VPi HW 19 jr upgrade

I have a the above table with MKII platter, Audioquest arm and Grado Sonata. With the multitude of used VPI tables, platters and factory supplied upgrades whats my best sub $1,000 route?
Interesting thing is most VPIs and other manufactures tend to go unsprung these days in this price range and above verses the MKII +++ type of layout. My HW JR has the sorbathane pucks. I'd like advice from from experienced VPI owners. What route should I go with the table and or should I get a different arm? Thanks,
I'd go with the platter or power supply upgrades before the arm myself. I like those Audioquest arms (made by Jelco).

A potentially much cheaper upgrade which was performed no the Jr I bought, was attaching cone feet.

But don't know your cart, so can't comment there.
I am a long time vpi owner. I think the MK3 was the best platter they made. It was lead and the government put a stop to lead products,try to pick up one used. I also removed the springs. I also own a Sonata and use it with SME 309 arm, a perfect combo. So the first move I would make is get a MH3 platter.
Well, come to think about it I'm not actually sure what platter I have.....Will the weight tell me? Its all black with cork on the underside.
I got a digital scale that I forgot we had. Platter weights 9.2lbs with spindle.
That is a MK3 platter. Is the spindle attached to the platter (one piece)and is it lead not metal.
Yes, the spindle is one piece and inserts from the bottom.
Is it lead? Not sure but its certainly not metal. Probably lead, its softer than steel or Alu.
That is definitely a MK3 platter. Also a MK3 table has a separate arm board and a steel chassis under the plinth. You have a great table. Spend your money on another upgrade. Tonearm?
I think the thread is giving some confusing, and erroneous info.

This is what I know-have heard, and believe is correct.

While I have no personal experience with this particular platter, I would take an educated guess, and say the 25 lb Super Platter was probably the best to go on board the HW-19. This was only made a very short while, is a very rare Platter to acquire. This one I believe had an inverted bearing

Then I would say next in line, would be the second version MK-IV/TNT Platter, which was claimed to weigh 18 lbs. I think this platter was delrin-Stainless, with lead impregnation ring, cork bottom, and I think the three point pin system at center of platter.

Then the 16 lb first version MK-IV Platter. I have this one. All delrin, with lead impregnated ring, cork bottom, and three point suspension on platter.

Then I would say the MK-III Platter, which I think weighed 12 lbs

Then the MK-II, and then the Junior, which was a frosted clear acrlyic at 6 lbs weight. I originally owned this platter.

All platters mentioned above are only available on the used market, and audiogon IMO would be the best likely source for one of these mentioned above.

There are still numerous platters being made by VPI that will easily retrofit onto the HW-19. And I believe all of them now have the inverted bearing. All others I mention above other than the Super Platter had the older, conventional bearing designs.

The current platters that I believe will fit the HW-19, is the Scout Platter, there is a MK-IV Platter I believe, but without lead ring.

And lastly, the 18 lb Classic Platter. This is said to be machined aluminum, with a stainless steel resonance ring, which I believe is on the bottom of the Platter.

List on the Classic Platter is I believe $800, but I understand the street price through a dealer is less.

Where the Classic Platter fits into the VPI Heirarchy, it's hard to say? Some may say it is the best, if not one of the best, or perhaps fits in between somewhere with some of the older platters? Perhaps much depends upon personal tastes, and likes?

While the Audioquest Arm will raise high enough to work with basically any of the VPI Platters, it will look quite ugly sitting really high. I had a custom Armbase made for my AQ Arm which was 1/2" thicker than stock. A machined circular spacer could also serve the same purpose, and I went this route some years back, cost from a local machinist for the 1/2" thick aluminum spacer was $20.

Getting rid of the stock rubber feet will help considerably with the sound. I went with a relatively expensive, small AudioPoint 1.0, with brass coupling discs with 10/32 thread that is a direct screw in fit.

There's dozens more ways to go, SAMA's, the VPI SDS, replacement of Sorbo Pucks, with something like Herbies tall tenderfeet, if the table has a seperate armboard, any good plastics company could make a clone armboard, undrilled, and have it drilled-tapped for any different Tonearm of choice.

Wite to me if you wish to chat about this further, I can send pics of what I have done, what the costs were, and what improvements they made, Mark
Thanks for the info.
I bought the table used back in '93 and was just happy it had an upgraded platter. Never had paperwork regarding the platter.

So do you think replacing the plinth with a Mk3 set up with Sorbos is a good route? Or do think leaving as is and maybe an arm? Didn't follow you there.

thanks, Steve
The Mk III or IV's steel and acrylic chassis, is a definite improvement, over the Jr's. You can buy a one piece, MK IV sub-chassis, from VPI for $300.00: (http://www.vpiindustries.com/static.php?page=HW-19) Add a SAMA for $400.00(or build your own, if you're handy), for another major improvement in sound. The Audioquest/Jelco arms were nice units, and worth keeping.

Thanks. $300 is not bad. So, that's run the springs or the Sorbos with the steel and acrylic chassis?

I had the Jr with a MK4 platter, Jelco 250 arm and Grado Ref Sonata cart. I eventually sold the table to upgrade to an Aries 1 but kept the cart which I like. Buyer wanted the table mostly for its coveted platter.

Some other upgrade options are the Stainless clamp, $150 new, less used.

Replace the feet. Many options here. One that I know of is Edensound who have 2 options available. Dan the owner has done a lot of VPI feet replacements.

Free upgrades: Take the cover off when playing records to reduce vibration. Keep the bearing lubed at least once a year.

Maple butcher block under the table, 2 to 3 inches thick. $5o and up. Look for a cutting board, cheaper than the "Audiophile" boards. Lots of sellers on ebay.

It's a great table and a real bargain for the going rate I see them listed for.
If you change the sub-chassis you will have to get armboard. Take a look at the MK3's for sale on this site and you will see what I am talking about. The jr has a one piece plinth and can't be put on that steel sub-chassis. If it was my $1000 to spend I would check out SME M2 tonearm. But thats your call.
Better check with VPI on this, as I believe the one piece MK-IV Plinth does not have provision for a seperate Armboard.

Hypothetically, you could attach just the Steel Sub-Chassis Sheet to the underside of a Junior Plinth. What you would most likely find, is a Plinth that then sits a bit too high within the base, and it would mean using less tall Plinth Suspenion components of some sort.

All VPI did, was attach the Steel Sheet to main Plinth with Silicone RTV Sealant.

I see my other informative post, albeit a bit long, did not make this thread. Typical of practices here where you post at the mod's discretion.
I read somewhere that replacing the sorbathane pucks with cones, making the jr a non-suspended table improved this table. I have a jr and intended to experiment, but never got around to it. I would definitely recommend replacing the feet with cones.
My sincere apologies to the moderators, I should realize that the holidays are upon us, and that people have lives, sorry folks.

Some of my info above may be slightly flawed as well. I see now, according to VPI's site, a listing for a Super Scoutmaster Platter to fit the HW-19, which may possibly be what was once called a newer version "MK-IV Platter" (without lead ring)?

There's many ways one could go with suspension tricks between Plinth and Base. At one time, many claimed foam Pool Noodles worked well, but I would imagine that after time, sagging, and an inherit lowering of the Plinth within the Base will occur due to weight.

Ultra hard products would possibly make gains in some certain areas of the sound, but also could have detriment with transmission of motor noise, vibration interaction from music, or footfalls, etc.

Sometimes a stethescope can be a valuable tool with such a table.

Seems like VPI's philosophies at one time, were to highly isolate every component in the chain from one another.

Use of various materials will impart a change in the sound, and other qualities in some respect.

The beauty of the HW-19, is its basically simple, almost "home depot mod, and upgrade" design.
Certainly getting rid of the rubber feet is the next and quick
change. Looked at the Audiopoints and Dan's site, Eden Audio. Nice prices there and sent him an email.
I like the maple base idea too and butcher block verses audiophile base.
BTW, I initially installed the VPI/Jelco adjustable VTA base for the arm. It came with the table. What a POS..Unstable, poorly designed and didn't work to boot. Have that around here somewhere.
Ssurbaugh If you want a pic of what my VPI looks like with Edensound feet and Maple base, send me your email address and I'll respond. BTW, just a customer, I have no financial interest with any vendors I mentioned.

ssurbaugh at G mail..Thanks!

"The beauty of the HW-19, is its basically simple, almost "home depot mod, and upgrade" design."

I'd agree with that.

I find it interesting that most TT manufacturers are not using spring suspensions any more. Certainly VPI. 15-20 years ago it was a norm and we're talking about something that's really all that complex. Nothing about playing a record has changed. (Granted very complex solutions have been designed to create the perfect platform for extracting sound from vinyl.) Maybe the combination of Linn and others using springs just set a standard and everyone followed.

One thing that does bug me about VPI is this:

You can take a Scout, for example and make it a Scoutmaster or Super Scout Master or whatever and price it out more than a Classic 2 or 3. Makes no sense to me. The foundation of a lesser model should not exceed the price (and performance) of a higher model IF the higher model is actually of superior performance. Not to mention the "Ring Clamp" deal. Man, that came out 25 years ago by...someone help me here I can't remember the manufacturer, I demod the table...If it actually worked well why wasn't incorporated then by VPI? (Unless it was patented...which would have run out in 17 years anyway but doesn't appear to be patentable) And if it does work why doesn't anyone else us it? VPI is constantly doing the upgrade moves to milk more $$$ out of market.
What I know about VPI's is that the table enjoys a solid pathway to the center of the earth. The Edensound Bearpaws as mentioned was a tremendous improvement to mine.
Glad to hear it. I just ordered a set. Very reasonable prices. Probably near 1/2 the price of others.

Its funny. My buddy put cones on his VPI 15 years ago and I certainly meant to get some but never did. Takes a forum like this to get off my ass....
Here we go again. Some well-intended but questionable info so far.

The MK2 and Mk3 platters were the same platter; no difference. It is a very good platter, but not as good as the heavier Mk4/TNT platters. The difference between the Mk2 and Mk3 tables was the stainless steel chassis and acrylic top plate of the Mk3. The difference in sound between the Mk2/3 chassis and the one you have (Jr.) is not nearly as significant as the difference between the Jr. frosted and Mk2 platter. So, you are in good shape as far as that goes. Personally, I would leave the chassis alone and add a SDS. The improvement will be greater than that wrought by adding the SAMA, or even the MK4 platter. A no-brainer IMO. A used SDS and a Denon 103R (if you have the gain) for $1000, and you will be in a different sonic league.
Mr SS- I'm at a loss as to what is meant by a, "one piece plinth". The HW19 plinth is the wooden bottom, to which the feet are attached, and they are all, "one piece". It's a simply thing to drill the Mk IV chassis for your tonearm, and, staying with your platter; no height problems will arise, as they do with the much heavier ones(yes- they offer improved sound, but at a higher price). The Mk III platter(that you have) should weigh in at right around 9 lbs. I found that by changing out the 10-24 blind nuts, in the bottom of the plinth, for 1/4-20's(http://www.fastener-express.com/blind-nuts-t-nuts.aspx), and installing four sorbothane feet(http://www.ebay.com/itm/SORBOTHANE-MOUNTABLE-RUBBER-SHOCK-ABSORBING-FOOT-/250592843589?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a587f5745), I was able to eliminate EVERY vestige of acoustic feedback, from my turntable, in my very cramped listening environment.

Sorry if I'm throwing around incorrect terminology. I was referring to the oak base on which the feet are attached as the base and the 1" MDF on the Jr which houses the arm, bearing and platter as the plinth, apparently erroneously...

Referring to 2 piece I meant that in terms of what I was calling the plinth and an armboard...those 2 pieces as opposed to a JR which has one piece to hold the arm and platter.
Per a recent conversation with VPI: The was an, "early" Mk II, frosted acrylic platter, and the, "later" acrylic/lead Mk II & III platter which you own. Regarding the springs, vs the pucks: Some prefer one over the other. The low cost allows for much experimentation(except for the MK IV springs). The spring tension/design DOES VARY GREATLY, between the various iterations of platter, and their weights. Buying a used platter can be risky, as the spindles/bearings can be easily damaged(there are a lot of clutzes out there). The steel and acrylic BOTH comprise what is called the, "chassis" of the HW19, and the heavier/the better(by a wide margin). Of course- the acrylic armboard is a separate entity, on all but the Jr(no steel) & Mk IV. I own the SDS, and they do make a huge difference in sound quality, providing your house voltage is not a stable 60Hz(mine wasn't), or- if your speed is off, for any reason. Good luck finding one at a price used, that allows any room(within your budget) for further mods. You can buy one new, at MSS Hi-Fi, for $995.00. Isolating the motor from the plinth(as with the SAMA), will cost you very little, if you can DIY. Of course the Denon 103R is a nice cartridge, IF your phonostage will support a .25mV moving coil's output, as opposed to your present 4.5mV, and allow for proper MC loading.
Well thats two recommendations for SDS...
Thanks for all the help. I've certainly got a number of different thoughts. And I both the Mark2 and Mark 3 platter.
And yes, it weights 9 pounds.
Rodman,The platter sits on the plinth.The feet are mounted to the base.

You mention,
"Of course- the acrylic armboard is a separate entity, on all but the Jr(no steel) & Mk IV."

All photo's I've located and a stereophile review show an armboard on the MKIV. I'm looking at the option of a Mark IV chassis.
I am quite certain that either the Jurior's MDF, or the more costly versions, with Steel Chassis Plate-acrylic top were referred to as "Plinths".

The Oak, Black Oak, Walnut, or Piano Black wood was referred to as "Bases".

And I have once seen a MK-III Platter, in which the lower 1/2 of the Platter was metal. What about that one boys?

I knew the person who owned it, and in fact I helped him have constructed a solid one piece 1.00" thick black acrylic plinth for his own turntable. I underatand he later was able to acquire a MK-IV platter from here about a year ago.

As I'm sure many of you VPI fans know, that over the years, Harry made mucho stuff. Some came and went.

About any arguments about Harry, and his being a savvy businessman, and talk about upgrades to the upgrades, I for one am happy that he did offer many upgrade paths for these old classic tables.

It permeitted me to start out and get the VPI without too much initial outlay, and as time allowed, was able to improve this table. Sadly, I did wait a bit too long for much of it, and thus much was no longer available, and then harder to acquire on the used market.

I would assume as time passes, the logical answer will be, it will become harder and harder to acquire certain parts for this model.

But where there's a will, there's a way. There's many paths, as far as plinths, Platters, etc that could be implemented with some expertise, and some thinking.

If I had the funds, and the desire, I could probably retrofit a 42 lb Galibier Design Stelvio Platter on board, or some other maker's exotica. The question is, would it be worth the costs? Mark
Mr SS- I was referring to the Mk IV chassis, that VPI offers as an upgrade. It's one piece(no armboard).
yogi- Here you will find a copy of the VPI manual: (http://vpiindustries.com/files/HW-19MK-3%20MANUAL%20MAT.pdf) You'll note that the spindle is mounted in the CHASSIS, and the platter(or course) is inserted on it. Further: "plinth" is defined as the lowest part of a "base", in the English language: (http://www.hifiturntables.com/plinths/) (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plinth) Isn't semantic gymnastics fun?
Guys - for suspended turntables the bearing/arm are mounted on a subchassis. In the case of the VPI it is a "floating sub-chassis" - it has either springs or sorbathane between the subchassis and plinth. The wooden frame and base are the plinth.