12 responses Add your response
Both are fine TT's, but I'd vote for the VPI Aries, particularly with the JMW-10 arm. I have a VPI HW-19 Mark 4 table (with Rega RB900 arm), but have spent a lot of time listening to an Aries that belongs to a friend, and it is a fine front end. The Aries and JMW-10 are a great combo, and will serve you very well.
I have an Aries. One thing to consider is that a JMW-12 actually fits on a standard size Aries. I have one mounted but can only use 2 of the 3 mounting holes on the arm board. I did compare the JMW12 with the 10 and found the 12 to give a more accurate sound.
I also have upgraded to the TNT V platter and bearing. Excellent combo. Highly recommended.
If you are using the JMW arm use the Aries. Keep in mind that the Aries does not have a suspension. It is very important for any turntable, but especially the Aries, that you istall it in a good solid/isolated base.
I own the Oracle with a Graham 2, on an Arcici Dead head, and Air Head. I like the sound, I like the looks. The Aries with the JMW arm,especialy the 12, on a solid/isolated base could be your last turntable. Wory more about cartridges and phono pres after that.
They are both great turntables. It is like driking a Latour or a Lafitte Rothschild. Would you neessarily say one is better than the other? I would not, it depends on the food pairing and the care those bottles have had. The turntable is somewhat similar. Without going to extremes in price, Rockport $70,000, either of these turntables is great. You need to wory more about the condition and selection of your records, cables, phono pre, and last but not least, your cartridge and its setup.
I like the looks of the Oracle better, my wife even likes it. Either turntable arm combination can be a final purchase.
As far as the Aries, I agree that the JMW 12 arm is better than the 10. If you have the money the .5 is also an improvement but not as much. With the Oracle he Graham 2.2 is worth it.
With a good base it is hard to go wrong with either. They do sound a little different. Who is to say one is better than the other. The Aries is a little sweeter, but cartridge selection will make the difference.
I now use a Lyra Helicon. I am going to try an unknown cartridge, to me, at the recommendation of someone I trust, a Shelter 901. I will not know for about two months since I have to do the breaking after I get it. That is another thread.
Trust your ears. Go listen to as many turntables as you can. Reviewers have interests. You have your system as your top priority.
Even an MMF-5,($500.00 table, arn and cartrige combo), well set upped can sound better than some megabuks CD players. I now, I did a direct comparison. Are records still a pain, yes. Do I still listen to CDs, yes.
Remember the music, and your ejoyment is what counts.
Hope this helps,
i've never heard the aries/jmw. but, from comments, & having heard a vpi mk-iv, i can't imagine ewe woodn't like the sound. i have an old oracle, updated to all mk-v specs, except the mootor/power supply. i felt a much more cost-effective upgrade here would be the origin-live motor/power-suply upgrade, so i went that route. same w/the tonearm - the o-l modified rega rb-250 is even better than their modified rb900 - this is according to o-l. and, even a stock rb900 is a great arm.
i love the sound of my oracle - it sounded great even before all the upgrades, now i can't imagine ever being able to afford to better it in any meaningful way. budget *is* important to me - my 'table, w/all the updates & o-l mods, has set me back ~$1800...
I just bought the Aries/JMW 10 combo 2 weeks ago. I absolutely love it. I've also wanted the Oracle in the past but decided to go for the Aries after reading several reviews - it was close. Live and in person, the Aries is drop dead gorgeous. The platter alone is 22+ lb. The sound is stunning with my Grado. Deeeeep, powerful and articulate bass. Fantastic mids, and oh so delicate highs. It's a breeze to set up, and with the optional dustcover (more like a museum case), it looks like a work of art. It's also available as an Aries Extended with the JMW 12, but I went with the reg table and arm for the smaller footprint.
VPI is also very friendly and helpful on the phone. I also like to know that part of my purchase contributes to a memorial scholarship fund for Sheila and Harry's son, for which the JMW Memorial was named.