VPI Turntable choices.


I am in the market again for a turntable. I am torn between the VPI HW-19Mk3 and the VPI Prime Scout. I have owned the Mk3 before, no modifications plain factory setup. I have missed it ever since I sold it for its attractive price and its ability to play vinyl so well.

My question is for those may have moved up to a Prime Scout from something like the HW-19Mk3, for the price difference, was the improvement worth the money or did you find the Mk3 comparable doing some possible upgrades?

Before I get a lot of other suggestions I really want to stick with VPI, I have always been pleased with their turntables and I know what to expect when purchasing one over the internet.

Thanks for the input

Dean

drf24
I can't comment on the Scount but I went from a HW-19Mk4 to an Aries. The Aries is quieter, has better bass, and produces more detail, air, better imaging, and deeper/wider sound stage.

It's really in a different league in my opinion. At least it was for me.

If you can find a used Aries I recommend it. I've heard many times that each step up with VPI produces improvements so the Prime Scout would probably make you happy too.

Thanks for the info, I assumed the Prime Scout would be an improvement just didnt know if it justified the additional money or if the Mk3 could be upgraded to the same level of performance as the Prime Scout.

Thanks again

One thing about the Aries and I assume other non-suspended VPI table, they like a very sturdy, coupled base to sit on. I used a sand-filled base for years. After a move I lost that and have the table on my equipment stand. I had to invest in a Ginko cloud platform to isolate the table from the room and stand.
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I suspect all VPI's are upgradable....re: Ginko Cloud .....it was absolutely no good for MY turntable (I like the guys at Ginko)....try replacing the feet with cones.

The Aries comes with cones as feet. Cones are couplers, not isolators. The HW-19 had a spring suspension, but lots of owners replaced the springs with either Herbies Tenderfeet or SIMS Silencers (Navcom pucks). I'll bet some are now going to try a set of IsoAcoustic GAIA, whose 1/4-20 threading matches that of the VPI spring assembly.

The Aries 1 is a definite improvement on the HW-19, having a separate 16 lb. motor pod, and a great 15 lb. lead-damped aluminum/Delrin platter. It has a cone in each corner as feet, which screw into a 1/4-20 threaded stud in the plinth. IsoAcoustic GAIA again? Even better, a set of Townshend Seismic Pods.

What arm was on the MK 3 when you owned it? 
I still use my 30 year old MK3 with a SME 309 tonearm. After trying many tables, I still think the VPI is a great table. After changing many components over the years the MK 3 remains in my system!
for the price i love my hw-19 mk iv.  have a jelco 250st arm
SOTA, seriously better turntable.
mijostyn- Personal preferences aside, I have owned the HW-19mk3 and enjoyed it, but like many I thought I could find a better turntable. I am not a sophisticated listener, not all the time but a lot of the time I am working on equipment while listening to music. So my thought process is to go back to what I know I enjoyed or possibly go one step higher/newer.
There is another VPI choice, kinda best of both worlds. It's the Prime Super Scout, basically a VPI Prime on a Scout plinth.  Special build for Upscale Audio. I went that direction and have zero regrets. Go check it out, compare and take your time deciding what's best for you. 
I own an original VPI Aries Extended.  It's a great table, but the addition of three original Stillpoint cones improved performance quite a bit.  I don't know whether the Prime Signature outperforms it or not.  If it does, it's most likely due to the better arm on the Prime.  

I recently saw an Aries 2 package with SDS and a cart somewhere for around $3300 OBO.  That's a pretty good deal.
@bpoletti, in the past year I got the best deal of my audiophile life. I found an Aries 1 in great condition, missing its' bearing housing and platter. Just the plinth with its' four cone feet, motor in its' separate pod, and arm board, for $400. Shortly thereafter I found an Aries 1 bearing (1" threaded stainless steel) and platter (the 1.25" thick version---3/8" Delrin top layer, 7/8" aluminum/lead bottom layer), also in Mint- condition, for $300. Nice turntable for $700!
My friend went from a 19 to a prime scout and there was a significant difference and you have all modern upgrade options. As the poster up above said if you can swing the superscout from Upscale Audio you will be set for life. 
I picked up a VPI Ares 3 a couple of years ago with the super platter mounted on it.  I replaced the conical feet it came with as they were not effective at isolating acoustic feedback with my second level listening area on a wood floor/post and beam framed area.   The table weighs around 75 pounds so I fitted a set of four SVS Isofeet made for their subs and they completely dampened any and all feedback and foot drops.  

The turntable is absolutely fabulous, I would highly recommend it.
I mounted a SME Series IV tonearm.