Which VPI platter would you choose?

I've been back into analog for a few years now. I acquired an HW 19 MK2 for a good price that needed some love and was able to square it away by doing a few simple repairs.

I maintained the same approach for coming up with an arm, and picked up a Rega 250 that already had the Michell weight and Incognito wiring at a good price. The only thing I added to the arm was the Michell VTA adjuster and an arm board I made up myself from oak plywood that I nicely finished.

I settled on a Clearaudio Virtuoso Wood MM. I had to wait a month to get it, but it was a good price. It allowed me to simply use the phono section of my Audible Illusions 2D without the expense of a step up.

So there is my analog rig. I have enjoyed it immensely over the last few years especially with all the new vinyl that I have added to my old collection.

I've always been on the watch for different upgrades for the table. I was happy when I recently scored an Aries 1 platter at a great price. The only catch was that it didn't come with a bearing.

I gave VPI a call. During my discussion with them I asked whether an inverted bearing could be used with the table and platter. They said they could come up with something for me, but that I should ship it to them so they could evaluate it.

I got the call back today. It seems that making the inverted bearing work with the Aries 1 platter and the HW 19 couldn't happen without great expense and time. I was told I could use a standard bearing if I wanted, or for a reasonable fee they would allow me to trade up to either a Super Platter or the new 12" platter that they use on their new "Classic" turntable. Both utilize an inverted bearing design and weigh within a few pounds of each other.

The Super Platter design is pretty familiar to everyone. It was explained to me that the new "Classic" platter has a very accurately machined all aluminum shell that has a stainless disc pressed into the bottom of it for mass.

I have to say that I think it's great that VPI has offered me this opportunity, but it has made me stop to wonder what exactly might be the best thing to do. I have obviously tried to be frugal while at the same time incorporating good quality components. I was very impressed with the Aries 1 platter when I picked it up and thought that it was going to work out great.

I am lucky enough at this time to be able to consider any of these choices in terms of cost. Is it worth going for the inverted bearing and larger diameter platters? or would the Aries platter achieve the same results with the use of a standard bearing? I know by going with the 12" platters I will then be able to obsess over additional upgrades like the periphery ring...;)

Maybe I should also mention that I intend to scrap the stock suspension and install the new solid isolators that they are now using in the "Classic". In addition, I finally invested in a quality step up and picked up a low output MC cartridge that I will be setting up to experiment with.
Stick with the Aries I platter, which is really the TNT Mk. V platter. Stick with the regular bearing that VPI has indicated it will provide. The only issue will be that you cannot use the VPI p-ring, as the platter is really only 11.5 inches. Don't touch the new 'Classic' yet as it is going to need some exposure before its plus and minus's are know. If you need the p-ring I would go with the Super on a trade in. VPI offered me the Classic for $600 after trade in. What are they offering, after trade in for the Super.
What he said. There are other rings available, if you want a ring you might check to see if one fits. Rings do help but they are not everything. I would use the table with the Aries platter for a while before I changed anything.
If anyone knows of a p-ring that will fit the Aries I platter please let me know. I've not found one, yet.
Thanks for the feedback. I have to admit that my first reaction was to go with the Super Platter since it seems to be "the upgrade" and it would also allow me to use the P-ring.

Then I started considering a few other things.

The Aries I has an incredible reputation. Could its platter sound just as good or better than one of these other platters even with just a standard bearing? Maybe someone can answer this question for me. What type of bearing is used in the Aries I table with its stock platter? Standard or Inverted?

It also occurred to me that the 12" platters might require that I remove the cover from the motor pulley permanently. It definitely requires a different pulley. After I measured the stock platter and clearence it seemed like it might fit after all. However, once I considered the added diameter of a P-ring it seemed to me that the cover would have to go without a doubt.

I have actually read that some people remove the cover purposely, and they have stated it has a positive affect on the sound of the table. I don't know about that, I have played it both ways and can't discern a difference. Being able to leave the cover in place is simply an aesthetic preference on my part, if someone told me that getting the 12" platters required its removal but the sonic improvement over the Aries I platter would blow me away I would remove it, otherwise I would prefer to leave it alone.

Me, again. If you go with the 12 inch platter I would like to buy your motor cover. For now getting the Aries bearing would be the best choice.
If the platter you have is the one recently listed for $225 VPI told me it cost over $300 to make. I would have bought it myself if I had a table it would fit. I have a Super Platter myself but that platter has a great reputation.
The "new" inverted bearing is no better or worse that the original bearing. There is no theoretical difference in performance between the two.