I currently have a VPI Scoutmaster and considering an upgrade. To go to the Super Scoutmaster which includes to the best of my knowledge the following: 1. HRX motor assembly, 2. Outer ring and inner clamp 3. SDS controller
Also I would consider the new JMW-9 signature Arm. The total cost of the above would be about $6000.00, about $3500.00 out of pocket to upgrade. Would I be better off
selling my Scoutmaster, take a loss and purchase something
else? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
I upgraded from the Scout to the SuperScoutmaster. TO MY EARS IT MADE A GREAT IMPROVEMENT. Try Elusive Disc Inc. They offered me a deceant trade in and now offer the Super with the upgraded arm.
You can upgrade your Scoutmaster to the SuperSCoutMaster cheaper than that by retaining the original ScoutMaster plinth (which I actually prefer over the SSM shorter plinth) and upgrading with the new HRX single motor/flywheel combo which is $600 cheaper than the dual motor unit.

That upgrade path per Harry Weisfeld (VPI) gives you full SuperScoutMaster upgrade. The only difference is a tad slower start-up time for the platter to reach full speed. Giving the platter a little push to get it going VS $600 extra mullahs is a no brainer IMHO.
FWIW, Harry Pearson recently chose the Super Scoutmaster for a "Golden Ear" award, and commented that its performance was very close to the VPI TNT-HRX (at half the price).
Due to Christmas season with 3 young kids and a wife, I have not upgraded my scoutmaster to the superscoutmaster with jmw9signature arm yet ( Hopefully in January 2006) but I listened to this combo at a local dealer with the same set-up as my system and it's simply breathtaking. I bought my scoutmaster from these guy, therefore, they give me full credit for the updgrade. Send them an email to see what they can do for you as they seem pretty reasonable (sales@levisaudio.com). Good luck...
Hi KJL, I have the Scoutmaster with the speedcontrol,ring and centre weight, that I purchased as a package about a year ago.The speed control alone has a huge impact on your listening pleasure...I was looking at buying the big motor at some point after reading about it in TAS. However I just learned about the wire upgrades. Nordost Valhalla wire for the 9 and box at a $200. price with trade in of your 9 and box should be a stupid good upgrade. I am going to hold off on the motor upgrade and get this done for sure...Or break down and get the redesigned JMW 9 arm and rewired box....Two years ago if I was in a audio store, I wouldnt have given a turntable a second glance no matter the price range...Yes s.a.c.d.and c.d.s was the future in my mind,pure convenience of use,period.I bought the huge sony s.a.c.d. 777 in 2001 and later had the clock changed along with new caps ect...Outstanding sound once the upgrades burnt in...But something was still missing in the music I was listening to.What stood out for me was vocals along with some instruments that did not seam right at all.While shopping for a new pair of speakers and amplification,the room I picked at the store had the top line Merlins and a pair of Dynaudio special 25s.Atma-Sphere 60 watt monos along with their mp3 model pre with phono.A Meridian G8 c.d. player, Cardas cables and Shunyata power cords ect.Now in this mix was a VPI Scout with a Dynavector 20 ? cartridge. I thought ,what is this doing here mixed with the likes of this company? The salesman left me in the room to listen all I wanted.The Meridian player was fabulous! I thought.One of the c.d.s I brought along with me was Harry Belafonti live at Carginie hall.I saw they had a copy in vinyl in the room ,I got ahold of the salesman and asked to listen to the little VPI...Well,there it was,what I was craving,though the little VPI only had a hint of it .It was there...Harmonic structure in the music along with more natural sounding vocals ,far better.I went home and thought about what I heard.Big price differants from the Scout and the Meridian G8.At the time the store was about to take delivery of the Scout Master.I was back acouple of times to decide on new speakers and amps.I picked the Dynaudio special 25s and Atma-sphere monos.I really had some thinking to do here on concidering changing formats ,I could not afford both.I checked out other c.d./s.a.c.d. players ,all price ranges set up in some systems were the speakers alone cost more then my first house did.Anyway vinyl is for me all the way.I am very happy with my Scoutmaster ,having the option for a new arm and box wired with Nordost Valhalla is exciting indeed.
I'm looking to upgrade my Scoutmaster with the new Signature tonearm but the dealer I was talking to has been unable to deliver as yet. He blamed VPI for not responding to his orders and giving far-out dates as if they cannot deal with the demand. Have any of you actually made this trade-in yet? If so, who's got them in stock?

It seems like the most cost-effective SM upgrade right now, followed by the ring-clamp and the SDS motor.
Interesting story, and I agree 100% about vinyl vs. seedee.

Saying that, however, it would be my suggestion, if at all possible, to keep some sort of digital playback hooked into your system. Convenience, background music, availability of music are just some of the reasons to keep a cd player available. And of course the most important reason-to give yourself a direct comparison of how wonderful the vinyl sounds!
I apologize for the above misinfo and spelling errors...I was being nattered at by my sweety while trying to type it out. Corrections as follows.You can have your stock JMW 9 arm and box rewired for 200 bucks with Valhalla,or buy the new designed arm wired with Valhalla for 700 bucks with a trade in credit of your old JMW 9 and box... Go to VPI industries.com click on [whats new]
I spoke w. someone intimitaly familiar w. the HRX & the Super Scout Master. He mentioned that Super Scout Master was in fact the better sounding unit. He also mentioned that he was not alone in that opinion. They mentioned that the Superscoutmaster left the life in the music.
Hi John Brown, In my neck of the woods we have acouple of great Jazz F.M. stations thats listened to threw an upgraded Fisher 100-B tube tuner. When the main system is off we have a modest collection of 1950s German Saba and Telefunken radios through out the house.We try not to sit and watch alot of t.v. Dont get me wrong here...silence is golden also. This Valhalla wire up grade and new 9 inch arm available really has me interestd.I will be sending my stock arm and junction box down to VPI this week for the new statement arm.Sight unheard and reveiwed .If I have to wait ,I can wait,got to go ,The Ray Brown Trio is about to be spun....
Hi DGAD,Interesting ,I have heard the HRX with a top line Clearaudio cartridge on a couple of occasions at a audio store. On first listening ,LP after LP I found it too laid back and uninvolving for my liking.The second occasion I heard a direct comparison between the HRX and a SME 20-2 ,both with identical Clearaudio cart.The SME wiped the floor with the HRX ,no contest.Sorry HRX owners, really...no contest...The store owner is going to mount the Dynavector drtxv-1s on the tables soon. The Dynavector is not going to help the HRX.I will get the owner of the store to mount that Dynavector on a Scoutmaster with sds ect and do a direct to the HRX.BTW DGAG... Holy Smoke,Great system you have.
does anyone ever just buy a vpi turnatable and use it. it seems everyone can't wait to spend a fortune upgrading, and then bail to another brand. what gives? 3k worth of upgrades buys a lot of vinyl, even today.

Thanks for the complements. Nothing like hearing it for yourself. The SME 20 was under serious consideration. It lost based on the silliest of reasons. I don't like the way it looks. Mind you, I really wanted multiple tonearms as well. But if SME can redesign the 20 to just look better imagine the sales. The HRX is definitely one of the best looking turntables out there. The ScoutMaster is supposed to be amazing. I not supposed to say whose opinion it is, but many people trust this person. He/she really loves the ScoutMaster & has a strong dislike for the HRX in comparison.
I wonder about Scoutmaster ingenral.Whyb not a Blackknight ordered with better bearing and platter.I know that there are two reason (oposing) in physics with short verus longer arms but since I am not going change VTA every damn LP I play keeping the 9 especially since it can be gotten with better wiring is a nice idea.When I bought my extended Aries Mike the head VPI tech told me that while the VPI can use the flywheel the Aries actaully sounded better without it.Now I see thatanother in the plethora of options they offer is to replace the tall motor (for Aries,Blackknight,Scoumaster(?1?) combines what one assumes is the new 300 rpm with the flywheel.Well at least you can get anti skatingg device which everyone (including Wally of Wally tools who of course says his is better before he had set eyes on the VPI model).Well with over 90,000 tables out there with the VPI moniker on the who can blame then for offering more upgrades.Just rips me that some aren't backward compatible like the ring overpriced as it may be can't fit earlier models which when introduced were "S.O.T.A).I know that I don't Need size of my current rig and have buyer but have to be carefull in which table to go with.Nice to know that you can turn the Scoutmaster into a super without new plinth.But Blackknight can be upgraded till cows come how either with new 9" arm OR by goinmg to 10.6.Just tired of how damn big the exetended is inmy little apt.
From what I learned talking with Mike at VPI.

JMW-9 is shorter, but much more rigid in structure both in arm tube and in arm base. Consequently, it's the best sounding arm in all JMW family BEFORE the Vahalla wire or new Signature upgrade. Why do you think VPI is not re-wiring the JMW-10/12 with Vahalla?

Super Scout uses something that HRX doesn't have, wood base. If you talk with most Clearaudio owner, they will tell you their tables are clear, transparent, and FLAT sounding. Yes, that's the sound of acrylic plinth. On the other hand, Teres are loved by audiophiles around the world because of its wood sound. Super Scout retains the wood base and adds the big motor & power supply, it's a formula that guarantees good sound.

And I have been waiting for my Super Scout with Signature arm for 3 months now...
Hi DGAD, I know what you mean about the SME,the Nottingham Hyperspace you have is gorgeous to look at,and no dought sonics to match...Ive been giving my fishing rig the evil eye after listening to the performance of some of these systems...The VPI HRX needs something...maybe a new type platter, base or feet... something is sucking the music out of it.Its there ,it cant get out. Anyway Im very happy with my Scoutmaster,I dropped off my arm and junction box to my dealer today,Im getting the new 9 and box...delivery...next year.Im a patience man.That will leave the big motor,the second and last upgrade to make it a SuperScout.Good Listening to all