The JMW arms will accommodate any cartridge. I am using a Benz LPS with my Superscout/Rim Drive. Set it up correctly and be awed.
14 responses Add your response
I've got a few friends that had this table and used a varieties of carts ranging from $1k to $6k with no issues. One of the complaints was that it is impossible to accurately adjust the cart setting with the arm. There are no scales on any dials, so if you try a setting, there's no way to go back to the previous setting with some level of precision. We also found that different clamp/weight affects the sound quite a bit.
Whatever you do, do NOT get a Shelter, it simply does not work on a JMW arm. People will say that it does, but if you don't want to take my word for it, just call VPI. Just 2 days ago I could not take the Shelter anymore and sprung for the Delos. I tried the 501 on a JMW t, JMW 9 Sig and currently on a Classic 3 arm. I was also considering a SS Aida and a SS Zephyr, both are recommended by VPI and SS. I find that people get really hung up on having a particular cartridge, but in my experience, you have to buy what "works" for your table and not chase after a particular manufacturer or model. Unfortunately, I probably won't have time to install the Delos until later this week, it is driving me mad. Good luck with your choice.
Dvd raises an interesting question in the OP--how much is too much money to spend on a cartridge for the Scout? Some would say that a budget table like the Scout will not realize the performance potential of a really high quality (and expensive) cartridge. Others will say the bulk of what you are hearing is the cartridge and as long as you have a competent table/arm spend as much as you can--you will hear what an expensive cartridge has to offer. I had a conversation with Peter from Soundsmith about this some time ago and he(unsurprisingly) took the latter view. The folks who sell Linn tables would likely take the former view. My own view is that the Scout is an overachiever. It may not cost much but even the original Scout/JMW9 that I own will outperform tables that cost significantly more. Having said that, I do not think I would put a cartridge on my Scout that retailed for any more than half the retail price (i.e. $1K). Over the years I have used a Dynavector 20XM, 20XL, XX2MKII and am now using a ATOC9MLII. While the XXIIMKII did sound better than either of the 20X series carts, the difference was negligible and, in my mind, not worth the additional expenditure. The AT, which is the least expensive of the lot, is actually the best sounding, I think for two reasons: 1. It is the best compliance match of the bunch, which goes to Tswisla's point about system matching and 2. When I sold the XXIIMKII and purchased the MUCH less expensive AT I took the leftover funds and bought a much better phonostage (Herron VTPH-2). Which leads me to the view that the quality of the phonostage is very important in getting the best out of whatever cartridge you are using. One final point is this: the AT, like the Scout, is also an overachiever and, when paired with the right table/arm and a very high quality phonostage, can produce some pretty terrific results.
Here is the thing. I had it sounding excellent 90% of the time, but there were instances of distorion and mistracking that would not go away no matter what I did. The fluid helped with that 10%, though is still was not right, but it killed much of the detail that the cartridge offered. You can get it to "work fine", but it is not good match. I think that some people are willing to live with that as the cartridge is a great sounding cartridge.
setting up the cartridge on this arm isn't as straightforward as I had thought.. Some feel the VPI jig is not as accurate as say Wally or Mint,, thoughts???
how much does it matter if the digital scale is say 0.5 to 0.8 inches above the plan of the record? I am thinking a lot?? The music direct sub $100 scales get pooor reviews. alternative digital scales under 100?????
Dvdgreco....all you need is the Shure scale that VPI supplies with the turntable. Once the vtf is in the general area, use your ears to fine tune the arm for your preference. I set up my VPI arm with the MINT which I thought was a bit better than the setup with the VPI jig...however, there are those that think the VPI jig is just fine.
I disagree. A digital scale is a must. Furthermore, setting VTF at playing level is crucial. Test it out for yourself. I had a 0.1 gm variance. Setting VTF at playing level is strongly encouraged by VPI. As far as the VPI jig goes, I think that it does an adequate job. I used it and then used a Mint to really dial it in. The VPI jig was very, very close to what I achieved with the Mint.
My experience corresponds with Tswisla's. Set the VTF at playing level using a digital scale. I use rubber O rings over the stub of the arm to fine tune the tracking force once I have the azimuth set correctly. That obviates the need for the Soundsmith counterintuitive. Also, I had the MINT and found it pretty painful to use. I did some back and forth comparisons and found VPI jig right on the money (i.e. same as the MINT location for overhang) and using a simple hand magnifier I got the cantilever as straight as I could with the MINT without straining my eyes, back, patience, ETC.