Which turntable? Pro-Ject or VPI?

Which would you choose in equal condition?

Pro-Ject "The Classic" (original version) with carbon fiber arm


VPI HW19 Junior with RB300 arm

Thanks for your advice.



you are comparing the high end model of one mid-fi brand to a low end model of a high-fi brand. That sums up a lot of questions. It's about pricing and R&D strategy. Will VPI include the quality design and parts in the low end model and would Pro-Ject improve the quality of the Classic that much?

I would ask 3 questions:

  • do you want to upgrade parts in the future?
  • how do the needles compare?
  • do you have any vibration issues?

I think the answers would give you good indication for which one you should pick

the RB300 is a great arm with lots of upgrade path, the carbon arm project makes is just ok. tables are probably close so what ever one you like the look of better. i bet is the VPI will hold its resale value longer. 

VPI. Although dated, the upgrade path is huge. Platters, Plinths, motors, feet, etc. Mine started as an HW-19 junior. 25 years later it now has the stainless/acrylic plinth, Superplatter, SME V arm, outer ring clamp, center clamp and herbies tenderfeet between the base and plinth. Very nice indeed. 

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I went from a ProJect X2 to a VPI Prime. Really no comparison. The VPI excels in every way.

I have a Project and a Thorens TD126.

I'd buy the VPI, but IMHO they're pretty close, really. Depends on the cartridge, too.

I'm pleased with the performance I get from an original Pro-Ject The Classic paired with a Hana SH.  I upgraded the sub-platter to the aluminum version and the platter mat to acrylic.

I've considered alternatives, but I suspect I'd have to make a significantly higher investment to find a discernable improvement.

Honestly I am not sure you could wrong with either. But for me I also look at the perspective of (if buying new) who I want to give my hard earned money to. Having been in the industry years ago I have really grown fond of the VPI family and respect their culture and how they treat their customers. Not that Sumiko and the Project group don’t but just my personal bias that would lean me towards VPI. 
For what it’s worth. 


My uncle Moshe told me when choosing between the best house in the cheap neighborhood and the cheapest house in the best neighborhood, pick the house in the best neighborhood, the cheapest house in the best neighborhood is always the better choice in the long run.  He’s proved right.

I see the same working here.



TT with a tonearm with removable headshell


No Tonearm, add arm with removable headshell


TT that allows a 2nd Tonearm, 

1st Tonearm: EASY Arm Height Adjustment

VPI. I have an older Aries Scout with AT 0C9XSL cart going into Parasound components and am super happy. I think the VPI gives you solid but lively tables. 

Just Listed:

advanced VPI, read about it’s upgrades, allows changeable arm wands if you want in the future

higher cost than you are considering, however, IMO a much better choice if the money can be found. divided by several years, the extra money is not as much as it seems, the higher quality/features begin on the 1st day


note: has anti-skate feature, many don’t



higher cost than you are considering, however, IMO a much better choice if the money can be found. divided by several years, the extra money is not as much as it seems, the higher quality/features begin on the 1st day

Sure, that’s a fair point but OP’s original budget can be extrapolated to be ~ $800 max based on his 2 candidates being in used condition (Classic was only $1100 new). It’s a bit cheeky to suggest a $3000 (used) table - can probably subtract out some for the included cart, but still...

I think the HW-19 Jr. w/ Rega arm is a GREAT platform for that budget, if in good running condition. The HW-19 can look rather sharp in all black, too. My dealer had an original Project Classic, some years ago - I immediately disliked its build quality and "feel". Anything from VPI is better IMO.

VPI  the HW-19 can still be upgraded and repaired by a decent DIYer


built like a tank  if under $1000 seems like a fair price if in VG condition


I didn't mean to be cheeky, and I often see others suggesting equipment wayyyy over budget, perhaps I have done so this time.

I was assuming ..... that OP had a budget for either of those new (including a Tonearm), so I was thinking, if used, this model, a lot more for some more $.

maybe the difference is too much.

I’ve had 2 Pro-jects and 1 VPI. If you want a livelier sound, get a VPI. The Pro-ject has a laid back sound. At any given price level, I’d get a VPI.

I have a Prime and eventually added their synchronous drive system and finally the outer ring as I was able to. Beautiful combination especially when I use the 2 dimes.  Greg 


Just buy a used Rega. Every jump is a big improvement in sound. Since the the new NAIA was just released in the US there should be some deals on the lower models. After that,  the cartridge and setup are the main thing. Rega and the new Ortofon carts sound and fit perfect without shims. If you want to really step it up get a Hana cartridge. You will need to shim it but it’s worth it. All the way down to the Hana SL/ SH. I know this is going against the group but this is the way you should go. 

Between the two choices, VPI all day every day.

The ad listed is a great deal. I’d jump on it myself but am happy with my current turntable. 

I own an HW-19 Jr and an HW19 Mk-1. The former was purchased new and the latter used from a fellow denizen of this forum.So, here are my thoughts;


I have a Möerch UW-4 tone arm on the Mk-1. I've retired but kept the Jr in the event I need a new motor (the Jr has very, very few hours). As far as I can tell, these sound essentially identical and they are very robust.


In other words and with the caveat of not being familiar with the Project, I have no hesitation about recommending the VPI in terms of durability and sound quality.  


I suspect you can't go seriously wrong with either of them but VPI seems to hold its value and, as someone has already noted, they're built to "mil-spec" standards. Plus, parts are readily available and there are upgrades galore!



Having stupidly owned a Project RPM 10 Carbon, I can vouch for the shoddy build quality. The tone arm wasn’t much better than the $400 Project Debut TT that proceeded it, including the same anti skating weight dangling from a bit of fishing line. 

You won’t go wrong with the VPI 19 Jr! Any part is still replaceable including belt, motor etc, etc.

VPI HW-19 JR (1993)

The beginning of the journey into High-End analog music reproduction starts with the HW-19 Jr. The Jr. is VPI’s most cost effective turntable. It combines the drive system of the MK. III & MK. IV, with a cost effective platter and subchassis, to give real value for the dollar.

The HW-19 Jr. features a six pound, one inch thick clear acrylic platter with a reflex record clamping system so effective that when the clamp is released, the record stays locked to the platter.

One of the hallmarks of the VPI playback system is proper mating of the record and the platter. Terminating the resonances excited by the stylus/vinyl interface is critical for lifelike reproduction of the low level nuances normally found in live music. In the HW-19 series of turntables, the resonances are terminated without vacuum, pumps, peripheral clamps, etc. Simple yet precise solutions are always the best.

All turntables must be isolated from the outside world. The Jr. uses sorbothane as the isolation material. The sub-chassis is set upon four sorbothane pucks that keep a large percentage of motor noise and acoustic feedback from reaching the platter and cartridge.

All the wood-finished bases are made from solid hardwoods. Veneer over particle board is never used. We use real oak naturally finished, real oak lacquered in semi-gloss black with the grain showing, and real walnut in a natural finish. As a premium option, a piano black high gloss finish is offered.

The Jr. uses the same drive motor as the MK. III, and MK. IV, a low noise precision AC Synchronous type with quiet bearings, and high torque. The drive belt is a unique pyrothane material that lasts many years with excellent serviceability. It has a round cross section for excellent speed stability and low noise. The motor pulley is machined from black delrin with a concentricity of +/- .0002".

The Jr. is fully set up at the factory and can be up and running in less than 10 minutes. If your Jr. is ordered with a factory mounted tonearm, all you need to do is install the cartridge.

  • 1” thick clear or black acrylic platter

  • Sorbothane suspension

  • 600 RPM AC synchronous motor

  • 1 piece 1” thick MDF plinth

  • Precision “O” ring drive

  • Hinged-acrylic dust cover

VPI. I owned that exact configuration when I purchased the “last turntable I will ever own”. It’s simple and easily upgradable.

Of course, I later ended up trading in for  VPI Scout 2, my current “last turntable I will ever own “…


Thanks, but I've enough already..... ;))

The one that won't make the CC cringe?