I am a VPI dealer and was a Michell dealer; they are both good tables but this looks more like a sideways move to me. Remember that you are paying an import penalty on the Michell, in the UK the VPI may well be more expensive. I would wait and move higher up on either line before I changed; the Michell line is the better looking.
I live in the Netherlands. According to a pricelist form April 2010 a new VPI costs about 2200 a Michell Orbe SE is about 3750 not sure if that is with or without arm on the Michell, I think without.
Oop I meant to say more in that post. But as a current VPI and former Michell dealer. Have you compared the two turntables? It seems to me you think the VPI Scout is as good as the Orbe. But other people told me the Michell Gyro is btter then the Scout and the Orbe is a lot better then the gyro. I haven't heard the Orbe myself yet so I don't know how they compare.
My Scout has the standard JMW9 arm, the Orbe comes with a Tecno arm.
"I would wait and move higher up on either line before I changed;"
The Orbe SE is pretty much the top of the chain for a Michell table. The Orbe has the acrylic base and the hinged lid the SE is the spider version.
The scout is a very good table but I seriously doubt the Orbe SE is a sideways move from the Scout. I own a Gyro SE mkii and it bettered the scout when I was looking to buy. The Orbe SE will certainly best the Gyro SE and the Scout.
The Orbe SE comes with a great power supply upgrade for the motor that you can adjust the pitch to your liking , you don,t have to look for a better clamp and you don,t need to play around with mats either and it bests the Scout. Lastly it does look far better and whether people will admit it or not it does matter, certainly not as much as performance but it does matter.
If you can get an awesome deal and can afford to,I say try it and if your not convinced no problem to sell it after getting a great deal.
I bet the Scout goes up for sale though.IMHO.
I had the wrong Michell model in mind, too much stuff out there these days.
the michell is a keeper for sure.
I am a happy Michell Gyro SE ii owner. It sounds great and looks even better
Someone advised me against using the Tecnoarm on an Orbe SE. According to him the Orbe SE is a good turntable. It is a bit more dark and romantic sounding compared to the Scout and the Tecnoarm does add to the sound of the Orbe SE. He says a SME 309, IV or V makes the Orbe come alive.
What is your opinion about this?
Anyway this Friday I'm going to an audio show and both an Orbe SE and Scout will be present there.
Michell Orbe and Gyrodec sounds very much different from each other. The Orbe sounds noticably darker due to the denso damp that Michell applies and the thicker platter. The Gyrodec sounds lighter, slightly faster.
I wouldn't say the Orbe is head and shoulders better than Gyro, it just a different sound. I know a few who prefers the Gyro sound.
Have you also considered the TW Acustic Raven One ? These are also better to me than the Michelle tables.
How about moving up to a Scoutmaster or the new Classic? The Aries 3 is also a gorgeous TT.
I haven't heard that before. Most people I have spoken with say the Orbe is better the the gyro.
I would love a TW acustic raven buy these TT are in a whole other price range. At Raven one costs over twice the price of a second hand Orbe without arm.
The Aries 3 is to big for me. I agree that it is a really good TT but I will run into space issues also I think the Classic would be a better choise then the scoutmaster. While I think that the Scout and Classic are fine turntables there are better turntables then VPI once you move up, like TW acustic.
A few over at vinyl asylum prefers the thinner platter Gyrodec to the Orbe, but yes, majority do prefer Orbe. I had a Gyro SE and have gone through the process of upgrading it up to Orbe level and just giving you my honest opinion. It's not aways a higher model component will outperform a lower priced model, it all depends on taste (and type of music) of the individual with the two model sounding so different.
Nolitan, I agree...the Raven One is an excellent table.
I went from a Scoutmaster with the Jmw9sig to the Orbe w/ Tecnoarm.
I am very happy with the change. I never really got off on the right foot with the VPI as I had sibilance problems with it, but I am really happy with the Orbe. The VPIs make a solid table, but I'm not a fan of their arms. I'd say go for it, the Orbe is a real nice table that you won't need to mess with it all once it's setup.
I have a Aries I. I owned it for 5 years and upgraded the platter to the HRX acrylic platter. I switched bearings and platters a couple of times finding that the acrylic platter was better at higher volume with better detail and fuller bass. I found the black original platter to be darker.
I own the VPI Scoutmaster with JMW-9 Signature, SDS, Periphery Ring and Center Weight. My dealer who sells VPI and Mitchell (among others) told me that in order to improve on a fully equipped Scoutmaster like mine, I would have to move up to a Rega P9 or SME 10.
So my advice would be to look at possibly adding upgrades to your Scout before upgrading to a whole new TT. I would say that the SDS, Periphery Ring and Center Weight are "must haves" for all VPI TT owners.
I have an Orbe SE + SME V arm. I am using a Shelter 901 and another small outfit hand-built cartridge from Taiwan as my carts. Two of my closest friends are currently using the Scoutmasters, one with a Shelter 901, and the other with a Lyra Skyla. The third person sold his, similar to Agiaccio's setup, and went with a Clearaudio Anniversary.
As my house is currently going through a major renovation, and my system are stored in a storage, I've been listening to the VPIs through and through pretty much every week or two.
It's funny how the magazines from each respective countries think of these two tables. The VPI appears in Stereophile/TAS recommended list all the time. But Michell is never mentioned. If you look at Hi-Fi+ and other British magazines, and for that matter, other European magazines, Michell is always listed in them as one of the top class A analog components.
I never directly compare the two as my friend's systems and rooms are all very different from each other. I think both are solid performers. But both tables face different set up challenges to dial them in correctly. Michell could be difficult to set up trying to get the right "bounce", but using an SME arm gives you ability to fine tune your cartridge. VPI is not that tough to set up the table itself. But my friends all had some rumbling problems using that new big flying wheel outboard motor. The biggest complaint they have is with the arm. The VPI arm is just terrible. There are no finite adjustment available. And there are no scales on the dials to reference, so if you try a new setting and you can never go back to the original setting precisely. And I think some adjustment is missing completely from the VPI arm, but I cannot remember what it is.
In terms of aesthetics, I think Michell Orbe SE scores a much, much higher points for me than the VPI. But that's just me.
To end the note, I would only say that so far none of us is convinced that the other table is better than our own, or able to convince the other. Their systems sound great with classical music (their predominate choice of music), but not so good with more intimate Jazz music (my predominate choice). My system just happens to be the opposite. I have no plan to change mine, but another VPI owner is ready to ditch his and upgrade to something else like a Raven AC-1 or Brinkman.
Thank you all for the replies. It gives me something to think about. I have been to an audio show today. It seems the Dutch importer of Acoustic Signature is really pushing their turntables. It is good the a "new" brand gives the old ones something to think about.
Acoustic Signature's been around for a long time. I think there was a break up of the partners or something so there's like two different companies with essentially the same table, one is Acoustic Signature, and I can't remember the name of the other company.
I didn't know that. I used to see a lot of Clearaudio, VPI and Rega turntables at shows and some more exotic brands like Brinkmann. While the exotic brands are still there I see less Clearaudio a lot less, still some VPI and Rega but I see many more Acoustic Signature.
Gundam91 Making statements that the VPI arms are terrible puts you in a position of being either a liar, or grossly misinformed. The VPI arms are a bit of a challenge to set up correctly, but if the directions are closely followed, the performance is in the range of the very best arms available. Also, someone posted that he got rid of his VPI arm because of sibilants.... clearly he set up his arm poorly..especially with respect to azimuth. VPI makes some of the best tables and arms that there are. As you go up their product line, the tables are bettered, however, even the less expensive tables provide great value, and performance.
Ouch! Besides being a liar or grossly misinformed, there's a third possibility that maybe you did not read through what I said entirely. ;-)
Yes, I stated that the arm is terrible, and right after that, I stated why I think it is terrible. I did NOT say that it is a terrible tracker, or terrible sounding arm. What I said was that it is hard to fine tune the settings. Or if you want to try different settings, you could never really go back exactly to your previous settings. This is based on feedbacks from all 4 of my close friends that have or had been using VPI tables (Scout, Scout Master, and HRX).
And I did not knock on VPI products in general. I indicated at the end that after all these years listening to my Orbse SE, my friends haven't ran down to the dealership to buy one to replace their VPI tables yet, except for the ones that upgraded to something else.
Stringreen - I would like to make it clear that the arm was setup about as well as humanly possible. I have a long documented thread on here (with sound clips illustrating the sibilance, and photo evidence that each setup parameter was spot on, spanning 3 cartridges, med-high compliance) that shows my progress, which included ultimately having a head tech at VPI setup the arm himself, yet the sibilance remained. Finally he agreed (admitted) that the arm was not appropriate for the job, and recommended I try a longer VPI arm.
Please know your facts before you make blind assumptions.