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David123
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VPI Scout or Project 9.1

A few months ago I posted MA 6900 under the Amplification section. Not a lot of response (thanks Jim), but I finally got a good deal on a used unit from Brian at Audio Classics in New York. The MA 6900 amp sounds wonderful and significantly upgrades my Monitor Audio SR6 speakers...more air, speed and tighter bass.

I like vinyl, and I am sure that some of you have compared the two subject TTs. I would appreciate any comments or recommendations. I plan to upgrade the speakers in the relatively near future (1-2 years), but for now they are fine.

Thanks in advance

Lamont Sanford
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1
Jan Vigne
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1

Buy the Scout.

CECE
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1

Limmited power, not so impressive specs either. But McIntosh do back what they make for a long time. But I bet for teh same money there is better...like..... www.avahifi.com More power, faster, and I bet it sounds better. Try AVA more sound for less money, and it's as reliable, in over 15 years, NEVER NEVER had a fialure in anything they made me. AND he's been doing it for now almost 40 years, hmmm, another long time audio maven, like McIntosh, just priced better for mere mortals.

David123
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1

DUP,

Thanks for suggesting the MAC was a poor choice. I feel much better now. You might have responded to my AMP thread earlier. Power was the least of my concerns, and I am not aware of the poor specs you speak of.

Anyway....do you have an opinion about the turntables?

CECE
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1

I have a VPI MKIII with the JMW 10 arm, and the older speed control (grossly overpriced for what it does) but it all works fine. they discontinued them a while ago. VPI makes some nice stuff, and the cheaper stuff MKIII, MKIV does what it should. but even VPI gets goofy with some on their ongoing updates and updates, and some of his stuff is priced absurd, like record clamps for hundreds of dollars. But i wonder if teh Scout has teh isolation needed so it doesn't bounce and skip on some crapy floors like i have in my house. If you have some solid floors then it shouldn't matter. The MK II, IV types had some good stabilty for floaty crappy floors like I have, so ya can walk around the record never feels it, no skips. Make sure if you need a stable TT, it has the right stuff. Some of the newer VPI stuff looks like no suspension, just some feet with sharp points? Make sure, it has some good solid stabilty on floaty floors. If you have nice solid concrete floors then it's irrelevant.

Jan Vigne
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1

If you live in a crappy house with crappy construction, you shouldn't even bother with decent audio gear. Fix your damn house! You cannot get SLAM! when eveything in the room flexes! Yeeeesh!

The point is very clear in the VPI literature and any review of the Scout discusses the importance of placement. Suspended tables are almost a thing of the past due to the slop the suspension introduces to the closed loop playback system. Unless you want to go the LP12 route, which will cost way more cash and has many more drawbacks, there aren't many suspended subchassis tables around any longer. The rigid connection between the platter and the tonearm has proven more effective at retrieving information from the record groove. Even with crappy floors if you replace the spring loaded suspension on the HW19 with spikes to come closer to a rigid platform, you will hear a substantial improvement in sound quality. This has been known to all, sorry, most VPI owners since the introduction of the table almost thirty years ago. Dynamics, detail and bass SLAM! all improve. Why? Because the system is finally working as a closed loop. There is little relative movement of the arm/cartridge/stylus in relation to the plater/record/groove once the suspension is removed. Effective record clamps further reduce this relative movement. The HW19 still suffers from motor problems unless you replace the onboard motor with the stand alone variety, but with the suspension removed from the HW19, the only negligible slop is between the motor and the platter. Which is a major step forward in rigidity compared to all parts moving freely and independently from each other.

The HW19, with its relatively high mass and fairly rigid connection through the plinth of the platter bearing and tonearm (which presents its own set of trade offs) was much better at what it did than many other suspended subchassis tables but it still can be improved in simple, effective ways. The Scout is the evolution of the HW19 into MODERN design. Hold everything rigidly in place and remove the motor from the playing base is the current thinking in high quality tables at virtually all price ranges. To think back thirty five years, the Rega tables all benefited from this design technique. Even a fifty year old table such as the well regarded Garrard 301 uses a simlar construction.

Suspended tables are effective at isolating the table from footfalls and creaky floors, but they suffer in almost every other way when actually playing music. Unless you are fond of creeping up on your table to change sides, doing away with the suspension offers major improvements. Suspension systems today, focus on isolating the entire turntable system, not just the platter/tonearm. Gingko platforms perform better under the Scout than the suspension springs of the HW19 when considering the real needs of a table. In many ways, the stiff springs of the HW19 contributed to the introduction of feedback into the closed loop as the springs were unable to act as effective filters at all frequencies. The louder you played your music and the more bass SLAM you tried to get by buying enormously ineffective wattage and outrageously large and bass heavy speakers, the more the HW19's suspension fed a damaging feedback loop. The louder it got, and the more bass you put in the environment, the more the HW19 suffered from feedback induced slop. You defeated your purpose and the music merely got muddier and muddier as you turned it up higher and higher ignorant of what was the real cause of the problem. You had been duped into thinking suspensions worked at isolating the table from feedback.

Isolation with ridigity. This was the original concept of VPI and the Scout merely advances the notion into the 21st century. Anyone who wants to live in the real world knows which table to buy and which to sell.

CECE
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1

The motor on teh MKIII is not mounted on teh plinth, i guess you really haven't TRIED it have you? Hmmm, the motor is mounted on it's own metal plate, isolated from the platter by the belt. The entire platter chassis is isolated from the base where the more is mounted. When a crappy house is "tuned" to the hi fi system it sounds great!! Don't you know how to tune a room? How come I've heard crappy sound out of systems that are on solid concrete floors, can't get any more ridged than a nice solid poured concrete floor and walls. In teh real world, most people live in, get teh Scout mount it on a typical cabinet with a typical lousy floor, and let's see how well all them improvements they did track, bouncy bouncey...one minute people are talking about isolating a frigin PRE AMP and they can hear this impossibilty...then a TT pro as yourself is saying isolating a purely mechanical device doesn't need isolation....how much more confused can you get? You are correct, get spikes, and have fun. But the old Linn 12 with it's AR-XB type suspension is of course now better, cus' it's old? The tonearm is mounted on teh MKIII to the same base as teh platter, so according to your engineering logic it is bettter. The isolation is between the outside base/motor and assy holding the tone arm and platter, Where on the VPI MKIII is the tone arm isolated from the platter? What TT are you using anyway?

CECE
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1

Feedback, muddy? When and where? What TT are you using? The old $67 AR-XB TT i had for 27 years, NEVER had any feedback. Do you normally put the TT in front of your speakers or something?

CECE
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1

Slop between teh motor and platter? Any BELT drive TT has it, that would mean the TNT with it's Rube goldberg pully-pulley belt after belt is nothing but SLOP and slip...Let's keep adding pulley yeah, the more pulley to add bearings to make nosie teh more we can charge, and make it look special. Have you tried this slop measuremetns, or just making up stuff? Like 30ga wire sounds better than the proper guage? So let's recap, floor vibration is good better sound through less isolation of a TT, but we should isolate an ELECTRINCI device, cus THAT is audible, using wire guage that is way too small also sounds better than proper larger guage, and of course tiny drivers with low power amps with high distortion is primo? We have slipped into Bizzaro world. Cus less distortion, no rumble or vibration means SACD/DDSD for teh soucre, but of course TT's always sound better than that horrible DSD digital stuff. Bizzaro world, where hearing is really weird. And of course the PTFE in an ampoo with large distortion can be heard over this distortion!! Aye Caramba.....

Jan Vigne
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1

dup, you've never been one for the big picture and you constantly miss the details. That doesn't leave much for you to understand even if I was willing to try. I know exactly where and how the motor is attached to the base on your VPI, I have owned (and still have) a HW19 for over twenty years. The motor on the HW19 is attached to that metal plate by lossy rubber grommets which allow the motor to vibrate. The vibration, in obvious fashion sets the metal plate above it and below it into motion since four little tiny rubber grommets can't keep it from happening. The motor is enclosed in a metal box, boxes resonate when their surfaces are set in motion. The top and bottom plates are attached to the base and the motor and plates sit next to one of the springs used to suspend the plinth. Any fool knows a metal spring has a resonant frequency and that springs are not good at filtering all motion. So, what do you suppose happens once the HW19's base, motor, metal boxes and springs are set in motion? Where do you think that motion goes? Where do you think the feedback from your loud music goes once it enters the suspension? Oh, never mind, I know. On your table it just magically disappears. It doesn't resonate any more than the crappy walls and floors in your room don't flex when you crank up that godawful system of yours. Aren't you the one who's so good at calling other people dopes? And yet, there you go, being dopey! Turntables are closed loop systems, dup. They react to external and internal forces.

I suppose you've never even considered what happens when the motor vibrates, constantly changing its position relative to the platter which causes speed errors in the platter. You probably don't realize the platter is constantly wobbling back and forth to the vibration of the motor which is now in an open loop with the music. You probably don't even know it's happening since you can't hear the feedback from the springs. I suppose on such a low resolution system as yours, it really doesn't matter. Loud is all that matters, eh, dup? Not clean and loud. Go on, dup, live in ignorance. You've done a good job of it so far, eh?

I can give you a several reasons the Scout is the better table over the HW19. Look at the main bearing on both! Look at how motor vibration is dealt with on the Scout! Look at the motor, for crimenysakes!

But that's not what the thread is about and I'm not interested in your misguided comments to justify the fact you are living with old stuff that doesn't measure well. You want to tout your "modern" amplifier while living with an archaic source. You would have been better off wih the Linn but I'm sure you'll have some excuse for why that's not the case. You probably were better off with the AR if you have crappy floors. You don't get it and I'm in no mood to spoon feed it to you when you can't understand the basics of turntables. Go read something more educational than "Hi-Life" and then come back and ask proper questions. Until then, just stay out of turntable threads where you don't have a clue what others are discussing and only show up to insult people's choice in equipment.

I replaced my HW19 with a Scout and there is a worthwhile improvement in the source so don't go there with what I own. The HW19 was a very good table and is still better than many in the correct system - after it was improved by removing the suspension and isolating the motor, not well suited to crappy houses though, but it is outdated. Why do you suppose VPI stopped making it? Just cause they heard you bought one? dup, you have to decide whether old stuff is good or old stuff is just old. It can't be both just cause you own old stuff. So, make up your mind, dup. One or the other.

If David wants more information on tables, I'll be glad to answer his questions. Otherwise, dup, live with the fact your stuff is old, outdated and doesn't measure well. I have no more to say to you.

David, do you have any more questions I can help you with?

wkhanna
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1

My best friend has the 9.1.
I have not heard the Scout, though.

I am no expert by any means, but Pro-Ject is one of the sweetest sounds I have ever heard.
At the price of either, you may find more variation with cartridges than you will differences in the two TT

Lamont Sanford
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1

David123

You got yourself a good amp. Either one of the turntables are fine.

CECE
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1

When I bought the MK III it wasn't Old, it was current. None of the other stuff existed. There is no way you are hearing what you describe. My GROMMETS are fine, have you looked at your's lately?

Jan Vigne
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1

David, dup's post regarding your McIntosh amplifier wasn't even intended for you. http://forum.stereophile.com/forum/showf...;gonew=1#UNREAD

It's just that dup is willing to insult someone else's system by proxy just to get a little chuckle at tweaking my nose. Brilliant, isn't it? You'd have thought a five year old had pulled this stunt. If only.

Jan Vigne
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1


Quote:
There is no way you are hearing what you describe

Way. And a lot of other people have also. It's pretty clearly an improvement on what you own. That's why the Scout is so popular there's a back order.

I just can't believe you can't. Maybe ya need a better system.

Lamont Sanford
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1


Quote:
David, dup's post regarding your McIntosh amplifier wasn't even intended for you. http://forum.stereophile.com/forum/showf...;gonew=1#UNREAD

It's just that dup is willing to insult someone else's system by proxy just to get a little chuckle at tweaking my nose. Brilliant, isn't it? You'd have thought a five year old had pulled this stunt. If only.

Jan:

You ignorant slut. People, places, and things is the root to all your problems. Resentments are like assholes. Everybody has one. The tail wagging the dog....blah blah blah.

You follow DUP all over the place like a little Chihuahua jumping over the back of the Bulldog chiding and nagging, "Where ya goin' DUP, huh? Where ya goin' DUP, huh?, Where ya goin' DUP, huh?".

David123
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1

Thanks for all the interesting comments. I was pretty sure DUP was going to get things going in this thread with his off topic remarks. DUP is a hoot, but now am sorry I asked in the first place. DUP does ask a valid question about resonance. Does the Music Hall MMF 9.1 address this with three suspended plinths? Seems to me that ProJect and VPI Scout gets better press.

I agree that both subject TTs are probably great value (although I have not laid eyes or hands on either) and either would satisfy for a long time. The original question also extends to Sumiko Blackbird (Pro-Ject)vs Dynavector(Scout). These are the two cartridges that are typically packaged with the TTs.

Thanks,
David

Jan Vigne
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1

Well, thank you, LS. Another post that is headed for the dead file. So, I suppose you think it was appropriate for dup to insult David's amplifier on a phono thread. You and dup deserve each other.

Lamont Sanford
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1


Quote:
Well, thank you, LS. Another post that is headed for the dead file. So, I suppose you think it was appropriate for dup to insult David's amplifier on a phono thread. You and dup deserve each other.

People, places, and things. Lions, tigers, and bears! Oh my!

I think David123 handled it himself. He didn't need your help, which turned the thread into another one of your DUP smear campaigns. You can't control DUP. Accept it and move on to something productive.

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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1


Quote:
You can't control DUP. Accept it and move on to something productive.

Good advice. Think you can control Jan?

Lamont Sanford
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1

I don't want to control Jan. But Jan should have been banned along with DUP. It was a mistake to only ban one person when more were involved. I will take it a step further and ban myself until DUP comes back if ever. I may be no monument to justice but at least I know where the plug is located.

ohfourohnine
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1

And now, as they say, for something completely different - an attempt to return to your original line of inquiry:

1- Both TT's are good values and would probably make you happy for some time.

2- In the event that "some time" doesn't last forever, Jan's advice to buy the Scout provides you with an easy and clear path to upgrading. The Scout would be my choice for that reason, among others.

3- The Blackbird would be my choice, and mating it with the Scout is a fine way to go. Those, however are my ears speaking and my speakers in the chain. Listen to both carts, and maybe some more before you buy and let your ears and your speakers decide.

4- Assuming you're a sensible person (and I do) you'll position your new TT appropriately and realize that far too much has been made of resonance problems in this thread. Roy Hall's MMF 9 is a nice TT and a good value, but not the equal of the Scout.

5- In the unlikely event that you do need additional isolation from vibration, there are a number of good devices around. Boston Audio even markets a kit designed specifically for the Scout which retails for a couple of hundred bucks. Count that in, if you are worried about resonance, and the Scout at about $1800 is worth every penny.

Happy Shopping, and let us know what you wind up with.

Jan Vigne
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1


Quote:
Assuming you're a sensible person (and I do) you'll position your new TT appropriately and realize that far too much has been made of resonance problems in this thread.

I would have to disagree. The art of turntable design is primarily about designing two essential controls. The table must spin at the correct speed and it must do so constantly, and I cannot emphasize "constantly" enough. Also, the platter/arm/cartridge loop must be completely closed off to all other intrusive resonances. Resonance may be dealt with in a damped table such as the VPI-TNT by rigidity and mass or it can be dealt with in an undamped table such as the Linn LP12 where the idea is not to eliminate or minimze resonance but to let what inevitably must occur to pass quickly in a controlled manner.

Purely mass damped tables such as the Kuzma (http://stereophile.com/turntables/407kuzma/) rely on mass to act as a filter. Mass will also imply ridigity in this case. Such a table will have a recognizable "mass damped" sound. Deep bass power and a "big" sound are typical of such designs. The Kuzma has no suspension of any sort and so its final sound will be largley affected by the support system it rests upon. The VPI TNT is lower mass with very high ridigity. Its "air suspension" incorporated into the support pillars will make it slightly less susceptible to effects of the support system. The lower priced VPI ScoutMaster will have no suspension to speak of, lower mass than the TNT and fairly high rigidity. It will lack the lowest octave's power which can only be retrieved by higher mass, more rigid tables, no matter what cartridge you use. It's picture will be slightly smaller but somewhat faster. Ultimately all tables will respond to the support system under them but the ScoutMaster will be more effected than the TNT because of it's lower mass with less damping and the ScoutMaster's less sophisticated suspension. The very much lighter Linn will be most affected by its support since it does not try to stop external feedback so much as let the signal pass quickly through the table's suspension/plinth and tonearm. It prefers a very light support shelf not tied down to the support shelf/rack. If you try to use a tonearm designed for an damped table, let's say a Haddock unipivot, on the Linn, you will be disappointed in the results. If you place a Linn arm on the TNT, you will find far less satisfaction than if you had used the same arm on a Linn or similar suspended subchassis table. One reason for the proliferation of arm/table combinations such as the Kuzma table with the Kuzma arm or the TNT with the VPI arm is the designer's desire to control more and more the effects of resonance. The current trend to remove the motor from the plinth or table base is another way to control resonance as well as control platter speed. With the Linn, the motor vibration must be dealt with in an entirely different manner.

Energy cannot be destroyed only converted to another form of energy. What you pay for when you step up to the class A-B tables is the success the designer has in this conversion. As a rule, in turntables, you get what you pay for.

Spinning at the correct speed is another post altogether.

Jan Vigne
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1
Jan Vigne
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1

As I've thought about this, I think it best to say the art of turntable design is about three essential controls and have "random motion" be the last of the essentials. In this case, random motion can be differentiated from resonance but is always tied to resonance. It would be differentiated by things such as main bearing wobble or tilt. This is a problem the Well Tempered table took on directly and a look at their web page would be helpful to understand how this affects the playback from a table. The inverted bearing of many tables, including the entire VPI line as their designs abandon the standing bearing technique, is yet another approach to minimizing random motion in the main bearing. You should be able to understand why magnetic and air bearings become very dificult and thus very expensive to produce for a turntable after you understand this concept. Random motion that finds its way through the platter, or originates in the bearing, platter or disc, will cause random motion in the stylus which results either in cancellation of signal from the disc's groove or in the spurious creation of signal where it does not belong.

ohfourohnine
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1

In this context, one of the things you and I do agree on is that the Scout would be the better choice for David. If he were to accept our advice, how would you suggest he locate and support his new turntable for probable best performance?

He might appreciate our coming to terms with that issue rather than entering into a prolonged discussion of the vital elements of turntable design.

Jan Vigne
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1

If you've read my one linked thread, you'll see that I am using an old Boos Block butcher's block. The top of the unit is 10" thick end grain maple and the entire piece as sold by Boos weighs approximately 180 lbs. I'm having some new steel legs welded for it with a shelf for LP's which should, after filling the legs with sand, add another 75-100 lbs. or so. I'm not done trying various tweaks to the set up but it is very stable on good floors and the table sounds excellent on top of this sort of mass damped support. I gather VPI believes all their tables will sound better with mass and rigidity under their feet, just the opposite of Linn and Rega.

Gingko makes a purpose built support for the Scout which is a cheap (?) way to get an air suspension under the table and it has received good reviews supposedly raising the performance of the Scout to a new level according to one reviewer.

I've seen the Boston Audio Society's carbon fiber kits but I know nothing about how they perform. Sound Anchor makes a stand that should work on the Scout but it is not inexpensive.

I've had good results by setting various tables and components on Jenga blocks as ST suggested to duplicate the Ayre Myrtle Blocks at a much lower cost. I haven't tried them under the Scout as of yet, but a friend replaced a set of Black Diamond Racing cones with the Jenga blocks he had in the house and never went back to the more expensive tweak. He is using a Linn LP12 and has the blocks under the table and under the support shelf the table sits upon. I bought a box of fake Jenga blocks at Walmart for $4 and they are under several of my components, most replacing other tweaks. My main components, however, all sit on multiple layers of MDF, maple, marble or some combination of materials intended to minimze air borne and structural resonance and act as a sink for transformer vibration. I think Art Dudley or Wes Phillips mentioned in the last issue of Stereophile that he is using the Ayre Myrtle blocks under his equipment.

When I used the HW19 I had it sitting on top of three five lb. lead diver's weights which had small ball bearings JB Welded to their bottom. The weights sat on five layers of 3/4" MDF which topped a stand made from old Sound Anchor speaker stands intended for Spica TC50's. The SA stands are heavy gauge steel sonically welded and bolted together where necessary with heavy carriage bolts and then filled with concrete. I tried several intervening pieces between the lead weights and the TipToes under the table until I eventually placed a fake Jenga block between the weight and the threaded TipToe. It made the whole set up just a bit precarious looking but it was the best support I ever had for the older VPI. The Scout's TipToe like feet are actually tipped with a ball bearing so the lead weight may not be necessary in this case. I haven't tried them yet and the stand alone motor of the Scout makes some tweaks more difficult than with the HW19. I doubt there is much you can find which would be more sonically dead than the lead weights on small ball bearings and whatever it is would cost substantially more. Any scuba diving supply house should have these weights in stock. As I said, I gather VPI prefers mass under their tables which would suggest to me that carbon fiber is not the appropriate material. But, if David's system is sufficiently revealing, he should be able to hear the effects of whatever he places under the Scout's feet.

If David's floors are not solid, he might want to look into a wall mounted shelf. High mass on wobbly floors will only become a wobbly support acting as a pendulum in reverse. Not what you want under a turntable. If he decides on the wall mounted shelf, I would guess the best way to go about the support would be to rigidly afix the shelf unit to the wall studs but leave the shelf itself loosely sitting on the shelf unit.

I would say call VPI but they have become almost impossible to get in touch with over the phone and they aren't very good at answering emails. If David can get an answer from them, that would be the best approach since they know the table. They do sell a support rack which is topped with a three inch block of maple. One review I read on the Scout or ScoutMaster (I can't remember which) indicated VPI has suggested two high quality, thick as possible maple cutting boards joined with GE silicone sealant as a relatively cheap way to support the Scout. The GE sealant is what VPI uses to join their plinths on the ScoutMaster and to attach the steel plate to the Scout and Scoutmaster.

Whatever David would select, it must not allow the addition of random motion into the closed loop of the table but must be solid enough to sink any motor vibration into the support itself while not injecting any resonance into the feet of the table proper.

Most of these comments should apply equally to the Project table or any other rigid plinth design with minimal or no real suspension. Most are not what I would suggest under a LP12. But, then, I wouldn't suggest a LP12 to most people at this point in time. Personally, I prefer the VPI sound and have for quite a while, your mileage may vary. I feel VPI does an excellent job of building reasonably (?) priced tables with common sense and an upgrade path that allows the user to improve the table over time without scrapping most parts of the upgrade. The VPI motor controller is one item I would suggest to David, either now or in the future.

ohfourohnine
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1

Indeed, Jan, I have read your one linked thread as well as all of your posts to this one. I generally read your stuff, and am usually fascinated by how different our perspectives are and how much we differ in our long term involvement in what might seem to be the same hobby. Our differing responses to David's invitation to help him choose between the Scout and the Project turntable certainly exemplify what I'm referring to.

Having read his posts and the personal info he's provided to the forum, I picture David as a competent and relatively busy fellow who is having a lot of fun revisiting his old record collection and the general realm of hi-fi. He's contemplating more of that sort of fun in the future. Many of us, I think, will agree that buying a new turntable and cartridge for a system we're already pretty happy with is lots of fun.

Whether the ongoing enjoyment will come mainly from the music the system provides or from the business of tweaking the system, or some of both depends on who you are. In that regard, I can't make a guess about David, so I tend to approach his question based on my priorities - as, I think, you do too.

I've never sold audio and though I've had a number of systems over more than forty years, none have been Class-A. My first real experience with resonance problems was a dramatic and funny one. I had an Empire TT and the first of Shure's V Type cartridges. The TT was situated on a relatively heavy table with speakers, a bit away from the wall on either side. Various items of overstuffed furniture stood between the wall behind the speakers and the opposite wall - until Christmas, that is, when the tree called for rearranging things. A powerful standing wave not only loosened the stylus in the groove, it lifted the arm completely off the record.

I laughed, and dealt with it, learning the hard way, so to speak. Learned a little more from an AR turntable and so on and so on. But it must have been fun all along or else I wouldn't still be here. I'm not much of a tweaker at all - rather like to set it and forget it. You, on the other hand, seem to me to be in the first order of tweakers - a real good one who gets a lot of fun out of doing it.

Whether David is inclined to set up his new TT in a reasonable manner and take his chances with the outcome, or to first cover his bases relative to the valid cautions you've offered, I've got to hope he's in for as much fun with this crazy stuff as we've been able to have.

(Incidentally, the approach of adding mass to your turntable support through record storage has worked well for me.)

Cheers,

Jan Vigne
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1


Quote:
(Incidentally, the approach of adding mass to your turntable support through record storage has worked well for me.)

It can be a dangerous route also. Mass, and particularly just weight, tend to act as capacitors and store energy. This puts whatever energy which finally passes through to the table out of phase with the closed loop of the table proper. I've seen several clients place their tables on large, massive shelving systems only to be disappointed that the sound wasn't as crisp and clean as what they heard in the store or at their friend's house. It's hard to explain why mass can be good but mass can be bad when improperly used. There's almost always the glazed over look in the eye as you try to steer them toward the correct use of mass.

I tweak and listen. I'm not one of the truly first class tweakers who must tear something apart and make something new from what I just purchased. The guys who scare me are the ones who find old TV or transmitter tubes in a repair shop that's closing down and they just have to make an amplifier with these tubes and a spare Stereo 70 chassis. There's some real Frankenstein type stuff out there.

ohfourohnine
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1

At the risk of seeming to misdirect a thread, I need your help with this one. You say, "....Mass, and particularly just weight,...", and I don't follow you. My simplified understanding of the difference between mass and weight is that weight is a vector quantity and mass is not. You must mean something else in terms of your distinction between the two. What is that?

Jan Vigne
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1

Mass, or weight, without rigidity is useless in most cases and harmful in the worst. Taking a worst case scenario and placing a LP12 on top of a large, fully loaded, freestanding bookcase/TV stand/plant holder/record case/room divider/storage trunk, you could easily hear the damaging effects of just plain old weight and mass. Very little rigidity and everything resonating to its own set of frequencies. In this case, the mass/weight of the unit act as a capacitor and slow the transmission of energy through the unit just by the sheer resistive force of mass. Adding more lossy weight (but not as much mass) in the form of the TV or more records on the bottom shelf will only make the matter worse. Whatever energy transmitted through to the Linn will be slowed to the point of being out of time with what is happening in the Linn at that moment. The result will be a smearing of all frequencies but mostly the timing of the Linn will suffer. The LP12's famous PRaT will be no more.

Another example from my friend with the Carver gear. He has a LP12 which sits on top of his equipment stand. His floors are not as solid as desired, since this is in a second story room. His thinking was to buy a 75 lb. slab of granite and place it under the Linn. - at the top of the equipment stand. I think you can see here where weight and mass are destructive to the function desired. He then ended up with a swaying tower which moved relative to his preference for Pink Floyd at concert level volumes. The sound rather plodded along and the soundstage was quite narrow and shallow with indistinct vocal and instrumental clarity for the studio work of Floyd. I suggested he return to the 1/2" MDF shelf that came with the stand and use the Jenga blocks as isolation. Last report I got from him - totally different and vastly improved system.

So, I'm sorry if I was confusing with weight and mass. Most of the time we think of them together. The fact is we have to consider that old joke; which is heavier, a ton of lead or a ton of feathers? Weight can be just weight and can be easily misplaced in a system thinking we are being effective. Mass can be just as equally misplaced and be even more dangerous as mass more effectively resists movement. Place mass or weight at the wrong point in a system and you get something that works against the system rather than with the system. But all things (as far as I know) will resonate once they are set in motion. Once they begin to move, our task would be to understand how to use that resonant frequency to our advantage as opposed to letting it work against us.

This could be illustrated also in speakers where the dominant theory currently used primarily by American/Western designers is to damp vibration/resonance with mass/weight/rigidity. Yet other designers, in other parts of the world mostly, are allowing the speaker enclosure to vibrate in a controlled manner. I worked and worked with this problem when I used the LS3/5a's. They were never intended to be an absolutely rigid construct and the sound of the 3/5a's was dependent on how tightly I screwed the front baffle and the drivers. The cabinet was rather "massive" by comparison to its size but it had been designed as a lossy enclosure with a certain amount of controlled loss and controlled resonance. When Ken Kessler did his 3/5a shootout a few years back, the "winner" was a very early unit which had a screwed on front and back baffle. The more rigid the cabinet became on some of the Japanese 3/5a clones, the more the sound quality suffered.

That's one reason I tweak at litle things. They sometimes make rather larger than you would expect differences and they are often counter-intuitive. My last example would be BluTak'ing your standmount speakers to some stands. Without mass loading the stands, the speaker sways to the music followed by the stand in assistance. Spike and mass load the stands and you can find the attached small speaker is deadened by the resulting stiffness you've created in its panels. The extra rigidity is not evenly distributed and the panel resonance is uneven and not allowed to release quickly as it would in free space. Place that speaker on TipToes on top of a mass loaded stand, and the speaker sings as it was meant to be heard.

We often read about a tweak and assume that if this reviewer or other listener got good results we'll have equally good results. Then the tweak is performed and quality actually suffers. But we're to dumb to notice because we were told this is a good thing.

As I said, I tweak and I listen.

Elk
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1

Interesting factoid on the LS3/5a's. Thanks.

ohfourohnine
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1

Gotcha. Thanks, Jan.

David123
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1

Thanks again to all for the very interesting replies concerning a TT decision. The thread got out of hand for a while and was probably the final straw that lead to DUP

wkhanna
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1

My friend who I mentioned has the 9.1 also uses a Sumiko, among other cartridges in his stable, which one, I am not sure of, though. Next time I talk with Rod, I will get a list and his personal preferences and opinions on each, if you wish.
Regardless, I am very glad you are having fun with your new TT.

Jan Vigne
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1

I hope you enjoy the new sounds, David. Let us know if you have any questions we might be able to answer.

ohfourohnine
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1

Quote>> "I'm having so much fun, I decided to take today off to enjoy music. "

Now You're Talkin' !!!! That's what it's all about, isn't it.

I'm curious, did you have the guys at Acoustic Sounds set up the TT/cart combination for you?

David123
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1

Yes, A fellow named Chad Skelly handled the cartridge installation. I only had to adjust the tracking force. The unit came to my door for $2000, cartridge installation and shipping included. No tax. A good deal I believe.

Elk
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1

Cool!

Let us know what your continuing impressions are after you get more time with it.

Happy listening!

ohfourohnine
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Re: VPI Scout or Project 9.1

Sounds like a good deal to me too. Keep us posted.

Looks like Acoustic Sounds has as many Chads around as some counties in Florida.

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