I have a Fully Updated VPI HW19 MK.IV, with SDS, and its SPRUNG. I have always been happy with my Table, on both concrete, and a @nd Floor Wood Floor Apartment, with a Nice Homemade shelf for Isolation, and a Birch Wood Shelf, I made it all myself. Anyway. I recently talked to Mike at VPI...and the OP hit the Nail on the Head! Its all about cost, and conserving money. Mike told me that my table, the HW19 MK.IV was just about as good as it gets. He also said that at ant time I could always experiment with removing the springs, and putting in the Foam Swimming Noodles, in 3 inch peices, to get a Non Suspended Table, without buying the Special parts they sell that drop in, with same result, for far less money.
Mike also stated that the only reason that they stopped making the HW19 Series of tables was they were far too expensive to keep on making. He said he preferred them to the modern UNSPRUNG VPI Tables, and that if anything at all, would possibly improve my table. it would be to keep it Sprung, as is, but to replace my Tonearm, with a JMW 10.5i...and he would make me up the custom armboard, but for a considerable cost. Im not sure I agree that the JMW Tonearm would be a better choice than my ZETA Silver Wired VandenHul Tonearm. The ZETA was once a world class arm, and by many standards, still is. So, without getting to hear the JMW 10.5i Arm on my Table, I really couldn't fairly say, but Im just telling you how the long conversation went with Mike regarding the HW19 Series of Tables, and I called him to ask this in particular. Reason is, is that I have listened to the Airies, Scout, Scout Master, etc....and have not found any of them to make me feel like WOW...that I felt, and still feel, with my VPI HW19 MK.IV...I love this table, And have been fully pleased with each upgrade, from the HW19 Jr. when I started, in 1986, then went to the Mk.II...Mk.III, and finally into the MK.IV with all the best updates, the better platter, and even went with the SDS, from the Power Line Conditioner. Had to jump in here, as this was a recent discussion I had with Mike, that lasted quite some time, and he stated that they just could not afford to keep on making the HW19 Series of Tables. ray