One-owner HW-19 MK2

One-owner HW-19 MK2

Postby luckydog » Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:47 pm

Just thought I'd show off some pictures of my HW-19. Bought it new in April 1986, and still have the receipt to prove it! :)

My instruction manual says it's a MK 2, but elsewhere on the site it says that the MK3 came out in 1985. Maybe mine was old stock when I bought it? No matter now, I love the table and am glad I've hung onto it. It's been in and out of storage over the years, but I think I've got it set up for good now.

I did replace the original springs with the sorbothane isolators a few years ago, but otherwise it's completely original. I had a Grado Signature 8MR on it when new, but replaced that a decade or so ago with a Grado Reference Sonata (it sat in storage for a while, and the Sonata only has 200 hours on it so far. Seems to have aged with no problems, thankfully.)

I also lost two of the original rubber feet (how only 2?), so had the table perched on a set of cones for a while, but I was never happy with that solution. Didn't want to spend much on feet, so recently repurposed a set of speaker spikes I had sitting around. They screwed right in, so what the heck.

The only issue is that the plinth now sits too high after the spring replacement. I've raised the motor pulley as high as it can reasonably go, and the platter is as low as proper VTA will allow, but the belt still rides very low on the platter. Too low to use the 45 rpm pulley, but I can live without that for now. I'm wondering if there's a way to raise the motor 1/2" or so? Maybe some spacers under the metal housing and sit the motor on a sorbothane sheet? Table works fine for now, so that would be a project for later.

I did recently notice that the TT was running slow (33.0 rpm), so bought a PSU to speed it back up to 33.3. Not sure if it always ran a bit slow or if the motor is getting old, but it sounds much better now. And for as old as the motor is, it still runs dead silent.

I'm happy with the table as-is, so not really looking to upgrade, just want to keep enjoying it and make sure it's working up to its potential. Don't mind spending a bit of time on easy tweaks, but don't want to spend a bunch of money. As it sits, it's probably the strongest part of my system anyway. Future audio upgrade $$$ are already earmarked for a (gasp!) new CD player! :D
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luckydog
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Re: One-owner HW-19 MK2

Postby MMMC » Wed Jan 18, 2017 6:29 pm

luckydog,

Very nice turntable!
You purchased it about the time VPI tables were firmly on my radar screen. A firm reminder that there are few substitutes for a quality product.

MMMC
One of the last HRX 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: One-owner HW-19 MK2

Postby luckydog » Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:45 pm

Yes, thanks. It's certainly served me well over the years. I remember cross shopping it with the SOTA Sapphire. It was an easy decision, IIRC, as the SOTA was a good few hundred dollars more expensive, and didn't sound any better (to my ears.) Thirty years later, I'm still happy with the choice. I also wasn't crazy about the SOTA's looks, and even now I think that design hasn't aged as well as the HW-19.

The HW-19 was a big upgrade over the Thorens TD-147 Jubilee it replaced, although I half wish I'd hung onto that Thorens as well. I also had a Rega Planar 3 for a few years while the VPI was in storage on the other side of the country. The Rega was a perfectly acceptable stop-gap, but was sold without regret as soon as I was able to get the VPI shipped out to me.

So, I think I'll just enjoy the table as-is for now. Maybe when (if?) it's time to replace the motor, I'll look into getting the belt back to where it's supposed to be.
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Re: One-owner HW-19 MK2

Postby Gowanus68 » Sun Jan 29, 2017 10:40 pm

lucky dog,

I am also an owner of a "One-owner HW-19 MK2" mounted with a Joseph Grado Signature tonearm, a combination that I purchased in October 1985, upgrading from a Thorens (model unrecalled) that I wish I could have kept, even if only to be displayed. As best I can recall, within a year or so after my purchase, VPI released the MK3. The MK2 could be upgraded to MK3 status, but at the time I could only afford to replace the original mdf armboard with the acrylic one, as yours appears to have. Sometime after, I purchased the upgraded motor but never installed it. I believe I have it in a box somewhere.

Over the years I used a series of Grado & Joseph Grado Signature cartridges including the 8MR, 8MX & 10MR, the last being the one now installed, I think. Some years ago (was it a decade?!), I purchased a Grado Sonata cartridge but never installed it. During the latter years, except for rare occasions, my music listening has been to cds on a Rega Saturn player.

With the new year, I have become involved again with the turntable. I was very much tempted by the Classic, but finally decided to opt instead for an upgrade to the MK2, that being less expensive & the table being a classic in its own right. I have just installed the SAMA that has been laying in a box for longer than I care to think about. I have replaced the cone feet with a set of original Classic delrin feet. I am planning to replace the springs with Herbie's Tenderfeet, hoping that they will be more convenient & improve the sound. I retrieved the Sonata cartridge from storage only to discover that, being of the Statement series, it would require a stepup device in my system, a distinction I was unaware of previously. Fortuitously, however, on ebay I came across a new Sonata Reference of the same generation, which I prefer cosmetically over the current models that use a different logo & wood housing.

If you care to take a look, I have posted some photos of the table & tonearm in the Harry's Corner Forum on page 2 of the thread, "VPI HW-19 Mark 3 needs rebuild". My attempts to attach them here were unsuccessful. I was feeling rather puffed up over HW's admiring comment about my setup, but your setup outshines mine by far. Mine is still a work in progress. Happy listening.

Gowanus68
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Re: One-owner HW-19 MK2

Postby luckydog » Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:09 am

I took a look at those pictures: great to see another well cared for example! The base of yours looks a little darker than mine, but maybe it's just the photo. I believe they came in walnut and oak? Yours looks great now, but I'm sure with the SAMA and other mods you have planned, it will be outshining mine in no time.

I remember that when I bought mine, the acrylic arm board was an optional upgrade. According to my receipt, it was an extra $30 (Canadian). The dealer convinced me that it was a big improvement, and a must-have considering the modest extra cost. I've never heard the table any other way, but have no reason to doubt it.

I'm sure you'll love the Sonata cartridge once you get it installed (if you haven't already.) Aside from the sonic improvement over the 8 (and probably the 10?), it just looks fantastic mounted on the Grado arm! Enjoy!
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Re: One-owner HW-19 MK2

Postby Tim » Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:44 am

That is amazing how good that table looks after 30 years!! Very nice!!
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Re: One-owner HW-19 MK2

Postby billo » Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:16 am

Beautiful table and the tonearm lift is awesome!
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