VPI Scoutmaster or Aries????

How would you compare the newest scoutmaster with the 9" arm to the aries ( not the 2 or 3 ) with the 10" arm? Which would be better assuming they cost the same?

Harry Weisfeld does a great job of continually improving his turntable designs, with each generation showing better performance that its predecessors.

The Scoutmaster is the newer design, so presumably it should offer better sound quality (particularly if you get the Signature 9 arm). It also offers the peripheral ring clamp, which is a great device. If it were me, I'd buy the Scoutmaster, not the original Aries.

However, if the comparison was between the Scoutmaster and the Aries 3 with the longer arm, then I'd choose the Aries 3.
For the most part I agree with Sdcampbell, the Scoutmaster would be a better bet. There isn't a whole lot of difference between the two tables performance wise (at least with Aries 1/2), but the Aries is a nicer looking table to me at least. Personally I went with an Aries because I wanted the 12" arm which, theoretically, can offer better performance. I can't verify that since I didn't compare with a Scout. I also think the Aries would be a good choice IF there was an affordable upgrade path to the Aries 3. VPI's website doesn't mention upgrades, but if they do offer one it won't be cheap since you will be replacing a significant portion of the table (to date no mention of an extended Aries 3, damn!). If you can afford a new Aries 3 that would be the way to go, otherwise go for the Scoutmaster. I would also recommend the Valhalla wire upgrade. Good luck!
actually, the scoutmaster does not offer the ring clamp. the super scoutmaster does. however, the scoumaster platter can accomodate the ring clamp. but i agree that it is a great turntable. i've owned one now for over a year, and did add the ring clamp, center clamp, and speed control(had the sds, sold it and bought a walker precision speed control) and signature arm. suffice to say im not planning on upgrading my analog front end again unless i win the lottery.

good luck.
hello dean, after a lot of internet research, i went with the aires three, got it a few days ago, and set it up last night, its a snap to do, i have the jmw 10.5 improved arm standard wire, vta on the fly is great for all of those 200, 180, and all sized lps, just start the lp and adjust to your liking, going to add a hovland music groove 2 phono interconnect, i am not a fan of valhalla cables, it is mity impressive in wight and site, the arm reminds me of engineering at it best, all is supplyed to set the table up, including a shure tracking force gauge, out of the box the sound is in you face fine top to bottom, i will be spinning lps all weekend to get her broke in, good luck in your choice and have a good one,
I just purchased a Aries 2 Extended with the 12.5 arm and the Valhalla wire upgrade. It also has the outer ring clamp. However, it has not arrived yet, so I cannot comment on the sound. I can't wait to get it. I am using a VPI mk4 with JMW 10 arm now, and it sounds pretty amazing too. I know it is an older design, but it has been a great table and still looks like new.
Stltrains, please clarify - did you get Nordost or Discovery wiring in the tonearm?

I am a pretty big fan of the Discovery wire, so I was a little preturbed at having to pay extra for the Valhalla should I go for the Aries 3 / JWM-10.5i
yes riffer i went with discovery wiring in my 10.5i arm, was up all night spinning lps, man when you go from a music hall mmf 7 to a vpi aires 3, i guess its like going from a vw to a bmw, i new i was light in my analoge front end, but in my case with the katrina deal i did the best i could, my system is just about where i want it, i think the hovland phono cable will be the last piece of the puzzle, i just got a set of aurios, going to get them in the game today, take care and have a happy musical day. mike
With due respect to Sberger, he is incorrect when he states that the Scoutmaster does not offer the peripheral ring clamp. The ring clamp most certainly IS available with the Scoutmaster. My local VPI dealer sells it, and it is shown on the VPI web site -- see this link for more info:
Note the wording at the bottom of the ad: available with periphery ring clamp and SDS power supply.
Thanks Stltrains,
You may want to try thr VPI Tonearm cable Series 2. I have one with my Scout and it is quite good.