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  1. #1
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    VPI Scoutmaster or Music Hall MMF 9.1?

    They both look impressive to me - of course I have no experience whatsoever with Turntables or Vinyl but some money fell into my lap and I have always wanted one. Also if you had the choice between phono stages Jolida JD9 or the Cambridge Azure 640p - which would it be?

    I value your advice as I am clueless. My listening system is a Aragon 28K preamp, two Aragon 8008BB power amps, Rega Jupiter CD Player and MIT 750 and 350 Speaker Cables and Interconnects - Speakers are Platinum Audio Quatros.

    I have a feeling that I would be happy with either turntable or either phono stage but would like to hear what the expericed folks think. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    This is a wonderful question and will prompt much discussion I'm sure. I have no personal experience with either, I only know what I've read or heard.

    I think one thing you should take into consideration, is whether or not a dealer is available for either brand locally. This is particularily important as a TT newbie. The great thing is, you will get great service as you will be in the high end club. At the very least, the dealers will hope for more sales potential and will smile from ear to ear when you walk in with your table. They may even throw rose petals at your feet, who knows?

    Anyhow, if it was me I would take the VPI I think, although I am prone to Music Hall. The Scout represents everything that's awesome about VPI, rolled into one impressive machine.

    The Jolida should outperform the Cambridge, but I think you should look a little bit bigger than these. Not sure if these could keep up to the ouput from either of these tables, they are basically budget stages.

    I'll be interested to hear what the more knowledgable guys have to say. Wish I had your predicament...

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    The CA 640P is a good phono stage with moving magnet/high output moving coil cartridges but could not give me the dynamics or frequency extensions with the Benz MC Gold. The Gram Amp 3 is much more dynamic and great bass and nicely extended highs. The Jolida has enough adjustments and gain you should be able to match it to about any cartridge. Of course the Jolida is about 2 1/2 times more expensive than the CA 640P.

    My vote would be for the VPI Scout. VPI has many upgrades for their tables. I have upgraded my Rega to a higher level of performance and I will always be drawn to a ttable that I can slowly upgrade. Not sure how much money fell in your lap but the VPI Classic is even more tempting than the Scout and I am seriously considering that table.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, Funk Firm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cone, Benz MC Gold, GSP Fanfare 3 w/PSU1
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  4. #4
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    Wink Thanks!

    Appreciate your replies. I have about 2500 USD to invest in a TT and Phono Stage which is why I am looking at inexpensive Phono Stages - upgrade later. I am leaning toward the VPI but would have to have it shipped where with the Music Hall I can drive up to Northampton Massachusetts in about two hours from Newport, Rhode Island. Of course, I still need interconnects I just realized! Damn! It never ends!

  5. #5
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    I suppose I would ask first...what do you think of the sound of your Jupiter CD player? I would also point out to the gang, the Scoutmaster and the Scout are two different turntables.

    But anyway...to the OP...I'm not sure about this, but I think I would lean toward a really nice preamp and a Scout as opposed to a serviceable preamp and a Scoutmaster.

    But that aside, someone who likes the cozy sounds of a Rega CD player might want to give the Music Hall turntables a listen before settling on the Scout or Scoutmaster.

  6. #6
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 02audionoob
    I would also point out to the gang, the Scoutmaster and the Scout are two different turntables.
    .

    I was using shortform on the Scoutmaster, but wasn't aware of the 2 tables. Thanks noob.

    Quote Originally Posted by 01audionoob
    But that aside, someone who likes the cozy sounds of a Rega CD player might want to give the Music Hall turntables a listen before settling on the Scout or Scoutmaster.
    I like your approach here, matching his tastes to the table. But do you think for a newbie, there would be a difference? Can his obvious experience with high end audio transfer over to vinyl? I'm certain the OP knows what he likes, but does that extend to a turntable? I don't know...

    This is a clash of titans really, as each table is superbly designed and extremely musical. I think it's win/win with details such as dealer support, price and product reliability playing in...

  7. #7
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    If you are going to upgrade to a more expensive phono preamp at a later date then I would opt for the Bellari VP 130. It costs just a little more and is much better.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp, Pass X-1 Preamp
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Van Alstine Ultra Hybrid Tube Preamp and Ultra Hybrid Tube DAC
    Martin Logan Original Dynamo Sub
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 02audionoob
    I would also point out to the gang, the Scoutmaster and the Scout are two different turntables.



    Gee since the MH MMF 9.1 and the VPI Scout II both retail for $2,000 I thought we were comparing apples.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, Funk Firm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cone, Benz MC Gold, GSP Fanfare 3 w/PSU1
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
    Speakers
    Focal 806V/Focal 800 stands
    Cables
    AQ Rocket 33's, Diamondback XLR's & IC's

  9. #9
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    But do you think for a newbie, there would be a difference? Can his obvious experience with high end audio transfer over to vinyl? I'm certain the OP knows what he likes, but does that extend to a turntable? I don't know...
    I have no doubt it will matter, considering the level of his current equipment.

  10. #10
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven
    If you are going to upgrade to a more expensive phono preamp at a later date then I would opt for the Bellari VP 130. It costs just a little more and is much better.
    I own a Bellari, I think compared to these tables this is still in the budget dept. However, this would be a great stage to start out with.

  11. #11
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    I own a Bellari, I think compared to these tables this is still in the budget dept. However, this would be a great stage to start out with.
    I agree...to some extent. I think your two choices...the Jolida and the Cambridge...are probably better than the Bellari but just too low on the ladder for a Scoutmaster or MMF-9.1. I have an MMF-5 and a PS Audio GCPH, to give you an idea of how I feel about it. My phono preamp had a list price higher than my turntable.

  12. #12
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 02audionoob
    ...the Jolida and the Cambridge...are probably better than the Bellari .
    1. Jolida
    2. Bellari
    3. Cambridge

    IMO, all are not up to snuff with either table in question.

  13. #13
    nightflier
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    Many phono preamps can also be upgraded (I know there are several mods for the GCPH). So at $700-ish, it's a great start.

    Hairs, any other tables you would consider? Clearaudio? Pro-Ject? Here's a couple of nice options:

    Clear Audio Emotion Bundle[URL="http://www.needledoctor.com/JA-Michell-Turntable-TecnoDec-w-RB250?sc=2&category=349"] (it's not upgradable, but looks so Nordic & clean).

    JA Mitchell (great aesthetics on this $1800 'table - much nicer than the Funk, and upgradable).

    Project 9.1 (a great value all around)

    Check out their close-outs too, they currently have a great deal on my table, the MH 7.1, although that's a bit under what you're looking for, I know.

  14. #14
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Pops, my wording came out wrong. I meant that if he is going to buy a budget Phono preamp that I would start with the Bellari and then upgrade at a later date.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp, Pass X-1 Preamp
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Van Alstine Ultra Hybrid Tube Preamp and Ultra Hybrid Tube DAC
    Martin Logan Original Dynamo Sub
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  15. #15
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven
    Pops, my wording came out wrong. I meant that if he is going to buy a budget Phono preamp that I would start with the Bellari and then upgrade at a later date.
    OK, that makes sense now. I thought it was an odd thing to say, especially coming from you. You're my buddy and I hate contradicting a friend, but I thought as the OP is a newbie, I should clear it up.

  16. #16
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    Smile Gentlemen - I thank you!

    Wow, thanks for being so helpful everyone. Nightflier, those are some very impressive looking pices of equipment; I didn't realize how many choices there are - that's how unknowledgeable I am. Given that I am such a newbie I will likely opt for the MMF 9.1 since the boys at Spearit Sound (the HiFi Shop near me) seem to have a wise and caring staff. And you know how important that is. The only reason I became an Audiophile is because of people like that who took the time and patience to share their experience and joy with me. I get so much enjoyment out of listening to well recorded music, You ALL know what I am talking about!

  17. #17
    Meh. Brett A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hairsonfire
    Wow, thanks for being so helpful everyone. Nightflier, those are some very impressive looking pices of equipment; I didn't realize how many choices there are - that's how unknowledgeable I am. Given that I am such a newbie I will likely opt for the MMF 9.1 since the boys at Spearit Sound (the HiFi Shop near me) seem to have a wise and caring staff. And you know how important that is. The only reason I became an Audiophile is because of people like that who took the time and patience to share their experience and joy with me. I get so much enjoyment out of listening to well recorded music, You ALL know what I am talking about!
    Hi there. I've put pretty much my whole system together from Spearit (I live about 45 minutes northwest of the store) and can attest to their generosity of knowledge and helpfulness. They take seriously their job of matching the right gear to the right people.

    BTW, I moved from a Cambridge 640p to a Jolida JD9 (both from Spearit) and in my experience, they are not all that comparable; the Jolida's presentation is so much larger, richer, and realistic, the Cambridge seems a distant memory now. The Jolida, however, isn't all that quiet, at least not running my Low Output Moving Coil cartridge. It has "tube rush"---a gentle swooshing sound. It's probably down below -60db, so can't be consciously detected unless you crank the volume knob looking for it.

    Do an internet search on the Jolida. All the good things people say, I have found to be true.

    Have fun and keep us posted.
    Amp Shanling A3000-> speakers Vienna Acoustic Mozart Grand CD Rotel RCD 991 AE TT: Well Tempered Record Player-> AT OC9MLII -> Jolida JD9. cables from AQ, Siltech, Bogdan, Signal DH Labs, etc...
    Some pictures of it all

  18. #18
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    Thanks Brett!

    Appreciate your insight. I just joined the Audio Kharma group thanks to the link in your post. So, the Jolida it is. I have wanted a Turntable for years and I am pretty excited about this. I live in Newport Rhode Island and I guess it will be about a two hour drive up to Northampton - Good old GPS will get me there no doubt. Again, thanks for your help.

  19. #19
    Meh. Brett A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hairsonfire
    Appreciate your insight. I just joined the Audio Kharma group thanks to the link in your post. So, the Jolida it is. I have wanted a Turntable for years and I am pretty excited about this. I live in Newport Rhode Island and I guess it will be about a two hour drive up to Northampton - Good old GPS will get me there no doubt. Again, thanks for your help.
    No problem. You'll find their space a bit cluttered. They have just absorbed the Boston store so there are lots of boxes everywhere. But the quality and quantity of gear they have on hand, as well as their knowledge will be worth the drive.

    Take some time to check out Northampton while you're there (if you haven't already). There's good coffee just few doors down from Spearit at Northampton Coffee. There's one little used music store left in town -Turn It Up. Mostly CDs, but a few bins of used $4 vinyl. There's also decent restaurants and such. It's a nice town to walk around (but you may be too anxious to get home w/new gear!)

    Have fun.
    Amp Shanling A3000-> speakers Vienna Acoustic Mozart Grand CD Rotel RCD 991 AE TT: Well Tempered Record Player-> AT OC9MLII -> Jolida JD9. cables from AQ, Siltech, Bogdan, Signal DH Labs, etc...
    Some pictures of it all

  20. #20
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Well Hairs, sounds like you're on your way! MMF 9.1 and Jolida stage, a fine combo. Now the fun part, buying LP's!!

    Begin educating yourself on the ins and outs of vinyl. A fantastic online store is Acoustic Sounds. Very helpful and knowledgable staff also. Prices and shipping are superb, great selection. They can also help you with opinions on gear and such.

    http://store.acousticsounds.com/

  21. #21
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
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    If it's not too late and you don't mind building it yourself, Bottlehead seduction. It walks all over the phono preamps mentioned.
    ARC SP9 MKIII preamp,VPI HW19jr, Rega RB300
    Marcof PPA1 head amp, Shure, Sumiko, Ortofon carts
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