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judicata
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SOTA Sapphire vs. VPI Scoutmaster

I'm starting to be interested in these two TT makers, and would appreciate your opinion.

So, SOTA Sapphire with a sub-$1000 Tonearm (maybe the JMW-9 or the RB300 or something)OR the VPI Scoutmaster (or the Scout - cheaper) with the JMW-9.

Thoughts? Any around or under $3,000 TT/Tonearm combos I shouldn't overlook? A plus if it is made in the USA.

I'd also like any input on the vacuum clamp system. My immediate reaction is "no way" because I'd think it would add noise and make things unecessarily complicated.

Elk
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Re: SOTA Sapphire vs. VPI Scoutmaster

Res (may we call you Res?)

These are both superb choices - what a happy problem to need to choose.

struts
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Re: SOTA Sapphire vs. VPI Scoutmaster


Quote:
Res (may we call you Res?)


I thought we'd already decided that...

judicata
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Re: SOTA Sapphire vs. VPI Scoutmaster


Quote:
I thought we'd already decided that...

Indeed.

Elk: I'm not yet in that fortunate position, unfortunately (but happily will be at some point in the foreseeable future). I'm just plotting my next major move. I have some smaller moves to do before that (e.g., new cart). I'd like to get bigger speakers and more power, but it just isn't practical - it is too rare that I can listen at reasonably loud volumes, and my listening room is small. So, I decided upgrading my source would be the best next major move.

Elk
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Re: SOTA Sapphire vs. VPI Scoutmaster

I missed the res discussion.

Yes, working with the source first makes great sense. They are just such excellent choices the only way to decide is to listen.

struts
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Re: SOTA Sapphire vs. VPI Scoutmaster


Quote:
I missed the res discussion.


No, just recursive humor

Elk
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Re: SOTA Sapphire vs. VPI Scoutmaster

judicata
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Re: SOTA Sapphire vs. VPI Scoutmaster


Quote:
... the only way to decide is to listen.

Let the fun begin! Anyone know some place in NYC where I can listen to these babies (or similar)?

dbowker
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Re: SOTA Sapphire vs. VPI Scoutmaster

"I'd also like any input on the vacuum clamp system. My immediate reaction is "no way" because I'd think it would add noise and make things unnecessarily complicated. "

Personally I think the vacuum systems were indeed too complicated and just added to things to go wrong. Plus, a good clamp takes care of 99% or more of record warping. Of the near thousand records I've had I think maybe 5 have been beyond normal clamp flattening.

I like VPIs a lot, although I don't own one, and think they are a model of well-engineered, thoughtful design. They sound tight, dynamic and detailed and just work forever once setup. If I didn't have a Well-Tempered turntable, it'd in all likelihood be the VPI Scout.

Buddha
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Re: SOTA Sapphire vs. VPI Scoutmaster

I use a vacuum system on my SOTA Milenneum and am very happy with it.

I've never heard it make a sound.

I like the Scouts (and HW line) but I think they have a little bit in the mid-midrange in the way of emphasis. It is OK because it seems to enhance vocals, but I do think it is there as an artifact.

The vacuum on the SOTA is automagic, so it's the same as putting an LP on a regular platter. In the treble range, I think the SOTA is superior at catching the ultra high frequency feeling of air (alomst a pressure sensation) of things like triangle and tip top sonic delights.

It's never given me a moment's problem.

Obviously, this is coming from a SOTA fan. I even like Donna, the owner!

smejias
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Re: SOTA Sapphire vs. VPI Scoutmaster


Quote:
The vacuum on the SOTA is automagic, so it's the same as putting an LP on a regular platter.

Automagic! Awesome.
My friend Eden has a Sota Sapphire, and we will soon get to work on restoring it. I can't wait to see how this vacuum-clamping system works.

KBK
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Re: SOTA Sapphire vs. VPI Scoutmaster


Quote:

Quote:
The vacuum on the SOTA is automagic, so it's the same as putting an LP on a regular platter.

Automagic! Awesome.
My friend Eden has a Sota Sapphire, and we will soon get to work on restoring it. I can't wait to see how this vacuum-clamping system works.

Just be aware that the backside of the record must be clean and the platter must be kept very clean, otherwise the vac system will cause any dirt to be forced deep into the grooves of the downside of the given record.

As for the Rega line, I'm designing a set of footers (foot replacements!) for Rega tables.

The cart in the photo of the Sota is an Alchemist Talisman S, IIRC.

The Vac systems develop a slow leak..that is their downfall.

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