I can't help with the comparison as I've only heard a VPI table once or twice. My experience with Basis is that you won't hear what this line is really capable of until you get up to the 2500 or higher. That's not to say the 2001 is not a fine table. Coupled with a Vector 3 tonearm it would be very enjoyable. Maybe not the best bang for the buck value, but still a solid table.
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the basis with the sme is my idea the proverbial classic combo. i have listened to both at length, and though popular opinion always falls in with the boyscout series when it comes to combos in this price range, the actual sonic differences are going to come primarily with the cartridge and needle when it comes to this face off. both are quite good as written above.
Well, I kind of agree with Dan_ed.
I have a Basis 2001 turntable, with the latest Vector 3 tonearm. (FYI, it is an older 2001, not the latest signature version.) It sounds very, very good. In fact, it competes very favorably with my friends VPI HR-X turntable, IMHO, and his.
However, that being said, I do want to upgrade to the 2500, (in order to get that last bit of resolution and bass response possible), and will when I get the funds. However, the sound is so good, that I am not in a hurry to do so.)
I am not sure I would buy a new Basis, as the markup on them is pretty steep. I have bought both of my Basis turntables (I had a 1400 previously) used. Setup is a breeze, and I love the lack of tweakiness to the tables, so buying used seems like an acceptable risk with this line.
Also, the support from AJ Conti (Basis's designer/owner) has been great, even though he knows I have bought two of his tables, and his Vector tone arm, used and not new. Having great customer support is a plus in my book.
FYI: There is a used 2500, with Vector tonearm on auction here on Audiogon right now. If I only had the cash, I would snatch this up! (And it is almost a local sale for me, as it is only a 100 miles away. Arghhh!!!)
My dad and I demeod the Scoutmaster at a store wich also carried the Basis, while checking out speakers in a seperate room we played a Basis wich model I dont recall, but I do know it was 4 times the cost, and to be honest it didnt shame the Scoutmaster. This thought might not serve you very well, only to say that for the money the VPI is great. BTW my dad has the VPI comming anyday now.