Which VPI are you considering?
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I'm no expert on Rega vs. VPI, but I do own a P25 w/a Benz Glider. Judging from the used prices on A'Gon, $750 for a used P25 is "in the ballpark". Or, you can get a used P25 with a cartridge in the $800+ range, if you want to deal with shipping to you, etc. If you are "tempted to snap it up", & it's in nice condition, I'd say go for it. It would be great if it includes the original box as well. The P25 may be a "no brainer" at that price. (Like Bigtee said, even a used VPI Scout will cost you a lot more).
Bottom line, I don't think you can do any better for $750. I keep thinking about upgrading from my P25, but a sig. upgrade would cost at least 3 times as much, IMHO. Just buy it! You can always unload it for that amount should you decide to sell. Just my 2 cents.
Thanks for all of your responses. I think I can even take the rega home and demo it, which I am considering. I just won't be able to compare it with a VPI. Without sounding stupid.,what makes the VPI's so special? The tone arms seem to be compareable and I see a lot of the VPI's use the Rega arms. Also will the shure do the table justice?
I think Alex_yakovlev poses a great question. What are you looking for? If you can take the Rega and demo it in your own home, that's a BIG plus! If you get it in your system and it does what you're looking for, then you have your answer.
That being said, you can probably find a used VPI HW19 mkIII in your price range, set up with some kind of decent arm--Rega, AudioQuest, and sometimes ET2s are popular on these--and I can vouch for the goodness of the HWs. Sound great, and built (and sized) like tanks! I nearly bought one but found a good deal on a used Gyrodec at the last minute--however either would be equally welcome in my home :)
I was never a strong believer in all of this. I never believed that cables could make such a huge difference either.
I went from a MMF7 to the Vpi HW19jr. I was told here, that was like going from a Toyota Camry to a Honda Accord. Well, that is about as far from the truth as you can imagine. The difference was not subtle at all. In fact it was huge.
Now I am being told that if I add a Express Machine heavyweight in place of my stock AQ PT6 counterweight, I will see huge gains by this upgrade. All I can say is I 50/50 believe it. And I will try it.
I have only been into the vinyl again for about a year now. I had been out of it since the 70's. So I don't have all of the answers, and I would never claim to. But I do know that there is a definate difference in the design of the 2 tables. I believe and have read that the suspended designs sound warmer. I like the warm sound and that is why I like the Vpi so much. The Regas are an excellent choice though. Most every body agrees that they are a great table.
You need to be the judge. It all depends on what you want your system to sound like. The Regas are dependable. But the Vpi's can be upgraded to the hilt. That is also a huge plus. Because you know, it does not ever end!!
What about SOTA? I just moved laterally from a P3 to a SOTA Sapphire series II. The sound was starkly better, blacker background, better inner detail, the instruments seemed clearer, less distortion. You get the picture. There is a Sapphire fitted with a RB250 right now for under $700! The 250 is a good combination, and you could upgrade the armboard in the future(it looks like MDF). This is the combination I have and I love it. Plus SOTA tables have pitch control to lock in the speed without another purchase. They also use springs but in an inverted application, as opposed to VPI.
"Most everybody agrees that Bose are great speakers..."
Man...you must hang out with veeeerrry different people than I do...
Now, I may be newer here, but *in my opinion*, if you want to recommend that this poster try a modded-to-all-hell Tech 1200, then just say so. Elitest attitudes and downright bad advice like "they're all lateral moves" isn't going to help, and will only confuse and rile everyone...especially since anyone who has heard the 'tables we speak of could (and did) tell you that they are definitely NOT a lateral move from an MMF5...I don't want any trouble, just sayin' my piece so...peace ;)
I've agreed with you in the past but you're not being helpful today. You've let your dogma overwhelm every other consideration, including the real world experiences of people who've heard the very tables Jdodmead is asking about.
You are technically correct that most people think Bose makes great speakers. But none of those people are A'gon members and none of them know a turntable from a toadstool. The opinions of Bose speaker fans are as irrelevant as the opinions of MP3 listeners.
Disclaimer - I'm a reformed Bose 901 owner, so I can be as adamant on that topic as a reformed smoker. In case anyone wants to know, a Shelter 901 is better than a Bose 901 - and for about the same price too! :)
I know I'm not being 'helpful'--but I'm not dogmatic either. The point is that even as motor quality and platter mass go up it's still in the AC synchronous field. This would require either an AC regenerator and/or flywheel to make it a worthwhile step. Using a DC motor like the Origin Live and a lab grade external power supply would take things to a whole different level. I have listened to an Oracle deck with such mods and it does sound pretty good, though not at the performance level of...
One has to be very careful with AC generators. Most of them are VERY bad and don't generate "clean" power they claim they do. Just look at their output on oscilloscope. I did, and will never recommend one unless I really hate person I am recommending it to...
Aftermarket power supplies for DC motors are not much better. If I was looking for one I would go with company that actually understands what it is doing.
The one thing about the Vpi HW19 jr that suprised me the most over the MMF7 that I had, was the fact that the record clamp was actually usefull. Using no mat at all with the Vpi, the clamp actually does secure the LP to the platter. It is a solid connection and works really well. I tried many different mats with my MMF7 and never got it right. With the Vpi there is no need. Just keep the platter clean though.