Scout drive upgrade

I've had some expensive tables and am back to a humble, stock Scout, which I think is an amazing performer when properly isolated and given a good cart & phono preamp.

I've been listening to it for about six months now and the only thing that does occasionally intrude on my listening is it's noticeably non-exemplary speed stability. Looking at the rubber belt drive, it seems to me that must be a weak point.

I would appreciate suggestions on improving the drive system, either by using a different belt or possibly a total replacement (rim)?
If you budget allows, buy the SDS speed control. It will take care of the problem.

Yes, the SDS is a must have. The 300 Rpm motor is also a simple, inexpensive way to gain some stability and noise control.
vpi will upgrade your scout to rim drive, but i think you could pick up a used sds for cheaper. i've heard using a silk bead cord is better than the rubber belt, but have no first hand knowledge of this.
I knew I should have said "no SDS". :) When I had an ultra-tricked out Scoutmaster setup a few years ago I had it, and found *little* difference. I have very clean AC.

I don't think that's the problem.

I think a Scout rim drive could be killer and is probably the best bet.

(I will never forget a demo of the Teres rim drive at RMAF 07. Took that already stellar table to another level.)

I should probably try a thread first, if that will work.

By the way I tried moving the motor assy farther from the platter tonight and that actually made a difference from the better.

"*little* difference."

You didn't have stable speed with the SDS? I've never heard that from anyone. Hmmm....

Ok, you are rather right - I contradicted myself. I complained of lack of speed stability and a speed controller will certainly address that.

I think the motor drive with the rubber belt has issues other than speed stability, actually - it may just be a lack of drive ability. As in the sort an idler gives you. That is the sort of difference a rim drive brings as well.

I am going to look into a rim drive setup.
Hello Paul,

I have solved the speed problem with the addition of a used PS Audio P-300. It stabilizes the voltage provided to the motor, $400. I wound up getting the 300RPM motor as well, which helped. I tried converting to string drive, but gave that up, the smaller diameter string changes the speed, so you would have to go with the SDS to use it.

This setup works very well for me. I agree with you about proper isolation, it has worked wonders. To better this would require much more money to be spent, I believe.

The 300 RPM motor makes a real difference for not much money. I would start there.
A couple of things... The SDS will do nothing for you if your turntable speed is not stable. In other words, there are two flavors to the problem - stable speed but not at 33 1/3 and unstable speed. The SDS will only solve problem number one.

Second, as far as I know, the rim drive doesn't work with the Scout. You need a Scoutmaster, HR-X, or TNT-6 to use the rim drive.

I've found that speed instability is most likely caused on the Scout by a worn belt. Try replacing it. Other than that, make sure the table is level and the platter bearing is lubricated with white lithium grease.


The Teres rim drive works well on the Scout and has its own motor controller so you wouldn't need an SDS. The Teres provides very stable speed.
My entry level was the Scout. Right out of the box, I found it very bland but after lots of tweeking, it was excellent. Cloud 10 isolation platform, Mint protactor set up protractor, Ortofon P windfield Cart, Synergistic research tricon interconnect. It was kick ass but took a lot of $ to get there
Hi Paul, I have a VPI Scout with the Super Platter and SDS system and the 300 rpm motor . The tt and motor assembly sit on a sand box containing about 80 lbs. of sand. Once set, I notice no speed instability at all. It is on a dedicated 20 amp circuit for power and the voltage at the wall outlet runs 122-124 volts.
When I got the Super Platter Harry sent with it a new belt that was different from the one that came originally with the Scout.
I should clarify one thing I said in my earlier post in regard to the statement "The SDS will do nothing for you if your turntable speed is not stable.". The SDS can help with stability by providing a clean, stable source of power to the motor.

But, in my experience, speed stability problems have usually been unrelated to power delivery. But there are certainly places in the U.S. and the rest of the world that have less-than-stellar power delivery. The SDS should provide improved stability in those places. I live in Chicago, which is generally known to have very good power delivery. So it's not really an issue for me. The SDS is still valuable as a means of getting exact 33 1/3 speed.

FYI, VPI has told me they will do a Scout rim drive soon, and I intend to try it.

Properly isolated and setup, the bone-stock Scout already takes far more money to substantially better it. I would expect the rim drive to take it significantly further still.