VPI HW-19 Jr. Upgrade

I am considering upgrading my VPI 19 Jr. w/AQ PT-6.
I've narrowed it down as the followings.

1. Upgrade my Jr. to the Mk4
2. Put the Scout platter and bearing on my JR
3. Upgrade to the Scout/JMW-9 and sell my JR./PT-6
4. Change JMW 10 Tonearm

What is my best bet in upgrading from my Jr.?
What kind of sonic improvement can I expect?

It would be very appreciate if you give me an advice.
Any other suggestions are welcome too.
I also have a HW-19 Jr. and have considered similar paths (it was the reason I bought the VPI instead of Rega). I would additionally be interested in the sonic difference (i.e. improvement) these upgrades would provide, because the current Hw-19 jr. is a really solid table (mine is equipped with a sumiko blue point cartridge) and I can't believe these upgrades (all of which would be expensive) could be justified by the increase you would get in performance/sound. Can someone with expertise disagree with me and tell me that I'm missing out on a whole new level of performance here??

Additionally, I have been interested in what kind of performance increases you get with the VPI SMS (stand alone motor system).

Great thread...
sell the jr and buy a scout.
i went with a mk III platter/bearing and like it well enough to not advance any further at this point.
About 12 years ago, I bought the VPI HW-19 Mk2, and then upgraded to the Mk3, and finally the Mk4 version (with a Rega RB900 arm and Grado Reference cartridge). I had a chance recently to do some extensive listening to the Scout with the JMW 9 arm. Based on my personal experiences, I would recommend either the Scout/JMW9 arm (first choice), or upgrading all the way to the HW-19 Mk4 version (which has been consistently acknowledged as one of the best high-end turntables at its price). I would not bother to upgrade to the Mk3 version.

The HW-19 Mk4 table is good enough that it will benefit from a very good tonearm and cartridge, so if you decide to go for this ugrade, you should be prepared to get a high quality tonearm and cartridge at some point if you expect to get the full performance that this table is capable of.
Sdcampbell, what are the difference between a MkII and a MkIII?
You'll hear a notable improvement going from the Jr. to the MkIV. For all the hype over the Scout, I haven't heard one up close, but the Mk IV sounds great, and would be worth putting a very nice arm and cart on.

Bear in mind the Scout is an entirely different design from the MkIV, so if you like the HW sound and want "more of it", so to speak, then that's the way to go...I can't tell you what you want ;)
John Zurket at positive-feedback.com recently reviewed my pandafeet sorbothane footers with his VPI 19 Jr. and raved about the results:


I'm sure plenty of other products would work as well, but it does seem that vibration control helps the performance of these tables.

(mods, feel free to delete this post if you feel it inappropriate)

I started out with an HW-19 plinth and MkIII bearing and platter. Then Aries 2 platter and bearing with more sound improvement. Then I built 2" cocobolo plinth with lead load to replace the HW-19 plinth which move my TT into a whole different level. You can pick your plinth design from Teresaudio.com and use VPI platter and bearing instead of Teres. I used classic tonearms such as SME 3009, SME type III, Black Widow, and various Audio Technica Broadcasting tonearms.
I upgraded my HW19 Jr by adding the MK III platter and spindle and noted improved detail especially in the bass.
I got an email from someone here on Agon several months ago about making a plinth for the Jr from kitchen counter material like Corian(sp?). Haven't tried that yet but he claimed it made a nice improvement.
I started with a Jr. w) PT-6 arm and an Ortofon (don't remember model number) cartridge. Upgraded to a Mk III and finally a Mk IV. Still have the PT-6 arm but now use a Sumiko Blue Point Special cartridge. Sounds great --- although the turntable guru at my dealer tells me I really should upgrade the arm. Maybe someday, but for right now I'm more than satisfied.