I haven't heard the Classic 3, but upgrading my Scoutmaster to a Super Scoutmaster Rim Drive was the best money I have spent in years!
The Rim Drive is so quiet, fast, and dynamic I would have a hard time going back to a belt drive.
I have the Super Platter but I just ordered the Classic Platter from Music Direct. I also plan on keeping the JMW 9 Signature for now.
I also have a SRA platform on order to replace the butcher block I have been using.
I have the Super Scoutmaster Reference with rimdrive, 10.5i tonearm, and SDS, and am very happy with it. It started out originally as a regular Super Scoutmaster with 9 inch arm and acrylic platter. I now have the Classic Platter, upgraded from the Super Platter. This has taken several years from the original Super Scoutmaster. I prefer the sound of the Classic platter which is much more lively then the Super Platter, and offers better performance for rimdrive, as it is more accurately machined.
My suggestion is to upgrade your existing Super Scoutmaster to Rimdrive Reference, with 10.5i tonearm, Classic platter, and order a set of 4 brass Bear Paws from Edensound for the feet- much better than the VPI mini HRX footers. Also, order 2 round precision couplers ($20 each) from Symposium Acoustics and put below the SAMA- one in front in between the existing rubber feet, and the other in the rear between the 2 rubber feet. This also improves performance and sound.
The rimdrive needs to be precisely adjusted against the platter, not too much pressure, and just enough for constant contact on the platter, so that when you turn off the motor, the platter stops after about 1 to 1.5 revolutions. Make sure the distance between the SAMA and plinth are equidistant and the SAMA is centered alongside. This all is easier to do than I make it sound. The rimdrive has much better drive, bass, rhythm, and timing versus the belt drive.
I use VPI's periphery ring clamp and a Black Diamond Racing carbon fiber clamp (1 piece model). The table and SAMA sit on a Symposium Acoustics Ultra platform. My Edensound brass feet sit in small round black aluminum couplers with center dimple from Symposium Acoustics.
With the now upgraded Super Scoutmaster to Reference Rimdrive you already have the stand-alone 2 motor assembly (SAMA) for extremely quiet and isolated performance from the platter and plinth, versus the Classic 3 which has the single motor built into the plinth.
A properly adjusted cartridge is very important. I suggest the Mint LP protractor. Takes patience but is extremely precise and provides better sound and tracking. Make sure the turntable is exactly level. I used the Cartridge Man Digital level which has made audible improvement in the overall sound quality and ensures perfect level results, much better than a bubble level, and very important for the unipivot tonearm.
The result is sonic bliss- very musical, effortless, natural, wonderful sound, and IMO, well worth the effort!
The easy answer is to sell the Superscoutmaster and buy the Classic 3 if that is your direction.
Why? Well, if you ever go to sell the Superscoutmaster after all of the upgrades that you do, price will be hard to determine and buyers will not necessarily be looking for something that is neither fish nor fowl. You will also end up selling the tonearm seperately and the platter as well when you do the upgrades. To me it would be more trouble than it's worth. YMMV
Viridian, I disagree. The Super Scoutmaster Reference Rimdrive has been very well received and reviewed. It will have value in the future on the open market if ever resold in its entirety. The sum of its parts yields a highly musical, accurate and satisfying playback.
If you're just thinking of selling your table and getting a Classic 3, then that's the route to take. But if you're really interested in performance, then upgrade the SSM.
Thanks for the comments so far.In order,what upgrade would you purchase first,platter,rim drive or tone arm in a 3 part upgrade process?
I would first do the Rimdrive, then the Classic Platter, then the 10.5i tonearm.
My suggestion would be to first do the platter. After the platter is complete, then the rim drive since you won't have to fiddle around with the rim drive set-up more than once (it's not really much of a pain, but still...). Then do the new arm.
IMO, the platter will make the most difference.
There are some mounting options to consider with the rim drive. Review all the information you can get your hands on. You may want to consider mounting the rim drive on a "slider" so that it's easier to engage / disengage with the correct pressure against the platter. (Hint: look at the construction of drawers and sliding kitchen shelves.)
If the new platter comes with an entire bearing ass'y, let me know. I might be able to help you get rid of that old platter / bearing assembly.
I too have a rim drive Superscout/Classic table and will tell you that the upgrade from a 9 inch arm to a 10.5 is hardly worth the trouble. Dump those feet and get Bearpaws for a truly upgraded sound. You must have the motor assembly able to move on soft feet, and the turntable itself to be rock solid to the supporting table so that any inconsistency in the drive wheel or rubber belt will not transfer itself onto the table and make the arm wobble.
Did you actually go from the 9 inch arm to the 10.5 arm and not find any difference? Were you referring to the older 10.5 discontinued arm or the new classic 3 arm in your comparrison?
The 10.5i tonearm with adjustable VTA tower is well worth the investment to really fine tune the system. You can really hear the difference in adjusting SRA. I would do the 10.5i tonearm after the rimdrive and Classic platter. Rimdrive really improves PRAT over beltdrive.
Moonguy....I went from a 9 inch Nordost wired to a 10.5i (not Classic...but the name change makes no difference) and could not tell a difference. Both arms were dialed in well.....Benz LP. The 9 incher can be raised/lowered on the fly...just not quite as easily as the 10.5i.
I was considering upgrading to the Classic Arm from the JMW 9 Signature but think I will stay with the 9. I have 4 Arm wands with 4 different cartridges.
Once I get the Classic Platter (arrives tomorrow) and when I receive the SRA platform (on Order), I think I will be finished upgrading my SSM Rim Drive.
I added the Edensound Terrastone footers a while back which resulted in a big improvement.
Looking forward to spending more money on records in 2013.
Can you let me know what you think of the classic platter after you listen for a while.I already have the Eden Sound terra footers with the adjustable brass.
I am thinking of taking the SSC off of the ginko clould platform.It seems everytime I make an adjustment to the brass footers that the platform shifts or a ball shifts throwing the level adjustment off.
I m thinking it may be just better having the SSC on the shelf without the ginko platform.I see Herbies audio lab makes after market balls for the ginko platforms which are suppose to be better.Maybe that would help out.
Get rid of the Gingko cloud platform. I had a Gingko cloud under my SSM with rimdrive and it caused the table and tonearm to wobble. The table and tonearm should remain stable and not move or rock. I replaced it with a Symposium Acoustics Ultra Shelf. You are better off just placing the table directly on a shelf rack as long as it is level and solid.
The Classic Platter is a keeper! Popped off my Super Platter and cleaned the bearing and then slid the Classic onto the bearing.
Instantly noticed a larger soundstage. Wider and deeper. Noticed a bit more detail. I'll do more listening this weekend.
I still need to dial in VTA as the Classic is a little taller than the Super Platter.
I used to have a Gingko under my Scoutmaster. Those Herbies balls make the platform rock solid. You have to really push it to make it move. You might want to give them a try. I used 5 balls.
I agree with getting rid of the gingko.
If the table is using belt drive, consider three Still Points under the table, four Vibrapods under the motor. If using rim drive, get a good shelf system and place the motor / drive assembly on a separate sliding platform. The table and rim drive need to have a solid and stable point of contact. The table MUST sit on a solid platform that won't move. The rim drive must be on a surface that will only slide horizontally but yet have a solid, unwavering contact point with the platter.
I've tried Gingko vs. solid plaform on a friend's Scoutmaster(belt drive) and my TNT 6(rim drive), and each time solid platform wins out. To me Gingko platform made both of our tables sound soft, veil and less dynamic. YMMV.
Thanks guy's,I will take out the ginko platform.Glad to hear the new classic platter made that much difference.
There is a review at www.enjoythemusic.com on adding rim drive and the classic platter.The reviewer added the rim drive first which he said made some difference,but the real magic came after adding the classic platter.