Put a Linn Ekos between my VPI hw19jr. and Glider?

On the eve of spending my Sony DVP-s9000es DVD/SACD/CD player to a modder (probably modwright or vsei - might have to flip a coin), I'm having cold feet about the SACD route and thinking that maybe I should return it to the dealer (last day for that), upgrade my Vpi-hw19 jr./Audioquest Pt-6/Glider/Lehman black analog rig instead.

I mean, as good as my Linn Ikemi is (which I purchased some years ago instead of buying a used Sondek LP12 rig which is what I had planned at the time but listened to the ikemi instead) in that it presents even average redbook in a largely appealing way (and is almost stunning with XRCD and HDCD), I can't help but look back on the days before I decided to leave my analog rig in storage at my girlfriend's ignore my records thereafter.

So I have two different sets of questions, but I'll eleaborate on the first only, and save elaborations and and qualifications pertaining to the second in an appropriately titles thread.

I might add first that my main musical interest in so far as high fidelity is concerned (i.e. why I made my way to audiogon) is that of classical chamber (especially string quartets, trios, clarinet quintets, etc), solo instruments (especially piano, classical guitar, and strings), and classic jazz and rock (these two latter not being as important to me, as I found my current vpi rig to be largely satisfactory for playing back, for example, Beatles, Stones, and Art Blackey).

First, will swapping an Ekos in for the Audioquest Pt-6 on my stock vpi-hw19jr. , and fitting it with my Benz Glide, r bring any immediately noticeable sound improvement while I wait to upgrade everything else? What about doing that but also upgrading the VPI one or two stages (i.e. 6lb platter and outboard motor+pulley, followed by a cartridge upgrade, followed by a better phono preamp, etc)? The real irksome thing about my rig is that back when i first got it, I looked forward to upgrading it in stages, but now I notice complete higher end rigs selling used for less than the MSRP of a new VPI upgrade package. Sure, I could buy a used rig and sell my own, but would seem to be a waste considering that I spent almost two grand on the Hw-19jr. /Audioquest/Glider package way back in the mid nineties.

Now on a completely different note, should I upgrade my 9000es (say with a Signature Truth Modwright job), or buy the Ekos now with the cash I have now, upgrade within a few weeks to a heavy platter and/or VPI SAMA motor/pulley, and then enjoy that setup with the Glider and Blackcube preamp for some months until I;ve sold my Ikemi I can afford to get an Aktiv cartridge and max out my vpi the rest of the way? At that point, will my Ekos investment be even 80-90%, given the mechanical capabilities and limitations of the VPI rig as it will then stand?

Some other variations on my question of which path I should take are:
Should I get some other arm for my vpi (both with and without turntable/cartridge upgrades), or ditch the VPI family, get an Ekos now and simply caress it every night for a few months until I've scored a good used Sondek LP12 for it to mount? If I go that route, how will my glider sound on an LP12 with Ekos?

Or last possibility (way off topic), should I return the 9000es, and get someother "original six" Sony DVD/SACD player and get that modded, this being financed in part my the sale of the ikemi and analog gear?

Thanks so much for any thoughtful feedback, and thanks especially to anyone who bothered to read all this, whether you replied or not.
If it were me I would sell the jr. I owned one and did arm, wire and cart upgrades and it did improve but was sort of disapointed with the amount of money I spent and only getting a so so improvement. I sold the jr and bought a Nottingham Space Deck and the improvement was WAY WAY better. The JR is a good starter TT but you can only take it so far with the upgrades. Consider the TT cost and then add up the cost of the upgrades I think you be better moving towards a better table. A budget of lets say $2500 to $3000 can get you into a very nice table, it did for me. This is just my opinion and I'm sure you'll get many. As regards to the Sony if your happy with it keep it, but if your budget is only a few grand don't try doing both upgrades as your going to short change your self, you'll be posting this same thread six months down the road. TT first then CD player. Happy Listening!
Hi, As far as implementing any costly upgrades to your HW-19 Jr, you may have some setbacks, as VPI Discontinued the HW-19 series about two years ago in favor of the new Scout Series.

I do believe VPI does still sell the MK-IV Platter that will retorfit to the Jr ($700), and I also believe the Scout Platter ($300) is retrofittable to the Jr. One other option I believe is still available is the SAMA (Stand Alone Motor Assembly) And of course, the SDS Speed Contoller is available to be used with all VPI 19 Series Tables.

As far as upgrades with Plinths, and Armboards for the Jr, I see VPI, nor any VPI Dealers show mention of any upgrades packages for the 19 Series.

Probably the only way to acquire many of these parts now, will be wither used, or to have custom made.

As others have mentioned, it most likely will be a more cost effective route to sell the VPI 19jr, and use that money towards a perhaps used, better mint model-brand.

Lots of beautiful used, but mint state of the art tables pop up here on a daily basis. A mint used VPI Aries-Aries Black Knight would be a nice step up from the Jr, and used, they aren't so highly priced as when bought new.

Yes, the upgrades you wish to do to a 19Jr will defintely improve it's sound, as so would a better, more costlier Phono Pre-Amp, or Cartridge but I would suspect you won't hear improvments by leaps, and bounds, they'll be more subtle ones. Mark
Thanks guys for the feedback so far. It's a shame that the TT upgrade path is no longer viable, as you both suggested, given either the lack of new parts availability or the price competition from elite used rigs. I actually enjoyed my hw-19 jr. rig immensely at times, hardly being able to fathom which types of audible improvements in particular would result from doing the full monty to it or by going whole hog on an entirely new rig.

I'll awlays wax nostalgic whenever I reflect back on the time my long-time girlfriend and I hooked up my then newly acquired Cardas Hexlink phono cable, and using the very rig I described above and two pairs of Sennheisers (one of us with the HD580, the other with HD600 and periodically swapping), we had the most sublime Beatles and Stones experience imaginable to us. It fact it so far surpassed even the previously enjoyable experiences playing our clean 1st pressing originals and MFSL discs back on our old Rega Planar 2/Grado Platinum combo, that to this day she and I use that experience as the reference by which we qualify or dismiss digitally sourced rock as natural "organic" sounding.

Hardly any analog fans in audio forums ever mention this, but even distortion sounds better on vinyl. Especially the type resulting from JImi Hendrix's use of chain gang guitar amplification (what I call directing the distorted output of one guitar amp into succesive ones which further deranges the sound so as to confer a "sonic signature" - good example of this is the album version of Axis:Bold as Love as well as the album intro), when heard on my vpi sounds has less of a white noise character, and more of an earthy one (i.e. actually captures the sound of hot tube and warm solid state Marshall guitar amps).

But alas, I am more into classical, and I guess I'll can always find some superior table somewhere down the line at an affordable price. Just hope it doesn't take digital so long to catch up to analog - in those qualities unique to the more uncolored example of the latter l - that I have to wait until the kids which I haven't even decided to have yet, have kids of their own and send them off to college before convenience can come without compromise.

Now let's hope that when my two SACD copies of Let it Bleed arrive, that they're as good as some say. THERE BETTER BE SOME DAMN AIR! lol
Hi again Tedd,The reason why I responded, is because I own a HW-19/AQ PT-6/Glider Hi-Output, which was a bought new Junior Model, and I have just recently upgraded it with a used, but perfect condition VPI Mk-IV Lead Impregnated Platter/Bearing/Clamp that I bought here from a great A-Gon seller for $450.Was it worth the cost?.... IMO, yes it was! The difference was as noticable as a much better Cartridge upgrade. I've noticed an improvement in Bass, being cleaner, and tighter-better defined, better articulation, better seperation, and clarity of instruments-voices, and smoother mids, and highs.The noise floor has also improved.I'm thinking that the heavier platter was a better investment versus a different Plinth for this Model.I also added AudioPoints, replacing the 4 stock Rubber Feet, and I'm thinking of making a Sand Filled Base (ala Brightstar) soon to set the Turntable onOn the other side of the coin, is the loss of investment $$$ when buying items like this new, and then having to sell it on the used market. Buying used, and selling used usually isn't quite as much a loss in investment dollars.In my case, I felt it was worth it to keep the turntable, as it still looks like the day I bought it.Ultimately, the decision will be yours, but the Turntable I mention in a previous response, the VPI Aries Black Knight would probably run $2400-$2500 used.In fact, there is one right now I believe on ebay that looks very nice.Other than that, you could possibly do as I did, and play the waiting game here on A-Gon for good used condition upgrade parts for your VPI 19 down the road. Mark