VPI Industries Scoutmaster
First impression? Mama Mia, I wasn’t ready for this! It was just heavenly. My trusty, tricked-out VPI 19 jr was not in the same league. Hell, this wasn’t even the same sport. From the VPI website:
The Scoutmaster combines key features from several of VPI's most successful tables. It uses the Aries 2 platter and inverted bearing, a larger version of the steel Scout motor assembly with new fused IEC socket with new 300-RPM motor, and a dual Scout chassis with a steel center. The table stands 19" by 14" and weighs 48 pounds.
This is a good-looking turntable—utilitarian, yet sexy. The huge aluminum adjustable cone feet are a great feature, but also look hot. The finish is not glossy, but it doesn’t show fingerprints or dirt—one less thing to clean. The table doesn’t use flash where it isn’t needed. It does, however, use high-quality parts where required. This is the mark of superb engineering.
What about the JMW 9 tonearm? Without going into a lot of technical details (you can look at Myles Astor’s review for those), I think the JMW 9 matches the Scoutmaster perfectly. In fact, I think that is why this turntable package succeeds so wildly. It took a while to get used the unipivot design. It floats delicately on the head of tungsten pin, and oscillates gently as you lower it. No worries, just be very, very careful when you first use it. It seems perfectly natural now. The other tonearms I’ve used since seem heavy, almost ham-handed. I’m also starting to wonder why other tonearms have a bajillion parts. The elegant, simple design of the JMW 9 does the trick.
The Scoutmaster has a consistent, exciting sound. From the first needle-drop you hear (don’t hear?) a silent background—no rumble, none of the low-frequency crap you hear from a lesser product. The resolution of low-level detail is killer. The overall portrait has energy and transparent neutrality. Imaging is solid, and the table projects a huge soundstage that is even from front to back, sidewall to sidewall and beyond. The pace is great, low- and high-end extension impressive. Gone are the days of polite-sounding VPIs. This is the new generation. The Scoutmaster gets out of the way of the music and boogies.
VPI SCOUTMASTER TURNTABLE WITH JMW-9 TONEARM
The VPI Scoutmaster turntable combines key features from several of VPI's most successful tables. It uses the Aries 2 platter and inverted bearing, a larger version of the steel VPI Scout motor assembly with new fused IEC socket with new 300-RPM motor, and a dual Scout chassis with a steel center. The VPI Scoutmaster also comes with the JMW-9 tonearm installed.
VPI has never made a more musical and involving turntable at such a bargain price.
The VPI Scoutmaster turntable and VPI JMW-9 tonearm are offered as a package. It has a retail value of US $2,500.
We would be happy to assist you with best pricing and phono cartridge recommendations.
VPI Scoutmaster Turntable Specifications
- Sonic qualities: Quieter, deeper bass, greater speed stability
- Platter size: 1.750"h x 12.25"d
- Platter material: Clear acrylic
- AC motor type: 24-pole 300 RPM in larger square housing black nitrile
- Belts: Clear
- Record clamp: One-piece black delrin
- Inverted bearing: Self-lubricating and 30% longer
- Ring clamp: Optional
- Feet: Aries cones
- Chassis: Dual layer + steel
- Speeds: 33 1/3 RPM, 45 RPM
- Power cord: Removable
- Tonearm: JMW-9 + 0.375" RISER
- Audio connections: Gold-plated RCA
- Arm bearing: Precision uni-pivot
- Extra arm winds: Available
- Dustcover: Optional
- SDS power supply: Optional
- Shipping weight: 55 lbs.
- Dimensions: 19"w x 14"d x 9"h
Options available at an additional cost include the lift-off full dustcover, periphery ring clamp, SDS power supply, and phono cartridge.
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