Deciding on new TT and either a Zephyr MIMC vs an Audio Technica ART9

I think I decided that my new TT will be a VPI Super Prime Scout from Upscale Audio. If you're not familiar it's a VPI Prime Scout that has been upgraded with a 10.5” JMW-10 aluminum tonearm,  VPI's VTA on-the-fly tonearm base,  the 20-pound platter that's on the Prime and Classic series and VPI's Deluxe Delrin/Stainless steel screw-down record clamp.

They sell that with the Zepher MIMC but I asked them to get back to me with a comparison between that and the ART9.

In the past, based on my musical taste(Blues, Vocals, Rock) and Set-up (Ayre EX-8, Herron VTPH-2A, and Quatro Wood CT), people suggested the ART9.  At the time I was considering the Technics TT, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to go with this VPI. I'd love some guidance on the cartridge with this tonearm/unit.

Soundsmith fixed coil has a tiny fraction of the moving mass of MC. Lower moving mass, lower noise, lower record wear, far superior sound. That VPI thinks enough of it to match it with their table and arm would seem to clinch the deal.

I have the Herron. Why anyone would think to pair that supremely neutral stage with a lean hifi sounding ART is a puzzler. If you ask about anything it would be to upgrade to an even better Soundsmith, I would think.
Sent you a PM. Happy to chat about both, which I compared directly in my system.
Purely subjective. Neither is "better." SS does offer the affordable rebuild if you crash the stylus.

Using a an ART9 for the second time on my VPI. THE SS may have an edge,since it physically is a lower mass assembly, making the magic.

If they were the same price, I would go SS.

I just replaced a lower level SS(which is surprisingly good) for the ART9 only because it was priced to sell.
I’ve heard that official Audio-Technica exchange of the ART-9 to a new ART-9 is very reasonably priced too, but you have to buy from the official dealer only, ask them about it! Do not bother with retip (when it’s time), you will get a new ART-9 cart with serious discount from AT if you can send them your worn ART-9 via official distributor only.
Thanks to you all for your input. 
@dodgealum  I'm not sure how to find messages anymore as I'm not an "insider". It may be that I'm just lost, but I can't seem to find PM's anymore.
Please post your opinions here dodgealum. Very interested in the Art9 and would love to hear your comparison. 
I love the ART9 and im a Soundsmith fan but to surpass the ART9 I had to buy a 4K Soundsmith Paua IIES
Zero experience with Soundsmith except for their re-tip/rebuild service (which is excellent), but I own an ART9 and love it to bits.

It is anything but " lean hifi sounding" in my system; rather it is full-bodied with excellent resolution and deep and taut bass. For comparison I also own an Allnic Puritas, a VdH Colibri XGP, a Benz Ebony TR and I would have great trouble declaring an outright winner between them. Each of the latter three have strengths not quite equalled by the ART9, but the ART9 is arguably the most homogenous of the bunch.

In a price/performance perspective it reigns supreme among all the cartridges I’ve tried.
 The notion that the lower moving mass of a moving iron type cartridge inevitably makes it superior to a moving coil type is appealing, but there are no real data to support it. I admit that I too find that I like the sound of most moving iron cartridges that I own over an average moving coil, but I don’t claim to know why. If moving mass were the whole story, then there would be nothing but moving iron cartridges in the marketplace. That doesn’t seem to be the case. I don’t own an art9, but on other threads that cartridge has been the subject of heaps of praise from nearly all of its owners. I do own an ART7, and it is a really great cartridge, maybe the best for the money that I know about. On the other hand I highly respect Sound Smith and all of their products. You probably can’t go wrong with either.
Thought I would drop in to report i'm enjoying my second ART9 on my VPI.

A little over a week old, and about a dozen album sides in. Perhaps lacking  the slightest bit of upper end refinement of my prior $2K+ Kiseki had.The OCD/nervosa alignment check hasn't been performed yet. I will do that in a month or so.

Breakfast with some early mono Ella, with a sprinkle of the SD-Pretzel  Logic(1st run black label)Fabulous!

jetson- have you made the leap yet? Endless advice will drive you nuts, trying to figure out what the "right" cart is between the two.

As mentioned earlier-subjective, subjective subjective and overall system dependent. If money isn't a factor, I would lean toward the SS-current version.

I'm assuming you have a proper phono stage to extract the virtues of this level of cart? 

The Prime Scout is killer for the price, it deserves equal level($)supporting peripherals.

There's a $6-800 difference between the MIMC and 9.  Based on purchasing at full pop, the difference could buy a budget US cleaner, or whatever along with the ART9.

Thanks again all.
No I haven’t made the leap yet. I’m going to listen to dodgealum’s TT and then decide if I want to purchase his or the Upscale Audio one. His is similar in that it’s a Scout with a Prime platter and bearing,  Prime motor, a junction box with Nordost wiring and a Mark Levinson 3D arm. The table currently has the SS cart. So right now I’m back to deciding on the TT. 
"No I haven’t made the leap yet. I’m going to listen to dodgealum’s TT and then decide if I want to purchase his or the Upscale Audio one."

I see it has the different arm. Not familiar with the ML arm,but i'm guessing a take in the VPI gimbal? I'm sure it's a nice table. It looks like something you will be taking home after a listen.