Ortofon 2m Black is nice with the VPI JMW9 if that is the arm on the Scout.
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I currently use a Denon DL-S1 on Lenco L75 with a VPI JMW 12.5 with great results. Previously, I had it mounted on a VPI TNT with the same arm.
The cartridge is an excellent tracker and reproduces the entire range of sound very accurately. Voices and instruments sound like the real thing. I upgraded from a Denon 103R. The S1 is a big upgrade.
Comet Supply has it for $593.
I would also recommend the DV20x. I had one and thought it was great. Also, you need to know what type phono pre your friend is going to use so that there will be no compatibility issues. The DV20x comes in low and high output versions. If the phono pre will support it, get the low output version. It sounds a lot better than the high output.
"I think he is using the phono stage in the prima luna pre-amp. Does this change things? "
Well, yes, it certainly makes a difference ! Your friend's phono pre-amp, amp, and speakers will all contribute to the sound of music from his new VPI Scout.
System synergy is the key ! It seems highly unlikely that anyone here on Audiogon can offer proper suggestions without knowing about the rest of his system.
I recommend that you call Music Direct. They sell a lot of VPI tables and a lot of different cartridges. I'm sure they'll have a load of great suggestions at your price point. And after the Axpona show in Chicago, there may be some terrific "open box" deals. I have no affiliation with them, other than being a happy customer. By the way, your friend's system probably sounds mighty fine ..... Revel, Rogue, and PrimaLuna probably exhibit a pretty smooth and sublime synergy ! Good Luck with your search !