HR-X Upgrades order

HR-X Upgrades order

Postby MMMC » Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:11 am

This post is directed mostly at Harry and Brf, though all opinions are welcome.
I've owned the original Aries Scout table, Aries 3, and Extended Aries, prior. I now own one of the last production series of HR-X tables, which I now view as the last turntable I plan to buy. After several very extended listening sessions over the past months, I can't find any weakness that would push me to replace it with the Avenger. What I can foresee is having a plan for some upgrades. Three areas that have been addressed by Brf on his HR-X table. I am going by memory instead of looking all of them up.
The first and hopefully least costly should be the feet. Brf please correct me if I am wrong, but I believe you are using pneumatic feet. What is your opinion of their performance vs the Avenger Reference Feet which hopefully are less cost than the pnuematics, and also considering they would be sitting on a Symposium Ultra platform.
Second upgrade could also possibly be the last, instead of three upgrades because Retirement dollars are harder to come by, and more dear to spend. Should it be Rim drive, or the "Magnetic platter" if I can only do one? A discussion with Mark seems that there is a possibility the mag platter may become less costly in the future, so that is important.
I thank you both in advance as I continue to throw my pennies, dimes, and quarters into a very, very, large jar.
Thank you Harry for designing such a dynamic table as the HR-X. I truly love the HR-X. It's very much like buying a Mercedes, because it does not matter which VPI table you own, the mechanical design, beauty, and performance is forever enduring.

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
MMMC
Senior Member
 
Posts: 565
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2015 4:37 am

Re: HR-X Upgrades order

Postby Brf » Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:51 am

MMC, nice problem to have...how to upgrade a last production HRX.

MY priority would be as follows:

#1 - VPI Fatboy (Disclaimer - I don't have one). By all accounts, this could yield the greatest improvement for dollar invested. This should be on your list.

#2 - Rim Drive (provisional #2 as they are no longer in production). Check with VPI to see if they have any NOS rim drive heads used to replace the flywheel belt drive. Better bass, dynamics and improved rhythm and pace.

#2 - Magnetic Drive: Lower noise floor and increased micro dynamics. Detail in spades without being analytic or sterile

#3 - Pneumatic Air Suspension. I have not used the Avenger Reference direct coupling feet, but I have experimented/owned the HRX stock feet, Stillpoints Ultra 5, full Black Diamond Racing system and the VPI Pneumatic feet. I liked the BDR solution but it was bettered by the pneumatic feet. The pneumatic feet are tune-able to the system by altering the air pressure. I run mine at 8lbs. Replacement feet are very much system dependent and results will vary based on table location, rack, and floor type i.e poured concrete or suspended.

#4 - Symposium / Vibraplane: I have both but I no longer use either under the table as they do not provide any sonic improvement due to my current listening environment and the pneumatic feet. I have poured concrete floors and my TT stand plus platform weigh 200+LBS. Results will vary based on one's system.

Isolation priorities could easily move up the list if that is a current system limitation.

Hope this helps.
User avatar
Brf
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3606
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:23 am

Re: HR-X Upgrades order

Postby Letsmakeadeal » Mon Nov 19, 2018 2:03 pm

There is one more to consider.....Ceramic ball / Sapphire thrust plate bearing upgrades.....

Brent - Where does this one go in your list?
User avatar
Letsmakeadeal
Senior Member
 
Posts: 541
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:42 pm
Location: Texas

Re: HR-X Upgrades order

Postby Brf » Mon Nov 19, 2018 4:38 pm

Letsmakeadeal wrote:There is one more to consider.....Ceramic ball / Sapphire thrust plate bearing upgrades.....

Brent - Where does this one go in your list?


I would consider that to be more in the maintenance category. The ceramic ball/sapphire thrust plate sounds very similar to a brand new bearing with the only difference being that it will stay that way a lot longer. In 2-weeks time it will be 1-year since my bearing/thrust plate modification and as of last month, absolutely no sign of ANY wear.
User avatar
Brf
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3606
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:23 am

Re: HR-X Upgrades order

Postby teenage diplomat » Mon Nov 19, 2018 6:05 pm

Hi,

I have a mid-production HRX with the Superplatter. Earlier this year I took it to VPI and had the bearing ball and platter thrust plate replaced with VPI stock parts, and the bearing housing itself brought up to current spec by cutting a channel in the surface where it mates with the plinth into which was inserted a O ring for additional damping. At the same time, I upgraded to the Fatboy (unipivot version) which included the secondary pivot point mod. All I can say is that these modifications took an already outstanding turntable to an entirely new and better level. Since all these changes were simultaneous, I can't say which ones were the most important, but the first thing I would do is check your bearing ball and thrust plate. If they show the telltale marks of excessive wear (circular flat spots that appear to be etched into both) have them replaced. Next, get the Fatboy. IMHO, the Fatboy is a game changer - it is head and shoulders better than the first generation 3D arm it replaced. My HRX is now dynamic as hell, absolutely speed-accurate and stable, and even more revealing in terms of detail than the unmodified HRX was. About the only other thing I would consider doing at this point to my TT is replacing the feet; mine are the ones that use the rubber balls, not the original air bladders. Having said that, I have no idea if that change would yield sonic benefits. (I don't have any problem with airborne feedback, but if I tap the 2" thick maple shelf the HRX sits on, I do hear a thud in the speakers. So I don't do that. ;)) . As far at the drive system goes, I am using three belts, and I don't feel any need to switch to a rim drive. Nor do I think that I'll go to the maglev platter system, since that would almost certainly mean sacrificing the Superplatter. In its current form, I call my HRX my destination TT, it's that good.
teenage diplomat
Senior Member
 
Posts: 182
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:38 pm

Re: HR-X Upgrades order

Postby MMMC » Thu Nov 22, 2018 2:32 am

Brf wrote:MMC, nice problem to have...how to upgrade a last production HRX.

MY priority would be as follows:

#1 - VPI Fatboy (Disclaimer - I don't have one). By all accounts, this could yield the greatest improvement for dollar invested. This should be on your list.

#2 - Rim Drive (provisional #2 as they are no longer in production). Check with VPI to see if they have any NOS rim drive heads used to replace the flywheel belt drive. Better bass, dynamics and improved rhythm and pace.

#2 - Magnetic Drive: Lower noise floor and increased micro dynamics. Detail in spades without being analytic or sterile

#3 - Pneumatic Air Suspension. I have not used the Avenger Reference direct coupling feet, but I have experimented/owned the HRX stock feet, Stillpoints Ultra 5, full Black Diamond Racing system and the VPI Pneumatic feet. I liked the BDR solution but it was bettered by the pneumatic feet. The pneumatic feet are tune-able to the system by altering the air pressure. I run mine at 8lbs. Replacement feet are very much system dependent and results will vary based on table location, rack, and floor type i.e poured concrete or suspended.

#4 - Symposium / Vibraplane: I have both but I no longer use either under the table as they do not provide any sonic improvement due to my current listening environment and the pneumatic feet. I have poured concrete floors and my TT stand plus platform weigh 200+LBS. Results will vary based on one's system.

Isolation priorities could easily move up the list if that is a current system limitation.

Hope this helps.


First of all;
To Brent, and all who provided input, my sincere thanks. Allow me to also share a link to the VPI Titan Review I had the pleasure to find and read which put the wheels in motion( at least consideration) for the possibilities and benefits of certain upgrades. I definitely do not have the $40,000 for a new Titan, so that's out. The reviewer also took seven months to complete his review, so he had the opportunity to pretty well sort things out.
Here's the link below for those interested.
https://www.monoandstereo.com/2018/01/vpi-titan-turntable-review.html

My upgrade path order would appear to be;

#1. - Find a Rim drive head that can possibly be fitted to my current HR-X dual motor drive system, because it seems likely to be the most difficult part to obtain based on it being discontinued, or very soon being discontinued. I don't know if the current dual motor rim drive system for the Avenger could fit within the space currently used by the HRX dual motor housing, and if heights would match up if employed with the HRX. Will absolutely need VPI advice and assistance on this.

#2. - Possibly the pneumatic feet. The could be a dicey issue based of the result of fitting the Rim drive hardware setup. If the pneumatic feet are as Brent states, and I have no reason to doubt, hopefully I can sell my huge Symposium Ultra platform to help fund the Fatboy upgrade.

#3 - The 12 inch, or even better, the 14 inch Fatboy will be available in the coming future, because I currently have the first generation 12 3D-R arm, which is by no means a slouch.

#4. - Magnentic Drive platter -As the last item and the icing on the cake. Hopefully sufficient time will have passed for increased production with decreased cost, which I hope will equal a cheaper retail price. It currently is a $5,000 upgrade.

As Teenage Diplomat has expressed, and baring the California Lottery win, I consider my HR-X as my destination turntable.

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
MMMC
Senior Member
 
Posts: 565
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2015 4:37 am

Re: HR-X Upgrades order

Postby Golear » Thu Nov 22, 2018 6:31 pm

I'd hold off on the rim drive and magnetic drive. I'm intrigued by the future 3-phase motor (BLDC?) and miniaturized, built-in ADS technology. If it eliminates (or greatly reduces) cogging then it might give rim drives and magnetic drives a run for the money. It should also make a dual-motor unit obsolete.
Golear
Senior Member
 
Posts: 158
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:51 pm

Re: HR-X Upgrades order

Postby Brf » Thu Nov 22, 2018 8:19 pm

Golear wrote:I'd hold off on the rim drive and magnetic drive. I'm intrigued by the future 3-phase motor (BLDC?) and miniaturized, built-in ADS technology. If it eliminates (or greatly reduces) cogging then it might give rim drives and magnetic drives a run for the money. It should also make a dual-motor unit obsolete.


The sound difference between a belt drive and rim drive is a result of the mechanical interface used to transfer energy between motor and platter. A better motor will benefit both drives, but the difference between the two drive systems will persist.

Cogging in a dual motor flywheel assembly is almost negated by using two independent motors tuned slightly out of phase of one another coupled to a large flywheel used to both filter vibrations and resist slight changes in rotational energy. In other words, a better and more stable drive system when compared to a single motor system.

The magnetic drive platter isolates the complete drive system from the motor, bearing, plinth and outside forces.

I do agree however, that a brushless DC 3-phase could improve on the above but IMHO it will not replace them nor make them obsolete.
User avatar
Brf
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3606
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:23 am

Re: HR-X Upgrades order

Postby MMMC » Thu Nov 22, 2018 11:38 pm

Brf wrote:
Golear wrote:I'd hold off on the rim drive and magnetic drive. I'm intrigued by the future 3-phase motor (BLDC?) and miniaturized, built-in ADS technology. If it eliminates (or greatly reduces) cogging then it might give rim drives and magnetic drives a run for the money. It should also make a dual-motor unit obsolete.


The sound difference between a belt drive and rim drive is a result of the mechanical interface used to transfer energy between motor and platter. A better motor will benefit both drives, but the difference between the two drive systems will persist.

Cogging in a dual motor flywheel assembly is almost negated by using two independent motors tuned slightly out of phase of one another coupled to a large flywheel used to both filter vibrations and resist slight changes in rotational energy. In other words, a better and more stable drive system when compared to a single motor system.

The magnetic drive platter isolates the complete drive system from the motor, bearing, plinth and outside forces.

I do agree however, that a brushless DC 3-phase could improve on the above but IMHO it will not replace them nor make them obsolete.


Brent,
Does the priority order of the upgrades I've listed appear to make rational sense?
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
MMMC
Senior Member
 
Posts: 565
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2015 4:37 am

Re: HR-X Upgrades order

Postby Brf » Fri Nov 23, 2018 11:01 am

MMMC wrote:Brent,
Does the priority order of the upgrades I've listed appear to make rational sense?


Unfortunately, the pneumatic feet are pricey and I doubt the sale of the Symposium will offset the cost. If you don't have isolation issues now, I would de-prioritize the feet.

Fatboy or Rim Drive? Personally, I would seek out a rim drive first as they will ONLY get harder to find. The Fatboy is here to stay. Unfortunately, when you get to HRX performance levels, upgrades are both incremental and costly.
User avatar
Brf
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3606
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:23 am

Next

Return to Harry's Corner

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

x