Responses from kmulkey

Speaker recommendations
The Vandys are great except they're not that easy to drive. But I have read of folks driving them with various McCormack amps. 
VPI 16.5 Problem
Are you making sure the plastic "nut" on the spindle is tight? If its the least bit loose, the vacuum on mine will stop the record. 
AudioEngine 2 vs AudioEngine5?
Headshrinker,I am going straight from the headphone output of my laptop...very basic but then, I don't do much serious listening from my desk. 
AudioEngine 2 vs AudioEngine5?
I've had a pair of AE2's for a year now and really like em. Decent bass and sound, in general, for a desktop speaker. 
Best CD
John Scofield: Thats What I Say, the songs of Ray Charles 
Vinyl noise?
Jfrech,Yes, they are cleaned with the vortex.Giggsy,Your idea seems interesting. It does have a staticky sorta sound so it. 
I could cry
MintLP/Dynavector 17D3 question
OK, one last question. Does anyone know of national chain stores that sell magnifiers? I tried the drug stores and they usually max out at a 2X or 4X magnifying glass. I called optical shops and no go. I know I can order online but I was hoping to... 
VPI Scout cart pairing
I've used a Dynavector 10X5 with good results and just recently a Dynavector 17D3 with much better results. Of course, the 17D3 is about $600 more.I listen mainly to rock and jazz with some female vocals sprinkled in. 
MintLP revisited
Dan,I agree...what a great little product.What did you find to be "off" after your first session with the Mint? I just bought a Dynavector 17D3 to replace a 10X5, and set it up with the Mint last night. I got it close (the tiny little cantilever w... 
VPI Scout "tweaks"
Thanks everyone. I truly appreciate the feedback. 
RIP Billy Powell
Wow...56. So young. 
Cheap SS phonostage
Cambridge 540p or 640p. Both are under $200 and both "punch above their weight class". The Bellari is another option though I had hum issues that I could never solve. 
Thanks again. I had no idea that I needed to check my cartridge alignment annually. Makes sense but I just had never given it any thought. 
Thanks everyone. Just for clarity...the setup was done by the dealer when I bought the table, about a year ago. I haven't touched it since then and, had it not been for you folks, I wouldn't have investigated the mintlp. Hopefully I'll finally mak...