Whats wrong with RPM9.1x ?
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Actually nothing in particular, but I'd like to try un upgrade; moreover, I'm afraid the TT is the relatively weak link of the chain: I feel both the Delos and my Klyne phonostage may deserve something better to fully express their potentiality. and I may like to explore some better carts & phonostages without a bottleneck in the TT (assuming the Project is: is it ??).
maybe you think that neither RP8 nor Aries 2 would be an upgrade to the "modded" RPM9.1x ?
my guess was that both would be a step forward, but if not so, saving money is never bad.
I've had the Aries 2 Black Knight for a long time. It's a solid product that has worked flawlessly. It also looks nice, with appealing industrial design that sets it apart from and above the Rega products in my opinion. I've made some key changes and upgrades over the years. The SDS speed control is important and makes a big difference. I traded in the stock tonearm for a JMW 10.5i Classic 3 tonearm, which was not cheap but also improved the resolution and bass on this table. My Aries sits on a Gingko platform, which some don't like, but I've found that it helps with resolution at high volumes, noticeably reducing smear from airborne vibrations. I'm going to stick with this set-up unless I can find a way to move up to a much more expensive rig (VPI Direct, for instance, or Brinkmann).
VPI Aries. Period. No question it's a MUCH better table than the Rega. I own a first generation Aries (extended) with a JMW-12 tonearm. It has had a few upgrades over the years, but still retains the original qualities of the table.
My table sits on Original StillPoint cones which made an improvement.
It's hard and pretty expensive to get a better table than an early Aries.