VPI Aries 3 Questions - Looking to make a switch

I have a VPI Aries 3 turntable with the following upgrades. Periphery Clamp, Mini HRX Feet, Super Platter, XLR Junction Box, SDS Speed Controller, Single Flywheel motor. I am presently running a Lyra Delos with 200 hours on it. I love the sound of the turntable, but it is simply too big in my opinion. 

I am pondering trading it for a VPI Classic 3 or similar. I also can get a good deal on an AMG Giro. I am wondering how the performance of my current rig would compare with a smaller footprint VPI like a classic 3. I don't want to take a step backwards. I was also wondering how my current rig would compare in performance to the AMG Giro.

I was also wondering what my rig is worth with and without the Lyra Delos? 

Thank you.


Get a Classic platter.....the SuperPlatter sounded dead on my Superscoutmaster.

VPI for VPI, you'd lose an isolated motor and your speed controller, which both contribute to better SQ, and are offered on most of their best tables. The xlr junction box could easily be installed on the Classic3, and is worth the effort IMHE.

You don't mention which tonearm, but VPI made a number od changes during the period you're looking at. 3D is an improement, as are the better mounting method that took place between 12.6 and 12.7 (similar probably happened on the shorter arms).

No first-hand experience with AMG. 

Any consideration to Sota? Small footprint, vacuum beats the periphery clamp imho, stable, full suspension beats the vpi feet and size needed to isolate the motor. Also plentiful upgrade path like you have leveraged. I won't go back to VPI fwiw. 



You have a great table and set-up. The super platter has a non-inverted bearing which is superior to later VPI designs IMO. It's hard to know exactly the nature of the AMG bearing from the printed descriptions in the reviews, all of them merely repeating AMG's publicity.  However since the bearing is actually one of the 3 feet, I assume it is also a non-inverted bearing.   A platter, by the way, is supposed to be dead. Otherwise you'll have resonances.

If you haven’t done it in a while you might want to check the bearing for wear both the ball and the plate. It can easily be brought to better than new.

It’s not clear what you would expect to improve with the AMG TT.

The Classic offers no significant improvement over the Aries 3 - you might go backwards.

The weak point is the VPI arm - why don't you look into upgrading the VPI arm to a non VPI arm & new cartridge  on the Aries. That will give you maximum improvement for the dollars invested in my view.

The AMG Giro is underwhelming - very smooth, but lacking punch and dynamics, despite being better built than both the VPI's.


Thank you for the responses. I do love the sound of my current Aries 3 through my system; ARC PH-8, ARC REF-6, ARC REF75se, AQ Niagara 5000, AQ William Tell Zero and Bass. AQ Waters. Aurender A10, Vandersteen Quattro CT. This system has nice synergy.

The Tonearm that I presently have is the JMW 10.5i with Nordost wires. Would a gimbaled arm or fat boy be an upgrade?

Any recommendations on cart and tonearm upgrades? Perhaps I will check this out because a move to a Classic 3 or AMG Giro would not be a step forward?

Any opinion on how much benefit I am getting from the single flywheel motor? Would there be a noticeable loss if I went back to a standard motor?

By single flywheel motor I assume you mean the motor and flywheel together in a single case. I would not give up mine as I have always found that anything making the speed of the the TT more constant can generally be heard as an improvement. Are you concerned about its size?

In any event you can experiment by detaching the flywheel and arranging the motor temporarily so that the TT is run from the motor alone. Play some solo piano music before and after the change.

I can’t really advise on available arms. It was a long while ago that I switched a 12" metal arm tub for a 12" 3d arm tube and was happy with the result and was able to sell the old one. Then I went to the 2nd pivot (with a ruby point) and was even happier. An advantage was cost as I mounted the arm on the same base. Had to get a new spike though, one without the damping well. You might get that thrown in with the deal. I did.

I probably shouldn’t comment without having owned a VPI, but there’s no way I would go from any Aries to any kind of Classic. My old dealer Pete of Audio Atlanta (who I trust in all things analog) got frustrated with the direction VPI took when going from the Scoutmaster / Aries lines to the Classics. And since another commenter mentioned SOTA - I bet he’d be blown away by the stuff SOTA is doing right now; major tech and material upgrades with the latest series. And with a much better "classic table" aesthetic than any VPI Classic, IMO. So they’re definitely worth a look.

That said, I love the look of the old Aries / HR-X series. I’ve heard my friend’s HR-X and it’s a sweet table. The Aries 3 looks just like an HR-X Junior. I considered one strongly, before I bought a Clearaudio Innovation. You might consider keeping it while upgrading to the 3D arm, which is very nice - it even did a great job running my Koetsu Rosewood Platinum (I didn’t expect a VPI unipivot to do well there, but it did). I haven’t heard the Fatboy or gimbal version, which may be even better - but the Reference (?) 3D arm is already very good. Surely space can’t be so much at a premium; what’s the actual footprint difference between your Aries 3 and a Classic?

I think the Aries / HR-X will be considered the "real" classics of the VPI line.



Nice system. I have similar equipment and owned an Aries for twenty years. Fantastic sounding turntable. Personally from your post I would keep it.

I moved from the unsprung Aries to a sprung Linn LP12. I believe (not adamantly) that there is a fundamental difference in sound between sprung and unsprung tables. The unsprung have greater solidity and sound a bit quieter and the sprung sound a bit livelier and detailed. As my dealer said the VPI sounds like a muscle car and the sprung more like a Porsche. They are different sounding. To me the Aries was (is) a screaming deal in sound for the money. I have owned Rega’s, and the AR… and a couple others. To me you have to spend a lot more on a sprung table to get the same sound quality. I love my Linn LP12, but with my cartridge it cost nearly $25K.

 To me you have to spend a lot more on a sprung table to get the same sound quality

A bit more, maybe, but not much more. My Sota Nova VI w/vacuum costs $5700 without arm. Arms comparable to most JMWs can be had for <$1500, IMHO. They can provide armboards for almost anything you need.

Vs. my TNT6-HR (basically an HRX with 1 layer plinth instead of aluminum sandwich), the Sprung Sota is quieter, more dynamic. But take it with a grain of salt, because arm & cart differences come into play too. Tough to find comparisons limited to one variable! Cheers,



Yes, Spencer you are correct. I did not state that correctly. 

Both turntables innately have sonic advantages. I wanted the advantages of both.Your personal value on different positive attributes could easily make the equation highly variable. 

As Spencer points out, there are a lot of variables!

i have in some combo heard just about everything in your fantastic system - my compliments. I have heard a Delos sound pretty amazing in a similar VPI table but it had HRS isolation. my only issue was it was a bit phasy..but the speakers were more ruthless Kento. I think stick w table but gimbled for sure. Best to you ! enjoy the music.


I have this table, the 3D version... It was love at first sight!

if I were to upgrade it would be to the new Technics DD tables...

I have, and trying to sell, a VPI with a FatBoy, with the platter and feet from VPI HR-X, with the regular motor and ADS. If you use a belt then you can forget about getting stable speed.

I just could not get it to sound like I like my tables to sound.   

I have an AMG Viella Forte, and seen, listened quite a few of their more affordable models, I cant see how an Aries could even come close to anything AMG builds.

There are a lot of tables out there, try to listen a few.

Phoenix now licenses their tech to Sota. Sota's Eclipse and Roadrunner are the Phoenix controller & tachometer. 

Many VPI owners have added the Phoenix controllers. Sota can help you even if you are looking to add it to VPI. Cheers,


Thank you for all the thoughtful responses. I have also talked to a few dealers in the Midwest, and they all have great things to say about VPI and the Aries table. "solid and bold performance". I was almost convinced to keep the VPI but the more I dig, the more I think that the AMG Giro will offer near VPI dynamics with better micro dynamics and detail. I think that my system is resolving enough to handle the AMG benefits. My problem now is that if I want to sell my rig complete, shipping will be a PITA and expensive. I do not have the original boxes unfortunately. 

Ahh... first world problems!

I am officially undecided. 

Anyone want to give me $5k for the complete rig with cart and pick it up over the weekend? HaHa!



I had  VPI Aries 3D. With single motor flywheel, ring,hrx weight. I upgraded to 10 inch dual pivot fatboy which improved sound. Later Upgraded to 12 inch dual pivot fatboy , avenger ref feet and magnetic drive. Each step -I noticed improvement. 
I would recommended trying to get the Fatboy. I prefer dual pivot over gimbal. 
Classic 3 maybe a lateral move. 


I pulled the trigger the AMG Giro. The more I studied and the more people I talked to eventually convinced me. I will eventually give my thoughts on the move after I had a chance to let things settle in.


I will truly miss the Aries 3. 

I have heard AMG tables many times and I am blown away by their performance. I couldn't not get one! 😉



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I have Superscoutmaster/rim drive/classic platter/vpi 2nd pivot arm/on Bearpaws very large brass cones....aside from changing belts.....no problems....all good.