I've owned the 25 and listened to the Scout extensively. Buy the Scout.
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REga if you want a fsty sound and they try to keep everything "tight" i.e. stiff to lessen viobration.Maybe a harder sound.But I'd but Scout because you have so manyu upgrade option.Can snd it in to made into a Scoutmaster,and something that would be an anathema to Rega get a second arm tube for anothe cartidge.Narrod is rightget the Scout.Really good arm,upgrade path and bit of edge on sound.But it may be a matter of taste.It might take taravel but they are both big companies and you can probaly find a place top ask for a head to head comparrison with same set up.Trick might be finding a place that will accomodate you with time involved in Cartridge swap or set it before your arrival
chazboBut if this isn't possible for aforementioned reasons even though the 25 is not a bad table Scout is better.
I would have gotten the Scout had I not had 2 young kids. Instead I got the P5 which is a bit cheaper but has a real dustcover. The thought of my Dynavector 20X cart stuck in a glob of playdough was enough for me to leave my purism at the door for a bit of convenience.
I think the P25 is a step below the P5 and definitely much cheaper than a Scout.
My listening genre and desire to extract the most "slam" from recordings mirrors your goals.
I listened to the Scout and P3 side by side with the Dynavector 10x5 and it was a no brainer for me: the Rega is the clear winner in slam, punch, and "toe-tap" factor.
The scout has a smoother, more refined sound to my ears which is why I think many audiophiles prefer it. If I were a classical listener I'd lean towards the Scout perhaps, and the Scout is clearly on another level with regards to aesthetics - it's a beautiful table.
For rock and jazz, I just simply preferred the faster sound of the Rega (no heckles from the peanut gallery please - my P3 runs dead-on 33.33rpm...); the fact that the P3/10x5 combo ran me under a grand new compared to close to $2k for the Scout/10x5 combo was a serious factor too.
As for VTA - it's simple enough to adjust with the cheap Rega spacers.
I had a P25 that I liked quite well, but found a good used VPI HW19 MKIII with a modified RB300 Tonearm and couldn't resist. The HW19 series, especially a MK IV, is a huge bargain for the price and a great alternative to both the Rega and the Scout. Of course, the HW19 series is discontinued but still I'd recommend adding it to your list.
I know, once you open the door to "other" TTs there are dozens that you could choose from. But the HW19 MK III and IV are in the same vein as the two you are looking for info on but great TTs at great prices.
Between the two you asked about, I'd go with the Scout.
I had a Rega P25 with a Goldring Eroica H, and it was great on a budget phonostage. However, I noticed the Eroica has a bright and slightly brittle high-end on a Lehmann Black Cube. However, the cart is so easy to mount (make its front center flesh to the front of the headshell....the size matches exactly to the headshell body of the Rega. Also, the height of the Goldring is parallel naturally (sans VTA) to the surface.....super easy to get great sound). The sound was good, but you can do better!
When I was looking to upgrade to a Scout, Larry at Hollywood Sound gave me an awesome deal on a used HW-19 Mk. IV/Rega 250. Man, you talkin' excellent sound here! I've had it for just over a year and have NO PLANS TO CHANGE IT OUT!
I don't understand how some could disregard this table given it's used price these days. The Rega P25 is in NO LEAGUE with a HW-19 Mk IV.
Goto here and Ebay and get a MK IV for about $1000 fully stacked. Get a Denon 103R and transformer from Audiocubes for $400. If you already have a LO Moving Coil input, buy a slighly-used Dyanvector 17D and sing satisfied.
Afro 18 has a good point. If you get a good deal on the HW-19 Mk IV and Dyna 17D cart., you will be at the 95 percentile of the best out there for a very low price, but I would be careful buying used, especially cart. Cuz it could be at the end of it's life, how would you know if it's slightly used.
Anyway, I use the 17D on my Scout, and it works well, but if you can move up to the HW-19 even better.
All I can say is you have to pay alot more MONEY, I mean alot more to better the Scout I assure you.
It will rival some of the very best tables at price no object.
And if you went for the latest Memorial arm with the silver wiring and use a top notch cartridge, I mean something that might cost more than the table itself, it will rival the very best out there.
I had GOLDMUND, ORACLE, Well Tempered, Orbe with SME and I know purchased the VPI Scout, Its not as good as the reference stuff I have had before but its pretty darn close and its a fraction of what I had paid for analog before.
I still enjoy listening to LP's as much as before and I have had the Rega units before, very nice units too.
What I am trying to say is if you own the scout and its calibrated correctly with a good cartridge, you could pretty much say that you have a top flying Analog rig!
Won't be able to answer the question exactly since I do not have experience with the VPI Scout. I do however own a P-25 (recently acquired) for around 50% of its original price. I assume that given the two tables being examined, that the originator of the thread while wanting to get the sound that meets his musical criteria, would also be happy in minimizing his dollar output. It is here where the Rega has quite a few advantages. Tarted up P-25s with counterweight upgrades and acrylic platters are not all that hard to find for less than a thousand bucks. There have been at least 3 in the last month listed in this forum. The Rega defines toe tapping and its speed stability is excellent which allows for a a decidedly detailed sound. As already mentioned the Rega is lively and sometimes it might err a little up the spectrum for some listeners. No problem. Just put a Denon 103 (and a Rega spacer) on that RB600 arm (no compliance or compatability issues here) and find a nice tube phono stage--- the Project tube box is now popping up used and it works well with the Rega and the Denon.
I guess all I am trying to say is the Rega is competent, but more importantly its musical, and when tweaked by a thoughful previous owner can be brought up a notch and more than hold its own with most tables in this price category
Think Rega's VTA can be adjusted "on the fly" with some after market products offered (full collar not just a spacer).Unlike 10 and 12" Memorial arms the 9" cannot be adjusted on the fly.New Signature version of 9" VPI arm has anti-skate.Spoke to Wally of Wallytools fame sells his own bolt on version.He said that while he respected Harry their were reasons in physics that in both turntable performance and record preservation dictated that all arms have anit skate beyond the pseudo twisted wire in older VPI products.