Music Hall MM5 or MM7 are good options. I have an MM7 and am very happy with it.
14 responses Add your response
My budget is not tight at $2,000.
I felt this was around what I wanted to spend as well as
being a good balance with the level of the rest of my system.Like I said, I'm really not sure how good my YBA
phono is and I have little idea of where the cost/performance ratio lies with turntables.
I would vote for the Scout too. I have never been very enthusiastic about the VPI tables - mostly to polite and laid back for my taste. However the Scout is the one table in the lineup I actually like (and I was skeptical there too). Please don't get any of the upgrades, just take the standard Scout with JMW9 arm. I have heard it with some upgrades (even the Scoutmaster etc.). IMO these kill the sound of an excellent table. Even the SDS did not improve things (sounded much more lifeless in my system).
I owned several table by now: Linn Basik, Rega P3, Michell Tecnodec, Thorens TD150, Thorens TD166. The Scout is a much more solid table, it handles great and sounds the best too.
Finally, despite claims that the Denon line does not match to the JMW arms due to their low compliance, I did not find any problems, in fact even measuring the resonance, it was in the right ballpark. I can highly recommend the Denon DL103R and DL160 for the Scout.
Thanks for the the suggestions.
I am strongly leaning towards the Scout, however I will audition both the Scout and the Music Hall.I have local dealers for both,of which I owe the Scout dealer
a purchase.Nobody commented on the quality of my phono stage,I hope these units do not out-class it
By taste,I assume you mean musical taste,
I listen to all.I listen from classical to rock-
from jazz to techno.I even had my mother once complain-
what in the world are you listening to-elevator music?
For the record it was Diana Krall. Pretty bad when my mom thinks the music is too slow for me.Led Zep is my favourite.
I just bought a VPI Scout a few weeks ago and am very, very pleased with it. I highly recommend it if it is within your budget and you have complementary equipment to let the VPI's good qualities show themselves. I especially like how the motor is completely separated from the plinth. Regarding cartridges, I considered the Dynavector 20X ($600?), Shelter 501 ($900) and Benz Micro Glider ($650). I decided on the Benz Micro Glider M2 (medium output, 0.8 mV). The Benz will give me the detail, neutrality and soundstage image that I want.
The VPI is a little weird in that the arm rests upon the point of a pin. I fully understand the mechanical benefits of this decision, but the arm has a tendancy to rock side to side when disturbed by any vibration. The amplitude of the arm's oscillation will dissipate to almost nothing in in several seconds, but it is still an unwanted product of the design choice. It generally doesn't affect play so it is of little consequence overall. Also, a sufficient dust cover must be puchased from a 3rd party vendor. These are trifling notes to mention, but they do exist. Any mechanical system will have its faults.
Overall, I think the Scout does its job incredibly well. Every record that I play is a new revelation. In my set up with the Benz catridge, I know that I'm hearing exactly what is on the record (for better or worse).
One note: It appears that you don't have a record cleaning machine. If you do not have one, I highly recommend buying one. Having clean LPs is of primary importance. Clean records sound worlds different than dirty ones. It will also preserve your expensive cartridge/stylus and prevent damage to your LPs. I bought the most inexpensive Nitty Gritty (1.5) for like $250 a few years ago and it works great. It was the single most important investment besides my speakers that I've made in my hi-fi system, and definitely the most cost effective investment.
Good luck in your search and I hope this helps.