
The Hi End, in our view, ends when we are able to manage and control our state of mind while listening.
Because for humans it is difficult analyze objectively and impersonally everything that happens while listening music.
Only when an individual will be able to manage with discipline and analyze logically the audio events then there will be an evolutionary step.
Are high prices a must?
The high prices are motivated by the fact that any effective result has a serious cost. We believe that high prices are needed if high performances and standards are required.
What is your constant reference when designing new products or updating the existing ones?
I have the overview of the laboratory and my role is to manage and coordinate the design's needs of all the collaborators. This role is often very difficult because there are unconventional demands!
Thanks to Vyda, for example, I am carrying on a vivid design and research activity that has led to a reference in-house system to help us our research at Vyger.
What product of yours you’re most proud of?
Indian Signature IV represents our current reference system and the state-of-the-art in analog systems.
Tubes vs Transistors?
The valves for emotionalism, transistors for analytical sense gratification.
Analog vs digital?
Currently they are equivalent, with some aspects in favour of analog while others in favour of digital. However, there are some parameters that will remain unmatched, owing to physical principles, in favor of analogue.
How do you see the analog playback in the 21st century?
Objectively listening analogue is widely justified because the digital still flaw of emotionality and sometimes also the purity of the signal intended as resolution. The standard of many recordings in digital is still of poor quality.
Where is the borderline between luxury and real high-end?
There are very expensive products that, in our opinion, have poor technical content...
How important is turntable power supply?
It is clear that any electronic control of the motor is influenced by the power supply quality.
Perfect pitch and stable motor running is an art of itself. How do you deal with this?
The stability of the speed depends on many factors: the construction accuracy of the mechanical parts, the adopted materials that must ensure constant mechanical properties over time, the electronic control of the engine as well as the engine itself made by its magnetic parts, rotation bearing system, etc.
Inertia contributes to minimize several problems, such as non-constant rotation of the turntable spindle system.
How do you deal with resonates and micro vibrations?
Simply by applying the relevant physical laws, namely the creation of mechanical low-pass filters and the adoption of materials that have the characteristic of lowering the speed of propagation of the mechanical waves. As said before, for example, a mechanical wave propagates in a metal with a sound speed of about 6000 m / s while, in elastomers, the speed reduces to about 40 m / s.
This are physical properties based on which one can decide if it could be convenient to use metal spikes rather than a rigid plate-frame coupling system.
Do you believe in Made In Europe certain quality?
Things must be simple, but not oversimplified. Where is the thing line?
In the experience of the designer, that wisely and skilfully combines parameters to find the right balance between theory and feasibility of use, as in physics there is nothing unconditioned, therefore each parameter is always in relation with and may even be detrimental to the others!!!
How do you see the continuing rise of vinyl sales?
We are very happy because this suggests that digital technology does not bring necessarily an advantage in the quality of music.
How V.Y.G.E.R. and Vyda Laboratories are connected?
They are connected by a long time, but only recently we have decided to establish a new brand where we will give life to products already studied in the past and develop for internal use. Now we will make them public starting the production. The first example is the Orion cable, one of our products which until now had no name.
Even The phono Krimon was born as a prototype for laboratory research, and then we decided to brand it Vyger for marketing purposes.
How do you see the present high-end audio industry?
There are some very interesting new products, but it is difficult to introduce really new and innovative technological alternatives in the audio systems.
What is for you the ultimate high-end audio reproduction?
In our opinion it is the maximum capacity of a sound system to faithfully reproduce a musical signal, both analog and digital. Not to be confused with interpretation of the musical with the aim of changing the sound to make us "pleasing, agreeable." Many times the faithful reproduction of a music recording is unpleasant, but true!!
Who would you say a “typical” V.Y.G.E.R. customer is?
Certainly we would like that the Vyger customer was a person of a certain musical and scientific culture, even if sometimes ....
What holds future for V.Y.G.E.R.?
An endless research. We could say: " is this really all that I am? Is there nothing else more?"
Any last thoughts for our readers?
Please, do not stop to evolve your system for the analysis and judgment of the music.