VPI HW-19 Mk. IV Upgrade and Questions

Disclaimer: I'm not liable for any costs or expendichures this mod gives you. I can not verify the long-term effects, for I've just discovered this last week.

I was doing yearly maintence on my stereo (as well as tweaking as I moved 6 months ago) and decided to clean my platter bearing assembly. Reading the notes on the VPI site about the Aries 2 needing new Lithium Grease every year, I decided to clean out the molylube (black) grease completely (thinking it was dirty). I then added "CNC brand White lithum grease".

I cleaned the excess drippage on the bottom of the bearing. I added some more after 4 hours of spinning.

Thinking I destroyed the bearing, I called VPI. Apparently, VPI went to the Lithium grease becauase background noise dissappeared. They assured me this 're-lube' is ok just to top it off every few months.

Let me tell you......lp backgrounds are DEAD SILENT. Even at 10 o clock on the my Cambridge Audio A500 the lp (Renissance--Brandford Marsalis and You Must Believe In Spring). When going from track to track, it's as silent as the CD!!

In addition, the soundstage has gotten so much better. I hear overtones and the echo of harmonics for saxes and horns. On the Koln Concert (Keith Jarrett), In the middle of Section 2a I clearly hear the overtones his "slamming" of his foot on the petal and how the wood vibrates in the expansive hall.

Ok, try this at your own risk. But belive me, I don't hardly regret it. :-)

So, here's my question: What would make a Denon 103 sound strong and full, but easily distort in the midrange?


How did you "clean out the molylube (black) grease completely (thinking it was dirty)"?


P.S. What tonearm do you use on the HW-19 Mk. IV?

To "clean the dirty bearing", I first removed the spindle housing from be bearing shaft. I used many Q-Tips to swab the grease out. According to VPI, you never get all the grease out; you get most though.

My tonearm is a Rega 250 with Incognito wiring and a JA Michel Technoweight.


Let me clarify my analogue setup completely:

VPI HW-19 Mk. IV
Rega RB-250 with Incognito Wire and JA Michel Counterweight
Black Diamond Racing Cones
Corian Plinth with custom-made arylic armboard
Sits on 3/4 inch piece of Oak
Denon 103D cartridge (approx. 100 hours)
Audioquest SideWinder Interconnect
Lehmann Black Cube Phono Stage

Arm is set for 1.8g VTF and arm is nearly-parallel to surface. Playing is done with the washer and the Derlin 1-piece clamp.

This should help understand things better.