The VPI power conditioner (SDS) does wonders for the TNT 3.5. Going from an older PLC to a newer PLC improved the sound, but going from a newer PLC to an SDS made the performance jump much higher still. The motor has two belts and a pulley assembly between it and a 21-pound platter. How could the SDS be that much better for sound than a recent PLC? I don't know, but it works really well: better tonal accuracy, imaging, dynamics, detail, and most of all, more engaging. A sense of focus and a feeling of correctness in the presentation increased when I moved to the SDS.
As for the pneumatic feet, a user I corresponded with a while back had made that upgrade and loved the improvement it wrought. On the other hand, when I asked Mike at VPI if going with the pneumatic feet or the TNT 5 platter and bearing (same price for each upgrade), he recommended getting the platter/bearing. Interesting.
I will be replacing my motor (SAMA) soon; mine is having trouble getting the platter to start when the speed is set correctly for 33.3 rpm. (I know there is a spindle replacement for the motor, but there are other issues with the motor as well.) I can report if a newer motor makes any difference if folks are interested. The new motors have a different cord and cord attachment arrangement. I am also told (VPI) that the build quality in general is better now, too.
(For reference, I use an SME V arm, Benz Micro H20 cart, on a granite slab on a Target TT5T stand; Music Metre Silver phono cable or Cardas PIB and Coincident CST I interconnects.)
Has anyone heard if the TNT Hot Rod is a good way to go?