Just add a little to this. What about the Aries II black knight wich is about 400 more than the Scoutmaster? I too would be curious as to the answer to these questions (BTW sorry Soundhd if I've pirated the thread)
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After having a Scout for alomost a couple of years sold it earlier in January. Heard Scoutmaster at CES in the Joule/Elrod room and purchased one from Music Direct at the show. Built like a tank. Bang for the buck table. You can add outer clamp and new center weight and have 95 % of HR-X sound at a fraction of the price. Still waiting for VPI to ship Scoutmaster.(suprise) Great company but slooow to release products.
Considered the Aries "Blackknight" but the smaller footprint of the Scoutmaster is appealing to my set up. VPI builds great looking and soundng tables. I'm sure my wait will be worth it.