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VPI super scoutmaster vs. VPI TNT

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VPI super scoutmaster vs. VPI TNT

Postby flyfisher » 14 Feb 2007 14:26

I've been considering upgrading my vpi scout to a Scoutmaster or Super Scoutmaster for several months. I am also considering a vpi TNT on the used market. I can't seem to find any reviews on the original TNT and I am trying to determine which move would be better in terms of sound and value.
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Postby bauzace50 » 14 Feb 2007 14:46

Hello FlyFisher,
This is just for the sake of argument. I own one VPI HW-19 Mk-III, and enjoy it so much as to feel satisfied for life!
I've never heard any of the Scouts, nor the TNT's, but many published reports show very strong enthusiasm throughout! I can only imagine these to be better than my own, and feel that the Super Scoutmaster would be one of the very best turntables to consider except for its unipivot tonearm, which is a mystery to me.
To consider one top VPI with one's own choice of tonearm would begin with the Aries, or the TNT Jr.
If I were ever to consider a turntable upgrade (very unlikely) I would only wish for one of the VPI's with my own choice of tonearm, plus the Peripheral Ring. I feel that the Ring is a true asset whenever one plays even slightly warped LPs.
Which of the upper VPI models? I personally would go with the newer Aries, if only because it allows one's choice of tonearm. But there surely are other points of view...
Good luck, bauzace50
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Postby flyfisher » 14 Feb 2007 16:25

Thanks for your input, bauzace50, I am always glad to hear an other satisfied vpi user. It gives me reassurance :wink: I pressume you have a huge advantage over many of us by having a poured concrete floor base? What I wouldn't give for that! I recently mounted the Scout on the wall and I noticed a huge difference in clarity and backround noise. I would really like my upgrade to include a peripheral ring. Even some of the new Lp's come warped and I am sure would benefit from the clamping action. I failed to mention, if I should decide to go with it, the TNT would be matched with a Graham 1.5 arm. I realize these are both 'ancient' pieces of gear but then again I also play a Thorens Td-166 MKII and I can't see myself parting with it. It creates a presence which makes it the table I go to automatically. Don't get me wrong, the scout is great sounding but in a different way. I guess thats why us nuts end up with rooms full of gear.
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Postby bauzace50 » 14 Feb 2007 16:56

flyfisher,
Reassurance? One professor of mine said: "It's good for others to think my way. Those who don't will someday see the light."
By the way, yes, I have a poured concrete floor and house.
Regards,
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Postby flyfisher » 14 Feb 2007 17:01

Well said, or should I say well quoted? :wink:
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Postby bauzace50 » 14 Feb 2007 17:11

flyfisher,
Note that VPI is now marketing some freshly-designed feet to supplant the solid "feet" on the Scouts, and Aries...this provides for some acoustic isolation.
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Postby michaelwnz » 14 Feb 2007 23:00

A used, late model TNT would be my pick over a Super Scoutmaster or Aries.

There's just nothing as cool in the VPI line as the huge TNT.

The SS can be likened to a dressed up Golf GTI, whereas the TNT is a Porsche 911.

:D

Nothing wrong with the JMW arm either !

The Graham is an excellent match and was a common sight on TNTs before VPI launched their own arm.

Incidentally, there's a TNT with Graham 1.5 on Audiogon right now, is that the one you're looking at ?

It looks a bit rough in the photos and there's no indication as to which version it is but at $2900 is well priced.

A new SS is about $5000 with JMW 9 arm.

:o

http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl? ... 1176473682

For that much cash you could get a used TNT 5 Hot Rod or Aries 3.

You are right about the lack of original TNT reviews.

A brief Google found nothing of interest except:

TNT Jr
http://www.audaud.com/audaud/JAN-FEB04/ ... comp1.html

TNT Hot Rod
http://www.hifiplus.com/t-rev10-1.html

TNT 3
http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/frr.p ... &read&3&4&

And a whole jumble of TNT related stuff at Audio Asylum
http://db.audioasylum.com/cgi/search.mp ... xt=vpi+tnt
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Postby bauzace50 » 15 Feb 2007 01:32

Hello Flyfisher and Michaelwnz,
Would you state the benefits of unipivot tonearms! This type of design is a mystery to me, and common sense does not tell me how it can be better than other types. Thanks for the information.
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Postby Guest » 15 Feb 2007 16:36

The type of pivot is irrelevant. The proof of the pudding is in the eating--all that matters is how they sound, and execution separates the good from the excellent. The JMW arm is quite sturdy, relatively easy to set up, and doesn't require constant fiddling to keep it that way. It mates well with a wide range of cartridges. Yes, it feels a bit scary the first time you use it, but the learning curve is shallow and short. Longer is better, and the Aries uses the JMW 10, versus the 9 of the Scout.

FWIW, VPI itself considers the plain Scout and an older Aries a sonic tossup. Many owners have upgraded their Scouts to Master or Super and been disappointed with the tradeoffs: they gained improvements in resolution at the expense of overall musicality. Listen carefully before deciding that's what you really want. The TNT delivers both, and the HRX with the latest arm is an order of magnitude better.
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Postby michaelwnz » 16 Feb 2007 08:20

The main advantages would be a bearing with close to zero friction, no bearing chatter and simplicity of construction.

Some viewpoints on various arm designs here.

http://www.tnt-audio.com/sorgenti/armdesign_e.html

As Lanny sez it's not what you have but what you do with it.

I have to admit I'm a bit of a sucker for clever designs and have to say the VPI JMW is one of the better arms around.

Ditto Bill Firebaugh's Well Tempereds.


:D
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Postby bauzace50 » 16 Feb 2007 09:38

Hello all,
thanks for information on compared types!
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Postby dcg69 » 17 Feb 2007 07:26

michaelwnz wrote:

The SS can be likened to a dressed up Golf GTI, whereas the TNT is a Porsche 911.

:D



:shock: :shock: :shock:

Hi Michael,

I have never heard a TNT playing, so I cannot comment on its performance.
From the esthetics point of view, even though I'm an happy SSM owner, I must admit you're right :roll:

Cheers,
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