As a Rega P25 owner and a VPI Scoutmaster hopeful. I can only suggest the VPI. Ther are better options for upgrading. The Rega is a good TT but the mindset of Rega is "our way is the only way". The lack of a dedicated ground wire, lack of RCA connections that force you into the cables that come with it, the new TT mount on the Rega P5/P7 I find undesireable. The VPI uses a isolated moter rather than plinth mounted and is upgradeable. The tonearm is upgradable. I guess the list grows. My personnal plans when budget permits is sell the P25 and buy a Scoutmaster.
Depends on your musical tastes and if you are a tweaker/upgrader. I've always liked Rega better than VPI, but VPI makes a nice table. I'm not a tweaker and I just want to listen to listen to music with a simple, reliable, turn key machine. Both actually fit the bill, but If I owned a VPI, I'd constantly be tempted by upgrades and I don't want that. I used to think upgrading/modding gear was a great thing, but now my philosophy is just buy the best you can afford and upgrade when you can make a significant change (i.e., not tweaks/mods, but a full table change, etc.). I listen to mostly rock music, but also some classical and jazz. The Rega absolutely sizzles on rock.
I have owned and heard many, many TT's over the past 40 years. In my opinion, the VPI Scoutmaster is one of the finest TT's ever made that audiophiles with "normal" budgets can actually afford. The $3000 full-price package includes a great TT/tonearm combo, plus the excellent peripheral ring clamp. At this price point, there is virtually no competion, including the Rega tables. The only other TT that I would consider in this general price range is the Nottingham SpaceDeck.
I'm also considering the Scout, but I am comparing it to the MusicHall MMF-9. I hear the MMF-9 is a great table with terrific bottom end, and low noise floor, much like the Scout, but does the three layer plinth make any difference? It looks more substantial. Also, I am worried about VPI's unusual take on the whole anti-skating adjustment. And do you run into problems with unipivot arms and azimuth? I mean, is it possible to have a record cause it to rock side-to-side? Does EVERYBODY have trouble with the MMF-9's arm lift? Or only reviewers? Should I forget about both and reconsider Rega? I just think the Rega's motor is not very substantial, and I heard that all Regas run fast.
The Rega P5 does not run fast. Listen to it w/ the power supply upgrade and in IMHO takes it to another level. This table you just set -up and let it rip. There is no wondering about the next upgrade after upgrade just settle back and enjoy.
The VPI Scout is a very nice table also very tweakable but where dose it end on the upgrade. I agree w/ Mcrespo70.
I have listen to the Scout but I like the rhythem, pace and drive of the P5 and Dynavector 10x5 combo.
Aw, come on, Alex! You can't just say "Neither"! If you're gonna shoot down his choices, isn't it only fair to offer him some other choices?
I've heard Rega, Music Hall, and VPI turntables. They are all excellent, but VPI is in another league, IMHO. If you can afford the ScoutMaster, you will have a hard time beating its performance without spending an additional 3-4 grand. The Music Hall MMF-7 is also a very good turntable and hard to beat at its price point. I think the MMF-9 is at a price point where you begin to have better options elsewhere. Rega tables are all excellent performers and good value for the money.
You will have a very good table, whichever you decide.
Here's my price point: $1500 new or 9/10 used. It's gotta work well with my DV20XH. I don't mind the opportunity to do some upgrades in a few years: if you spread out the cost, it always seems more affordable. I want a table that'll last at least as long as my 12 year old Project 1.2 has, from a company that'll be around for support (should the world continue to demand vinyl for that long).
Music Hall tops out at the MMF-9, so nowhere to go on that one. I do think it's beautiful, though, and I'd love to hear one. Same with Project, although their lower price tables are a great value.
Leading candidates: Rega P5, VPI Scout. Other possibilities: Clearaudio Emotion, Michell Technodec. Am I missing any others? Can I get a used LP12 for that price in any kind of usable shape?
Hope I'm not jacking the thread, jturnock; I think our goals are mostly overlapping.
I went with the Scout. Bought the one listed last night here on Audiogon. The thing that sucks about turntable shopping, or for that matter, any audio shopping these days, is that you don't get to hear all the choices on your own system. So, I don't know if it's the best choice, but I really couldn't hear any of the tables. Since I was buying a used system, I didn't think it was right to go to a store and listen to a new one and then not buy it. I have heard an Aries, and a Planar 3, but not in my own system. The bottom line is: I got a good price, and it'll be a substantial improvement over existing. If I don't like it, I can recoup most if not all of the money. I just don't think I'll have to.
Tfkaudio, he did not ask for a suggestion, he gave two names and asked - which one. I had both and I don't care for either. Thus my (normally too short) answer.
I actually think that P5 is a major step down from P25, I've no idea why Rega did this and I don't care. VPI is a whole separate issue. In my opinion, these guys have serious problems with quality control and I have no idea how they manage to do this if they indeed manufacture all components in the US (according to their claims).
If I had to buy a table in this price range I would either go with used, or, if I did not care for opinions of fellow a-goners - Technics.
Alex, the P5 is in no way a step down from the P25 IMHO. In fact it is head and heels above the P25. I had both and compared the 2 with the same cart in the same set-up. It was no comparison. I found the P5 is so much better in every way. More bass weight, much, mcuh more detail, especially the microdynamics, just an incredible player. The scout, my brother has and I find it a little dull in comparison. The scout is more forward maybe with a little more detail, but I still prefer the P5 over the scout because of that extra sparkle it had. It's just a great music maker. I since went to a Gyrodec, this is another topic all together.
Also, I agree with Tfkaudio, your ansewer was short, rude and totally useless to the original poster. You would of came across better if you explained yourself a little like you did after the fact.
Bobby, "rude" is a very big word, one should be careful using it. You will have to spend a lot of time trying to find anyone who would find me being rude. Short - yes. But not rude.
Alex, as you say, he asked for which one. Your answer is useless.
I have since heard the Scout and I like the Rega better. There is just more energy there. Whatever the reason, I like it better. It's not the popular opinion in most audio forums.
I've found my new scoutmaster to be freaking fantastic. I use a Lyra Helikon cartridge and Ear 834p (deluxe) phono stage. By old tt was a vpi hw-19jr with the pt-6 arm and Glider cartridge. Sonic improvement has been drastic, to the extent that my gf noticed it (let her listen through stax electrotats before me) within a few seconds from the time the needle hit the vinyl.
I listen mostly to classical, but cherish my jazz and classic rock albums too, including some original beatles, dead/garcia, stones, and Hendrix. Obviouslly the scoutmaster is not the extact tt being discussed, but its sonic character is supposed to be essentially the same as that of the scout. Very neutral, some say a little cool but I wouldnt go as far as to call it a cool-sounding tt. As others have mentioned, the scout line has an awesome path, with the stock scoutmaster being claimed by 'Mike' at VPI (with whom I recently spoke) to be 90% as good as their Hr-x.
As for lack of anti-skating on the jmw-9 arm, I've done some critical listening and channel comparing, and have found no evidence of one channel being rubbed up against any more than the other.
I will give a call tomorrow night. 2k seems fair. I would be paying with cash.
Here's another choice to muddy the waters.
Well Tempered Simplex
VPI is a whole separate issue. In my opinion, these guys have serious problems with quality control and I have no idea how they manage to do this if they indeed manufacture all components in the US (according to their claims).
Well, at least you prefaced your statement with "in my opinion." How they manage in this business is through decades of making audiophile quality products at reasonable prices, and supporting them with unparallelled customer service. And that's not just "in my opinion." And you do come off if not rude, at least pretentious.
Another option, if you don't mind buying used, is a Rega P7-I bought a very nice used one that was within your price range. IMHO the P7 is the sweet spot in the Rega range and is a really fine music player.