Upgrade my Turntable????

I just purchased a new ZYX Airy 3 from Mehran aka Sorasound and am completely blown away at the difference between it and my Grado Statement Ref. (which was by no means a slouch). I am hearing much more of everything: resolution, extension, tonal color, dynamics, etc. etc. I cannot recommend this cartridge enough.

I currently have it mated to a VPI Aries/JMW 10, and I am wondering how much of an improvement a higher end (see more expensive) TT might make. Would a VPI/HRX, or a Teres 340 be a huge improvement or am I very solidly at the point of diminishing returns with my Aries? As you all know it is next to impossible to audition anything analog in your system before buying, so any advise is appreciated.

If I might add an adendumn to my question; I wonder if anyone has compared the top TT's from the larger companies like VPI and Basis to the Teres products. I sure would like to go for the Teres if they are as good as some people say (and if I ever get that kind of dough) but worry about a small company eventually going under and leaving me with an unserviceable product.

Thanks in advance

The only item in the Teres that could be a problem..maybe..is the bearing. All of the other components can be duplicated. Well, the platter would not be so simple but platters don't break easily. Buy an extra bearing if you buy a new Teres and that will allay any fears of winding up with an orphan. After all, all it is is a base, armpod, platter, motor, and bearing. The motor can be replicated from other sources. Same for a turntable such as a Clearaudio or Scheu.

You have a very good turntable. The unipivot arm may not be the best match for your new cartridge but that is only a guess not having any experience. I prefer a traditional gimble type arm.
"worry about a small company eventually going under and leaving me with an unserviceable product."

SME 20/IV.Vi is a huge improvement over my Aries/JMW10 which i sold on Gon few months ago. (I use various cartridges with a great result: VX-1's,Rua,and Ruby2)

I am going to receive ZYX Airy 2S this Wed/Thursday and i'll let you know how the combo sound as soon as possible.

Hope this is help.
Actuall you're correct. The differance would be rather small if anything at all. I found that the cartridge makes the biggest difference. I have an SME V and a Rega and if you set them up properly, there's very little difference in the sound. (Rega has Expressimo Audio's Heavyweight, rewire with Cardas, VTA adjusted properly, etc.)...but still.... The turntable makes little difference if it too is set up properly.
There are discussions of "shoot-outs" in the archives on Audiogon, and on AA.

There aren't any "formal shoot-outs" in the magazines that I know about. It's kind of a thing that enthusiasts do to satisfy their curiosity about which sounds better to them.

The Aries is a solid performer and should give you fine sound. You can do better, but it depends on how much you want to spend, and what brand you might buy.

I personally own a Teres 245, and think it is a very good performer for the money.

You should know that you are already on the "diminishing returns" part of the curve, and you'll generally have to spend significantly more to get smaller incremental improvements as you go up the ladder. This can be mitigated somewhat by purchasing factory direct(such as Teres and Redpoint) which eliminate the dealer mark-ups. But they don't have any dealers where you can go listen to them. Or, you could buy a good used turntable, which can save you some money.

So yes, in a roundabout way, I'm saying you can get more performance out of your analog sound, but you will have to be careful to choose a table that actually will be a better performer, and will likely have to spend some additional money to get it.
At this level of performance an interconnect change will make more difference than a new table. Still, I'm an advocate of improving the source if you can clearly afford it, especially in the analog realm as the upgrade is long lasting if not life long.

Your concern about a Teres being unserviceable is of no concern as described above.

Glad to hear your reaction to the Airy 3-SB. I know two other guys who went from Grado Statement Ref to ZYX R100 Fuji or higher. Their reaction was the same as yours.

Your longevity concerns re: a Teres were well addressed by C123666. Sourcing another wood platter would be all but impossible, but there are few other items of concern. The bearing would be expensive to duplicate but a Teres bearing should last about 1,000 years - unless you do something really stupid. The ball and thrust plate will wear, but those are easily obtained or made by any machine shop.
You'll get stronger dynamics with an Airy 3 than an Airy 2, especially on an SME IV. Unless your system is exceptionally dynamic or your room is very lively I'd consider the next step up.

If the Airy 2 is your budgetary limit you could get one of Mehran's demo Airy 3's for about the same as a new Airy 2. That would be my choice, FWIW. I know for certain he has an Airy 3-X-SB with <80 hours on it, and will offer a prorated warranty.

Thanks for the info. I haven't heard any ZYX at all and this is going to be my first time.

I heard the 2 was warmer than 3,so i went with it.

I might consider the Universe if i like the 2.
I heard the 2 was warmer than 3,so i went with it.
I'd say "smoother", if that's the opposite of "livelier". Both are tonally neutral, neither warm nor cool.

I expect you'll love it, but if it doesn't quite "boogie" enough for your tastes both the Airy 3 and UNIverse would resolve that deficiency.

The UNIverse shocked me again last night. After 15 weeks it still does that regularly. Even records I've played with it before sound new with repeated plays. I'm going to hear it next to a couple of $10K+ cartridges soon. It will be interesting to see if the "lowly" $5K ZYX can hold its own.
A very nice upgrade IMHO is the aries 2 platter so you can get the record hold down ring.
Once you get used to the needle actually riding on a flat surface it is pretty addictive and you wonder why it took so long for people to come up with it.
You also can run without any damping oil with the ring in place and that has been suggested to improve prt a bit.
I can't give you a before and after comparison as I went to a different cart. at the same time that I changed platter and hold down clamp and got the ring and dumped the damping oil. FWIW, me happy.
Good luck.
Thanks for all of the advise guy's. It was through reading a lot of your posts here that I was able to sift through all of the cartridge issues. I am really enjoying my TT so I know I should just sit back and enjoy........... still, one can't help but wonder sometimes.