Is the vpi prime a significant upgrade from the Scoutmaster.

Showing 3 responses by fsonicsmith

I am another former VPI owner who thinks they are good, not great. I am sure that the new DD with "Fatboy" gimbled arm at 30K is a great deck. But at the price points of everything below that deck, there are better alternatives. I have said it before and I will say it again-the VPI unipivot arms are a pain to set up and even when set up properly they are not great. VPI has never gotten vibration control down to a science; their footers look fancy but are pos, their base/plinths are haphazardly designed for looks and not based on science, and to top it all off, they have a penchant for cobbling together a new design every six months based on the "let's take the platter from bin number 5 and combine it with the plinth from bin number 4 and the tonearm from bin number 2 and call it this cute name". They ought to be called VPEye. They are designed in my humble opinion for people who don't know better and shop with their eyes, much like successful speaker manufacturers. At the end of the day, managing motor noise and having a well thought-out, precision, easily adjustable great-sounding tonearm are paramount. Once you have had the pleasure of using a really top-grade tonearm, well, there is no going back. With VPEye, the tonearm adjustments are awkward to access at best, the tiny set screws are easily stripped, the antiskate is a joke, and there is something very peculiar about the unipivot design in which the sound just never gets to the great level. It is virtually impossible to extract the true potential of the better MC cartridges on the market with a VPEye unipivot arm. 
Since I am on a rant/roll, try replacing the motor pulley sometime. What a joke. Your expensive "precision lathed motor pulley" will likely take so much force to get onto the motor shaft that your motor will be damaged. And then it won't even spin without some wobble. That was my experience when I tried to replace my motor pulley on my Prime in order to use two belts rather than one. I had all kinds of other similar issues with any attempt to replace parts. Teutonic precision is missing. VPEye uses a host of vendors to machine the various parts their McDonald's McNuggets are conglomerated with that often just don't comply with spec. 
@soundwatts perhaps your reading comprehension is not the best. Your writing skills are not so hot either. I didn't have "and issue or two". I lived with multiple VPI unipivots for almost ten years. You went from one fiddly table-the LP12-to another. Have you ever lived with a deck that had a top tonearm like a Graham, Reed, Moerch, or SME? Once you have, you see how crude the VPI unipivots are by comparison. Yes, for the money they are very very good-unipivots afford a means of providing minimal friction/stiction at low cost. 
You are an engineer and yet your total conjecture is laughable;
I always wonder if that was a fixed bearing how much stress and twist that creates for the cantilever thereby straining the suspension and innards of the cartridge. 
Oh yeah, those "innards"! Is that an engineering term? 
I must say that Mat is a gentleman of the rarest order. His response causes me to think very highly of VPI and I myself would love to have the HW-40. But I have about the price of two HW-40's invested in my TD124 and Garrard 301 so I am simply not in the market for another deck. 
I agree with you millercarbon. At first, it seems daunting, but adding the arm of one's choice to a motor unit is not that difficult when the deck is designed with arm options in mind. 
And Stingreen, once again we disagree. The mis-named second pivot (actually an outrigger on a crude skid plate) does little to push the unipivot to the sound quality level of a top gimbaled arm. I know from first-hand experience.