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Is the Signature worth the extra money?

SSH

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Not sure of the price difference, but there are many fans of mass loaded turntables. Sadly, I've never had the ducats to get a mass loaded tt to play with.

 

Maybe some of our more well heeled members will chime in.

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I can't say, but know how I personally am and would always think I should have gotten the signature.

 

Not to muddy the waters, but have you checked out the super prime scout at upscale audio? A lot of table for the money. Makes me wonder between it and the prime?

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Great question! I don't have the personal experience to answer if the "Prime Signature" is worth it. I purchased a used Prime Scout Turntable with the JMW 3D tonearm on Ebay. It sounds great!  https://www.musicdirect.com/turntables/VPI-Prime-Scout-Turntable-with-JMW-3D-Tonearm-Armwand

Because the Prime Scout sounded so good, I'm also curious if VPI's Prime Signature turntable (that lists for twice as much as mine) is worth it.

https://www.musicdirect.com/turntables/VPI-Prime-Signature-Turntable

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only you can say whether or not something has worth,  I don't think you're going to equate twice the performance with a doubling of cost. you might get another 10% gain in performance with the signature, but that is so difficult to justify that because there is so much that can influence to the sound beyond the 'adjustability' factor of the signature tone arm. In fact... if you dont know what you are doing, having a very sophisticated set up can lead to poorer performance because the set up possibilities are much more numerous.

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4 hours ago, Schu said:

if you dont know what you are doing, having a very sophisticated set up can lead to poorer performance because the set up possibilities are much more numerous.

 

That's one way of looking at it.  Alternatively, greater possibilities provide greater opportunity to learn about achieving results via option manipulation, along with comparatively superior results as lessons are learned, so long as the options actually provide for superiority (sometimes they don't - they're occasionally just differences with no clear-cut "winner").

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I found that a much simpler design without as much adjustability was my sweet spot in turntable ownership.

I didn't really feel like tinkering and pursuing sonic issues on an ongoing basis and a solid, well designed unit was rewarding... a uni-pivot vta VPI arm was not so much.

in the VPI universe, I think their gimbal arm is a much better choice... the uni-pivot has issues IMHO

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I have a new Prime Scout and an older Scoutmaster on fairly decent systems.  I just can't imagine another  turntable sounding 3,4,5 thousand dollars (or more) better than either one that I have.

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1 hour ago, glens said:

That's one way of looking at it.  Alternatively, greater possibilities provide greater opportunity to learn about achieving results via option manipulation, along with comparatively superior results as lessons are learned, so long as the options actually provide for superiority (sometimes they don't - they're occasionally just differences with no clear-cut "winner").

@glens - very well said, I couldn't agree with you more. 

 

All of the VPI tonearms have the capability to adjust VTA. The more expensive "on the fly" tonearms simply make it easier to perform the adjustment. With the non "on the fly" tonearms you are simply required to loosen two set screws, make the adjustment using a thumb-nut and then retighten the set screws. VPI suggests that the "on the fly" VTA be made per one's listening "taste" instead of adjusting the tonearm so that it is parallel to the vinyl. Either way, it's an easy adjustment and not rocket science.

 

If the uni-pivot mechanism is too complex or has inherent design problems I've never experienced them. If you have a humble opinion or have experienced "issues" with the uni-pivot arm then you must have owned one? No?  

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Of course... with a full Ruby needle Aida cartridge.

 

Uni pivot was a bit of a nightmare. Hidden and suppressed musical spectrum, constant thinkering as the weather and humidity changed and inability to maintain a consistency to my liking... with and without oil in the cup. I'll never own another uni pivot.

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Ive owned both. The Sig is a super worth while upgrade... The addition of the heavier motor housing and stiffer chassis. 

The bigger question should be if you should go gimble or unipivoit. 

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https://utica.craigslist.org/ele/d/west-winfield-vpi-turntable/6915826274.html

 

VPI turntable - $1800 (West Winfield N.Y.) hide this posting

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© craigslist - Map data © OpenStreetMap

(google map)

condition: like new
make / manufacturer: VPI
model name / number: Prime Scout
size / dimensions: 1

VPI Prime Scout audiophile turntable. Purchased January 2018 . $1800 obo. This is in like new condition. Comes with shipping box and all original paper work . This is a cheap entry into high end audio. Call or text 
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He says he can't ship it. I don't think I'll drive from Arkansas to pick it up in N.Y.

SSH

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On ‎8‎/‎19‎/‎2019 at 8:02 PM, justinsweber said:

Ive owned both. The Sig is a super worth while upgrade... The addition of the heavier motor housing and stiffer chassis. 

The bigger question should be if you should go gimble or unipivoit. 

I'd like to test drive a new VPI gimble tonearm for a comparison.   

 

Perhaps the bad experiences with the unipivot are due to exterior vibrations? It's my opinion that the VPI "unipivot" tonearm is a superior design but it is prone or susceptible to exterior vibrations by design and therefore the sound quality can be significantly improved by isolation from these vibrations. It's apparent that VPI's more costly designs are heavy or solid for a reason, they didn't build thicker plinths and heavier motor housings just to charge more. Besides cost, one of the biggest differences between the Prime VPI series turntables is mass; the Prime Scout weighs in at 32 lbs, the Prime at 44lbs and the Prime Signature with 66lbs.

 

The lighter weight Prime Scout's (compared to its big brother's) sound quality dramatically improved when I attempted to "isolate" the turntable from ambient vibrations. The first thing I did was to construct a shelf from very dense 1.5" laminated maple most commonly used with butcher blocks or cutting boards, it alone weighs in at 160 lbs and the audio equipment adds another 130 lbs or so. The Scout's plinth resides on another piece of hard maple ( call it an isolation platform) weighing in at 25 lbs and the motor on an 11 lb piece of stainless steel that is physically separate from the isolation platform. The table (shelf),  isolation platform, plinth and motor base are all further removed from each other by Sorbothane® vibration isolation rubber pads (Durometer 30).

 

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That's starting to get a little serious about it all.

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1 hour ago, glens said:

That's starting to get a little serious about it all.

Yeah, well maybe? Too much, did I over do it? It is seriously heavy duty and somewhat costly compared to the light weight cheaply made Chinese audio shelves on the market, definitely not an Ikea product! But by doing it myself the cost was much less than purchasing a new one, if you could even get a mass produced shelf of similar quality. Come to think of it I've seen expensive audio shelves for sale and most aren't as beefy. Having this design custom made would probably cost quite a few thousand dollars. My out of pocket expense was seriously minimalized because I already had the stainless tubing and a TIG welder. Then it breaks down to my labor (a big zero), some paint/primer and the wood were my only expenses.

https://www.lumberliquidators.com/ll/c/lft-Maple-Butcher-Block-Countertop-Williamsburg-Butcher-Block-Co.-MABB12/10012578

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One Khorn and one Jubilee.  Stands to reason there's two of each, so I reckon you hit "serious" a while ago. 

 

I see an archway behind the Jubilee.  How has that been to work with?

 

Also, if you don't mind, I'm curious, what's under the flooring (solid or joists)?

 

I'd bet that equipment stand itself resonates pretty heavily at 1 or 2 Hz @ 150 dB!  Hahaha.

 

Kudos

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