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  Upgrades for VPI HW -19 jr.???
I very recently purchased a VPI HW-jr here on Audiogon. All original with the PT-6 tonearm, no cartridge. I was wondering what upgrades are recommended and in what order. Price is a factor so I can only approach one upgrade at a time. What will offer the most significant improvements in sound and what cartridge goes well with this deck? I was thinking, new feet and tonearm cable first, any thoughts on this? I do not want to rebuild the table just improve on it. Thanks.
Dreadhead  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

02-21-06
  Responses (1-15 of 15)
Click title to read one, or click date to read all below it.

02-22-06   Hi dreadhead, welcome to the jr family!as you may remember, ...   Markd51

02-22-06   About the differences of a toneram cable upgrade, for my own ...   Markd51

02-22-06   The biggest improvement imo would be better isolation (unles ...   Opalchip

02-22-06   Agreed opalchip, the jr is susceptible to low frequency feed ...   Markd51

02-24-06: Tedd1
Keep in mind that headphone listening (i.e. with dynamic Sennheiser HD600/HD650 or Stax electrostats) will help you enjoy the maximum detail retrieval and transparency that your jr. is capable of, since isolation isn't much of an issue when no bass is booming from a loudspeaker. To me, there's no greater audiophile value than listening to the jr through one of those headphone/earspeaker types plugged into a good used headphone amp/driver. Then you can at least see what the TT/arm/cart combo is capable of while you research better solutions for isolation.
Like Markd51, I bought a Hw-19jr/Audioquest PT-6/Glider combo new (c. 1998) and since it went several years without being used, and was used carefully when in use, I'm tempted to keep it and upgrade rather than ditch it.
Last night (on the eve of shipping my Lehman Blackcube phono preamp which I just sold on Agon) I listened to various recordings at my gf's place (where the analog rig has been in storage for the past 3 years) and I was blown away at how playback in many respects surpassed even the SACDs I've been used to lately. (recordings were, for those interested, Analogue Productions 180gm reissues of Charlie Byrd, Riverside Tenor Sessions of Monk, Police, some Beatles 1st pressing originals and MFSL, and even an original decca pressin of Isserstedt conducting Beethoven's Ninth).

One upgrade that made a noticeable difference in my rig was the Cardas Hexlink 5C phono cable (bought for $150 on clearance from Needledoctor years ago, and auctioned here rectently for $125). I sold it as the first step in scrapping my rig piece by piece in order to get the most $$$ in preparation for upgrading my digital rig. But you know what? Even with the replacement phono cable gone and the stock one in its place, this humble jr. rig really rocked! And this was without any measures taken to ensure horizontal levelling (no spirit level available at time), isolation, etc. My gf and I both were really floored at how transparent sounding some of my lps were, even those that had never been cleaned! I'm so thrilled (and confused, given the sacd direction I was headed in just a few days prior) at jr. performance that I'm utterly compelled at this point to return to the analog side of the force! having just sold my Linn Ikemi redbook player (again, in prep. for a digital upgrade or mod of my sony 9000es sacd/dvd player), I now have a few grand to spend and may start a new thread today asking for some upgrade options (in particular, whether to keep the glider cartridge and upgrade the tt and arm, or just upgrade the jr. platter and cartridge.). Listen to markd51!

Tedd1  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


02-24-06   Howdy tedd, which particular version of the glider do you ha ...   Markd51

02-24-06   So, benz glider ho mc cart. upgraded audioquest or of course ...   Dreadhead

02-24-06   Hi dreadhead, yes, i agree, i found out the same thing pers ...   Markd51

02-24-06   Two comments and a question: i don't know if they're st ...   Brusson

02-24-06   Hi brusson, hmm, what i personally found myself, was more, ...   Markd51

02-25-06   Hello mark- well i've got a 9 pound platter, black with ...   Brusson

02-25-06   Hi brusson, my vpi mk-iv all black platter is not press fit ...   Markd51

02-27-06   Hi again i don't have much time at all to write, but let me ...   Tedd1

02-27-06   Hi tedd, the jolida jd9 sounds like a nice unit, especially ...   Markd51

02-28-06: Tedd1
First off, let me say that since my last writing (<12 hrs) I have listened to no fewer than 12-14 LP sides. That makes for my longest vinyl listening session ever!
This tubed phono preamp combo with my table/arm/cart mentioned above sounded so good that I was compelled to play side after side - in a few cases the same one 3 times in a row (Jerry Garcia Band - The LP with Sugaree, Beatles Please Please Me [MFSL], original White Album, Rubber Soul, Revolver [both original rainbow label], and a few others. My conclusion, especially after finishing LP #2 of the white album, was that this phono preamp provides tremendous 'presence'. It is rich sounding, yet just lean enough (at least woth my glider) that fine articulation (i.e. of Weir's guitar licks and solos on side 1 of Garcia) was really good. The noise floor wasn't the lowest, but that could be due to most of my wires being a mess right now and other factors contributing to interference.

Now as for questions:
1) JD9 has its own power supply - no wall wart.
2) Adjustment of output and loading is done through a series of little dip switches accessed through a small window (usually covered with a very small stainless steel plate which you remove while power is off by screwing 2 small screws with ones fingers) on the unit's rear. The manual clearly indicates which combination is used for which scenario. There is one MM output setting and two MC settings (LO and High). Loading options are 100, 300, 1000, and 47Kohms plus it has 47 pfarad, 100 pfaradm 150, and 220 pfarads. These are all set through the dip switches. The Jolida 9D also has two sets of outputs on the rear - 'LOW - 200 Millivolt' and 'High - 1.8 volt'. The manual indicates that the former is use with 'preamplifier separates' and the latter is for 'output to integrated amps or line stage preamps'. I Used the 'Low' output and obtained satisfactory listening volume on my Bryston B60 integrated with the volume control below the halfway point. The only potential weakness of the Jolida I could glean so far - based purely on classic rock and a little jazz listening - was that macrodynamics weren't the best I;ve heard (micro- were great). This could easily be attributed to my medium output Glider's sonic character, the nature of tubes, and many other factors. After all, I'm only using the jr,'s stock platter and phono cable.
Should also mention that 95% of my listening (it was late night) was done with Sennheiser HD600/Cardas through the very good headphone stage of the Bryston B60 integrated. Cardas Cross were the interconnects between the Jolida and the integrated. I should mention that I've never auditioned any other phono preamp - let alone another tube preamp - save the Lehmann Black Cube.Hope this helps. The Jolida is on load until Saturday, so perhaps I'll drop a few more lines after I've done some classical listening. By that point it will be time to pack and ship the jr.! (Scoutmaster should be here by Thur or Fri of this week).

Tedd1  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)



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