Spacedeck Vs. Scoutmaster

Has anyone actually compared these two 'tables in the same system? I love my Spacedeck but wonder if the SM would be an upgrade or a lateral move. If not in it's stock form, then perhaps down the road in a Super Scoutmaster guise?


You can upgrade from Scout to Scoutmaster, but not from the Scoutmaster to the Super Scoutmaster do to a smaller non motor housed plinth design. Having spoken with VPI recently they are not offering any upgrades into the Super. You can however buy it without the SDS, Ring clamp, & Center weight should you have already purchased these items for your Scoutmaster. That takes the $5000.00 MFRP, down to about $3350, & you would sell the Scoutmaster yourself.

I really wish Harry had called the Super the "BEASTMASTER" instead of SSM.

What's next the Super Duper Scout Master???
Maybe Super Trooper Scout Master, has a better ring to it???
If you are looking for a slightly different flavour, then you could consider doing this, but IMO it's not an upgrade. I honestly prefer the sound of the Spacedeck by a wee bit. This one is likely a "my ears, your ears" standoff.

I say keep the Spacedeck until you are ready to move farther up - like to a TNT5 or 6, or farther up the Nottingham line.
It's a really good question.
I have a Spacedeck, and heard my friend(Slipknot1)'s Scoutmaster, but not in the same system. Given the big differences in the two rigs, I sure can't say for sure. My gut tells me that it's a lateral move because the two both pass thru a pretty true signal that results in a sound that reflects the downstream components.
For example, The Scoutmaster w/Aragon mono, Supratek pre & Maggie3.6s has tons of jump, moves lots of air and is very seamless across the frequency range. You could say, "Well that's what Maggies do", but they just usually don't do it quite this well. IMHO, the Spacedeck at home brings out characteristics often associated w/the sound of my other gear(e.g. 3D images via Merlins&OTL), so it's tough to say. If we ever get the two side-by-side, we'll be sure to post up...Regards,
I asked the same question about a week ago and I was also considering the Thorens 850 due to its reviews in the press. I will buy something early in January, probably the Scoutmaster but it's a really hard call based on what people have said. I haven't heard either myself.
I haven't heard the Scout Master in all of its possible incarnations and price points. I have heard your Nottingham and it is a wonderful table. It is neutral sounding in a way I never have found any VPI to be. If you want to make it perform at its best and way way beyond any Scoutmaster, trade in your Benz L2 for a Benz Ruby 3. Benz has sweetheart deals for trade-ups. Also, experiment with your phono cable. I don't know if you have a din connetion or standard RCA's. I have RCA's on my Welltempered Classic and I recently switched my Transparent Cable to a Purist Audio Museus which is the quietest cable I have ever heard yielding the lowest signal/noise ratio I have ever had. I also run the Benz Ruby 2 with an Extreme Phono Non-Felt + Carbon Mat and I can tell you that I sincerely believe my combo performs as well as any set-up to $8000.00. These changes will benfit you in the same way since I think your table has a similiar sound to my Welltempered.
The Spacearm has integrated cables that end in RCAs directly to the phono stage, so no phono cable upgrade is possible w/o doing some serious DIY work inside the tonearm, which could be risky.
However, your post got me thinkin'...

Ozzy, I'm using a Boston Audio carbon mat on my Spacedeck, it is not as imactful as adding a Neuance shelf, but it's an improvement over the stock foam mat.
Also, I'm surprised that the Promethean base helps on your springy floor. Have you tried the Neuance without the spring base below it? When I asked Ken Lyon about what if anything should go beneath my Neuance, he said, "Nothing really, but if you want to try cones, go with DH ceramics". Sounds like you've got different results than what I've seen, but I've heard VPIs with &n w/o the Promethean, and IMHO, it was better off w/o it. Regards,
I already have the Mat-1 and love it. I was using the Neuance sans Promethean, but this setup sounds better. Footfalls are non-existant.

That's great, Ozzy. I guess the success w/Promethean base is truly room-specific.
Luckily, although my floors are not the best, footfalls haven't been a problem, even during the daily doggie "chase scenes" thru the listening room. Talking Heads LPs always seem to get the mutts fired up ;-)
Why not getting a good cartridge ? I just moved from a Denon DL-103 to a ZYX R-100FXH for my Spacedeck/SpaceArm. I don't think that any TT upgrade could have made such a big sound improvement. Just my 2 cents.

Thanks for all the input. I have decided to stay where I am for now. The Spacedeck sounds very good. Sometimes I think I need to upgrade for the sake of upgrading. Not very smart. I may do a cartridge upgrade in the near future, I have considered a ZYX. We'll see.

What's the "FXH" mean? Seems like plenty of positive feedback here on the ZYX carts. Can you describe the improvements you hear vs. the 103?
How about posting your system, it would be interesting to see...Cheers,
Spencer, as far as I know it F = Fuji X = copper wires H = High Output (0.48mV) . The Zyx is still burning in, 5 hours at the moment. But what I can say so far is that the sound stage is wider and deeper. The highs are still closed. I guess this will change in the next 25-50 hours. It has much less clicks and pops, because of the smaller stylus. It is not the perfect matching catridge for the Ace-Space Arm. It weighs only 5 gram. So you would need at least 2-3 gram more to make it work on the SpaceArm, because of the counter weight. There is an option from Zyx where you can buy it with a silver basement. Here is a link for more info on Zyx: I made some images of different stylus with a 200x magnification. Here is the link: And here is a link to my System :