Should I upgrade my Merrill turntable?

I have a Merrill turntable purchased about 20 years ago. It has a Well Tempered Arm. There is nothing wrong with the Merrill, but I feel after 20 years, with improvements in materials, technology, and general wear & tear, most things usually need an upgrade.

I am trying to decide if I should upgrade the Merrill by replacing the springs, tuning weight, clamping ring and a new spacer for the WTA. The upgrades would cost around $1400. Or is it time for a new turntable, like the VPI Scoutmaster. I like the idea of keeping the Merrill, as I have enjoyed using it for many years, but what I don’t know is if the upgraded table will sound as good as or better than something new. Would the upgrades be cost effective? Does anyone have any experience with upgrading an original Merrill. Any help would really be appreciated.

Never heard or owned a Scoutmaster, but the Merrill easily bested a Music Hall MMF-7. Easily.

Not sure what upgrading the tuning weight or clamp would do, unless they are damaged. The springs could use replacing, yes.

I would talk to Anthony at Merrill/Scillia and ask what he recommends for an upgrade path. Perhaps the new speed control/motor unit is the way to go???


In case you didn't know, lots of merrill info here:

I think you should contact Merrill and ask his opinion and if he will update it for you.
I had a Merrill Heirloom turntable for 13 years and steadily upgraded my Graham tonearm from an original 1.5t to a 1.5t/c with 2.2 bearing. When I wanted to go to the Graham Phantom tonearm I was told by my dealer that they would have to drill a new armboard, which is part of the subplatter containing the bearing cup and suspension. The original subplatter was a particleboard piece and they replaced it with a far superior machined delrin part and also replaced the bearing cup and springs. It is difficult to assess what part of the significant sonic improvement was due to the new subplatter/bearing cup/springs and what was due to the Phantom arm, but another thing that improved was the speed control. I was never happy with the speed control of the Merrill, as it seemed to speed up and slow down over relatively long periods of time, but this seemed to improve with the new subplatter. Perhaps it was a bearing heating issue. I have never heard the VPI in my system, but I would think the Merrill upgrade to be a good investment. I eventually sold the Merrill and bought an SME Model 20/2A, which is a significant improvement over the Merrill, as it well ought to be for $11K.
If you look for Merrill resales, you will not easily find them. George Merrill made a turntable that still is a classic and evidently pleases most of its owners. I would look to upgrade via George. He still is pretty active in his Memphis store. But if you feel the need to move on, let me know and I will take the merrill off your hands!!!
no slight improvement is worth throwing an 'original' merrill out. if its playing fine, and is in good condition, continue to use the legend. a cartridge change may mix it up a bit.
In case you don't know, George has teamed up with Anthony Scillia to make 2 new models based on his Heirloom design.
The MS21 ($24K) is reviewed by Michael Fremer in the Stereophile November issue, and the MS2 ($8K) is reviewed by John Potis on 6moons. Both were raves.
For more info, see or
Vinh Vu
There is no tt under $5k which comes close to the mkIII with outboard power, record clamp and ring. Period. Makes Linn sound budget: VPI- eat your heart out! Best to upgrade worn parts or spend serious $$