Calling on all HW-19 owner to upgrade

Calling on all HW-19 owner to upgrade

Postby Matthew-Levi » Sun Jul 03, 2016 10:32 pm

I had a HW-19 since the mid 80's and have upgraded to a Mark IV in early 90's. I had a SME 309 arm on it. I was pretty happy with it. Recently, a bought a VAS cartridge from Steven Leung and he suggested that I should upgrade my TT and ask me to talk to Harry. So I wrote Harry and asked about upgrade path for my HW-19. He suggested there are some used 12" platters (gone to hi-fi shows), bearings, record clamp and arm that I can use to upgrade. After many emails and a fairly long wait (I guess Harry is really busy even after retirement and can take awhile to respond to emails), I finally received my "parts". Then I found out some key parts were missing, and after some more emails, I finally got the missing parts too. After a couple of month's wait and planning on how to do the upgrade, I finally took the plunge and set aside two full days to start my adventure. It does take a bit of planning and mechanical finesse to do this. But the effort was well worth it. After installing, adjusting, adjusting, adjusting, I finally put on a record, and it blew me away. Here are some of the notes that I took during my listen session to my favorite "test" records:
"sound stage deeper, darker and more transparent, size of instrument become bigger, more life like. Image height is more realistic. Violin has more definition. There is more space among instruments, or the space around an instrument is more defined. There are more ambience clue, there are more details. Bass has more power and definition...."
I put on one record after another and rediscover sounds that I did not realize was there. I can go on and on....
The upgrade is totally worth it. There are more fine tuning to be done, but it is beautiful.

Thank you Harry.
Attachments
IMG_5726.JPG
Original HW-19 MK IV (before upgrade)
IMG_5726.JPG (590.65 KiB) Viewed 2488 times
IMG_6735.JPG
HW-19 chassis with 12" Platter and 10.5 Printed Arm
IMG_6735.JPG (560.49 KiB) Viewed 2488 times
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Re: Calling on all HW-19 owner to upgrade

Postby 930turbo » Mon Jul 04, 2016 2:42 am

Hi Matthew ,

Nice turntable you got there . I was hoping the HW 19 could accommodate a JMW 12.7 tonearm , that's why I advised my sister to sell her HW19 to get a Aries 3 extended turntable .
I once had the HW 19 MK 4 , I missed it and I wish I did not sell it back in the day. A Kuzma Stogi REF was the tonearm that came w/ it when I acquired it.

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Re: Calling on all HW-19 owner to upgrade

Postby billo » Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:44 pm

I have the "other" fully optioned MK IV on the forum.
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=4881
It's amazing the performance that can be had from this platform. I'll bet our tables could hold their own even today. My two "super" upgrades were the platter bearing and thrust plate and the Nordost wiring. Both brought the performance to another league in a no B.S. slap-in-the-face kind of way. Everything else was a more incremental but noticeable improvement. SME arms have always caught my eye and their reputation is first class. That must have been a killer combo in the day. How is the new VPI arm in comparison?
I see you have an ARC PH-7 too. Have you rolled the tubes? I would love to hear the results. I tried Siemens 7DJ8 and now Amperex 7308. The Seimens were a little dry but accurate. The Amperex have vivid mids and full bass, adding a touch of the golden age of tubes sound.
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Re: Calling on all HW-19 owner to upgrade

Postby kekohler » Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:08 pm

When I had my HW-19 MKIV, I had done some similar upgrades to it. It originally had the SME 309 arm which I traded in for the JMW 10.5 arm. When the Classics came out, I upgraded to the Classic platter but had to raise the arm quite a bit. I made a 3x4" block of aluminum, drilled holes for the arm mounting and put it under the arm. The thickness of the aluminum was the amount that I had to raise the arm. This really focused the sound and clarified the bass. Other upgrades that I did were to replace the springs with Herbie's Iso-cups with supersonic hardballs. I also went back to the original motor from a SAMA based on what I had read about the Classics and the fixed motor. The Herbie's Iso-cups were enough to isolate the motor noise and further improved the sound. I was able to bring the performance to quite a high level through these modifications. There are some photos of my old Classic IV on the Customer Pictures section. I now have a Classic IV in Rosewood which I love, but I still have very fond memories of my HW-19 MKIV. It really is a great turntable and easy to tweak.
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Re: Further upgrade on HW-19

Postby Matthew-Levi » Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:37 am

Further to my upgrade with the platter/bearing and the arm to the 12-in platter and the JW 3D arm (see earlier post), the motor on the deck which was over 20 years old had started to develop rumble that could be easily heard in between song grove. I bought a replacement motor from VPI and hope to install an outboard motor under the HW-19 plinth. However, the motor vibration fed through the base to the turntable. As a proof of concept, I am thinking about moving the motor off-board from the support base of the plinth to avoiding any vibration. Vibration control is both an art and science and I am certainly not that qualified. You can see in the photo below that I have just done that. I have to get a custom made belt for this purpose. I could not hear any vibration anymore. I am going to put the motor into a better enclosure that have better grounding to the support as this is just proof of concept. The background is dead quiet now. Its worth trying if you have an old system. I will post more photos once I have put the motor on a nice enclosure. This is by no means to suggest we should not buy the complete motor assembly from VPI. Its just the tweaker in me who wants to play around with this. The amount of aggravation and time may not worth it, but then I am a tweaker.
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Re: Calling on all HW-19 owner to upgrade

Postby MMMC » Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:51 pm

billo wrote:I have the "other" fully optioned MK IV on the forum.
http://www.vpiforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=4881
It's amazing the performance that can be had from this platform. ........................................................
.....................................................
I see you have an ARC PH-7 too. Have you rolled the tubes? I would love to hear the results. I tried Siemens 7DJ8 and now Amperex 7308. The Seimens were a little dry but accurate. The Amperex have vivid mids and full bass, adding a touch of the golden age of tubes sound.


billo,
It's good to see you kicked the 7DJ8's to the curb in favor of the Amperex 7308 tubes, which I always recommend to replace the 6DJ8 and 7DJ8 tubes. The extra bite in the pocket is usually well rewarded with the sonic results. BTW, your table always looks great!

MMMC
One of the last HR-X production/ 3DR 12" arm/ ZYX Universe II LOMC with Copper wire/ RCM Sensor 2 phono preamp/ Silver Audio Appasionata IC/ Audio Sensibiity Statement Silver Phono V2 IC
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Re: Further upgrade on HW-19

Postby MMMC » Thu Feb 15, 2018 5:03 pm

Matthew-Levi wrote:Further to my upgrade with the platter/bearing and the arm to the 12-in platter and the JW 3D arm (see earlier post), the motor on the deck which was over 20 years old had started to develop rumble that could be easily heard in between song grove. I bought a replacement motor from VPI and hope to install an outboard motor under the HW-19 plinth. However, the motor vibration fed through the base to the turntable. As a proof of concept, I am thinking about moving the motor off-board from the support base of the plinth to avoiding any vibration. Vibration control is both an art and science and I am certainly not that qualified. You can see in the photo below that I have just done that. I have to get a custom made belt for this purpose. I could not hear any vibration anymore. I am going to put the motor into a better enclosure that have better grounding to the support as this is just proof of concept. The background is dead quiet now. Its worth trying if you have an old system. I will post more photos once I have put the motor on a nice enclosure. This is by no means to suggest we should not buy the complete motor assembly from VPI. Its just the tweaker in me who wants to play around with this. The amount of aggravation and time may not worth it, but then I am a tweaker.


Matthew-Levi,

A beautiful HW-19 you have there. Congrats on your successful updates. I also like your outboard motor idea, so continue "tweaking"! I will look forward to the photos of your motor upgrade.

MMMC
One of the last HR-X production/ 3DR 12" arm/ ZYX Universe II LOMC with Copper wire/ RCM Sensor 2 phono preamp/ Silver Audio Appasionata IC/ Audio Sensibiity Statement Silver Phono V2 IC
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