Rim Drive Super Scoutmaster (VPI)

When you order the kit from VPI, a small box gets to your doorstep. In it is the new flywheel with the large rim drive wheel cast as one unit. I didn't weigh it, but it feels significantly heavier than the belt drive flywheel (which is a heavyweight by itself). Also, in the box you will find a plastic bag with 2 smallish belts, 4 grey wire nuts, 2 new pulleys and a 2 page instruction sheet. You first remove the belts that are there already, remove the old flywheel and insert the new one after removing some protective tape covering the hole on the bottom. If it fits and turns easily, you remove it, put the tape back on to protect the spindle hole, and proceed to the motor deck. The black pulleys on each of the motors then have to be removed. I understand some have set screws on them, mine was simply glued on. Fear not, they come off easily. The directions say to put a screwdriver under them (I have a small nail claw which worked well), put a towel under the tool to protect the finish, and voila, they come right off. The new black pulleys go on easily and are tightened with a turn of the 3 set screws. Turn the deck so that the switch is on the top and the bottom facing you because that has to come off. The four phillips head screws are easy, but there are 4 more which may be hard to find. I fineally realized that those blue endcaps on the feet, are just stuck on with adhesive revealing the screws underneath. When the bottom comes off you will see a rats nest of wires under protective tape. Carefully remove the tape. I was fine up to then, but then goofed and received prompt directions from VPI (Mike) who saved the day. You must find the exact black wire (there are many that go this way and that) that goes to each motor. You must find the exact red wire that goes to each motor. You cut each of those wires and reattach them red to black, and black to red. What you are doing is reversing the direction of the motors. I did one correctly, but goofed and cut the wrong wire on the other motor, so only one motor worked. I found the mistake, corrected it, and it is fine. Each of those wire cuts and connections are protected by those 4 grey wire nuts that came with the kit. You put it all together, put that new flywheel on, attach the flywheel to each of the motors with the new small belts, and you're in business. I always felt that the Scoutmaster was in such an accomplished area of performance that there simply couldn't be a reason to get one of those super duper turntables. Let me tell you that I hear a significant increase in performance. At first I thought the sound was much more "creamier".. not in the sence of blurred, but in a kind of musical connection that I hadn't heard before. The more you listen, the more that is revealed. The bass is phenominal.. Clean, clear, powerful when needed. This sets up a rythm that really touches the soul. The base is never lost..it simply drives the music forward. There is a marked increase in dynamics..mainly micro dynamics, but when called for there is much greater slam than with the belt drive. The highs are airy and open and 3 dimensional..but what got to me are the lows especially, but the increase in midrange performance as well. This is just my opinion, and others will have more to say, but I for one certainly recommend this upgrade to everyone that has an SDS. (I forgot to tell you) that the table turns WAY slower with the rim drive, and must be corrected (easily) with the SDS.
I am very interested in this upgrade, but I only have a Scout. What do you think about getting a Teres Verus Rim Drive to use with the Scout? I worry about mixing at matching components from different vendors. In particular, I wonder if it would be hard for the Verus Rim drive to get the right speed with different sized platters. I recently ordered the Super Platter upgrade. Thank you for your post.

All the best,
Personally, I would stick to VPI throughout or Teres throughout. I believe that the best can be had from the pieces designed for each other. If you check my system, I have all Ayre electonics and am pleased how well they work together.
I asked VPI about the rim drive for the single motor/flywheel and it is coming. It will accomodate the Scout, but there may be a height problem for just the Scout since it's plinth is a bit lower. I was told a couple months back it would be available around Feb but the wheels at VPI often turn very slowly and I never expect anything on time from experience.
I was told by Mike at VPI that the rim drive would be available for the Aries this summer.