These are two incredible turntables!
So why do I say that the Rega RP6 vs VPI Scout is a no-brainer decision?
Because only one of these two record players is still being made.
That said, even if both were available, it would still be an easy decision.
While both models are excellent, one brand made some bizarre choices.
For that reason alone, I would go with the other one.
Wondering which is which?
Keep reading to end the suspense. We’ll do a deep comparison of the VPI Scout and the Rega RP6 to help you figure out which is the better record player for you.
- 1 Rega RP6 Vs VPI Scout
- 2 VPI Scout Vs Rega RP6: Final Thoughts
Rega RP6 Vs VPI Scout
We’ll begin our comparison by taking a brief look at each model individually, before diving into their differences and similarities. Then we’ll look at the advantages of each, before helping you decide which one is best for you.
The Rega RP6
The Rega RP6 is also called the Planar 6. It is a manual belt-drive turntable that uses a glass plinth and special lightweight body material used in the aerospace industry.
This is not your normal mid-level turntable, and it is much more expensive than most ‘regular’ record players. It is an audiophile turntable and will cost you as much as several normal models.
Rega is a British brand that has been making turntables since 1973, and they focus on high-end audiophile models.
The VPI Scout
The VPI Scout is another high-end audiophile turntable that costs a lot of money compared to most turntables you will see. It has won the golden ear award for its sound quality.
It is a manual turntable with a belt drive and DC motor much like all the high-end audiophile decks. It comes with an acrylic platter and an outboard motor.
It is now discontinued, but it was the entry-level unit for VPI when it was being manufactured.
Differences Between Rega RP6 And VPI Scout
When you get up into this price range, things get a lot more nuanced. When we talk about Audio Technica vs Technics mid-range turntables, we point out the features they have, like USB or a built-in pre-amp or a strobe for adjusting or the anti-skate dial, or whatever.
However, with these high-end turntables, there are no features, in the way those features tend to be about a switch or a light or something that performs a specific task.
Instead, these expensive units have different components that attempt to deliver the best sound as a whole system. For that reason, we won’t be talking about switches and lights in this section.
Both units have proprietary tonearms that have fan clubs of their own.
The VPI has the JMW-9 tonearm. This is an award-winning proprietary design by VPI which has a unipiviot design. It is made with a special epoxy which is lightweight and does not transfer vibrations.
It is a very low resonance tonearm that is 9 inches long and perfectly straight. It has a wire that hangs off it which is also used as the anti-skate mechanism (this is absolutely ridiculous to me, but somehow they got away with it for a while).
The way it worked is you would disconnect the wire and twist it tighter for more anti-skate or looser for less. The physical resistance of the wire twist would be the thing that makes the anti-skate work.
If you ask me, that is just lazy engineering and actually stupid, because according to reviews, it didn’t even work very well to control the skating of the tonearm.
The Rega has the RB303 tonearm. This one is all about the near-frictionless movement which allows more of the sound from your records to come through, and less noise from vibrations and self-noise coming from the tonearm and the movement.
It has a new bearing housing compared to the older model of the tonearm. This bearing assembly has almost no free play and allows smooth frictionless movement. It has Neutrik plugs and a steel counterweight. Neutrik is known for its high-quality small parts.
If I had to compare these two tonearms the Rega would win, simply because I hate the anti-skate ‘twist the wires’ solution on the VPI so much, it makes me physically want to smash something.
The VPI Scout has an acrylic platter. This is a heavy material that helps to keep the speed consistent throughout your record’s playtime.
The momentum in a heavy platter helps overcome the inconsistencies you get from lighter platters that are subject to the minor fluctuations that DC motors inevitably produce. Heavy platters are a consistent factor in high-end turntables.
The Rega RP-6 has a glass platter. It is also quite heavy for the same reason mentioned above. It delivers a consistent speed with very low resonance.
The RP-6 has the motor built into the unit. It has a 24-volt motor that uses a sine wave to regulate the speed. It delivers consistent speed and produces virtually no audible noise.
The VPI Scout has an external motor that you set next to the unit. You need to attach the belt to the motor and the unit, once you get the placement right. The idea here is to have the motor completely separate from the unit to remove any possibility of adding motor noise. It works, too. There is no noise from the motor at all.
These are both high-performance turntables that I will never be able to afford. They have expensive components and are marketed to audiophiles who are willing to spend 2k on a record player.
Just imagine what they spend on speakers and phono stages. I am guilty of owning expensive speakers but hey, I had to save up for them for months. Yes, maybe I’m a little jealous….
They both have manual operation, meaning there is no automatic anything with these. You can’t even flip a switch to change speeds. You have to move the belt.
This makes me laugh today, and it will for the rest of the time. If you pay 2k for a record player, you expect it to come with a speed switch. At least I do.
Manual tonearm operation I understand. It results in better sound quality. See our full comparison of an automatic vs manual turntable for more. But having to manually move the belt to change speeds? No thanks!
They don’t come with the same cartridge, but they both come with very expensive cartridges. You can choose to upgrade from the stock cartridge when you buy them, since the stock ones are just normal excellent.
The upgraded cartridge options are obscenely excellent in both cases. The Rega has the upgrade option of getting an MC cartridge, but they warn you not to get it, unless you have a phono stage capable of using an MC. Get more information on MC or MM cartridges here.
Advantages Of The Rega RP6
The RP6 is simpler. Internal motor, actual anti-skate dial, nothing too weird. I like the way it looks better, too. The VPI looks too Danish for me, a bit too overengineered to the point of being a little absurd. Of course, it’s not Danish but USA-made.
Advantages Of The VPI Scout
The VPI gets tons of love for the tonearm and the overall sound, though the sound has way more to do with the cartridge. Both of these turntables sound amazing, as long as you use one of the expensive cartridges.
Why To Get The Rega RP6
I would urge anyone that has the money to get the Rega over the VPI. The Rega is easier to use, sounds great, and is not so complicated and silly looking. Plus, it is still being manufactured.
Why To Get The VPI Scout
The original Scout is no longer being made so nobody can get it, unless you pay up for a used one. If you could buy one new, I would tell you to get the Rega instead, because there is no feature or reason to get the VPI Scout over the Rega.
However, there are new versions of the VPI where they have made huge improvements. VPI makes amazing stuff, so please don’t take my less than glowing opinion of the OG Scout to mean VPI is not as good as Rega as a brand. I am not saying that at all. I just did not like this one model of theirs.
VPI Scout Vs Rega RP6: Final Thoughts
Both of these record players sound amazing, but only the Rega RP6 is one I would want to own myself. The VPI Scout just has a few ridiculous components that make no sense whatsoever.
Of course, the Scout is no longer available anyway. VPI has newer models that are far better. But if you are trying t decide between the Rega RP6 vs VPI Scout, the decision is easy: RP6 all the way!