VPI Rim Drive

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi and General Audio' started by lbr, Mar 28, 2008.

  1. lbr

    lbr monkey boy

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    Does anyone here have any thoughts, or even better, experience on the VPI Rim Drive?

    http://www.vpiindustries.com/products_rim.htm

    I'm sort of curious, but I'm very much in two minds. Never had any experience of idler drive 'tables and not entirely convinced conceptually as to why this approach should be better.
     
    lbr, Mar 28, 2008
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  2. lbr

    murray johnson

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    I love this quote from a blog about restoring a Garrard 301.

    "....in the hype-driven rush to ‘signal-to-noise’ supremacy, belt-drive technology suspended and isolated each element in the transport at such a remove that it may have just pulled the rug out from under itself. When motors and platters ( read : engine and load ) are separated with indiscriminate respect to speed stability, then the credibility of the transport system is at risk. Yes, with beltdrive, there is a deathly black silence between consequently monumental and percussive sonic events, but….
    If there already exists the least divergence from ironclad speed control, any advance on the signal-to-noise front is a chimera. Time, and Time above all, is the central and non-negotiable responsibility of the transport. Failing that, other “hi-fi” considerations are, well, lipstick on a pig. ...."

    No 6435. Vintage Turntable Restoration Project
    http://home.earthlink.net/~transcrubbers/index.html
     
    murray johnson, Mar 28, 2008
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  3. lbr

    Johnj

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    Well I would first advice you to hear a good idlier drive on a decent plinth and arm. i heard a 401 slatedeck with th Terminator tracking arm simply stunning.
    If you go the VPI route it can be quite expensive unless you have one of the top tables with the duel flywheel motor it may mean you have to buy this and the SDS the other alternative is to consider the Teres Direct dive coupling route may work out a lot cheaper
     
    Johnj, Aug 2, 2008
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  4. lbr

    TonyL Club Krautrock Plinque

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    It has a belt! That is sick and wrong! Ok, I know the TD124 has a (short) belt too, but you get my point - the Garrards, Lencos and idler EMTs are far more directly coupled to the motor, i.e. high torque motor -> idler -> platter. The size and design of the idler looks odd to me too, all the decks I mention use a fast running motor driving a small idler (the 124 has a fast running high torque motor too), the VPI looks like it has a slow running motor as that idler is huge and the belt is obviously driving a pretty small pulley beneath it - I'd be very surprised if it had anything like the torque of the decks I mention even with two motors. I've got a 1963 Lenco L70 looking at me from across the room as I type - it can get it's 4Kg platter up to 33rpm in about a second and a half, it is seriously high torque, as is my 301 (which is out being serviced so I can't time that). I don't see how the VPI design could compete, though obviously I've not seen it in the flesh so I may well be wrong. It just looks a very strange way of doing things to me.

    Tony.
     
    TonyL, Aug 2, 2008
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  5. lbr

    lbr monkey boy

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    Well i've got one sat in a box at home now. Once i've had the chance to install it and listen properly i'll post my impressions as compared to the existing belt arrangement
     
    lbr, Aug 3, 2008
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  6. lbr

    Markus S Trade

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    There's a guy on the Naim forum who did a thread about the rim drive for his VPI. Basically, he liked the sonics but found it very fiddly to set up.
     
    Markus S, Aug 3, 2008
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  7. lbr

    TonyL Club Krautrock Plinque

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    I'll be very interested in what you find. It is a pretty unique thing to be able to change just the drive system on a deck, a very interesting opportunity.

    Tony.
     
    TonyL, Aug 3, 2008
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  8. lbr

    robM

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    TonyL... it does work and works extremely well! I heard one in the states earlier this year on a Merrill modified VPI HRX, Tri Planar, ZYX UniVerse (4D) with and without the rim.
    The drive adds far better bass, imaging and holographics. It has the immediacy of any other rim drive/idler system but with an extra dimension which IS lacking in a belt drive system.

    Anyone who has NOT heard one of these please don't rubbish it until you have heard it...that's if you don't like it!!;)
     
    robM, Aug 4, 2008
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  9. lbr

    robM

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    Ibr... did you install yours? I've just installed my second on my VPI SSM and its great! The improvement on this table is quite staggering. The vinyl noise floor is MUCH lower and the hf cleaner to the extent that it sounds like I've upgraded to a new cartridge! Very much recommended to anyone who can use it...
     
    robM, Oct 4, 2008
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  10. lbr

    lbr monkey boy

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    Hi RobM,

    I'm deeply ashamed to say that I haven't got round to it yet. I've had a major re-shuffle of my listening room and speaker positioning etc, so I've been distracted by that. It's playing on my mind though, so I'll get on it.

    My deck is also a VPI SSM, so very encouraging to hear your positive comments. Out of interest, what cart do you use on it?

    Any particular pitfalls you'd warn me against before I install the rim drive?

    Lee
     
    lbr, Oct 4, 2008
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  11. lbr

    robM

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    no pitfalls at all..it's all straight forward in use and setting up. I use an Ortofon Vienna (German market only). It's all great. In fact I have a ZYX Airy 3 low output copper coil with the silver base which is going to be replaced by a Vienna very soon. The VPI/Ortofon is a great combo.... but then the VPI with anything sounds great.
     
    robM, Oct 4, 2008
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  12. lbr

    lbr monkey boy

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    Update:

    A couple of weeks ago I installed the Rim Drive and it doesn't work. It does not spin round. Pretty fundamental problem for a turntable drive mechanism.

    The instructions appear to anticipate exactly this problem and advise contacting VPI directly, which I have done.

    After a couple of days exchanged emails, the not-so-helpful folks at VPI advised that this is a manufacturing tolerance problem. Since then, over a week ago, they have simply ignored all emails and do not appear in the least bit interested in resolving the problem.

    So I am left with $1000 of useless flywheel and a very nasty taste in the mouth.

    To anyone considering the purchase of a Rim Drive, at this point in time I would have to counsel very strongly against it. To anyone considering the purchase of a VPI deck, record machine or anything else I would advise that you think carefully about how important after-sales is to you.
     
    lbr, Oct 21, 2008
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  13. lbr

    robM

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    lbr...

    just because your RIM Drive didn't work, it doesn't mean they are all faulty!!! I use 2 now and they are excellent. I have had no problems at all. I also have a 16.5 record cleaner, Typhoon, HRX, Super Scout Master and 2 x SDS supplies. Ive had no problems at all with any of it. The Rim drive was so easy to get working, you really don't even need to look at the manual.

    To anyone with a VPI SSM - get a Rim Drive. It's a great buy and really does work....
     
    robM, Oct 21, 2008
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  14. lbr

    Purite Audio Purite Audio

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    LBR how did you pay , creditcard? Start a chargeback,Keith.
     
    Purite Audio, Oct 21, 2008
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  15. lbr

    YNMOAN Trade - AudioFlat

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    lbr, what specific 'manufacturing tolerance problem' is the problem - presumable the bearing of the rim-drive is too tight?
     
    YNMOAN, Oct 21, 2008
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  16. lbr

    lbr monkey boy

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    Hi guys,

    RobM - I didn't say they were all faulty, but this one is and VPI don't seem interested in helping. That's pretty appalling in anyone's book. I can't with good conscience recommend a company that cares so little about its customers.

    Keith - I'll be speaking to the card issuer for sure ;) It's taken me a while to get round to trying it, so that might be an issue...

    YNMOAN - VPI told me that the shaft in the Rim Drive is too deep, so the Rim Drive is sitting too low in the motor housing.
     
    lbr, Oct 21, 2008
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  17. lbr

    Purite Audio Purite Audio

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    vpi

    LB elapsed time may be the only issue, but it is worth trying and obviously continue to write and telephone, threathen to bombard every forum, let us know how you get on,Keith.
     
    Purite Audio, Oct 22, 2008
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  18. lbr

    sq225917 Exposer of Foo

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    RobM , shilling for VPI.....!

    bigger balls LBR?

    i have no idea if it uses a ball bearing at the base, f it does i have ceramics in 4.7mm if you need one
     
    sq225917, Oct 22, 2008
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  19. lbr

    robM

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    I agree with coops on this one. Just bombard them until they give in!.... although they really shouldn't have to, you've only had it for a little while.

    I remember buying my first Ferrari 430 (yes I had two, but that's another story). From new the thing was all wrong! They offered an engine replacement after 2 months... I ended up going to Italy and giving them a right earful. I eventually got a really nice 355 with uprated discs, steering and exhaust for nothing (the modifications were free - not the car). Then was offered a lovely discount on another 430 which I went for, then swapped it for a 599... got rid of that and now have a really nice Merc CL-Class Brabus, which is the most fun I've had in a car, outside trackdays.

    So see, the moral of the story is: kick up a right stink and you'll be rewarded 10 fold!
     
    robM, Oct 22, 2008
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  20. lbr

    SMEagol Because we wants it...

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    ...my God, have you got any cast offs? A Krell you might be using as a foot scraper etc... :D :p

    ...bugger the 300b's gone out, my beans will get cold. ;)
     
    SMEagol, Oct 22, 2008
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