Have anyone replace VPI SSM belt with string?

Most heavy platter tables like Verdier or Micro Seiki use silk or string to drive the platter and reason is obvious. VPI SSM or HRX both have heavy fly wheel that motor has to drive. I can hear my VPI SSM belt noise when it is not perfectly clean and will wobble and shudder especially running at 45RPM. This is more obvious on the two small belts driving the flywheel which much more work than the long belt driving the platter.

Has anyone tried using string or dental floss to replace the belts on VPI tables? I know for SSM or HRX, making two identical length strings for the motors will be extremely difficult and that means different load for each motor. But is this idea feasible at all? Are there any downside to the string?
guess no one has tried. my VPI SSM is packed away at the moment so I can't try it myself.
Just thought I would give you a suggestion.
I had a VPI mk4 and found if I did not level the Sama Motor
at the exact same level of the TT I would also here the belt movement at 33 but even worse at 45. You can look at the tt as it spins and if the belt moves up & down at all level the motor till it stops.
I've experienced the up and down movement on the belt. Here's what I found out, and did to solve it.

- No change by levelling the motor, but it SHOULD probably be level anyway, so no loss in making it so.
- Take a toothpick and make sure the motor fly wheel doesn't have any caked on talc buildup. Mine did and this solved my problem for a while, initially.
- Make sure the platter edge is clean. VPI used to recommend cleaning the platter with Windex and a paper towel (but not with the belt spinning.

I recently did all these again when the problem resurfaced and it didn't work. I then boiled the belt for about 1 minute, re-talc'ed it and put it back on. Dead even now.

I just remembered, when I had my VPI I heard they had made a new TT belt. It's made from one piece of rubber and not sliced as yours is.
You might want to check into it. That noise drove me crazy.
And is why am this way today. My wife says no though.
Yes, I have replaced the rubber belt with a string on my Aries 2. Belt tension is of course critical since you'll not have the 'gription' of the stock belt. Easily done with SAMA. I don't have the dual-flywheel motor, but I can certainly see the difficulty in setting up string drive for the two flywheels. (However, the old style, separate flywheel should be relatively easy)

Tried dental floss, but it was too slippery-platter would not turn at a constant speed.

I use a carpet thread, and I believe the SDS (or equivalent) would be necessary to dial in the speed.

Benefits-increased sense of 'pace' and 'immediacy'.
Thanks for the suggestions. I have cleaned my platter with Windex and my VPI SSM does have those one piece black nitrile belt, but those small belts still make some noises from time to time. Wouldn't boiling the belts make them brittle and crack easily? My VPI SSM belts do not seem to have any talcs on them when I first used them unlike the older VPI TNT Jr that I used to own.

So dental floss will not have enough friction to drive the flywheel or platter? My friend who has a Micro Seiki replaced his string with dental floss and that's what Micro Seiki forum suggested as well. Maybe I have to experiment with different floss materials. One of the advantage of using floss or string is to reduce speed variation since belts stretch, but some floss are too slippery for this application apparently. So no wax, no nylon type if I want to experiment with floss?

Fortunately, my SSM does come with SDS so I can dial in the speed easily.
Yes, the floss I tried was waxed (that's what I had around :-) and I haven't tried the unwaxed. I'll buy some next time I'm at the drugstore and see what happens.

Well worth the time to try this. I'll keep this thread tabbed to see the results of your experiments.
I've used carpet/button thread with a TNT III/flywheel set-up and can report quite an improvement in focus & musicality & relief from slurring in the bass region. If the string can't be tensioned, the tricked is to tie knots within knots to the point that there is enough tension for friction, but not so much that you hear the knot ping when passing through the pulleys. If you can get this working you won't go back to rubber bands. With a little practice you can get two threads +/- 1mm.
Thanks for all the input. I am in transistion right now, taking on an assignment oversea that uses a different voltage and I have to build a system from scratch. Did bring my VPI SSM with me, but it's been sitting in the box for the past few months as I have no phono stage to hook it up to. But hearing all the positive feedback of using strings I am inclined to give it a try since there is little to lose.

I wonder if I only replace the long belt with string and keep the motor/flywheel belts, will I hear any improvement? It will be easy to do as I can move the motor assembly in/out to adjust tension. But most of the belt noise is coming from those short belts, so I won't be cutting down the noise there. With the old TNT flywheel setup, I assumed one can move the motor/flywheel around to adjust string tension as well?
Semi, yes with the TNT/single motor/flywheel it is easier because only the long thread around the platter must be cut exactly in order to be self-tensioning.
Having recently added Mark Kelly's speed controller, I've been experimenting with Stren braided fish line as an alternative to carpet thread on my TNT with flywheel. Braided fish line offers the theoretical advantage of very low elasticity. I chose 20 lb. Stren because its diameter is about the same as carpet thread & the knot is small.

The experiment was a failure. The exotic coating on the line grips poorly relative to cotton thread. Poor grip together with zero elasticity means that the fish line must be tightly tensioned to the point that the motor will not start without a push. Even with a helping hand to get started, there is audible slippage.

Cotton/poly thread works much better and its elacticity somewhere between rubber and fish line appears to be an asset.

I have a VPI HMW19 and am in the process of building a DIY SAMA. I want to have it out board of the plinth/frame so it can be really massive. It seems to me that if the pulleys are the same size as stock then no matter how long the string is, the speed will be correct.
Am I correct?

Also, my friend that has a beautiful Teres, uses silk thread that a very nice lady at a fabric store sold him.He swears by it.

I am running a VPI SSM w/HRX & SDS with special bavarian linen thread. Works nice. Good grip, small knot (made the way Micro Seiki suggested), very quiet, very dynamic and stable sound. Much more presence and low level dynamics as compared to the stock belt as well as a premium industrial precision belt of german origin.
The super low elasticity linen thread wins in all parameters in this set-up.
Just did a experiment with some ordinary poly-cotton thread on the HMW 19. I got it working which was the main thing,but it is a hair slow (checked with a strobe and by ear).
I imagine some better thread and with more adjustment I can make it right. Therefore outboard here I come!

I have a Ludlum turntable and the platter is driven by dental floss. This is very easy to do as the platter drive capstan is remote from the turntable and you can move it as far or near to the platter as practical.

Just take a length of unwaxed dental floss, join with a reef knot, put around the platter and the capstan and adjust motor speed as per a strobe platter.

The dental floss is terrific as it seems to last and last and because it is so thin and light it doesn't transfer any vibrations from the motor. I did use 2lb weight fishing line initially but sometimes I would forget to turn it off at night and it had parted by morning. I think it was the heat.

Great turntable. Silent as the grave. No rumble, nothing.
Concerning the turntable above it is not Ludlum it is a Lumley turntable.

Sorry for the typo.
wow, didn't expect this old thread to revive after 3 years.

I sold the SSM and got a SSM Ref with rim drive, PRAT was definitely improved. I also picked up a Nottingham Hyperspace and have been playing with strings, no luck so far with what I have at home. sounds like cotton string is the ticket to get good grip and just enough stretch to couple the motor to platter.

can someone share the "proper" way to tie the knot?
My black belt was totally stretched on my Aries II. I boiled my belt for 2 minutes floating in a steamer pan. Belt returned to original length. Saved me 30.00 dollars.  The sound is now more vivid and fuller
I tried this a couple of years ago on a VPI HW-19 MKIII using silk thread. You will need a motor controller to get the right speed (I used a Phoenix Engineering Roadrunner).  Ultimately, the set-up was too much of a PITA. Although I liked the sound somewhat better, I went from having too much bass to not having enough. The thread slippage was always a problem for me.  I was using a clear belt. VPI's black ones are much better IMHO.

I now have a TW Acustic TT.