VPI Scoutmaster is showing signs of life
I'm the guy who's been complaining about my VPI for the past couple of months. Well, I'm here to say with your guys help I'm finally getting to the heart of the problem.
Yesterday, I finally got around to replacing two of the stock coupling capacitors in my Cayin Phono One preamp with some Auricaps I had lying around. Within a minute of putting the stylus down, I heard an entirely different presentation from what I've been suffering these past couple of months. I've been complaining about a rather analytical sound, thin in the mids, threadbare and lacking impact in the bass. With the Auricaps in place the sound is positively blooming. Much more fullness in the entire frequency spectrum, and finally some slam! I've had these caps laying around for months, I only wish I had replaced them way back, one neglectful dummy!
Due to your guy's insistence that VPI's can sound good I was finally able to take my focus off the turntable and attend to my phono stage. The Cayin comes stock with these ridiculously insubstantial RealCaps, physically tiny in stature, they became prime suspects for my sonic issues. The RealCaps are a Chinese product, the brand name is likely used to confuse people with the RelCaps (a rather nice quality cap). As of this point I've only replaced 2 of them, six more will have to be replaced. I can only imagine what it will sound like with all caps replaced by Mundorfs or V Caps (or even Auricaps)!
I really hate to bash the Cayin, because I think the build quality and design are up to par, however, without parts quality all these good things become inconsequential. This is the first Chinese equipment I've ever purchased so count me ignorant. As for others with Chinese equipment, I would suggest you open up the lid and check parts quality, if you see any RealCaps get rid of them immediately.
I would also suggest that anyone with VPI sonic issues take a close look at their phono stages. I suspect my VPI is still not optimally setup, yet with a simple change in caps, I'm at least 50% closer to my sonic ideal.