VPI Sup. S.M. vs. Avid Volvere vs. Clearaudio Amb.

I am looking at three tables:

VPI Super Scoutmaster Signature w/JMW-9 Signature arm ($5500)
Avid Volvere w/SME 309 arm ($6300)
Clearaudio Ambient w/Satisfy arm ($4350)

The price difference is not huge.

Which would you buy and why?

Dynamics, low frequency extension and soundstage are most important to me...

I listen to a lot of soft rock, soundtracks, new age music, folk music and rock and roll. Very little classical overal but I do listen to a bit on occasion.


I'm actually looking at the same three tables, but have only heard the Volvere so far. which I thought sounded great: fantastic soundstaging and accurate bass. Not a romantic sound, but I wouldn't call it overly strident either. It has a nice suspension system, and it's pretty easy on the eyes. I'm not purchasing for a while, so I'll get around to listening to the other two. I posted about the Clearaudio ambient (see my old posts) but the only reply I got was a little confusing. Hopefully you'll get more.


I just sold a VPI Aries and bought an Avid Volvere with an SME IV arm. The difference was huge. The VPI is slow and flat footed compared to the Volvere. The Avid table with SME arm just is faster more resolving than my old VPI. I could not believe the difference. I have described the VPI as sounding like molassas on a cold day compared to the Volvere. As for sounstage, the Volvere soundages better too. I can find no regrets about making the change. The real benefit is the lack of tweaking. It seemed like I was always tweaking that VPI where with this table it's set and play. I have not touched it since I set it up. I canot comment on the Clearaudio as I have never heard one. BTW, the price on the arm/table combo is too high for the Volvere and SME. The list should be $5700.