Go with the amp as the mmf 7 is already a fine product and performs above the potential of your amp.
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I feel your pain. A new TT is way sexier than a new amp (however sonically beneficial a new amp might prove). But another point in the buy-the-amp-camp's favor is that you'd pretty much have to pay retail for a scout whereas you can go used with amps, thus getting a lot more bang for your buck (and by the time your fun-money account has replenished itself, there'll be used scouts on the market for 800$).
hey thanks very much for the quick and thought out responses. would love to hear from more folks, although im pretty sure im going with amp...im thinking of solid state, and the lfd mistral le...i love the idea of tubes, or even hybrid, and the benefits with vinyl, but isn't it a real hassle as compared to the plug and play of ss, or am i missing something?
also, any other amp suggestions from vinyl lovers(particualary mmf-7 and/or paradigm users) welcome.
Most of the time you really can't trust Stereophile's recommendations but this time they are absolutely right when it comes to the Scout. This thing truly is a giant killer. Other turntables in it's price range are just toys compared to it. And you really have to get your source right first. I learned that the hard way. This hobby can be frustrating as hell but you won't be disappointed with the Scout I promise.