VPI aries scout, Nottingham innerspace...

I am looking for advice from people that have hands on experience with the following tables. A local dealer (s) has the following tables available. After a bad experience with buying a used table I am buying LOCAL (ten minutes away) and NEW (for a change):

a) Nottingham Innerspace with standard arm; no cartridge. Lovely turquoise base and the usual trick looking arm. retail is 1500;

b) VPI Aries Scout with radial arm.....1500 retail but might have to wait some time to get one due to high demand according to local dealer;

c) Rega p25 w/rb600.....used but "as new" for 800...no cartridge;

d) Basis..entry level (clear base, no suspension) table..no arm....1200 retail.

Please note I have an "almost brand new ( > 20 hr's)" Audio Note ARM2 (rb300 w/ litz silver wire and Audio Note 99.9% silver interconnect) with a Madrigal Carnegie cartridge in excellent condition (ie; don't need a cartridge but DO need a high quality transformer or phono preamp that can handle a low output cartridge...my McIntosh C22 preamp phono cannot quite handle the low level of this cartridge).

So, my choice is to buy one of the first three tables, sell the Audio Note arm and cartridge, and buy a cartridge, OR...buy a basic table and mount my arm and cartridge which then entails me acquiring a decent transformer or phono preamp. The second choice seems a bit more expensive to me as the sale of the Arm will help finance the purchase of a new table.

The idea of buying a table with a "same MFR arm" appeals to me at this point, too, as I do not do my own setup and service and rely on the local professional.

I am in Berkeley and am shopping at Musiclovers Audio (Nottingham, Rega, and VPI) and SF Stereo (Basis).

I am leaning toward the VPI since it is made in America and the company has been around a long time. I am leery of the Nottingham because I just had a bad experience with a company from the Isles.

I am also interested in a cartridge recommendation for any of the above rigs. A Benz cartridge, preferably high output coil and not too expensive (less than 500...), recommendation is appreciated.

Want to do it right the second time.

I imagine that many will recommed the VPI and its possible upgrade path. If you are not interested in this path, I recommend the Interspace as a SOLID choice. I auditioned all of the TT's you list and the Interspace was the clear winner (at least to my ears). In the end, though, I wedged the crow bar in my wallet and bought the Spacearm/Spacedeck and have been WHOLLY pleased.

DO NOT let the experience you had with one "Isles" product colo(u)r your image of others. IMHO, British tables are consistently among the finest made.

If you are dealing with Musiclovers, insist on speaking with Hugh regarding your choice, if you have not already done so.
I spoke with Jay; Hugh was not in the day I stopped by. That was my first and only time, so far, in that shop. I'll stop by and try for him again. Thanks for the feedback.

Nottingham all the way - we are dealers for VPI, Rega and Nottingham and I recommend the Nottingham to all those open minded enough to give them a listen. They are fabulous tables and a great value.
Leo Massi at Hy End Audio imports in Massachusetts 508 994-8450, is importing an Italian turnatble/arm called Bluenote. They were at the CES using a $200 Denon cartridge and impressed a lot of people, including Paul Seydor from The Absolute Sound. He wrote a piece in his show report saying that the rig had some of the most beautiful sounds at the show and, that it has every indication of being a giant killer.

I have been considering analog since I heard it a couple of weeks ago. Problem is: I don't have any records. I have been eying the Scout also. I just don't know what to do because I have so much in CD's and if I buy a turnatable package it would be on blind faith since I don't have local dealers. Plus, I don't any material to play on one.

Good Luck!
The Nottingham sounds better, but the VPI has a good upgrade abilty to take it higher than the Nottingham, eventually, if you ever want to do that. The P25 is at a lower level. The entry-level Basis would be as good as the entry-level VPI and you could use your AN arm. It's your call.

I looked at the Bluenote TT's on their website, and they look very interesting. My first impression is that they are basically a knock-off of the Michell Gyrodec, with a square base. Probably sounds alot like a Gyrodec, which is not bad.

Also consider the Dynavector 10x4 MkII cartridge. It is a very good value, and I like it better than the lower priced Benz in the high-output MC types.
How much is the vpi with a mount for the rb-300? That seems like a question you might want to ask. Also, how much are the upgrade cost on the vpi and how much would it take to overtake the nottingham, if it is better? (I don't know, I'm just playing devel's advocate).
Keep in mind one of the advantages of buying new from a local dealer is you should be able to try them out and see for yourself. That, right there, is going to get you the best value of anything.
If I had your choices, I would go for the Nottingham. I had a chance to listen with a RS labs tonearm and Shelter cart. One of the most pleasing and musical tables I have ever heard. If you like rock and music that is not especially recorded well I think you will like this table a lot. Since you already have and arm, just get yourself a good tranny or phonostage for your cart.
The size of the tables may be a considerations as well, the Nottingham may be easier to accomidate.
I bought a Spacedeck, but already had a new OL Rega 250, so I just ordered the table with an arm "pod" sized for the Rega.
Hope they didn't sock you for a "special" arm pod, DD. The stock pod for the Spacedeck will accept the Rega arm with only a change in the split ring collet.
No obvious special charge for the Rega, though I DID pay full retail for the TT ($1500) from Nott's former importer.
The outside of the box was designated "Rega" in magic marker which I assume indicated the collet appropriate for the Rega. You ARE correct in saying it's a Rega collet (rather than pod), but I was unsure if that would be clear to someone unfamilair with the TT.
I owned the Aries and now the Nottingham Hyperspace with Anna arm and Benz ruby H. It is a night and day difference. The Nottingham is so much better in all ways and musicality.
You only have to have your own prefrence, I thought the VPI was more true to the music. The Nottingham was on the cool side, did not capture all the music was on the dark side if you have A system with low energy the nottingham is wrong,with hot systems it can cool them out. It is on the ying side.But if your system is all right the VPI is more of rock jazz blues ect.
Just booknoting an old post.I think jwmazur had something with Blue note.Low cost Basis knock off with an input for a airpump spindle.