Update on VPI and classic rock lps

Well, after listening for a few days with further tweaks, I can report the Scoutmaster can play classic rock lps.

I have played quite a few of the lps I previously complained about being overly compressed and lifeless. The improvement with these tweaks is much larger than I would have expected.

1. I had my amp on BDR cones, switched to two sets of Aurios Pro Max. Much more air and spaciousness, and at the same time more detail and precision, less smearing.
2. Thread drive on Scoutmaster. More impact, dynamics improved, again more precision, less smearing.
3. Cayin phono came with the metal shrouded tube dampers with springs. Took those tube dampers off, replaced with Herbies. Wow, opened up the sound by a large margin! Those metal cages were obviously damping down the sound something terrible.

Taken together, these three changes have allowed me to enjoy my large collection of classic rock lps again! I'm still looking for a bit more bass impact, and there is a bit of hardness in the mids and lower highs. I suspect a change to Mullard 12ax7's from the present Sovteks will alleviate that bit of dryness. As for bass impact, I'm still trying to figure that one out.

At last I'm hearing at least a bit of that magic I remember from back in the day, when listening to these records on my Dynaco system. I suspect a whole lot more of these recording are going to prove to be satisfying in the future!

I guess I have to eat crow now, I may have mislead some in criticizing these recordings. I now realize they weren't as bad as I believed. Sometimes even an old dog can learn new tricks, and I haven't even listened to my good recordings with the new setup!
You don't have to eat crow as far as I'm concerned. I'm glad you're enjoying these more. Some will sound better than others to be sure but I listen on a SSM with 10.5i and rim drive with what I consider to be great results 80-90% of the time. In my opinion, music from this era is among the best ever created. I hope my system never gets so "good" that I can't enjoy listening to it. I have nothing against playing things like Eleanor McCovey and Patricia Barber on sonic merits but 90% of the time I'd rather play good old classic rock. If that makes me a "bad" audiophile then so be it. I wouldn't want it any other way.
Nice to hear there are still more than a few of us who love to listen to good old rock'n'roll. I enjoy alot of the jazz classics, newer jazz and the occasional female vocalist. But for just plain fun listening, fire up the Eagles, Styx, Journey, Steely Dan, Traffic, Hendrix, AC/DC, etc, etc, etc!
Hi Sns,
I've been following your thread with some interest since you initiated it. I have noticed a wide range of recording quality on lp's, too. I'm glad to hear things are improving. I have a Signature Scout, on Brightstar Bigrock, suspended on springs (ala Dave Garrettson). I'm using a Dynavector XX2MKII, which you might want to consider. Superb bass, great balance all the way through. Some of the tweaks I've found very effective are the Mapleshade Nanomount System (remarkable), and for set-up, the Mintlp BestTractor, custom-made set-up tool. Extremely accurate, easy to use, made a world of difference in how my Scout sounded on all recordings. I also use a modded Simaudio Moon LP 5.3 for phono stage. It all adds up to a front end that is very satisfying, but I went through a lot of analog frustration to get here, and thought I'd have to give it up for a while. Now I'm glad I didn't.
I'd like to try the string drive, I might try to find some appropriate string this week end to give it a try.
Again, congratulations on better listening. It takes time and tenacity to get to the best of what your vinyl rig can give, but so satisfying when it does.
Enjoy, Dan