vpi tnt still a performer?

any thoughts on a vpi  graham 1.5 ? I have a line , am i barking up the wrong tree? or should i keep my classic.. 
Which TNT?  There were at least 5.  Original or modified/updated?   Which platter?  
sorry how can i tell ? the seriel number is in the 900  working on the year .all black silver air feet and motor red trim on tonearm board . It looks like a ribbed platter with a very thick rubber pad.sorry i have only seen pics
it,s not a 4 or 5 from what i can tell on the tops of the feet it has open holes.I,ve heard some bad thinds about the air feet. sorry thats all i got i have a pic but it wont post :(
The Classic platter is silver in color with smooth sides. If it doesn’t have it, get the platter and install it on the table....very easy mod. The table is an excellent performer. Is it in good working order? The feet can always be replaced. Any isssues and you have VPI support (excellent)
Stringreen is trying to sell you on a Classic platter.  At this point I don't know why.  The Classic platter is good enough, perhaps, but it's not the best platter VPI has ever made for a TNT.

A "ribbed" platter doesn't sound like anything VPI has ever made.

IMO if you can't give us more information and a picture of the table you are considering it's impossible to give you any sound advice.

As Audiogon doesn't provide for pictures n its posts, I suggest you find a site to store your picture on, and put its URL into your next post.
Hi oleschool
Owned a modded VPI TNT for many years.
The VPI TNT has something really good going for it - isolation of the motor.
Add in those rubber belts and it produces a warm full bodied sound.
However introduction of the Technics SP10 MKII in my room revealed just how much the TNT’s rubber belts slurred the music. Getting rid of that old cranky PLC, and adding in a VPI SDS, took the rhythm and pace one step further, and closer to the direct drive. So that’s one good upgrade option. You can sell the PLC to recoup some of the money. You will have a hard time getting rid of that extra platter (the other option mentioned) - imo. Something to think about.

Now replacing the rubber belts with thread; that put the TNT on even footing with the SP10 MKII in the rhythm and pace dept. But the Technics SP10 could not match the TNT for its isolation properties.

The problem I found was that the TNT platter/bearing design is not meant for thread; so the thread needs to be changed out every 40 ? records going by memory. This took only a few minutes to do.

So I say keep the classic and pimp it up. Mine ended up with a pneumatic air suspension. There is a pic here.


Unfortunately the audiogon system doesn’t permit me to select just that pic. So see the pic forth row up from the bottom. Good luck

A ribbed platter is VPI. I have a 3 and it has that. It is a very good platter. The 3 should have the air bladder feet and they work good but need to be releveled once a month. A 2 minute job. A very good table, I would not sell it to get a classic. 
" the thread needs to be changed out every 40 ? records"
I have used a silk thread and never had a reason to change it.  Of course you need a speed controller if you use a thread to allow for slippage.  It is well to spray (or soak) the thread with an adhesive.

" A ribbed platter is VPI. I have a 3 and it has that. It is a very good platter. The 3 should have the air bladder feet"
I guess I stand corrected about a "ribbed" platter.  I would love to see one.  Googling "VPI ribbed platter" comes up empty.  Any chance of a picture?

IIRC air bladder feet were introduced with the Mark V version.  Some were retrofitted to earlier models.  As they proved to be a PITA, they were replaced with squash balls.
Air bladder feet were introduced with the release of the TNT Mk4.  There are few early Mk5 with air bladder feet until existing stock was depleted.  The Mk5 used racquet balls for air suspension (no leaks)

It sounds like your table is a Mk3 with spring suspension.  The holes on the top of the corner support towers have a 1/4-20 threaded set screw in which the spring suspension is supported. You adjust the set screw to level the table.

If by "ribbed" platter you are referring to a platter with drive belt grooves cut into the platter's side to help prevent belt creep, then you have a TNT platter made from a combination of aluminum and delrin. A very nice platter.

The Graham 1.5 is also a very good arm.  You could reach out to Bob Graham to ask if he has any 2.2 bearing upgrades. 

I have a VPI TNT Mk2 with a Graham 1.5 arm and Dynavector XX2 MkII cart.  It's a wonderfully musical setup that I intend on keeping for a long while. 

Thread on a TT is a fascinating audiophile topic on it own. The use of different threads, is similar to using different tubes - different results. I experienced and heard what thread could do with a TNT; but I also saw limitations due to its belt drive design.

Melm - It is well to spray (or soak) the thread with an adhesive.

That sounds kind of yucky to me.
In a TT design that is designed for thread, this is not necessary and it will hurt performance. As an example, with the thread designed original Granito Verdier La Platine; the thread is applied loose and you can in fact flick the thread with your finger as it turns and it does not impact the music delivery.
The remote motor, pulley, platter and bearing design all designed for use with thread.

The 40 number in the previous post was ball park number that I threw out there. I don't remember the actual number, and it was in comparison to that exact thread setup in a thread drive design TT. The message I was trying to get across is that a table designed for belts, if converted to thread, will wear out the thread faster, than a turntable that was designed for thread in the first place. From personal observations this has to do with what is happening at both ends (pulley and platter), the type of contact points, plus the extra tension and slippage that needs to be applied for the belt drive design. 

Personal thread setups do vary greatly especially when extra pulleys are introduced. So to continue a sharing of information here; a picture of your TNT table would be helpful.  

Mike @ VPI, and this is going back many years, told me he used Spider fishing line. I remember this produced "hard sounding" results in my system.


I want to thanks everyone for there input,I ended up passing. The reward became minimal to me once it passed the 2k mark,I will keep my classic 1 and be happy :)
"the thread needs to be changed out every 40  records"..My friend never had to change the thread out every 40 records.Last time I talked to him hes never changed anything for over a year of constant playing of records.The guy is a vinyl lover also so he plays hundreds of records a year on his VPI.

re: threads vs belts.

Threads are not created equal.

Kevlar thread lasts a very long time; but it was far from being the ideal, for the best sound - in my setup. The type of setup we are using is also important. I got the best results with my previous TNT when there was a greater distance (slingshot effect) between motor pulley and platter. But this also produced the most stress on the fragile thread that I prefer, and the bearing.    

This same fragile thread lasts a very long with La Platine Verdier.

Horses for courses ....


My opinion as the owner of an early VPI Aries table....

TNTs with an oil bath bearing are really excellent tables (early TNTs, especially with the stainless / lead / acrylic platter).  I think they are superior to some of the later VPI offerings.  Haven't heard them head-to-head with the top Classic models, but I always thought the TNT retrieved better soundstage and imaging.  Likewise the Aries Extended.  

The Graham 1.5 is a quite good arm and well-mated to TNTs.  One tweak that should be considered regardless of VPI model is to place the table on three Stillpoint cones.  Big difference for me.

Again, my opinion.  YMMV.
The early TNTs had a lead-acrylic platter.  No stainless involved.

Whether the TNT or similar table is better off with a solid connection to its base (as with Stillpoints) or a more flexible connection (as with springs, air bladders or squash balls) is likely  to depend on the room and set-up.
@melm I thought the original Aries shared the same platter as the current model of TNT at the time the Aries was produced.  But I could be wrong.  
@bpoletti IIRC the Aires came out well after the original TNTs. The original TNT platter (and I still use one and would not part with it) was lead filled acrylic. It was a heavier version of what they used on the later versions of the HW-19. (Earlier HW-19 versions used aluminum-lead.) According to what HW has written somewhere, it could be the best VPI platter ever made.

When VPI gave up using lead, they made platters of an acrylic and metal sandwich. It was used on the later TNTs and the Aires. Later they dropped the metal and used acrylic only. A demand for a heavier platter pushed them to the "super platter" which was again a metal-acrylic sandwich.

My recollection is that when they added the metal, to the acrylic it was to replace the lead so that there was, in fact, no metal-lead-acrylic platter.
@melm I have a "modified" TNT with a solid black lead-filled acrylic platter.  Quite good.  The Aries platter I have has a thin (maybe 1/4") layer of black acrylic on top of a metal (I though stainless or aluminum) platter.  Heavy.  Grooved.  Rests on an oil bath bearing.  It is an original Aries Extended table.

Thanks for the clarification.

My opinion....  

I have heard the solid acrylic platters and the solid aluminum platters.  I prefer the Aries platter followed by the lead filled acrylic platter.  
@bpoletti Of course you are entitled to "prefer" what you own, many people do. However you never specifically state that you have heard the acrylic-lead platter on your Aires.

As I wrote earlier, HW, the designer of these TTs, has written that the acrylic-lead platter comes closer to the sound of a master tape (his design criterion) than do the all acrylic or the sandwich platters. That he said that about a platter he was no longer manufacturing lends it some additional credibility.

I have not made any personal comparisons or claims--just sticking with what I have.
@melm I do specifically state I have heard the acrylic-lead platter.  I have it on a "modified TNT" and indicate "quite good" as my opinion on performance.  It is also my opinion that the modded TNT with the lead-filled acrylic platter is not quite as good as the Aries Extended.  But there may be other factors impacting performance.  It's my choice to use the Aries as my primary table.  Just my opinion and personal experience.

That said, you have piqued my interest in exploring the performance potential of the lead-filled acrylic platter.  I was considering some additional mods to the TNT.  Now I think I will start working on that (may actually be another redesign of the plinth) a little more aggressively.  

I have heard direct comparisons between the Classic tables and the Aries Extended.  Also heard the thick acrylic platter.  I'll stick with what I have as well.
@bpoletti  One must also ask about the bearing, which may have more to do with the SQ than any distinction between various acrylic and metal platters.  The bearing that came with the original acrylic-lead platter was clearly bettered by later bearings, speaking here only of the non-inverted oil bath kind.  In my case I use a (modified) Mark V, IIRC, the last, and best, of them.