it's not even close, I am surprised that VPI continues to sell the Scout. I have had both, and the Aries as well and the Classic is a much better table. Quieter, faster, better extension. I don't even have an isolation platform under the Classic as I did my other VPI tables, and it still sound better.
Why don't you call Harry at VPI and ask him what he thinks. I always am treated honestly and fairly...I'm sure he will give you good guidance.
By the way, the Classic has a modified JMW10.5i tonearm (modified in that it does not include VTA on the fly) but all JMW10.5i tonearms are wired with Nordost Valahala wiring. So I would not call that a differentiator for the Scout II Signature. By the way you can get the Scout II with the standard JMW 9 tonearm (without the Valhala wiring) for $2100. If you have a local dealer that carries both tables, you should definitely audition them and see what sounds better to your ears. You may want to read the following thread on the Classic which has two reviews attached at the bottom of the thread. That may be helpful to you:http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?eanlg&1238953223
go used and expand search(in the 2500 range), or purchase a used vpi hw series for less.
Cnalak et al....The 10.5 normally used on the Classic is the same as the 10.5i - VPI's premier 10 inch arm, except that the VTA tower is omited (you can still adjust VTA on the fly, but not as conveniently), it does NOT have Valhalla wire, but a silver coated copper wire, ...and the arm tube is made of stainless steel..not aluminum. I am quite sure you can order the 10.5i with all the timmings as a special order. I wonder if the stainless tube will be incorporated in all 10 inchers, and what the audio consequences of the s/s are.
I'm confused on the aluminum/SS arm? Mine came with the aluminum arm standard, and when I asked VPI about sub-ing the SS arm they said that was only needed, or recommended for heavier cartridges, and I should stick with the aluminum arm. But now I read that the new ones come with the SS arm??
BTW - once again I repeat, in the last year I owned an Aries I/10.5/original heavy platter, and a Scoutmaster Signature (both got the excellent Gingko platforms which helped) and neither could match the Classic in any way. The only reason I got the Classic was I decided to try something different from my Clearaudio Performance (great DECK!!) amd was very disappointed in both the Aries and the Scoutmaster in comparison. After all of the great reviews I bought the Classic (skeptically after my experience with the other VPI's) and I was shocked, it's a great, great table. I am an equipment junkie, always looking to trade out, but the Classic is going to be here for quit a long time.
I got the Classic with its standard arm. My local dealer told me that they can get the Valhalla wire and change it quite easily. However, if you want VTA on the fly, it is not an easy addon once you have the turntable as you will need a whole new assembly. So if you consider it, it is better to order turntable with one right from the beginning.
SDS also is another matter. If you live in the US then it is not a big deal but SDS only works with 110v motor. Since I have a 220v version, if I want to add SDS later, I also will have to change motor to 110v version beside adding the SDS.
if you have a good power conditioner I don't think the SDS makes a big difference. Since you are 220, I am guessing Europe? I tried a million power conditioners because the grid near me (suburban Houston) was underbuilt, and not good. I found the APC S15 (not sure what is comparable for you) to be by far the best at keeping the current constant. I sold my SDS after I bought the APC.
Good luck, enjoy, I love mine.
$900 and you can add the VTA hat.Spoke to one guy (not main Guru Bes Nivera) at Music Direct and he say's Classic is all that Pearson review said and more.It is weird that they came out with a Scout 2 and now this.Supposed to blow doors on any Scout up to and including the Super or Aries though that I am sure I would want to hear for myself.I am sure that this was in works for a while but having a superior $2500 product that equals better decks make sense now in down economy but it is strange that there is mash of decks out at near price points.
Was also surprised VPI no longer has Super Platter the former $1200 upgrade.That would make sense (and Harry is a good marketer).Also they say it get's less improvement from SDS because of it's design (some decks use things better.One tack as VPI told me if I had a TNT to get flywheel but because I had Aries it was not needed and may degrade sound).Looks like a winner.Thinking of unloading my $5500 Aries 1/12.5 and getting one with a and extra tube and spending on a better stereo and mono cart and maybe getting used supper platter and eventually VTA riser my damn self.I'll save space and get and equal deck with some upgrade path but one that I agree with above the Classic may knock one or two decks out of there line.
Macdadtexas, I have a couple of questions regarding power conditioner. Beside my amplifier, everything is plugged into Nordost Quantum QX4/Shunyata Hydra 8 II. HOwever, these are more of power filter rather than UPS type power conditioner like APC S15.The SDS, is it more of a filter/conditioner or more of a voltage regulator/regenerator like PS Audio Powerplant or more of a UPS?
Suteetat...you CAN adjust VTA on the fly with the regular Classic tonearm, except it is not quite convenient. I think its silly to upgrade to the tower unless you change VTA for every record.
the SDS is more a voltage regulator. It is a MUST on the Scout/Scoutmaster/AriesIII/HRX because of the motor. That is my experience. With the Classic it was never an issue, but I always had the APC on with in the system, so that could be the determinite.
The APC does filtration, conditioning, voltage regulation, and backs up the power with a batter as well for easy shut down if the power goes off. It made a HUGE difference in my system the day I put it in, I really couldn't believe the difference. I have never had any other power components effect sound, really at all. This made a huge difference, and they are not expensive at all. If they are available for your country's system, consider replacing the Shuyunta as I did. I also had Richard Gray, Panamax, Monster Power, several PS Audio's (not the new Power Plant Primier though, which I have heard is great).
Good luck and enjoy the new deck.
PS - if you happen to be in the south of France, or Tuscany I will come help you set up, even if you don't need it!!
Macdadtexas, thank you for your recommendation. I will look into it. I happen to be in the south of France once in awhile but my system unfortunately is not :)
Stringreen, I agree that VTA tower is not an absolute neccessity but I find the Classic + my current cartridge rather sensitive to VTA that I kept fidgeting with it quite often and sometimes wish that I have an easily repeatable fine adjustment like a VTA tower. However, my local dealer inform me that while it is a simple $800 upgrade at the factory with initial order, it is not a simple upgrade once I already have the turntable as it is not an add on to the existing arm. So I don't think it is worth the extra cost and hazzle now but just want to mention it to whoever that might want VTA tower and is about to order a new Classic. However, I will get the Valhalla wire to replace the standard wire and that can be done by local dealer easily enough.
so if one were to order the non-modified 10.5i arm with the Classic (i.e., with the VTA on the fly and the Valhala wiring), that's an $800 upcharge or is it $800 for the VTA tower and another upcharge for the Valhala wiring?
Cmalak, I am not sure if Valhalla upgrade is part of the VTA tower upgrade or not. Officially, VPI has not mentioned anything about Valhalla wire for the Classic at all. My local dealer has replaced old 12.5 arm with the new Valhalla wire in the past so they are going to order Valhalla wire for 12.5 arm for me. That way they will have some extra wire to rewire the connection box for me as well. I was told that it is somewhere around $300-400 for 12.5 Valhalla phono wire.
If I want VTA tower, my local dealer suggest that they will have to order new Classic with factory installed 10.5 arm/VTA tower, then they will accept trade in for my old arm for the new arm and sell the new Classic table with old arm at a discount. I will have to cover the upgrade cost plus whatever price difference is between new arm and my used arm. Considering that a fully loaded 10.5i arm itself cost as much as the Classic/10.5i arm, VPI is not making much money on the 10.5i arm for the Classic I supposed (or they make lots of profit on the regular 10.5 arm!).
Anyhow, I wonder if any other VPI dealer can confirm if what my VPI dealer told me is correct?
PS does anyone know the effective mass of the optional (?standard now) stainless steel wand on the 10.5i ?
VPI does not seem to have information available in its manual nor website. Vinylengine site reported JMW 10.5i effective mass at 10.5g with stainless tube surrounding aluminium tube. Is this the correct weight?
According to mike at VPI the stainless steel armwand has an effective mass of 12.3g.
Derekmur, thanks for the information.
According to mike at VPI the stainless steel armwand has an effective mass of 12.3g
the s/s armwand is a good option if you use the Denon 103r. Otherwise its not necessary for most carts out there according to Mike to VPI.
I would call Bill from Audiofeil, he has a lot of experience with VPI and I am sure he will give you top support for a table which can be upgraded later.