VPI sells an armboard for an SME arm. I have an SME IV.Vi on my Aries 3 with a Lyra Skala mounted, very easy to set up and work with. I don't think the 12.7 VPI arm will fit on the Scoutmaster.
AudioFeil is quite right, the table and arm are critical. I have just become a VPI dealer again after a long lapse so I don't know the new line as well as I did the old. On the Scoutmaster you are limited to VPI arms to the best of my knowledge as they do not have the removable arm board of the Aries. I believe that the 10.5 will fit but not the 12.7 which requires much more room. I cannot agree with Jaiello about the Scoutmaster being slow, it is the fastest table I have used. Being used to the older VPIs , HW 19s and earlier TNTs, I was amazed at how different the Scoutmaster sounds. I suspect that the Aries sounds more like the earlier models. The 9 on the Scoutmaster definitely sounds faster than my SME iv or 309 did on the TNT or my Basis Ovation. I think the Scoutmaster is capable of a very high standard of performance but like all turntables takes considerable effort to get their best sound. I have just become a dealer for the Star Sound platforms and points and have been amazed at the improvement in this area made during my sabbatical from audio. I am sure that there are other devices that give good results, I mention Star because I have used them. If you are not using a good isolation device I would start there.
Mad, While I share your interest in the mechanical advantages longer arms offer, the Scout is an excellent platform. Infinitely upgradeable, and with tons of untapped potential. Any part you replace will be snapped up. Harry likes the Dyna stuff and would be happy to get you into a 10.5. Tweak what you have, is my recommendation.
In theory longer tonearms offer an advantage.
Unfortunately, they present problems including rigidity and resonance issues in some, but not all, cases.
It's interesting to note that most of today's, what many consider, "reference" tonearms such as Tri-Planar, Basis Vector, Dynavector 507, Origin Conqueror, Graham Phantom, Schroders, SME V, Kuzma Stogi Reference etc. have an effective length of 10" or less.
Just an observation; not an endorsement.
Origin Live makes several tonearms that can be mounted on the Scoutmaster. They will need an adapter to raise the arm high enough to work with the Scoutmaster platters. I have an Origin Live Conqueror mounted on a Scout with the Super Platter. I also am using the Teres Verus Motor drive on the Scout.
Well, admittedly I would like to stay with my table since I've invested in pretty much every upgrade apart from the arm. I'm attracted to the 10.5i since it allows VTA on the fly (something I've never attempted to adjust with my 9" since it's a bit of a hassle).
It also looks like VPI will allow me to trade in my 9 sig for the 10.5i.
Thanks, all, it seems like this will be a good step for now.
Told you Harry wants you in a 10! As he notes on his site and in person, the other mfgrs are getting on the bus with longer arms. SME thinks so much of the 312 they built a new deck around it. Again, your "platform" will serve as budget and ears allow, far into the future. Please disregard the old fashioned/uninformed advice regarding losing your investment.
The 312, of course, is basically one of SME's entry level products (the entire 3 series) and should not be mentioned in the same breath as the tonearms alluded to in my earlier post.
Unless of course one has very little experience which seems to be the case here.
As such it is a bad example and not relevant to this discussion.
Experienced vinylphiles know this; others as you read here simply have no clue.
If you have the coin to consider purchasing a suitable arm for a Dynavector XV-1,
I would strongly suggest NOT to put that kind of money into your ScoutMaster.
If you want to stay with VPI, move up the line.
Or give serious consideration to a completely different brand , new or slightly used.
It is not that much of a problem to adjust the VTA on a VPI 9. You can adjust it while the record is being played if you're careful. You do know about that large knurled thumbscrew that the arm is sitting on....Sure the 10.5 is easier and has a gage which permits repeatability, however, if you use your ears, you can do a good job.