New Aluminum Platter from VPI

Has anyone tried the new VPI Scout II with aluminum platter? How does the new aluminum platter compare with the original VPI acrylic platter?

Is this platter compatible with the VPI Periphery Ring Clamp?

Can this new aluminum platter be used on the VPI Scoutmaster?
haven't heard it, but i know it's compatible with the periphery ring and it can be used on the scoutmaster. from what i recall, the cost of the platter is $700, but you get a $200 credit if you return your acrylic platter.
Over the past ten year's, VPI's move to acrylic and now aluminum is puzzling. I have heard the acrylic's. The TNT Mark IV's seem to provide the best sound, often better then the Super Platter. The acrylic's that I have heard were terrible. If you want to try the aluminum, which does take the p-ring, have VPI grant you a return at full price paid, less shipping. Try it would be the only way to really tell. It must sound better in your rig, otherwise it does not make sense. I am thinking of changing my Aries but they will not give a return accomodation so I will sit it out until then.
On the new CORRECTED VPI price sheet I just received the T-1014 Scout 2 Aluminum plater is $800. No mention of trade in but it may be the same. I too am somewhat curious about the platters. I was a dealer previously and only sold my very early TNT last fall. It did not overlap with my current stock, an Aries with Super Platter and a Scout and Scoutmaster with acrylic platters. I am quite happy with the sound of all of them, getting a Classic when I sell either the Scout or Scoutmaster. Quite puzzled about the Classic being the best VPI ever according to some quotes. If this is true then what about detached motors being better and all the other changes since the HW 19? What about rim drive, which is , apparently, now available for the Aries? Just what is the actual progression of sound quality within the line? I ask Harry about this some time ago and he said things were in flux. Apparently they still are.
".... the Classic being the best VPI ever according to some quotes."

Those quotes you refer to were from the original VPI ad copy, which I believe has since been modified. I've asked the same questions myself:

*mounted motor vs. SAMA

*belt drive vs. rim drive

*wood plinth vs. acrylic/metal plinth

*aluminum platter vs. acrylic platter


Even more oddly, virtually every build 'quality' on the 'Classic' was previously seen as a negative for previous decks, and extra-priced options were marketed and sold to 'upgrade'! Are we supposed to believe that everything goes both ways?

To be frank, I think the 'Classic' is just HW and VPI, again, jumping on the newest and latest from the blogs. Like the 'rim drive'. Their marketing philosophy seems to be to offer something for everyone, which is fine, but it shows that there is no company-wide (and owner) determination as to which tt in their line really sounds best.

As a VPI owner, I wish they'd replace that crappy, coggy Hurst motor and make available a tape-drive option. I've tried my own manifestation of it with a custom pulley, and the cogging transmits (very) audibly to the platter. Because of that, there's no way I'd even consider a 'rim drive'.

BTW, good to see a dealer at least curious about the goings-ons at VPI.
Is VPI the new Linn of circle jerk?
All I can say is, I'm glad I held onto my Aries 1. VPI has been more than a little schizophrenic lately. The 300 RPM motor was an upgrade, but its back to the 600 RPM motor for the Classic. Rim drive vs. belt drive; stand-alone motor vs. fixed motor; heavy platters to acrylic platters to all aluminum platters. I saved a lot of money by not upgrading.
'Gmuffley'-yes, apparently the 'Classic' is the VPI 'Everything You Know is Wrong' tt. Go figure.

And btw, re. my previous post, I missed that 'Stanwal' is a former VPI dealer. Apologies.
No apologies needed, I am a former dealer and am one once again after a lapse of 14 years. So I have missed out on much of the recent evolution of the tables and am trying to sort out the present course of the product. My source of knowledge is the web site just like everyone else. I like the non suspended tables but then I liked the old ones too. Different set of virtues. Overall I like the new ones a little better than the older ones THAT I HAVE USED. There are many that I have not. My main complaint as a dealer is that I have no real idea if the Classic is , for example, suppose to be better or worse than the Scoutmaster. Buying all of them is not an option as I am a very small dealer. VPI use to offer a very clear upgrade path, it was one of their main virtues. Now I find their line confusing, it may not be but I don't think they have given sufficient guidance as to what THEY think is the selection criteria for their tables.
Johnbrown, What custom pulley are you talking about? Having experimented at length with custom pulleys, I can report that some pulley designs add more problems than they solve. And there is nothing wrong with the Hurst motor-- unless you are dismissive of AC motors altogether.

BTW, a TTweights copper or copper/carbon fiber mat is an excellent alternative to VPI's expensive platter options.
And I can personally vouch for Dave's suggestion to get a speed controller and change to a thread drive over the VPI rubber O ring drive belt. Much better PRAT by removing the wobbly and vibration generating rubber drive belt.

Hi Bob, I'll add that thread drive and tape drive are both somewhat tweaky-- requiring correct selection of threads, knotting & splicing techniques, and precise tensioning. They are not plug-and-play like the soft rubber belt. My guess is that HW stays with the rubber belt because of its non-critical set-up and ease of use with a large number of casual TT owners. These are not unimportant considerations. Nonetheless, anyone who has not tried thread or does not have a speed controller is wasting his money with a platter upgrade.
Doug-It's a custom pulley milled by a machinist on VA who was doing one for himself-and he kindly doubled the run so I could have one. Well, actually two-I (we) have one each for both 300rpm and 600rpm motors. I'd send a photo of the tape-drive setup on your email but I don't think you can add attachments from here, so I'll send you a mail, you reply back, and I'll send you the photo.

BTW, I agree that an SDS (or equivalent) is a necessity, and I've seen your rig in the past. Outstanding. Interesting, too, your comments re. a copper mat.
Doug-one other thing. It was DD who warned me about the possibility of the 'cogging' of these motors coming through sonically via a tape drive, so when that occurred a bitter bile rose in my throat when I thought of all the work my VA machinist pal went to producing these pulleys. Though that sentence way overstates the level of my pain. (-:
Johnbrown, That is a good experiment, and one that may be worth continuing with a DC motor or other AC motors to compare to Hurst. The question remains as to whether there are other AC motors that behave any better than Hurst w/r to cogging. Another possibility is that my two-phase Kelly drive controller is doing a better job of reducing AC motor vibration than a single-phase SDS. However, with thread drive I've noticed that the tension needs to be relaxed a bit more than one might expect in order to optimize audible speed stability. I'm inclined to conclude that an AC motor needs a small amount of compliance in the belt-- certainly not as much sloppiness as a stock VPI rubber belt, but probably more than your mylar tape.

Perhaps HW was led to combine compliant belts with rim drive in order to deal with AC cogging. One would have thought(on paper at least), that a direct-coupled DC motor like Teres Verus would be a better choice for rim drive. But Teres has its own cross to bear: the O-ring on that small drive wheel needs to be perfectly round, which may be more easily said than done.

BTW, by adding a spring-loaded tensioning capstan to your tape drive, you might be able to vary compliance.


"Another possibility is that my two-phase Kelly drive controller is doing a better job" - it had better be!

Try tweaking the third harmonic control whilst running the platter, you should be able to find a minimum in the cogging torque transmitted.

"I'm inclined to conclude that an AC motor needs a small amount of compliance in the belt"

But how much? How does one calculate the optimal value?

I have just taken possession of some new belts which are far , far less compliant than standard Mylar tape. I am combining them with those "crappy coggy Hurst motors". I think you will be interested in the result. It will hopefully be at RMAF in October.

Mark Kelly
I've come to the same conclusion about the thread tension. Too tight and it doesn't sound right. It needs to be just tight enough to grip, but still loose enough for the weight and mass of the platter to do its speed stability thing without being hampered by the string.

I'm also using a twisted silk thread, which seems to be able to give me that little extra grip while still remaining a little loose. The thickness of the thread also seems to make a difference, with a thicker one sounding better to me. But it can't be too thinck or the knot size becomes a problem.

I'm using thread from here and recommend size 2 or 3 (in whatever color your heart desires):

I'm also using Mark's controller on my Hurst 600RPM motor. When it's dialed in I almost can't feel it running while holding it in my hand. Very quiet, but it does take a bit of tweaking to get to that setting. It also does vary with the clock setting a bit so I'm prone to finding the right thread and sticking with it rather than swapping them out and resetting the clock and "quietness" each time.

Interesting to see that the Super Platter is no longer listed under the accessory section on the VPI web site?????????
If I have anything to say about it, we'll get to see and hear an esoteric solution from Mark in our Galibier room at RMAF this year.

We just completed manufacture of 5 of the 7 machined parts in order to begin prototyping.

Y'all know me to have been in the DC motor camp for quite some time, but not as an absolute statement about architectures. Rather, it's because I haven't heard anything to convince me to switch.

Mark is just the fellow to convince me (and others?). Stay tuned ...

Thom @ Galibier
If you check Harry's website, the Superplatter is no longer listed - the aluminum platter will be shipped with the Superscoutmaster.