I actually prefer the standard version with the natural wood look over the black version but the $2500 price makes that a moot point because I'll never be spending that for a turntable no matter how nice it looks and or sounds.
The VPI Prime is nice but it runs at about $4K vs. the Shinola's price tag of $2500. Which VPI at $2500 would compare to the Shinola Runwell?
The current in production table just under the Prime is the VPI - Scout Turntable, 2016 edition for $2200.
The Shinola Runwell is based on the motor, platter and arm of The Classic for $3300. It is no longer in production but available.
I kinda like that Shinola Runwell with the gear from The Classic. The Classic got excellent reviews before the Prime came along. I would be happy with a VPI - Scout Turntable, 2016 edition. I want some big powerful tube amps before I spend any serious money on a turntable. With my history of turning records for 30 plus years it would not be weird move for me. I can see myself as an old man playing albums. First speakers that sound good with tube amps, then big tube amps, then a turntable and records. I can wait 10 years if I don't die tomorrow to get what I want and then I will be closer to that old man.