VPI Classic 3 IDLE drive

Hi all,

I have as VPI Classic 3 I bought about 1 year ago and I was lately looking at the pictures on their website and notice that the classic now has an idle drive.
I also noticed that the platter has grooves where the belt goes, while mine doesn't.
I then called vpi and asked them if the idle drive was ready to be purchased for upgrade but They told me it wasn't.

Today while looking on you tube, I saw a video with a classic 3 with the same device I have seen on the website.

It is basically a larger pulley that touches the platter thus functioning like a rim drive however it still uses the belt along with it.

I was wondering if anybody here can help understand if this upgrade is finally available.

Do you have a link to the video?
It's just the double speed pulley for use without and SDS if you don't have one. I bet its not touching the platter. Probably coming very close but not touching it, hence the belt.
When I looked at the VPI website, I had the same thought that Philb7777 had. I don't think it's really touching the platter.
here is the link to the video.


Also, look at VPI's website and check the pictures out.
The pulley is way bigger than what I have on my classic and it should be a representation of the IDLE drive.
Pulley is in contact with the platter that has grooves on the side, while mine doesn't.

When I called VPI they told me that the device shown there wasn't available at the moment, but then I came across this video by accident.

The Classic 3 can be used without SDS even with the small pulley(although I have speed regulator) and the pulley is designed just like in the Classic 1 to deliver proper 33 1/3 and 45 RPM.

One thing aside: I have changed oil a couple of days ago and I used super lube (same stuff used by VPI).
It runs much slower.
At first I noticed its speed was wobbling then followed the advice to boil the belt and wobbling was gone, but speed was still significantly low (measure with precision KAB strobe).
To give an idea, frequency on SDS had to increase from 60.04Hz to 62.08Hz.
With this setting I get proper speed regulation.

I have also noticed that when stylus rests on vinyl, belt is off and motor is on, I notice low frequency buzz on my speaker (phono has no subsonic filter no cuts whatsoever).

If I press on the top of the pulley buzz lowers significantly.
Mike told me that the shaft might be loosen and reccomended to take pulley off and under that there should be another screw that needs to be tightend and a drop of oil needs to be put in.
I tried to remove pulley by removing the 3 hex screws on the side and trying to pull, but it won't come off.
Any hint on that?
It is Not touching the platter.
Stefanoo, it's the standard pulley that VPI makes for use without the SDS. The small top is used for 33 RPM and the larger circumference is where you place the belt for 45 RPM. It's definitely not touching the platter and its nothing new. VPI has made them for several years.
Why is it different from mine? Does anybody here have a classic 3?
Pulley on mine is smaller, like the one shown on vpi's website if you click on classic one.
Are you saying that tables come with two different pulleys? One if you have sds and one if you don't?
I didn't know that!

First off, VPI changed the pulley design a while ago. I saw a Classic I at my dealer's with the wider pulley last year. But it's still just a pulley, not a different drive. The new pulley also has a wider clearance at the bottom to allow easier lubrication of the motor.

Now, your description of changing the oil left me puzzled. What precisely did you do? Super Lube is for lubricating the platter bearing, not the motor. For the motor, you're supposed to use a 40 weight motor oil, not a grease which Super Lube is.

As far as the motor pulley, once you loosen or remove the hex screws, the pulley should easily come off. It's possible that it has some resistance due to the very close tolerances, but it should come off with a pull. However, it is critical that you balance the screws when you put the pulley back on as any imbalance will cause the pulley to wobble, which will affect the speed stability as well. This is the reason why I recommend using a syringe to lubricate the motor rather than mess with the motor assembly.

Lastly, if you used Super Lube to lubricate the platter shaft, I used essentially an identical product, which also caused significant slowing down of the platter. I think Super Lube is too thick, and I don't quite understand VPI's selection of the lubricant that causes the platter to slow down significantly after application. A Classic owner without the SDS would likely experience a serious problem with the speed if he used Super Lube. What I did was to remove the grease, and then make a paste with the grease and a high viscosity motor oil (I asked guys at my local Jiffy Lube to pour a bit of the highest viscosity oil they had in a cup for me). I then mixed the grease and the oil with a plastic knife and applied the mixture to the shaft. It worked perfectly.
The small pulley is for the 600 RPM motor. The larger pulley is for the 300 RPM motor. At least that's how it worked out on the Scout/Scoutmaster/Aries motor assemblies. You can clearly see the black nitrile belt in the video you linked. An idler drive has no need for a belt connecting it to the platter. The pulley is not touching the platter.
Super lube is for the bearing of the platter.

The platter was going slow because I had put slightly too much grease.
I left it spin for a couple of hours and it got faster peace.
I will still let it Seattle for another few hours.

Regarding the pulley, I removed the hex screws but the pulley must be so tight since it was very hard to remove.
I didn't pulled it out, I decide to not force anything and put everything back.

As for balancing screws, thanks for the tip I hadn't thought of that.
Anyhow since the pulley doesn't move not even if pulled quit hard, I don't think that the screws will act much on balance.
Nevertheless I will check into that making sure the pulley spins correctly.

I now understand that the bigger pulley I have seen in both the website and YouTube videos is not theRIM drive.
I was hoping VPI would have developed one, mike after all told me a while ago they were working on it.

Is it going to be hard to lubricate the motor with the old pulley?

I guess I should lubricate it since I had the table for more than a year although I probably played it no more than 100-150 hrs.
Mike recommended me for the motor's oil something that can be boughtat fish-haunt store...something like rail oil.

Could somebody here please help me to understand how to properly lubricate my motor with the older pulley!?
I have read several post but I can't understand where the brass bracket is.

I have a Classic 3 that arrived last August or September, I think. It has a larger pulley like the one on youtube clip. There is about 3-4mm clearance between Pulley and platter.
I saw one of the earliest version of Classic 3 that has smaller pulley like Classic I. Classic 3 actually went through a few minor revision. The color of the plinth used to be metallic grey if you look back at old Music Direct ads and such. Now it is matted black. Platter now has grooves that was not there in early version. I would not be surprise if VPI decide to add rimdrive or idle drive or whatever but It is not out yet as far as I know.
Hi Stefano,
I used a syringe and used synthetic motor oil for a car (5W30). I applied a single drop on the shaft just below the pulley of my TNT. The multi-weight grade oil is inconsequential. It is just what I had available. Though I chose it for its superior film strength and light viscosity. I used the same for my VPI TNT bearing.

The lighter weight oil versus grease in the bearing well, greatly improved the performance of the TT. With the grease the sound was sluggish and smeared. The 5W30 allowed the TT to reproduce greater dynamics and openness to the music.

This makes sense since the grease places a greater drag on the motor which counters the inertia of the platter.
Just for clarification, VPI recommends Mobile One synthetic oil for "well type" bearing like the older TNT. For "inverted" bearing, VPI recommend super lube which is lithium based grease. For motor spindles, VPI recommends light grade oil. Mike has recommended rail oil for fishing reels which is very similar to sewing machine oil.
This is what I did to lubricate the motor.

1.       Loosened all three allen screws on the 600 rpm pulley

2.       Loosened the one allen screw on the collar underneath the pulley

3.       Pulled the pulley off the shaft.

4.       Pulled the collar off the shaft.

5.       The collar has a smaller circumference at the bottom than at the top.  The bottom is supposed to be close to, but not touching the stationary part of the fixed motor assembly.  That space is what people refer to putting the syringe into for lubrication.  The 600 rpm pulley rests on top of the larger circumference of the collar.  There is an indentation on the bottom of the 600 rpm pulley that exactly fits the top of the collar

6.       So now you have everything off, clean it all, there was some dirt an grim in mine, clean the collar, around the fixed area of the motor assembly, clean the shaft.  I just wiped it off with a non-lint cloth.

7.       I used 0w 30 Castrol Synthetic motor oil, since I had it in the garage and a tooth pick.  Dipped the tooth pick in the motor oil and put several drops in the well area.  I also lubricate the stationary area close to where the collar fits into.

8.       Now for re-assembly.

9.       What is interesting is there is play in the shaft, you can move the shaft up and down.  If you pull the shaft up, it will stay there, however, as soon as you turn on the motor, the shaft immediately goes to the down position. 

10.   I tried a number of positions for the collar.  If the collar actually touches the stationary area, there are some issues.  First off, there is no way to get a syringe in there.  Second, if you put your ear up close, you will hear the collar rubbing against the stationary area.  When the collar is just barely not touching the stationary area, there is not sound, and also you can barely fit a syringe in there.  Therefore I concluded the correct position of the shaft at rest is the bottom, and the correct position of the collar is barely not touching the stationary portion of the motor assembly.

11.   So the motor shaft is at its resting point, you put the collar on, and position it so it is barely not touching the stationary area.  Turn the motor on and listen.  If you hear it hitting the stationary area, you have it too low.  Try again. Try and get it so it barely doesn’t touch.  Then tighten the allen screw.

12.   Then add the pulley, put a little oil on the shaft to make it easier to slide on the pulley.  Then tighten the three Allen screws evenly.
Correction, my post should have said the 300 rpm pulley. I have then larger pulley on my classic 3.
The small pully is for a 600 rpm motor. The larger pully is for a 300 rpm motor. It looks like the current model now has a 300 rpm motor.

You cannot use a belt and have the pully touch the platter. They travel is in different directions.

I'd recommend using a syringe like Redglobe described. The only problem might be getting one as in many states syringes and needles are not freely available to the public. I live in CA and it was impossible to get it. I eventually had one shipped from NY by a family member.

Next best thing is a dropper you can get at a local drug store such as Duane Reade or Rite Aid. Using a dropper without removing the pulley might need a bit of a clean-up job since you'll most likely leave some oil residue at the bottom of the pulley.

Steve from VPI told me to use two wooden spoons to remove the pulley, but once I loosened up the 3 screws, the pulley just came off easily. I'm not sure why yours would not. The balancing job on the screws is actually quite tricky as simply tightening the screws did not work at all. VPI actually uses specials tools to mechanically balance the tension. The least tension that did the trick (pulley was spinning) was what worked.

As far as the oil, Steve recommended 3-in-1, which also makes a type specifically for lubricating motors. Or you can go with the other types mentioned above.
Thank you all for all your comments!

Is the lover RPM's motor better than the higher's?

I would be tempted to say that the lower the RPMs the less the vibration.
Could anybody here give me a hint if I should ask VPI to send me the lower RPM's or it's not a significant change?!?

I will read carefully through the comments for lubrication of the motor.
Just one comment: I don't see any Allen wrench under the collar I think it is press and fit, am I wrong?
I have read some info on the net and saw this review:


As a matter of fact they are saying that plinth on Classic 3 is more massive and that motor is 300RPM.

When I bought this table I was upgrading from a Classic 1 and motor and plinth are or at least look exactly the same.

Now I am wondering, is it possible to get these parts replaced to match the latest stock table?
Does anybody have my same configuration?
My table has the silver top instead of the black mat finish.
I was so zealous that I was one of the first one to upgrade to the Classic 3.
I have read some info on the net and saw this review:


As a matter of fact they are saying that plinth on Classic 3 is more massive and that motor is 300RPM.

When I bought this table I was upgrading from a Classic 1 and motor and plinth are or at least look exactly the same.

Now I am wondering, is it possible to get these parts replaced to match the latest stock table?
Does anybody have my same configuration?
My table has the silver top instead of the black mat finish.
I was so zealous that I was one of the first one to upgrade to the Classic 3.