19 JR upgrade

19 JR upgrade

Postby JimmyL » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:09 pm

My plans for upgrading to a TNT have fallen through so I'm sticking with my HW19 JR which has very good sound to me. It's mostly in stock form with a good Audioquest PT9 Extreme tone arm and Ortofon MC25FL cart.
While planning my change to the TNT, I bought a new JMW 10.5i Classic 3 tone arm and an older base (with the ships wheel style VTA) as the TNT did not have a tone arm included.

Now the question is, do I keep what I have on my JR an sell off the new arm/base or install the new arm and sell off the AQ? Would there be a big enough gain with the JMW arm vs. maybe investing that money in an upgraded platter (if I could ever find one) or even an SDS?
VPI HW19 mod’ed MK3 w/10.5i, Ortofon MC25FL, Musical Paradise MP501 V2 Integrated Tube amp, MP Tube Phono Pre, MP Tube D1 DAC, Harbeth P3esr’s
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Re: 19 JR upgrade

Postby JimmyL » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:02 pm

No responses probably means it could be a bit of a wash in upgrade between these arms - at least when the cost is factored in...
I did manage to find an excellent MK 3 platter and bearing at a decent cost so now my plinth upgrade is a must.
It’s not MK4 or Super or Classic but still a step up.
As I said before, I already like the sound of the basic JR so pretty much any change will be a plus.
Maybe I’ll just sit on the new JMW tone arm until the platter plinth combo settles in and then make a call on it.

If anyone has dropped a 10” JMW on a HW19 and has any opinions on the change, Love to hear!
VPI HW19 mod’ed MK3 w/10.5i, Ortofon MC25FL, Musical Paradise MP501 V2 Integrated Tube amp, MP Tube Phono Pre, MP Tube D1 DAC, Harbeth P3esr’s
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Re: 19 JR upgrade

Postby JimmyL » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:06 pm

So, I managed to refurbish the black lacquer base (was in near perfect condition) with a few touch-ups and a polish with bees wax. Removed the sorbothane pucks (one nearest the motor bracket was actually sagging) and bought some Herbie's Big Tall Tenderfeet. I'm going to launch on a process of isolating the motor mounting points with the old sorbothane material.
Meanwhile, the 10 gauge stainless plate is being cut and the 1/2" Black Acrylic, making up the new plinth, comes next. I got the new JMW 10.5i Classic 3 tonearm figured out now and am really happy with the older base I picked up. It doesn't have the VTA on the fly but rather the older ships wheel VTA adjuster. I love the look of this older one!
Lastly, I have a great set of RCA interconnects that will be exciting to try (an old set of Linn's to compare as well) and will be using my Ortofon MC25FL cart. There are many better carts, obviously, but I'll have to wait to try ones like the Shelter and Dynavector's some day down the road. And, no SDS yet... Decided to spend (blow) the budget on what I have and couldn't manage everything just yet.

It's a bit of a one man show on this topic but I am excited to see how this all turns out. I tried to make a substantial upgrade in buying a TNT MK3 and then an Aries 2, but both sales fell through. I'm not disappointed as I kept thinking a well built HW MK3 does have a certain coolness (to my eye) and perhaps some value down the road should I decide to upgrade then.
VPI HW19 mod’ed MK3 w/10.5i, Ortofon MC25FL, Musical Paradise MP501 V2 Integrated Tube amp, MP Tube Phono Pre, MP Tube D1 DAC, Harbeth P3esr’s
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Re: 19 JR upgrade

Postby danomar » Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:59 pm

I am late to this thread, but thanks for sharing your upgrade. It is always interesting to see what does/does not work.
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Re: 19 JR upgrade

Postby JimmyL » Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:44 pm

The Herbie's feet arrived today. I have a few calculations to make tonight to get the correct height sorted out and was a bit worried on ordering the tender (soft) feet vs the hard ones. But, upon seeing these, think the load will be more correct on these given the weight of the new plinth, MK3 platter and tone arm etc.
The 10 gauge stainless is now complete. I had it water cut to exact spec's and I'm now just waiting on the matched acrylic before I can bond the two and start reassembly.
VPI HW19 mod’ed MK3 w/10.5i, Ortofon MC25FL, Musical Paradise MP501 V2 Integrated Tube amp, MP Tube Phono Pre, MP Tube D1 DAC, Harbeth P3esr’s
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Re: 19 JR upgrade

Postby Brf » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:56 am

JimmyL wrote:The Herbie's feet arrived today. I have a few calculations to make tonight to get the correct height sorted out and was a bit worried on ordering the tender (soft) feet vs the hard ones. But, upon seeing these, think the load will be more correct on these given the weight of the new plinth, MK3 platter and tone arm etc.
The 10 gauge stainless is now complete. I had it water cut to exact spec's and I'm now just waiting on the matched acrylic before I can bond the two and start reassembly.


JimmyL, nice job. If they have not already started the acrylic top plate, may I suggest that instead of going 1/2 inch thick, try 2 separate pieces 1/4 inch and sandwich the stainless steel in-between which will create more rigidity.
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Re: 19 JR upgrade

Postby JimmyL » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:02 pm

Thanks Brf,
Good suggestion. I actually had decided on the 1/4 acrylic with the idea of sandwiching the stainless between the acrylic and some MDF. I needed to jack the height of the plinth up by 5/8th so a piece of MDF fits easily and is cheap enough.
I dry mounted the tone arm base and got the S to P perfect! I have to work on the setup of the tone arm height and then the fun starts with the rest of the set up.
VPI HW19 mod’ed MK3 w/10.5i, Ortofon MC25FL, Musical Paradise MP501 V2 Integrated Tube amp, MP Tube Phono Pre, MP Tube D1 DAC, Harbeth P3esr’s
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Re: 19 JR upgrade

Postby JimmyL » Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:49 pm

Well, the plinth is complete (laminated 1/2" MDF, 1/8" Stainless and 1/4" Black Acrylic). I reassembled with the new Herbie's footers and installed the new tone arm. Went through the set-up and will fine tune later tonight. Played the first few albums and it is a very solid table. So far, love the new arm. Not sure where the biggest improvements in sound came from but suspect the combination of the solid plinth, isolation and tone arm all added somewhat equally.. I'm not much into descriptions of what I'm hearing but I'm smiling! :D


Here's a few pic's in case anyone wants to see what I put together...
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VPI HW19 mod’ed MK3 w/10.5i, Ortofon MC25FL, Musical Paradise MP501 V2 Integrated Tube amp, MP Tube Phono Pre, MP Tube D1 DAC, Harbeth P3esr’s
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Re: 19 JR upgrade

Postby rif » Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:46 pm

Very nice!

What kind of shop (or where online) did you use to cut the acrylic, metal, wood, etc? I've always been tripped up in my diy efforts by these things.

Which Herbies footers? I've used Herbie products in several projects and always been really happy. They even make a vpi specific spindle washer.
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Re: 19 JR upgrade

Postby JimmyL » Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:00 pm

rif wrote:Very nice!

What kind of shop (or where online) did you use to cut the acrylic, metal, wood, etc? I've always been tripped up in my diy efforts by these things.

Which Herbies footers? I've used Herbie products in several projects and always been really happy. They even make a vpi specific spindle washer.


I purchased the stainless plate from a supplier and had it custom water cut with a guy that was really good about working with me with exact measurements (just have to talk with a few to find someone that’s willing to custom cut this...) Then had the acrylic cut (Industrial Plastics) from that SS template and hand cut the MDF myself. Laminated all together with RTV silicone and used Herbie’s big tall “hard” footers.
I can’t discern any noise at all from the motor or tapping on the plinth. I don’t feel the need to go with the SAMA or make any further mods to this table. Spent more time dialing in the arm/cart and can honestly say this table could easily compete with some of the best.
VPI HW19 mod’ed MK3 w/10.5i, Ortofon MC25FL, Musical Paradise MP501 V2 Integrated Tube amp, MP Tube Phono Pre, MP Tube D1 DAC, Harbeth P3esr’s
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