Good, better, best. VPI Classic 1 accessories and upgrades.

The time has come! Here and now. The venerable Thorens VN-150 (Vinyl nirvana gussied up) Is going to be replaced with a VPI classic 1. Vinyl Nirvana, I like that…
The available accessories and upgrades are being bandied about and I'm interested in which ones you more experienced VPI owners would recommend. The HRX center weight and dustcover are on my must-have list with these others as maybes:
HRX ring peripheral weight
HRX feet
3D tonearm

Look forward to your input and Enjoy the tunes!
Get the speed control.
thanks for that. That's a pricey item, but I will look into it. I understand from reading that the speed is very stable on this table.
You did list it as one of your upgrade choices and it does make a nice difference. I would say that if you have a line conditioner that regenerates, like a PS Audio P500, maybe go with a different upgrade. If not, the quality of your AC will effect the speed even though they use a very good motor. I don't know of anyone that ever regretted buying one. Maybe your dealer can lend you one to try. Either way, you won't be disappointed with the Classic 1.
It's a great suggestion and I appreciated very much. I do have a very stable power, but will look into the SDS all the same.
I would suggest taking a look at the VPI forum. Go to the VPI website and click on the forum. It's quite active and your table and upgrades have been discussed a lot. My experience is the weight and peripheral ring work as a team and really help flatten records and the ring adds some inertia to the platter. If you are not getting the ring then the screw down clamp is better. The SDS is a great upgrade for most of their tables, but I believe the Classic line has a simplified version of the SDS built in. Don't quote me on that, might be just the Classic 3, but the thread discussing is in the forum. The feet are a very minor change, some folks like 'em others say no change. The 3D arm is an interesting topic, most folks like it, but it has a different sound, not necessairly a better sound. The arm is the most expensive upgrade so keep that in mind. For reference, I have the weight, the ring, the feet, and the SDS for my Aries and I don't regret any of 'em! The 3D arm is a little too pricey for me, I've got the 12" arm.
Why not go with the VPI Prime that just came out recently? I think both Matt and Harry Weinstein of VPI would recommend it over the Classic 1 and Classic 2. I believe the VPI owner would take the Prime over everything until you get to the Classic 3. It seems a much better value, including the 3D printed tone arm. Though if you like the look of the Classic then it seems like a no brainer for you.
I suggest also that you look at the VPI Prime. Also, you might consider a less expensive PSU than the SDS, perhaps the Falcon. The center weight is meant to work with the peripheral weight. If you're not getting the latter, you would be better off with the center clamp.
Thanks for all of this. I can't really consider the prime as it's just not my style. I really like the look of the classic. That said, I will look into whether a version of the SDS is actually include in the classic one construction. There are a few SDS around for sale at a reasonable prices, so that would be an easily attainable upgrade.

The VPI forum is an excellent resource. It looks like HW was actually enjoying ortofon cartridges! I have already picked up my dustcover and a Soundsmith Zephyr to get started....The Ortofon bronze looks like an excellent match for my sonic tastes, but beyond my reach at this point. And, a different thread it all together!

It does look like there are other combinations of speed control that might be equally effective and less expensive.
Go with the sds and the perif ring. I have a vpi classic 3. It has a much bigger sound stage with the sds dialed in (you should also get the gear to check the tt speed). You need the perif ring to flatten the record if you use the center weight.
Thanks for all of this. I can't really consider the prime as it's just not my style. I really like the look of the classic. That said, I will look into whether a version of the SDS is actually include in the classic one construction. There are a few SDS around for sale at a reasonable prices, so that would be an easily attainable upgrade.

The VPI forum is an excellent resource. It looks like HW was actually enjoying ortofon cartridges! I have already picked up my dustcover and a Soundsmith Zephyr to get started....The Ortofon bronze looks like an excellent match for my sonic tastes, but beyond my reach at this point. And, a different thread it all together!

It does look like there are other combinations of speed control that might be equally effective and less expensive.
The nice thing about a VPI is the upgradeability. The bad thing about a VPI is the upgradeability.

You need to understand they ain't cheap, and the better ones are more expensive. The sds, platter and motor are each a grand or more. You need those. Start saving. then the ring & weight. Now the arm. Sweet rig. Good things cost money.
If you're getting the LATEST model, you can't use the SDS.
It's updated with a 600rpm DC motor. If you want to use the SDS the motor is replaced with the 300 rpm AC motor,along with the pulley.

I have the latest model. If I feel like tweaking my table, I will do the mod along with the Phoenix Roadrunner setup.Just as accurate as the VPI for less.

My table is on brass footers(Mapleshade)which rests on a 4" maple slab.

IMO, I would spend as much you can tolerate cart wise.
Also,the table is worthy of being plugged into a phono stage equal to its retail. Mine is the Fosgate tubed.
I think you should spring for the 3d arm first. I purchased one for my Classic 3 and could not be happier.

With the Classic's fixed motor I don't think you really need the SDS.

Fremer's review says the speed is very accurate.
Already mentioned but if you have a newer one with the 600rpm motor you can't use the SDS; it has a simplified version of SDS built in. I measured mine using the platter speed app/AP test record (mildly warped!) and indeed it is very accurate.

I would get the 3D arm first. This is going to make the biggest sonic difference. Unfortunately, it is also the most expensive.

After that I feel the ring/HRX weight is next best. I have them on mine and feel the improve things, especially with not quite flat or very thin pieces of vinyl.
All your inputs are helpful and on the money. After a little more due diligence, I also see that the SDS is likely unnecessary with the new Classic. A fair amount of my record collection is aged nicely (like me!), so the periphery weight seems like a good first step.

The Soundsmith Zephyr looks like a good place to start as a cartridge.

The 3D arm is definitley pricey, but may be worth the price. What are the improvements/differences you hear with it?

I recently sold my extra EdenSound BearPaws, but think that a wall mounted myrtlewood shelf will provide good isolation....
Zephyr is high output so best matched w/moving magnet phono input. If your Klyne expects lower output moving coil cart, could be trouble. Klyne makes great phono stages so I'm sure you'll be happy and be able to hear the subltler changes you're contemplating. Cheers,

I've had a Classic since 2010 and never had the inclination to change decks, which is really rare for me. I had an Aries back in the day and hated it. I only bought the Classic after being disappointed with Sota and Mitchell tables. The Classic had all of this great word of mouth, so I tried it, and have never even thought about changing it since. It's been wonderful.

The only issue I've ever had, is due to the placement of the motor it requires a well shielded cartridge. But the Soundsmith VPI Zephyr has been amazing since the day I put that on.

Accessories that I've tried:

SDS - No change in sound at all. I have an APC S15 power filter/battery backup that works great and I think that gives me very good power. I used a couple of PS Audio products that were good as well. I sold this after trying it out for a month with not change in sound at all.

Center weight - they are all about the same, I have an off brand one now, I don't remember the name. It's exactly the same to my ear as the VPI center weight (which I bought with the turntable). I sold the VPI version, kept the current one that I used with an older table.

VPI Periphery Ring - an absolute must. Great items worth it's weight in gold sound-wise.

Gingko Isolation Platform - I've used these with every table since I first tried one. It makes a huge difference in sound.
I have an ET 2.5 arm on mine with 4 Stillpoint ultra 5's for feet. They are also using isoclean points.

The sound that comes out of this tables has stopped me from thinking about upgrading.

Now I really wish I hadn't sold off my Eden Brass!! I think that the SDS is scrubbed given the speed stability and the new table's even improved stability. The periphery ring, center weight and good isolation look like the triumvirate. A new arm maybe down the road....that ET looks pretty insane, flying in the "classic" face in a good kind of retro industrial precision way. And, some cartridge experiments to have some fun with along the way. I'll post follow ups as it comes together.....MUCHOS GRACIAS AMIGOS!
I've been running a VPI SSM Reference since 2011 and have been tweaking things ever since. Your new TT is capable of a lot better sound and there are some things that really can make a difference:

1. Don't mourn the loss of your bear-paws. Take another look at the Eden Sound galleries on their web-site and look at their combination of Eden Stone and brass called TerraCones. There are several shots of them mounted on VPI tables. The combination of materials is better than either one alone. Also, they make it easy to level the TT and cost about the same as a set of VPI HRX feet.

2. The SDS can be had for about $800 used. The Falcon is onl a fraction of that new. If you hunt down Harry's blog on the VPI website, there is a thread there where HW discusses a shooutout he did when comparing the two.

3. Think about a new or used record mat. The Boston 2 mat I bought did wonders for my set up and there are probably better ones out there used.

4. Counterintuitive makes azimuth setting easy.

5. Don't be too quick to damp the arm. I recommend no damping at all unless you have a specific problem that may be helped by damping, and then, only add a small increment at a time and let it settle in for a few hours before doing any more critical listening.

6. Record clamp and weight - These seem to be up to around a thousand bucks new. You might actually do better for a lot less by looking at the sales from TTW from time to time.

7. Avoid buying a VPI phono interconnect. They rob the music of more detail and high frequency extension than any cable I have tried in that role.

8. Get a good digital scale that is capable of measuring to .001 grams. When your system is tweaked enough, you will easily be able to notice extremely small changes in VTF and the extra resolution of the scale will be important.
We have record clamps that seriously out perform VPI rings and fit all VPI tables, we have mats, rings and center weights
Save a lot of money and get superb quality products..
The first change you should make is to eliminate the 4 VPI feet in exchange for Bearpaws ( Then consider your other changes after hearing what Bearpaws do.
Thank you, Mcbuddah, for all the thoughtful advice from your long experience. It jives very well with all I've read. I have worked a lot with Dan at edenSound and have a variety of his incredibly effective and beautifully crafted and machined footers under a lot of my gear and plinths. The terracones are at the base of my speaker stands...and look great there as they will under my table! The new threaded feet on them look great for leveling the table.

All: And a big thank you shout out to you, too!

The Soundsmith is a must and I'm aware of the Falcon/Phoenix, but have read that the Classics stability is such that it doesn't benefit as much from those devices as other VPI series' might.

I have a narrow window on a great line for VPI gear and accessories so I am going to pick up the clamp and ring there....
Any clue on their mat? How about their Alignment jig? Dropped counterweight?

Soundsmith is actually nearby my home and on the way to VPI....I have a lag minute chance to change my order from the Classic 1 to the Companion. Any thoughts on that set up/arm? The azimuth on the fly looks like more than I care to deal with now...but might want to in the future?

Thanks again and remember to enjoy the tunes!!
Alrighty, then!
Here's what has arrived or is on the way:

Classic 1, black oak
Soundsmith Zephyr cartridge
Soundsmith Counter intuitive
HRX center wt.
VPI Peripheral ring
Dust Cover
KCI Silkworm IC's (hope they're long enough!)

To be ordered shortly:
EdenSound terracone VPI Classic feet (new product per Dan, now available!)

*Record mat...lots out there and the DIY projects look oretty good:

TTW has a couple of nice looking ones and (of course) the more expensive one looks best...Any more direction/suggestions would be appreciated?

Not in a hurry for the SDS or Falcon give the new Classic 1's stability.

LAST THING (for the moment....) is there specific gauge wire or connectors to use for grounding?

Thanks again!
Ground wire suggestion
Don't get caught up in audiophoolery.
Use that length of wire from your drawer of " stuff"
Budburma ... good call. Enjoy.
No problem...wasn't really looking for audio advice as much as electrical. If it doesn't matter within reason, all the better!
Pmotz...the 3D arm has no sound. The difference between the 3D and the 10.5 is very clear. The 10.5 sounds a bit bright, and certainly more hi-fi...not natural. If you value natural, you will value the 3D. Also...I have used Bearpaws and Terrastones. Bearpaws is the better device. Also...I've use the Gingko. It was awful, took away the low bass, and pumped the midbass...ruined the midrange...I quickly sold it.
Sound experience. The 3D arm is well liked, but definitely a very expensive upgrade...almost enough to make the Prime push the Classic into a piece of history. Still like the classic look a lot more, though, and style affinity still counts. I have a mix of terrastones and eden sound brass throughout my system and can try both...although the terracones are at the base of my speaker stands....might be a little tough. Dan has a lot of good things to say about the advantage of the terracones and has always been pretty accurate in my experience...and the black looks very cool....

Wood has always made the best sounding platforms for isolation and decoupling to my ear. All my gear is on myrtlewood plinths/platforms (which have edensound brass footers!), but my source dried up so the VPI is going on a 2" block of maple on a wall mounted shelf. I'm thinking that should be pretty damn sweet even with the standard arm.
I'm thinking the Funk FIrm 5mm Achromat. Any experience out there with that piece on VPI?
Macdadtexas, why did you hate the Aries? I have been using one for 10 years and I think it is a great table. When I asked the local Vpi dealer if I should upgrade to the classic he said it would be a downgrade. He said the original Aries is one of the best tables they ever built.'re right but make sure the Classic platter is spinning.
If you're using the Classic mat is required, needed, or wanted
the Aries always sounded bright to me. I thought for a while I had it set up poorly, bought the mirrored protractor for the arm, tried different cartridges.... It never sounded good in that system

From the day I got the Classic, it was money, just what I was looking for. Warm, huge bass, and crystal clear.

The Gingko platform focuses it even more.
macdadtexas, that is so interesting to me that you find it bright. If I had to make a list of things I don't like about it bright would not be on the list. It's amazing how people hear so differently.
Agreed Taters.....MacDad also likes the Gingko which absolutely ruined my turntable rid of it fast.