Cart for VPI Scout? Blackbird, Ruby2H, Shelter 901

Cart for VPI Scout? Blackbird, Ruby 2H, Shelter 901 ???

I have a chance to get these for around the same price.

I will be using a Pass Labs Pearl phono stage.

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.

If you have the ability to purchase a Shelter 901 at or near the price of the Blackbird, do that. Are you sure it's the 901 and not the 501? The 501 and the Blackbird retail for under 900.00. The 901 is quite a bit more new.

FWIW - You might want to give thought to the Dynavector 17D MKII in the same price range. The Dynas are excellent matches with the JMW arms. If you look at the VPI website, it is the line they sell...
Not sure, but I don't think the Shelters are the best match compliance wise for the JMW 9 arm. Might want to check into that before you buy. If it is indeed the 901 as mentioned, the deal is too good to pass up. Screw it and get that one!

I currently use the Dynavector 17DmkII (tried the 10x5 and 20XL first) the 17DmkII is a much better cartridge to my ears if your phono stage can drive it.
Thanks for the replies.

Yes, the 901.

I can't get and deals on the Dynavectors, so those are out.

I was also looking into the Sumiko Celebration.

The 901 is the best of the bunch however you need a arm with good lateral stability and the JMW 9 being a unipivot is not the best match. You could use it on your arm for a while and maybe swap it out for an OL silver Tonearm at some point. That cartridge is so good you might even consider getting a different table for it.
This again depends on your connections and how good a deal you can get.
Thank you!

How about a Benz Ebony LP?

Dear Matt: What are you looking for ? Which are your music/sound reproduction priorities? Which musical genre do you listen ?.

I 'm owner or was a owner of those four cartridges: Sumiko Celebration, Shelther 901, Ruby 2 and the LP.

These cartridges have different sound reproduction presentation. I really like the Celebration and the Ruby 2, hands down the 901. The LP is a top performer but a little idyosincrasy.

Regards and enjoy the music.
I also use the Dynavector 17DmkII. I know you mentioned getting a deal. But if one matches better than the other...

i used a celebration with my scout, and do now with my scoutmaster. what can i say that already hasn't been said (do a search) here and other places? just a terrific cartridge and a perfect match for the jmw9. and with .5mv output, pretty easy to match with a phono pre, yet you get many of the same benefits you'd get with a lower output mc. anyway, i doubt you'd be sorry with it.
Ok, I think I have narrowed my choice to a Shelter 901, and ZYX R100 Fuji FS.

I listen to mostly Jazz and Classic rock. What would be the better choice? I also want a superb tracker. Mistracking really bugs me.
Cableplex: 901 over the Ruby 2?, I can't believe it.

Well.., which are your music/sound reproduction priorities? what are you looking for ? why you arrive to that choice?

Regards and enjoy the music.
Cableplex: I read your post in a thread about the 103. Now I can understand your choice.

Regards and enjoy the music.

Hi Raul,

What would you recommend? I want an excellent tracker, with beautiful, resonant midrange. I keep reading how the Ruby 2 was too colored. I had a brand new Ruby 2H in my hands today, I ended up selling it.

I'm a bit lost at this point, even considering a Koetsu Rosewood standard.

Dear Matt: There are no-colored cartridges, but certainly the Ruby 2 is one of the less colored and neutral/natural cartridges and a very good tracker too. Maybe the people that say is " too colored " have " coloration problems " some where in their audio links that can't match with the 2.

There are many cartridges out there that can match your priorities: I mentioned the Ruby 2 because is a very good cartridge and because it is on your list, but the Sumiko Celebration is a very good choice too or the Shelther 90X or Van denHul Frog or Condor. No, the Koetsu is really too colored and with an unbalanced frecuency response.

Now, you ask for the LP, then I can understand that the LP is on your budget, if this is true go for it or for the Dynavector XV-1. You can't go wrong with either.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Thank you for your reply.

I can afford the Ebony H, but not the Ebony LP. I guess I could stretch it, but don't want to.

Is the 901 a bad choice?

Matt: Not really and can meet your priorities.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Raul, see my new thread about the Wife.
I have a question for either slipknot, dlwask, and robm321, i recently purchased a new 17D2, and am getting ready to mount it on my scoutmaster w/ jmw-9, running thru the dyna p-75, i was wondering if anyone was using the same setup, if so, are you running thru the phono enhancer mode, or just the normal low output side, and also, what is your loading set at, and what is the 17d considered, compliance wise ? also, does anyone know if the 17d is considered a low, med, or high resistance cart. ? thanks alot guys,

It's a medium compliance, low output cart. While i am not running mine through a p75, I am running it through a phono stage that has switchable gain and loading. in my situation, I like the gain set to high and the load at right around 1000 ohms. Under a thousand, in my setup, is a little too "soft" and at 47K, a little too "brittle". I can choose loadings of 100,1000,10000,47K ohms.

Again, this is with my setup and my listening biases. YMMV.
great info slipknot, thank you.

I recently setup a Super Scoutmaster with a Dynavector
17D2 cartridge and the P-75 phono stage. I checked with
the Dynavector distributor, and he said that the P-75 is
best matched with the 17D2 in the phono enhancer mode at
the high impedance setting. That's what we went with and
the setup sounds superb. Hope this helps. ENJOY!!!
Bill, thanks, that is good info to have, i thought about calling dynavector also, so i appreciate it.

Thanks for everyone's replies.

I dumped the Scout and put my spare table back in action, a Rega P25 with a modded RB250. The P25 killed the Scout in terms of rythmic drive.

I ordered a Dynavector 17d2 and a P-75, so we'll see how that goes.

The P-25 didn't kill anything. It spins faster than it is supposed to.
Thanks, Genius. I have aluminum tape around the subplatter to bring the speed down. Want to try to comment on something again which you have no clue of what mods I have on my turntable?
I just love comments like: smoked it,killed it,blew it away. So the scout is a dog?

Sorry to offend

Even better, comments from someone that hasn't even heard the component.
I guess everybody hears something different, and what sounds best to you then that is what you should go with. Personally, i feel the scout is in a different league than the rega, in every area, sound quality, build, looks. But you can't argue with personal opinion.
Thank you, Readster, that's all I'm saying. It's all about synergy as well.
Dear Matt: Exactly, what do you mean with this statement: +++++ " in terms of rythmic drive. " +++++.

Btw, which your experience with your new 17D2 ?.

Regards and enjoy the music.


Curious that you now use a Rega P25 with a modded RB250.
You stated earlier that,
I can't get and deals on the Dynavectors, so those are out.
but you could get a new 901 for the price of a Blackbird.
A Shelter 901 would work well with the modded rega.
So what made you get
I ordered a Dynavector 17d2 and a P-75, so we'll see how that goes.

Color me curious,

Glider High Output