The Fatboy

Fatboy Update Please

Postby Letsmakeadeal » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:15 am

Mat, Brent, anybody?

If anyone here has a red phone to Mat's office, please see if you can rustle up an update on the Fatboy. Several questions posted here with no responses as yet.

Thanks :D
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Re: The Fatboy

Postby Brf » Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:52 pm

Sorry, I got nothing.......
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Re: The Fatboy

Postby Johnny » Sat Nov 18, 2017 6:15 pm

I was very interested in the Fatboy, but due to the lack of info and pricing, I have decided to go with the Tri-Planar as my second arm. My Dealer carries both VPI and Tri-Planar and told me if the Fatboy comes in before my back ordered TP arrives I can always switch. He’s got a sale regardless.
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Re: The Fatboy

Postby tom collins » Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:09 am

business as usual at VPI. first, the tease, then the begging, lots of pictures, announced delivery date, missed date, more begging, long wait, problems with the delivered units. vpi fixes the problems eventually and the new widget is incorporated into the lineup.
this from a former real fan too, its a shame.
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Re: The Fatboy

Postby Johnny » Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:52 am

Marketing 101 = manage expectations
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Re: The Fatboy

Postby Mat » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:57 am

Hey all,

Fat-boy is and has been on the way. The hold ups have been to make sure when it is released it is the first and final with little to no update (ideally ever :) ) I just came off of two back to back shows as well as RMAF so I'm still buried with good old catch up. This was the first weekend I saw my wife so I mentally turned off VPI since Friday. Yes, I'm all about having a bit of a tease, but not on this one. I've been anxious to go on this baby since Munich. The delay has made the arm cleaner, more refine, and having additional fine tuning aspects that were not part of it when we first showed it. So here is the full 9 yards covering the holdups, evolution, and where it is at now (skip right to "Bottom Line" if you want to get right to the bottom line 8-) )

Evolution

This arm has been in the works for way too long! It first started at the Hong Kong show roughly a year and a half when we launched the Titan. Our whole Asian distribution chain felt the table was so good and such an advancement forward that our tonearm was left behind from a usability, aesthetics, and adjust-ability stand-point. Also for clarity, I'm only going to talk about the iterations of this arm that were meaningful enough that it made it the public.

Prototype - 1 - March 2017

The original plan was a thicker 3D printed tube with a threaded adapter back-stock to make adjust-ability easier. The back was way too light and couldn't handle any of the heavier cartridges without having an obscene amount of counter weights/add-on weights. We proofed out the sound and were happy musically but it was totally unacceptable for standard customer use. At this point musically we had greater depth in our sound-stage and more excitement from the mid-range. Subtle improvements on the detail but I can't say it was enough to write home about at this point. Main reference was the Lyra Atlas but there were others as well. This was initially leaked by accident because we were having an event about the Prime Series and unavailing of the Prime Scout but Harry had to share! The original name was the JMW Titan Arm but our 3D printing prototype name behind the scenes was "Fat-boy". When Harry found out the name he felt "Fat-boy" was a better name and told Myles from Positive Feedback all about it:

https://positive-feedback.com/audio-dis ... -man-cave/

Prototype - 2 - May 2017

Now this launch was planned and I thought we would be in production and have it out to you all by June. The back-stock had been replaced with a stainless steel threaded hub and included the dual-pivot/stabilizer. By this point I was proudly swinging the JMW Titan/Fat-boy around for all the world to see! One concern, my entire European and some of my Asian distribution chain hated the threaded counter-weight (though at this point the Asian distributors were more concerned with platting it Rose Gold!) Now my dad and I diverged... he wanted to run with it as it was because it worked and sounded great. This version also solved the weight issue because it was heavier and made it easier to add or remove more weight. I wanted to hold off and make sure we hit every detail on this so there wouldn't be a Fat-boy 1.1 next year.

https://parttimeaudiophile.com/2017/05/ ... y-tonearm/

Prototype - 3 - July 2017

The Fat-boy had a finer adjustable mechanism similar to what we used on the Companion arm. However, this change made it too heavy and wasn't nearly as easy to adjust as the previous threaded version from Prototype - 2. We took it with us to a few shows in Asia, one of them begin the Hong Kong show that started this journey. Everyone was happy with the high-end sound and looks but concerned with how heavy it was and how fussy it was to make the adjustment.

http://www.vpiindustries.com/single-pos ... i-End-Show

Prototype - 4 - September - October 2017

I don't want to talk about this one too much because it essentially got jacked during a whole Rocky Mountain debacle which set-us back about a month and a half for bringing this to production. Perfect world, this version, which was the same as what we used at Capital Audiofest would have been proofed out, used, and shown by Roy Gregory at RMAF. It had all of the aspects of...

Prototype - 5 - October - November 2017

Fully tested, functional, and rocking out like never before! Adjustable arm-tube to easily set-up Azimuth, adjustable side-weights, stabilizer, an all black arm-base, and fine adjustment knob for VTF. We used it at the Hi-Fi Sales event and Pat, their turntable wizard, was upset I had to take it away from him to bring to Capital Audiofest. The only thing missing, because of timing, was a tomb-stone like weight that will make adding and removing weight easier than ever and lowering the center of gravity.

http://www.vpiindustries.com/single-pos ... ales-Event

http://www.vpiindustries.com/single-pos ... m-CAF-2017

Bottom Line:

JMW Titan/Fat-Boy - Retailing for $6,000 complete but will have arm-tubes (wands) available loose and the ability to drop onto ALL VPI bases for $4,000. Adjustable arm-tube to easily set-up Azimuth, adjustable side-weights, stabilizer, an all black arm-base, and fine adjustment knob for VTF. Easier than ever to dial-in. Available first in 12 and my goal is to have the first ones shipping for the holiday. Early first quarter we will have it available in all lengths. Same price.

For 2018 there will be a gimbal option for standard and Fat-boy arms. My dad has been making one-off gimbals here and there, but we are standardizing them as an OPTION. Performance wise we prefer the sound of the unipivot, but a uni isn't for everyone.

Sorry about the delay on all of this, keep in mind that the ML/Harman production has been in the background as an engineering and manufacturing behemoth. That and I'm finding out the lack of sleep with a new baby starts before the birth! Hope this clears up any confusion, and gives you all a better idea of the journey it took to get to the Fat-boy. I don't have anymore trips or shows planned so I'll be responding much faster on this now :)
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Re: The Fatboy

Postby Mat » Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:00 am

That actually ended up being much longer than I expected... I should probably turn this one into a blog post.
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Re: The Fatboy

Postby Dorian » Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:14 pm

Interesting that no one responded to you yet Mat. I wonder if they’re all shocked at the price, like me!? Obviously not an upgrade option for Prime owners. I’d be much more likely to trade-in the Prime for a Prime Sig than buy this I think. Anyone agree/disagree?
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Re: The Fatboy

Postby jonathanb » Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:27 pm

I'm not shocked at the price. The Fatboy likely takes a lot more time and material to manufacture which obviously increases its cost. Given that the Fatboy that will be manufactured in much smaller quantities than the regular 3D arms that too leads to significantly higher costs.

That said, I'd to know how much it would cot me to exchange my 10" 3DR armwand for a Fatboy.
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Re: The Fatboy

Postby spinblackcircle » Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:23 pm

Dorian wrote:Interesting that no one responded to you yet Mat. I wonder if they’re all shocked at the price, like me!? Obviously not an upgrade option for Prime owners. I’d be much more likely to trade-in the Prime for a Prime Sig than buy this I think. Anyone agree/disagree?


I get the feeling that the Fatboy is aimed more at the Avenger crowd than us Prime owners. :(
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