VPI Fatboys versus others in its' tonearm weight class.

In their never ending quest to push fiscally responsible audiophiles into bankruptcy, site members have succeeded in making me consider a new gimbaled tonearm to keep a Lyra Kleos company on a VPI Classic 2 turntable. Dover, on my previous thread, pointed out most other tonearm options would be limited on the Classic 2 short of major surgery to it. So here I am considering keeping the tonearm upgrade in the VPI family. Their gimbaled Fatboy, will readily fit onto the VPI Classic 2’s tonearm base without any fuss.

Here’s my question after reading up on the Fatboy. How does the Fatboy compare with other tonearms in it’s $4500 price range? Is it about average in that class, which would be acceptable, or is it much better or worse than its’ peers?. If you.ve had any chance to compare the Fatboy with other tonearms in the same price range, what is your impression? I don’t want to spend that much money on one if the consensus is that it’s at the bottom of its class, which hopefully it isn’t.

I haven’t had an opportunity to listen to one, or any other tonearm as expensive. I would likely need to arrange a two day road trip to accomplish that. In lieu, I’m soliciting your impressions as to whether the Fatboy is worth that much compared to others in it’s price range. I guessing it will be okay, but don’t want to spend $4500 if the consensus is it’s at the bottom of its’ class just because it fits easily on my turntable. So what do you think? I’m all ears.

I’m not looking here for alternative solutions to a Fatboy. That was the topic of my recent thread, I’m only soliciting your impressions of the Fatboy compared to other similarly priced tonearms, and why I should or shouldn’t take a chance on it. Thanks all,



I finally ordered and installed /setup a 10" gimbal FB for my Prime Signature from the JMW 10" 3D Unipivot. I did a quick and easy setup so still have to fine-tune but is about 99% there (I know that 1% can be huge).

Inital thoughts are as follows from in headphones only so far (Focal Stellia), 

Even in closed back HPs, the amount of space around the instruments and imaging is mind blowing. Low end is more full. I read a comment once that it sounded like "more meat on the bones" and I agree with that.

One area that I'm still coming to grips with and may improve once I dial in that last 1% and the tonearm wire burns in is: I listen mostly to classic rock and like my lead electric guitar to sound "searing" - will cut right into you. The gimbal FB has a little less grit / edginess. I also heard this in the keyboards in another (Crazy Diamond) and horns in Savory Truffle. I'm hoping this improves but am thinking this is from going from unipivot to gimbal. 

I'll update again once I have more time with it and dial it in further.

Just an update to mine which is that I'm now completely satisfied with this upgrade which was a 10" JWM uni to a 10" Fatboy gimbal. 

All the textrure and midrange "grittiness" is there now. I guess phono cable burn in is real?!? Whatever happened I don't miss my unipivot at all.

I'm very happy with my TT/Tonearm and cart (Prime Signature / FB gimbal / VDH Crimson) - probably/hopefully for many years.