For Basis TT owners does the VPI SDS work?

I was wondering if anyone has used the VPI SDS power conditioner/speed regulator for their Basis turntable? The Basis Synchro thing is very expensive!

thanks for any input.

I'm hoping for a yes answer also so I checked on Elusive Disc where it says;
"The SDS works best with synchronous motor driven turntables, such as those from VPI."
Then from Galen Carol Basis Turntables reviews-motor;
" Basis employs an ultra high quality synchronous instrument motor..."
I think the answer is yes!!!!

Yes, The VPI SDS works with the Basis motor. So does the Walker speed controller.

Of those two choices, I give preference to the Walker unit.

If you can swing the Synchro-Wave, It's better than both as is eliminates the phase splitting cap used inside the motor. The result is a much quieter motor.

I used the older VPI speed control with my Ovation and worked fine.
The next question for those who have used an external speed controller is - how much better is the sound? Is the frequency extension better? More silent backgrounds? Less Wow and flutter?? Is it worth the extra thousand(s).

With the Walker, I noticed a surprising degree of improvement on my Notts Hyperspace. Musical instruments were much better separated in space. Vocals were cleaner. The position of the phase switch on the Walker made a huge difference. I was very surprised on both counts. I was a sceptic beforehand. I am now using the Walker on my Lenco. It's perfect for the Lenco or Notts motor, because they're single-phase. At least I see/saw no phase-splitting capacitor in or on either motor.
I've used both the VPI SDS and the Walker Precision Motor Controller on my Basis 2500 Signature. Each product improved the speed acurcey by degrees and you can hear the music improvement easily. The Walker was my final choice because it did more to lock in the speed. This translated to improvement across the musical spectrum, better image control, and just more natural music.

The caveat is that (I thnk) Jay Conti says his (Basis) AC motor needs three phase control and that single phase control is not as good as his Basis speed control product ($3900.00). This also requires new belt ($xxx), and requires modifications done to the Basis AC motor ($xxx). Jay Conti is most likely right. After all, he is the genius behind Basis excellent products.
A bit of clarification: The basis motor is two-phase. Not three-phase.

It uses a phase splitting cap as most all two-phase AC synchronous motors do if powered directly off single phase AC from the wall or something like a Walker or SDS.

One of the benefits of the Synchro-Wave controller is as I stated above.

The owner of basis uses the name A.J. Conti.

I hope this helps and clears up some inconsistencies.

Dre J, you are right on all counts. Sorry, about the sloppiness.
How much of a benefit is a power supply that does not eliminate the phase splitting cap in the motor, and instead, supply two separate phases to the motor?

The Basis approach, which involves modifying the motor and eliminating the phase splitting cap, make much more sense to me.

Also, how would the other power supplies work for changing speed? Since the motor is a synchonous motor, that would mean it generates a different frequency ac power for 45 rpm. Wouldn't the ideal phase splitting capacitor be different for the different frequency of ac being supplied?
A single-phase AC controller would still work to control speed of a synchronous motor. Proof of that is the fact that the Walker and SDS controllers do work with all such motors. But you are correct that a controller that could supply two sine waves that were 90 degrees out of phase would be more ideal in terms of noise reduction (and cogging, I think). The Basis unit looks nifty but it costs quite a bit. I see where Allnic has a tube-based controller, also very expensive.

Yes, one can generate a different AC frequency to drive the motor at a higher speed. But, what I am wondering is whether a capacitor "tuned" to 60Hz can effectively create the 90 degree offset phase. If not, the owner would be better off using the controller at the 33.33 rpm speed setting while moving the belt on the pully to achieve 45 rpm.
While I'm sure the Allnic unit has many tubes and nickel-core transformers enclosed in a shiny fascia (I believe Brinkman has a similar device), this is by no means a guarantor of accurate motor control - personally, I'd prefer a substantial number of integrated circuits to be at the heart of my motor controller. Synthesis and control of discrete sine waves for motor control applications is a delicate task requiring a high degree of repeatable accuracy best performed digitally with an analog amplification stage. A phase shift cap is a crude attempt at best...


I bought a VPI SDS 7 days ago and think it's worth it. I used a Clearaudio Strobe Disc and Strobe Laser to adjust the speeds it was amazing how far off the speeds were. There was a different feeling to the music when played at the correct speed, it seemed more "solid/powerful" it just felt right. When I installed the SDS I was using a Koetsu Rosewood and it did tighten up the base some and clean up the highs a little. Yesterday I switched carts to a Koetsu Urushi Black granted this is a big improvement( much more extended, dynamic with much better inner detail) it should expose any problems but the sound stayed clear, powerful and smooth. Now I don't think you can feel that correctness without some type of speed control(just my guess). I'm not ready to A-B with/without the SDS yet as I'm enjoying just listening, 7 hours today!!!
Today I exchanged a Walker PMC with valid points and Teflon board for the VPI SDS controlling the motor for my Basis 2500. The improvement was not subtile in fact I thought I was experiencing the placebo effect, hearing what I wanted/needed to, but after many albums it was clear I wasn't!!! The music was smoother, the bass more immediate, bigger sounding,better defined the highs smoother. A "graininess" that was present with the SDS was gone. Gerrym5 was right when he said "...just more natural music".

Well worth the money; my wife even thought so after listening!!!!
My Basis worked fine with the VPI SDS. I found the PS300 with MW2 from PS Audio sounds much better.

Your comments about the improvement in sound due to adding the Walker Motor controller echo what I've heard on a number of VPI tables. No, it's not a placebo effect! Cheers,

I just bought a Basis 2001 that I will be using with my SDS.
I am a bit curious about how something like the SDS and Walker work on a universal basis. The two phase motors in the Basis table have a capacitor to split the 60hz AC current and offset one part by 90 degrees. The Basis motor control eliminates the phase splitting capacitor (a capacitor is not ideal for splitting the phase) and essentially regenerates two completely separate phases. Hence, the motor itself has to be rewired to bypass the capacitor in order to make use of their motor control.

If the SDS and Walker do not require rewiring of the motor itself, it is creating just one pure ac current to feed the motor and relying on the phase splitting capacitor in the motor. If that is the case, there are two issues. First, the capacitor is not ideal for the job. Second, if the motor control changes speed between 33 1/3 and 45, the use of the capacitor is even LESS ideal. Speed change with synchronous motors mean changing the frequency of the AC signal. If the motor controller changes the AC frequency, the fixed value of the phase splitting capacitor will not be the correct value for the new frequency. In other words, one may still be better off moving the belt on the motor pulley than flipping the switch on the motor controller to change speeds.

I have not tried either the Walker or the SDS, so I don't know how they actually sound. I bet they do a very good job, as others have reported. So, I am raising theoretical concerns about the ideal way of doing speed control on tables with synchronous motors, assuming that the motor itself is not modified to use either. The speed control that Basis makes DOES require that the motor be modified to eliminate the use of the phase splitting capacitor.
I spoke to AJ Conti this morning about rebuilding my Basis 2500 motor to the Signature Series motor.
AJ felt the Signature model didn't "need" the SDS or Walker to sound better as there was very little electrical "noise"and cogging from the upgraded motor but he did say the speed controllers would help if I had fluctuations in power.
To get the benefit of a controller (his controller) the motor would have to be rewired for the reasons Larryi has stated!
Das and Samhar,

Regardless of whether you decide a power conditioner is worth the cost for a Basis table, you should consider getting a new belt from Basis. The newer, precision ground belt is a big improvement over an older belt and is not too costly. I don't really know how to quantify the difference, but two of my friends who heard a belt and Basis synchro upgrade thought the belt made more of a difference.

I was fortunate mine came with the upgraded belt, thanks for the thought!!
I know this is off the subject, but a question for Samhar and/or fellow Basis owners. I noticed in Samhars system page,he refers to his tonearm cable as Basis copper. I believe my PSST cable on my Vector mk.3 is silver.
Is there an option for a copper cable instead of the silver cable. I suppose a call to Mr. Conti would be in order.
I have the original Vector arm which is copper from Discovery Cable. I have always loved the Discovery cable for tonearm wires.

Thanks for noticing I'll call Mr. Conti in the morning. It seems the person that sold me the table gave me some incorrect info!! It belonged to Larry Kay of "FI" magazine so Mr. Conti will know Vector model number and cable type. BTW I didn't buy TT from Mr. Kay, I purchased it from his friend the local Basis dealer.
Samhar- Thanks for checking on it. My guess is that all Vectors that use the hard-wired proprietary cable use PSST silver.
I e-mailed A.J. his reply:

"On the Vector it is a model 1 or model 2. What color are the wires that form the wire loop? If they are white/blue/red/green the arm is a Model 1 and the cable is Discovery. If they are purpleish in color it is a model 2. Those would be our own design cable."

The wires in my tone arm are white/blue/red/green so I have a Vector 1 with Discovery Cable.

I'm very happy with this as I wanted all Copper cable and purchased this TT because of that (didn't want any silver)!!


Thanks. I prefer copper cabling as well. This is going
to be tough to address for two reasons. A.J.'s PSST is
silver, so he will likely be insulted if I ask him to
change it to another brand. The second reason of course is
just having to send the arm in for the rewire.
I have a Vector IV and the PSST cable is copper.


Dre has it correct, this is what A.J. said about the PSST being a copper cable with silver coating and the Discovery Cable.

'No, this is copper wire, and sounds much, much better than the Discovery, which is very veiled in comparison.'

I'll be the one sending the arm in for rewiring........ eventually.

Anyone know whether the Clearaudio Syncro Power Generator works with Basis 2200 Signature Turntable Motor?

Thanks !
I've heard that the Walker works well with Basis, but I haven't bothered to try one. Not too expensive, especially compared to the Basis model.
I had the VPI SDS and it worked fine but after trying the PS300 from PS Audio I sold it and still use it today. I feel the 300 sounds much better. It adjusts both voltage and frequency and is better for an AC motor. If you can get one used upgrade it to miltiwave2 and shut off mutliwave as AC motors will burn out with more than 1 frequency.
The other thing I found was my older Meridian DVD player sounds better with both 60/100hz.