Comparing VPI Scoutmaster to Pro-ject RM10


I've got a VPI Scoutmaster and I'm bored. I'm thinking of making a lateral move to the Pro-ject RM10 because it won't cost me anything. What can I expect as far as a change in sound? Right now my Scoutmaster is on a Ginko Cloud and I've got the outer ring clamp. I'd probably add the speed controller to the RM10. Anyone care to comment on the differences?
gnugear
Doesn't sound like a sideways move but rather a step back.
Can you live with the RM10 before you dump the VPI?
i'm no fan of the scout, but this move is change for the sake of change.
I am not going to try to talk you out of a change as only you know what will work for you but I heard the HI-Fi+ analog demonstration at RMAF this past fall (recap in issue 55 I think, I can check for you) and heard an HRX, VPI's top of the line, sound alternately vague and boring or captivating and personal depending absolutely on set-up. It could be that yours has drifted out of alignment in one or more parameters. Let me know if you need more information from me regarding this article or if you think it may help with your issues.
Well, I definitely don't want a step back. If anything I'm looking for a little more "musical" and a little less "analytical".
"Well, I definitely don't want a step back. If anything I'm looking for a little more "musical" and a little less "analytical"."

Listen to an original Linn. It is not, at all, analytical.
I've been using a Pro-ject RM10 with a Sumiko Blackbird cartridge since August of 2007. I find it to be very dynamic and musical. The Blackbird needed about 50 hours to break in (at first it was too clinical), but after that it's been one happy listening day after the other. The Scoutmaster was my other finalist, but I never got to hear it. I heard the Pro-ject 9.1 and bought the RM10 assuming it would be better and I wasn't disappointed.

I listen to classical orchestra, lots of brass, jazz big band, jazz vocalists, pop and cubano. The Pro-ject/Sumiko is involving and exciting to listen to. I've got a few duplicates on CD/DVD-A/SACD and vinyl. The vinyl ALWAYS wins the battle as more involving and richer. The timbre is the same and dynamics (at least on DVD and SACD) are comparable, but the RM10 digs out more details and more character.

About three-months in I bought the Speed Box II. It was clearly an improvement with piano recordings. I think it also added to bass dynamics, but I don't understand how. If you don't listen to a lot of piano you might do without it, but the convenience is nice. I was constantly touching the belt to move it and then worrying about cleaning it and the rim of the platter, so now it's clean and stays clean.

Dave
gnugear,

what cartridge are you using, and what VTF is it set at? JMW arms need to be set at the high end or even just beyond the heavier end of the range suggested by the manufacturer. Cheers,
Spencer
Don't under estimate the effect that the VPI ring produces, which is not available on the Pro-ject. If you have the clear platter, think about doing the patter upgrade. The 'frosty' stuff is a disaster, consensus of the high end community. I think Harry knew that all along and just found a new way to make more money by selling 'upgrades'.
Don't confuse VPI's 'frosty' stuff with Pro-ject's 'frosty' stuff. The RM10's platter really works. It's higher mass than the Scoutmaster's and it has magnetic repulsion to offset the mass and lower the spinning friction.

Dave
If you're bored, consider the VPI drive wheel upgrade. That might add rhythmic persistence and slam that should make playback more exciting.
I'm currently running the Scoutmaster with a Bottlehead Seduction phono preamp and a Sumiko Blackbird.

I think my VTF is fine ... in fact I don't really have any complaints. I'm just looking at a change (as long as it's not a change backwards!). If the RM10 is more musical I think I'll be happy with the change. Again, I'm just looking to change because I'm restless (not to be confused with disatisfied).
In case you haven't done it (most likely you have), perhaps changing the 0.1 and 0.47 uf caps in the Seduction might result in an increased musical benefit for you? Cardas, Mundorf or some other boutique cap might do the trick for you.
Cheers
FM
Yes, I've upgraded the caps to teflon and I love them!!
Anyone else care to compare/contrast the bass performance, midrange, detail etc., with these two tables?
Call me crazy but I bought a RM-10. I think it's a VERY nice table. Compared to the VPI it sounds a little more laid back and a little warmer. Just what I was looking for.
02-24-08: Gnugear said:
"Call me crazy but I bought a RM-10. I think it's a VERY nice table. Compared to the VPI it sounds a little more laid back and a little warmer. Just what I was looking for."

Which cartridge do you have in the Pro-ject?

Dave
I'm using a Sumiko Blackbird. I'm definitely going to look into the speed box SE next.