Oracle Delphi vs Linn Sondek vs VPI Scout

I am wanting to buy a good turntable. I am considering 2 older tables, the Linn Sondel LP12 and the Oracle Delphi MKI or MKII. As well, I am looking at a newer VPI Scout. All can be had for about the same price. The Oracle and Linn are both between 10 and 20 years old while the Scout is only 1 or 2.

What is the better sounding unit? Which table should I purchase? What should I be concerned about with respect to each of these tables?

I appreciate all opinions.


I own an Oracle Delphi I and have upgraded it through the years. It is a fine sounding table, BUT, all in all, it's finicky in that I am frequently resetting the spring hieghts which I understand from others may be a common issue. Give the Scout a good listen. Sound will depend greatly on set up of all of the tables as well as the tonearms and cartridges used and tracking forces, so head-to-head shootouts will be difficult to say the least. From what I understand, all are fine tables, and should serve you well. IMHO, for what it's worth, go for the easiest to set up and use, in the long run you'll probably be the happiest.
Do any of the 'tables come with an arm? cartridge? Have they all been well maintained? I know Oracle has an "update kit" for $150, has one been installed? Linn has almost endless updates, which were done to the LP12 you're considering? Will you be placing the 'table on a dedicated wall-mounted stand, or on the top shelf of a rack?

What phono stage, preamp, amp, speakers and other equipment will you be using? Lots of info required to help you out...
I auditioned the Delphi MkII against the Linn back around 1980, both well tuned at a good audio store, and the Delphi won to my ears and everybody's at the store, which happened to be a major Linn distributor, and I still own it.
I own a Linn and an Oracle and love them both. That being said, for a set and forget table, I recommend the Scout.
Don't limit yourself to just these three tables. I would seriously consider the advice of Art Salvatore ( For the price point you are in, you can get a VPI Hw 19 Mk. IV used for a good price. There's a Mk. III on sale now for $585. You could call VPI and get another armboard for $100.

With the rest of the money, you could get a good tonearm/cartridge combination. I would look at the Denon 103 (requires 61 db gain in phonostage), Shelter 501 Mk. IV (also requires about 57 db gain), Clearaudio Wood Beta, or a Dynavector 10x5 (if you can and have over 62 db gain, go for a used 17D).

There was even a Aries on here for $1400 with a RB arm board. You could have done that and went to and got an Moth Oem Arm 2 (OEM RB 300) for $275. That, minus cart, would be the range of the Scout and the Aries would CREAM the Scout.

My point is to look around in the used market. The Absolute Sound,,, SoundStage (vinyl column), Stereophile (Recommended Compontents) can help you in your decisions. For me, Arthur Salvatore's web blog ( is the definitive voice for good used audio.

thoughts anyone?

Marty Nickison
I have a VPI MK3 with a Morch UP-4 Arm,and with the money saved bought a Grado Reference The Refererence Phono Cartridge.I'm spinning vinyl like mad and enjoy the sound of the rig.Next year I can buy the Aries 2 platter for the table and get the SDS and eventually the outer ring clamp.
As you can tell with a little research you can get big bangs for your buck.I paid a little high for my table with arm,But at $1,100.00 with the Morch arm included I couldn't pass it up.
Has anyone compared the Oracle or Sondek directly with any of the tables from VPI? What I am hearing so far is that VPIs are easier to set up. I don't mind tinkering a little bit with the setup if it results in better sound. However, if the VPI is easy to setup and there is no noticeable difference in sound, the decision seems easy - VPI all the way.

Any comments?
I thought I answered your question. I own Oracle, Linn and VPI. They are all very good to great. Buy the VPI.
Do not limit yourself to only those three tables - plenty others out there.

That said, of the 3 you mention the scout is the way to go. If you are an avid tinkerer and tweaker, the Oracle may suit you. If you wear bell bottoms and rock like it is 1979, go Linn (in other words, dont!)
VPI without a doubt, not that the others aren't good, but...