You have read the reviews and know this is an excellent performer but the reason I originally went with VPI is that their tables are all upgradeable. As time allows you can move from a fine Class B to an incredible Class A unit (if you so desire). This is either more difficult or impossible with other lines. This unit is available because I had the opportunity to move up to another Scoutmaster that already had several upgrades and I'm very happy. There are no scratches or smudges that I can find with careful examination. Note that the expected marks on the tonearm (from the holder) are not there. Also, I have had it about 9 months and only recently began to get serious about vinyl because I just bought a VPI record cleaner. Makes life much easier when you are buying used records. Also, when you call VPI, someone will answer and know the answer. Lastly, if you're on the fence about getting back into vinyl- it truly is a better, more complete musical presentation especially when your records are well made and CLEAN! Call for info 609-216-1792.