VPI could use a better cartridge. ...maybe a Black or Windfield or better. ...also check out the Prime...better arm and comparable turntable.
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I have a VPI Classic. Having played/modded a Rega P5 with good results,I'm sure the 10 is in another league.
After checking out what the Classic Sig has to offer, IMO the VPI would be my choice without even hearing it.
Since you are considering carts under 2.5k, I would include the Lyra Delos and Kiseki Blue. Another that seems to be under the radar is the Audio Technica ART9 and 7 for value at 1k. I am using the ART 9. The thread here on Agon represents the small cult following.
Unlike the Rega, the VPI can rise above its already great performance with dead accurate speed contol(SDS/Phoenix) options and others to take it to another level. Id be interested in seeing an RP10 with a Phoenix tach to see the speed accuracy. Also the VPI has arm adjustment parameters to take advantage of a super cart which Rega arguably doesn't.
Get a Soundsmith Counterintuitive to save yourself grief when setting up the cart for the VPI.
I'm aware the Rega is an entirely different table design compared to the VPI, but at this price point, at least It feels like(weight) you're getting something for your money!
I will be following this thread to read your thoughts on preference.
TJ: Thanks for the ART9 suggestion. That cart is definitely now on my radar. Have had luck in the past with the AT 155LC MM cart that was recommended to me by Raul.
Just ordered the Classic Sig. Easy to make an expensive mistake with MC carts so I'm still doing my research. Happy to hear about any more recommendations so keep 'em coming!
TableJock...one can see the accuracy of any turntable by downloading an app called PlatterSpeed. It was invented by Dr. Feickert which is a recognized high power name in audio. You download the app from the app store which is free, play a 3150 hz tone on your turntable (most test records have this...or buy the Audioanalogue one...and it will give you the speed like the Phoenix. I agree with the Counterintuitive...makes setup much easier, and do set up a VPI arm with the Fozgometer...also to be used with the Audioanalogue test record.
If you have the rack space, time, and the $$$, why not have both? I have a Classic Sig with the steel arm and a Rega RP6 but would like to replace it with a RP8/10. The Sig is no slouch and sounds fantastic with even sub $1k carts. Never heard the upper Regas but am speculatively confident the Classic Sig will hold its own sharing your listening room.
I had considered taking the route of running a Prime along with my RP10/Apheta 2, but it looks like it'll be the Classic Sig instead. Proper support for both will be important. The RP10 will live on a spiked Lack table until I can get my Target shelf mounted. The VPI will sit on top of a steel Boltz rack.
Swapping the Apheta 2 cart between the turntables will be a fair way to make a comparison. Also considering the ART-9, a Dynavector XX2mkii or an Ortofon offering. I'm running a Zesto Andros phono stage and basically an all-tube rig.
I'm hoping that the performance of the 2 TT's will be comparable, but sonically different enough to warrant keeping both.
Bpoletti - I already have the RP10 and got it at a time when I didn't feel like "tweaking" so I chose it over the VPI. Pricing on the Classic Sig is a bit more attractive now, so I'm making the jump. It may just turn out that the VPI trounces all over the Rega, but ...maybe not. No point in throwing the baby out with the bathwater just yet!
I'll also be putting my Thorens 124/SME 3009 through a rebuild this year, so ultimately there will be a 3rd option.