VPI Avenger Plus vs J Sikora Standard Max

Yes, I agree, that's a rather specific comparison, but my goal is to purchase a turntable and keep it for the long-term.  Having researched the usual suspects, and knowing that I have a penchant for dynamics and realistic timbre (being an old musician I tend to prefer the sound of being rather close, if not "inside" the band), I tend to lean toward direct drive or rim drive, but not exclusively.  Like most people, I listen to about 40% classical (mostly orchestral), 40% jazz (acoustic and electronic, new and old) and about 20% rock and other. 

So, at the moment I have narrowed my search to the VPI Avenger Plus (due mostly to the fact that it has rim drive, heavy mass and can accommodate 3 tonearms) and the J Sikora Standard Max (high mass and reputation for dynamics and musicality, and 2 tonearms). 

Since it is nigh impossible to hear them side by side I thought I would ask if anyone has had the opportunity, as unlikely as it is, to hear them together?  Obviously the tonearm and cartridge will make a large difference, but I'd like to ask about your aural observations between these two turntables.  And yes, I may try to attend Axpona this year in the hope of at least hearing them within a short time of each other, but the system differences may make that almost meaningless.   

Thank you in advance for any help you might provide.


Not sure if helpful:

VPI Avenger Plus- VPI has been a long established brand, and  after the son Matt took over, I’d expect continued longevity.  Their mass loaded systems are fairly straightforward so I expect future maintenance to not be an issue.  Besides the motor, the Avenger has a smaller footprint as the armboards attach to the columns and you can have up to 3 tonearms.  I own the Avenger rim drive and alternate between various cartridges (top, mono, SPU…) and tonearms 

The J Sikora Standard Max might be my next sideways/upgrade move as I suspect that the platter material may be sonically better.  Seems like I’d have to spend significantly more to better this turntable so this could be end-game for me.

I’ve never heard either, but some people with whom I’ve communicated, and have extensive listening experience, speak highly of J Sikora turntables…

@seldenr You sure know how to pick terrible turntables.  You are shopping for looks. If you want a sharp looking great turntable get a Basis Inspiration or the Avid Acutus, Oracle Delphi, SME 30/12, Dohmann Helix, Air Force III Premium S, and the lowly Sota Cosmos. All of these turntables are seriously better than the ones you selected. Mass NEVER isolates a turntable, that is lay intuition. Suspensions isolate turntables. If you want to use multiple arms the Air Force III Premium S and the Dohmann Helix one are the way to go. I won't use a table without vacuum clamping, so my choices are limited to the Air Force and the Sota. Rim drive is a bad joke. It is a great way to induce rumble into a system. 

Try a TW Acustic.  Comparable price wise to a J Sikora but better according to my dealer who carries both.  I love mine - on a Silent Running Audio isolation base it sounds sublime.


BTW I also have a SOTA Star Sapphire: very nice but not in the same league.


A Dohmann costs double.


Good luck!