Maybe I'l chime in, (if the mods will let me) saying that this thread seems to have mucho differences, and who do we trust?
My first questions, are, why does the SDS deserve special merit, when the Periphery Ring, and Center Weight are used? How does these mechanical components compliment a electronic one?!
Maybe Andrew Dice Clay needs to chime in, saying this is some sick, confusing thread?
Now don't oust me modders, I'm just getting started here!
I believe the SDS is mandatory for every VPI Table, because none of them have accurate speed. No slam against VPI, this is true of virtually all Belt Driven Tables. Can't be helped due to irregularities of Platter, and Pulley size. Throw in a stretched Belt, a different, new Lube on Bearing, a different Temperature even, and you have variance.
What does the Ring Clamp do, other than eliminate Lip Warps from about 1% of your Record Collection? Add mass? If you want mass, with a Platter the weight of a Sewer Cover, and a Bearing that makes some Car Axles look puny, sell the VPI, and buy a Galibier.
Upgrades from Arm to Arm? I just don't know, a crap shoot?
How Starcon rates the Super Platter at the bottom of the list, just above the Feet, is beyond me? IMO probably one of the most significant upgrades of all.
I like the fact that VPI offers a path, but as has been mentioned, these upgrades upon upgrades will make you broke.
How much are you willing to lose for trade-sale of parts?
I'm just a "bantam weight" here in this forum, but before you shell out the $$$, do some more homework, maybe buy a Table-Arm, where you aren't changing out components every other week.
Again, want to say,everyone here will have a different opinion, and they aren't necessarily wrong. I don't believe m viewpoints are wrong either. Mark