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.
Glad to hear you are starting to get the most out of your table. Try Mapleshade's Nanomount system, only about $95, for a solid improvement, and as has been said repeatedly in the thread, order the MintLP arc tractor to absolutely nail set-up. You won't believe you ears.
Did you ever get the sandbox and springs under your table yet? That also will bump things up to another level.

Keep up the enjoyment,
Thanks Dan, I've looked at the Nanomount system, very intriguing. The MintLP is a no brainer. I have the Sandbox, don't have the springs yet.

I'm sure some of these details will be put on hold while I try to get the measure of the Cayin. I suspect I may have some cap rolling to get the sonics I'm looking for. Already hearing some downside to the Auricaps. While they have a nice overall bloom and even tonal balance, I'm also hearing a subtle hardness/glare on the upper mids and highs. This may be an inherent part of the Auricap sonics according to some reviewers. It also may be the remaining RealCaps or who knows?

Anyway, I do have some V-caps (TFTF) on hand I will be trying in the Cayin. At this point I'm thinking a combination of V-caps and Mundorfs, silver/oils or silver/golds. I'm also curious about the Mundorf silver/gold/oils, haven't heard anything about the sonics of these.

I believe the cap rolling will be worthwhile with the Cayin since it seems to have an inherently high level of detail and transparency.
Glad to hear that you are finally liking what you are "hearing". I too have a Scoutmaster. When I found a Sonic Frontiers SFP1 Signature phono pre-amp for sale, I snatched it up. I had a technician replace the caps (don't know which one's he used) as well as the transformer. He also optimized it for my new "old stock" Benz Micro Glider, medium output (1.1mv) cartridge. I'm totally happy with it. I know a lot of people have issues with the Scoutmaster; the unipivot tone arm and the fact that it's belt driven, and those issues have merit. However, I'm satisfied with the tonal pallate that fills my living room.

Happy Listening.
The V-Caps will be a substantial upgrade over the auricaps. They are very very good. The VPI needs a lot of good electronics to be optimized. Also, for a inexpensive cartridge option, the Audio Technica AT150MLX is superb on the VPI. Jallen

I'm glad to hear your Scoutmaster is satifying you more. It makes me feel better as well because when someone asks me about a good table to start on I often recommend the Scoutmaster if budget allows. I think it's a good spot in the VPI lineup because you're in a good position to upgrade pretty much all the way to the Super Scoutmaster Reference if you want to as budget allows. Also it should have good resale appeal if you want to go that route. I think as you eventually make more changes you'll continue to notice improvements. That process really never ends I'm finding.