I have a SME 10 with upgraded V arm and Sumiko Celebration cartridge all on a Mapleshade 4" platform with brass footers. Excellent combination. Details on my system page.
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I just looked up your system. Have you compared the Superscoutmaster to the SME 10? I would be very interested in your impressions. I have not heard the new VPIs or compared my SME to other tables. I heard the SME 30 once in a completely different system. The VPI is a newer design and may sound close to the SME 10 and to your scoutmaster. The SME V or IV.vi arm is a big upgrade and may be worth the cost to you. SME build quality and sound are excellent, as you know, but I wonder how competitive SME is with the newer designs out there, ie. Raven AC, etc.
I like my Music Groove II phonocable, but your Nordost has me intrigued. Expensive though.
I have not compared VPIs SSM with SMEs model 10.
The SME dealer has the SME model 10 in for me to listen to.
I bought my Scoutmaster with options in 2004 after living with a Linn for almost 20 years.
Since 2004 I followed the evolution on and off of the Scoutmaster to the Superscoutmaster.
It looked like something a mother would only love.
All these changes and upgrades started with Harry Pearson of TAS.
Harry liked the Scoutmaster and wondered why the dual motor and fly wheel assembly of the HRX model couldn't be used with the Scoutmaster.
From there Harry wanted the arm wired with Nordost Valhalla to match the rest of the wire through out his system.
Hence the JMW Signature 9 arm,which I bought.
The story behind this was breifly covered by Roy Gregory of Hi-Fi+ magazine in issue 46.
Since I posted this here,I came across what VPI call the Superscoutmaster Reference.
It now looks a Hell of alot better and I think it has bloomed into something special,and at $7,700.00.
I'll still listen to the SME model 10 this weekend ,however this SSMR could very well be my next table.
I recently purchased an SME 10 and have been pleased with it.
It resides in a cabinet (which was a requirement of my wife) in order to be out of sight. I tried a maple platform with mapleshade wood & rubber footers under it and it sounded awful. I got rid of the footers and put a granite slab underneath the maple platform and it sounds great. My only complaint, not yet solved, is that the stylus slides into the recorded groves on about half the records that I play when I use the SME lowering system. If I lower the stylus manually I can control it. If anyone has an idea of how to solve it, I'd be grateful.
Imagine you have it level but what about lateral balance adjustment?
Did you buy it used? The other thing it might be, altho' I'm familiar only with the cueing of 3000 series, is a worn support. On older SME arms the support wears/gets slippery. Cleaning it with alcohol is a stop-gap. Replacing it with SME part from Flat Earth Audio is a fix.
Could you please describe the sound of your SME 10 with the Mapleshade platform and footers and how it changed when you replaced the rubber/cork footers with the granite slab? Do you use the Mapleshade brass footers between the turntable and maple slab or do you just place the stock TT on the 4" maple platform? I have the same SME/Mapleshade platform with brass footers combo and it sounds tighter and more focused than the stock SME sorbothane? footers. I never tried the 4" maple slab without the rubber/cork footers underneath. Thanks.
We set up the SME 10 on top of a cabinet and tweaked it before the final installation inside the cabinet. (I had to retrofit the turntable to an existing, circa 1958, solid hardwood cabinet.) When the SME 10 was placed on the wood platform with footers underneath (footers rested on the cabinet floor which was raised about 2 inches from the carpeted floor the sound was just tinny. It was so bad, I can't describe it. I did without the footers and it sounded like it had when the SME 10 was on top of the cabinet, but was far too low in the cabinet to be easily accessible. So, on the advice of my tech friend, I got a 5 cm slab of granite and put it on the cabinet floor and then put the wood platform on top of the granite and the SME 10 (new, by the way) on the wood platform. (The footers were retired to storage.)
The sound has been good ever since.
I have used Mapleshade footers on three other TT and have had good success, so this was a surprise. Can't figure out why.