Next upgrade?

Just looking for an opinions on what my next upgrade should be. I have a VPI HW-19 Mk. III with a Rega 300 tonearm. The cartridge is a Grado Reference Platinum. This goes straight into the phono section of a Mcintosh MA6900. I have about $500 to spend on an upgrade, and didn't know where to go next. I'm leaning towards a new cartridge (Dynavector 10x5) and getting a Mint Tractor to align it. But maybe all I need is a phono stage? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
$500 doesn't go very far in the world of phono upgrades. I suggest you leave the phono the way it is and spend the $500 on a nice-looking hooker.
$500 doesn't go very far in the world of nice-looking hookers either Chayro.

I think the $500 would be better spent on Dynavector 10X5/Mint LP Tractor. Dynavector's have good synergy with VPI tables. Harry even has Dynavector custom make a cartridge for VPI.

The Mint 'tractor is a great idea but there's a Klyne SK2 phono stage posted for sale right now at under your budget.
To be honest, I haven't even checked out prices for phono stages, but considering I'm plugging straight into the amps phono section, I figured any upgrade would be an upgrade. Also, I don't need a "nice" looking hooker so $500 should get me one or two. Probably going to pull the trigger on the Dynavector/MintLP tractor idea I had as the next upgrade.
I would save the $500 and add to it for an upgrade up the road. You'll get about as much satisfaction with the $500 on a hooker as you will a current $500 upgrade ...........
The MintLP tractor is a great idea to start with. You may be suprised at the sound improvement from your present cartridge with a more precise alignment. If, after using the MintLP, that is not all you were looking for then you can make an educated decision to spend on a cartridge upgrade and maybe have aquired some additional funds by that time. I was extremely pleased with what I now consider to be one of the best system investments I have made. Once you have it custom made for your table and arm it will benefit any future cartridge you aquire.
Get a Mint Tractor... you'll be quite surprised at what's possible... I know I was.

And Yip's a straightforward guy, great to buy from and seek advice from.


:) listening,

Rewire the Rega (easy to do;ask instruction manual+ wire by and get a Mint Tractor.

You can upgrade the opamp and regulator in the Mcintosh MA6900 phono stage with those Burson kits... then you will have some change left.

Here's a blog post on another Mcintosh upgrade using the Bursons.
My suggestion would be another tonearm. Some time ago I replaced TP250 on my turntable with Kuzma Sogi Ref and the result was considerable sound improvement. I know that RB300 is better than TP250, but inspite of that...
I have a Mint LP and it is a great tool. I also have a Dynavector 10/5. Be very careful with these! They bend very (too) easily. This is the 2nd one I have carefully mounted and even though they sound good, to me they are a piece of junk, since I had no trouble mounting Linn K18's and Nagaoaka's using the mint LP. Try one first with your cart. Also get as high powered a magnifier you can get (maybe from a coin shop) and have plenty of natural light. It is about a 2 hour job the first time around. For $500.00 get two Hookers. Best of luck
Put a set of Aurios media bearings under your VPI. Preferably four if you have leveling feet or cones on your VPI. This will cost you under $300, and will make a bigger sonic improvement than anything else sensible to be done with your existing gear. If you don't have your turntable on a slab of maple, spend the rest on that. If you don't have cones, get some. Your VPI 19 on cones on Aurios on maple will sound surprise you, and give elevate the platform for subsequent upgrading of cartridge, phone section, etc.