Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by tiguwagu, Jun 29, 2009.
I believe they borrowed from their new "Classic" the platter (Steel/Aluminum) and now use a filled Steel Tube tonearm (not on the "Classic") correct me if I'm wrong on this. Very nice. Makes me want to upgrade again.
Where did you get those pictures? I just went to the VPI web site and couldn't find them.
Music to Harry's ears . . .
While I'm not a fan of solid acrylic platters, the use of an all metal platter without any damping between the record and platter seems wrong. IMO, I think that it would have benefited if a 1/4" acrylic top plate was fitted.
Looks like a Scoutmaster with a Classic platter.
My audio dealer friend Joe send me this Asian audio site.
I'm as surprised as you that the Asian audio site get these news before us here in the states. Joe told me that he believe VPI is redesigning these new "Classics" to cater towards the Asian market and is receiving excellent success.
i've heard a lot of good things about that table, in fact, i was just reading about it yesterday when i was perusing one of my 2009 issues of STEREOPHILE in the doctor's office. very well regarded, even better with the TNT-HRX isolator feet in place, a well recommended upgrade...
I think of The Tinman whenever I look at that table. "Oil can!"
There's a new Scout II as well. It's on the VPI site, but no sign of the SM II yet. Both new tables are already listed on Music Direct's web site.
God how many platters, ad-ons and upgrades do VPI have? Is that 3 or 4 platter options for a Scout now. Crazy stuff. Serious credibility issues I think with all these options, what do you believe?
I am also amused by their approach, but it must be effective.
I am not a fan of this approach either. IMO VPI turntables appeal to audiophiles who enjoy being on an endless upgrade treadmill, and that is not me. Advocates for this approach would point out that you can make a smaller initial investment, and upgrade as funds allow. Personally, I wouldn't want to go this route.
I do love my HW 16.5 record vacuum, which is a product that has remained virtually unchanged for decades.
Personally, I don't find VPI's myriad upgrade options a problem. Choice is always a good thing, and any path that offers a lower cost of entry with potential upside down the road is very nice to have. However, I'm not exactly thrilled with the latest developments in the Scout/Scoutmaster line. I think all it does is create confusion as to what VPI's position is with regards to the design of their tables and arms. For a long time now, their use of acrylic as a platter material has been something that VPI trumpeted. Then came the Super Platter, which as an acrylic/steel sandwich composite. That was okay by me, because the results from that platter were, to me, quite fantastic. Now we have this steel platter. Well what happened to acrylic? Did VPI's philosophy change? Same with the arm tube. Once upon a time, their undamped arm tube was deemed perfectly fine. Now we get a damped one. Total 180 degree change.
I'm not saying a company can't innovate or make new developments. I'm just weirded out by what appears to be flip-flopping approaches to their product line. That said, the Scout and Scoutmaster tables are incredible bargains and if the approach of selling tons of upgrades allows them to keep the initial acquisition price low-ish, then have it.
FWIW, I bought the entry level HW19jr twenty one years ago, and I haven't felt the need to upgrade yet.
Well, you wouldn't have to, since the Classic is pretty much the HW all over again!
cantona7 I'm totally with you on this one, all for upgrade options, I think that's great, but where would one go? Acrylic, steel, acrylic/steel sandwich. Its almost like they don't know what sounds best. Perhaps they should say: If you want it to have these characteristics go with this, if you want it to sound like this try this. I'm sorry but its very confusing. VPI what's your best platter material?
Sound Dust, you've hit it right on the head. I don't mind taking many baby steps on my way to a goal. But moving the goal posts doesn't help anyone.
It's almost like choosing a fancy car if one can afford it. Remember they sell to audiophiles the world over. Change is good, right?
That's the analogy I'd be happy with. Unfortunately, their definition of "fancy" keeps changing!
If that analogy suits you, at least consider yourself lucky that VPI doesn't release a new model of each turntable every year with cosmetic changes and the occasional upgrade. At least with VPI, the upgrades are genuine, and you can spend to your price point. There's always something fancier out there, and if one is always caught in an upgrade cycle, it may say more about them than the fact that something better is out there.
As an old HW19 Mark III owner, I'm really not keen on the new VPI tables. Their current designs seems to be all over the map and I'm not sure what I would buy if I ever decide to upgrade.
I probably don't have the background to accurately defend them - but I like the old floating plinth and swappable armboards of yore. I mean I've seen everything from a pedestrian RB250 to an air bearing ET2 tonearm mounted on a HW series table.
My stock Scoutmaster Signature is fine for me and I don't see any reason to upgrade other than an SDS. It's still the best TT I ever owned and probably the best I will ever own. I don't get caught up in having to get every new upgrade and realize that my ears are probably the weakest link that a new platter will not solve.
I like the Scout series of turntables but as is the common theme for a few posters here, we're all a bit confused with all the different looks & turntables. Confused or spoilt for choice?
There is something to be said for bringing and essentially mature product to market rather than one that gets a total re-think every couple of years.
Whatever you think of their tables, Rega, Linn, Nottingham, Michell, SME, Sota, Clearaudio, etc. have stuck to their same respective philosophies about how to build a good turntable over the years. They have offered refinements and enhancements over the years, true, but they haven't done any 180 degree turns in terms of how to build a good sounding turntable. VPI, as you point out, seems to have wandered all over the map in terms of their philosophy.
Maybe there is something to be said for a more scattershot approach too. Many people seem to like their VPI tables a lot. I've never heard one, and am not trying to criticize how they sound. They certainly seem to offer a high quality products at competitive prices. I just find their approach confusing.
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