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Thanks rodman, I tried to e-mail him, but he wants my life history back to when I was born.......He doesn't need that to sell me a small part.....Boy it used to be nice to call "Harry" and get a part in a couple days, pay the bill and get on with your project....I tried to get a belt for my VPI scout, sent the money to a dealer in Seattle and got no belt and no refund......But thanks, will keep trying
Never have dealt with them(Bob’s), but- my sentiments would be the same. Yep, dealing with Harry directly, was a pleasure. I have dealt with these guys, many times and have been very satisfied with their business ethic: (http://www.elusivedisc.com/VPI/departments/239/) They're a VPI dealer, so probably can get parts.
I once had to go machine shop(one next to me is inside Napa autoparts) to cut me one for Sansui turntable that only had pulley for 50Hz by calculating diameter.
When you see turntable motor pulley, you will normally note barrel-like shape where the belt snaps. This preferably should stay same as in original one.
I was able to take measurements at different points and figure out the slope radius and mention on the draft.
I recently sold my two turntables (SP-10 Mk 2, Luxman PD-444) in the hope of consolidating into one, recent vintage table. Although I have not found one yet, I have settled on VPI as I believe parts are still available from VPI in the event repairs or updating are needed. Some of the comments above concern me as they indicate that there is no one at VPI that answers the phone. I'm skeptical of manufacturers that don't offer service or advice on their products and rely only on the dealer network to deal with customers. I had always believed that VPI is customer-oriented. Has that changed?
I was a dealer twice at widely separated times and they were very good but it has been 5 years since I was. In a completely different note I found replacing the standard feet with brass ones improved the sound. I told Harry this but I suspect that they were either too expensive or too much trouble. Then Star Sound had threded ones which just had to be screwed in in place of the standard ones.
Tonykay: VPI isn't what it used to be, since the dealers handle the parts they seem to think that they can charge about anything that comes to mind, I have about 10 VPI turntables and sometimes I think that I should just part them out........It would be nice to just get a part at a fair price and go on about ones business, but those days are over........Will
That's very sad. So who's left, some megabuck table company like the one on the cover of this month's Absolute Sound? The prices are $100K+ for the table, $20K+ for the arm, and probably another $15K for the cartridge. I've thought about it and decided I'm not ready to lay out $135K+ for my next turntable. So, where do I look next for a customer-friendly manufacturer that will be around for the long term? Any thoughts?
Mike doesn't take calls, infact nobody at VPI takes calls....It would be great if I could just call someone and order this part, pay for it and expect to get it sometime in the future......I have a Aires VPI that needed some work on the plinth, it took over a year to get it repaired, I bought a Scout-Master to use while I was waiting....I now own (1) Aires (1) Scoutmaster,(4) Scouts (4-5) HW19, mk1,mk4....and a VPI 16.5 cleaner..........So I've paid my dues.....Where's Harry when I need him ??? He's out here in Idaho fishing........Will
Well I went to the VPI information website and they wouldn't let me in untel I logged in .......But I can't because I don't have a pass word ??? I wonder why they need a pass word for me to ask a question ??? The best way to handle this is to sell all of this fine American technology and get some Chinese stuff and when it breaks, throw it in the junk pile where this fine VPI stuff belongs......and listen to my tuner or CD player.....At least when my Audio Research stuff breaks I can make one phone call and the part comes in several days........Harry didn't build his company on this kind of service.......And he left it for Mike to run in the ground......If you want any VPI stuff , I will be selling some, and then I won't need the pulley.....And I won't need a pass-word........Will
" ... Well I went to the VPI information website and they wouldn't let me in untel I logged in .......But I can't because I don't have a pass word ??? I wonder why they need a pass word for me to ask a question ??? The best way to handle this is to sell all of this fine American technology and get some Chinese stuff and when it breaks, throw it in the junk pile where this fine VPI stuff belongs ..."You're just being silly. VPI manufactures outstanding products backed up with excellent service. Have you actually tried to call them? I have always found them very responsive: 732-583-6895. Mike is the company's EE, so there's no point in asking for him. Just ask for parts info and I'm sure they'll help you.
You might also try asking your dealer. That's what he's there for!
I don't believe the Mike everyone refers to is the same Mike that is there now. The "new" Mike is Mike Bettinger who is an EE, but just recently joined the company. My understanding is the "old" Mike left several years ago (not sure I ever knew his last name, he never used it in e-mail). As for company ownership, Harry retired a couple of years ago and the company is run by his son Mat. Mat has been doing a good job and is responsible for the Prime and other new products. Harry is still active and has HW's Workshop for one off products. If you want to read a lot more about VPI products check out their forum, lots of good info.
Forgot to add that Mat has said they don't offer parts direct anymore since it would compete with the dealers. Not sure if this is a perceived problem or one that the dealers complained about. Contacting VPI can be a bit of challenge, they do answer the phone but only on select days, I believe it is Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. E-mail can also be a challenge, they do answer but are a bit irregular. The forum is the best bet. VPI has been very successful the last few years and the extra work makes it harder to get ahold of them.
I went out today and bought a metal turning lathe so I can make my own pulley.......It seem that if you don't want to spend your life trying to contact somebody that doesn't want to be contacted, then you might figure out how to do it yourself.....Its given me another viewpoint on some businesses like VPI and PRO-AC ......Its OK to buy a 1000.00 turntable but don't trouble them with the small stuff.......I will make my own out of brass and skip the plastic VPI ones...... Will
it's not biggie, but you gotta be very good with numbers and math.
all you need is the brass rod, good mirror scale caliper, micrometer and calculator(optional) and cut at least a few pulleys with various curve radius and barrel size +- few micrometers to ensure proper speed.
if going automotive machine shop, request also to manufacture few sizes with provided engineering draft.
And don’t forget the pulley will need to be bored for an "interference fit" on the motor shaft: (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interference_fit) If it won’t go on the shaft, or falls off it, it won’t matter how accurate the OD of the grooves are.
Purchasing lathe (gotta be kiddin' right?) that can cut with proper precision pulleys will worth a descent high-performance car such as Bentley Continental Azure Coupe(yea somewhere in few hundred k), but going just to trivial automotive machine shop with proper engineering drafts will solve your problem for a lot cheaper.
Brass by far isn't best material. The best one would be rhodium.
Barrel shape of pulley is optional, but important at the same time.
Belt can travel over the straight cut pulleys and stays still over the barrel shape pulleys.
For the round-cut belt the pulley should have radial cut of slightly larger by .015mm to ensure easy fit without much traveling up-down. Please note that if radial cut radius is smaller than belt, the belt will wrap larger radius of pulley resulting higher platter rotation.
For my Sansui FR 1080 I've ordered 3 pulleys. one larger by few mcm, one exact and one smaller. I did not change the radius of the barrel. I only paid $19.xx for such endeavor.
My math had worked for me the following way:
1. Deriving the radius of a pulley.
Platter pulley with diameter D must rotate at 33.333... rpm and 45rpm
Motor pulley with diameter d must rotate at (as in your case) 300rpm
D*s = d*S
where D is your large diameter of platter and s is your platter rpm and
d is your motor diameter with S is motor RPM. (4th grade math?)
2. Deriving a radius of the barrel shape pulley.
Measure smallest dimeter d, height of any available turntable barrel shape pulley H and largest diameter D; divide both diameters by 2 to get radiuses r and R respectively; draw horizontal axis on your sheet of paper and plot 3 actual size vertical axis, originating from any arbitrary point of the horizontal axis -- 2 of size r and 1 of size R with R sized axis staying EXACTLY in the middle of 2 r sized axis giving you exactly 3 plotting points. As you know geometrically you can draw a circle via any 3 arbitrary points and that's how you define radius.
Graphically plot another horizontal axis via tops of r-sized vertical axis; continue to plot the straight lines of any reasonable size on both sides. Where straight line and curved line meet, plot a tangent lines going towards center till they meet and... BINGO you've found the barrel curve radius!
You can also refer to http://math.stackexchange.com/questions/213658/get-the-equation-of-a-circle-when-given-3-points
if you prefer to solve series of quadratic equations instead.
Making the wheel: First I have the pulley on my Scout Master for basic measurements and I intend on cutting 3-4 different sizes for three different speeds.......As long as the are over speed I can fine tune the speed by removing some of the diameter of the pulley.....It will take a lot less time than trying to get one from a VPI dealer in Seattle.......Will
I broke the belt on my VPI Aries.
I found a dealer in Dallas that had them in stock.
He has a store front and was very helpful.
He may be able to locate the pulley for you.
Name is John Fort and website is
Very likable person and a true audiophile.
Hope this helps
I'm not tired of you guys, I get a lot of good ideas from you all.....I just wish that parts were a call away and not requiring me to go on the inter-net and do business......I'm not real good with computers so sometime my results aren't good......I did make some working pulleys and I'm making some knobs for one of the tube amps I build.....The pulley was quite easy to make out of a 1'' piece of brass rod.....My little lathe is quite small (6') but is quite accurate.....Its easy to tune the pulley in if you make it a little large and trim it ever so fine .....and keep checking the speed......Autospec
Bob posted his phone number. No interweb needed. Glad the 6 foot lathe was less of a bother than the telephone or a couple of website clicks. You have to forgive me for being a bit skeptical of your story. I'd rather buy a 6' metal working lathe, move it into position and the bed it in properly, source the brass rod, source the cutting bits and cutting fluids, machine it, drill and tap for two setscrews, measure and machine the radius for a round belt. You are willing to do that rather than pick up the telephone?
I hear what you are saying but just a little hard for us mere mortals to wrap our minds around that claim.
autospec, While I don't know the complete story, I certainly understand the motivation that one uses to just "do it themselves"!
I have had varying results with VPI in the past. The main phrase, "varying results", is something that really should not be an issue from a 40 year old company.
They are NOT proactive when any sort of issue comes up regarding a product that has, for one reason or another, had a manufacturing issue or has been discontinued after 6 months in production......They should have some sort of database in place that can email folks that have "registered products" to automatically inform them of an issue. This is the least they should do. Instead, they rely on the loyal customers to email their own stories into their website.
I wish I could run a business this way and feel good about it!
By the way, I sent in a question to Bes at Music Direct several months ago regarding the internal construction of the VTA tower on my Classic 3 Sig SE, w/ printed arm, received a message from him that he sent my question to VPI. Eight months later, no answer. ( Why he, a dealer, could not answer this is suspect?)
So I spent around $5K on a new TT, had one question. I went through channels. My dealer who went to the source. No answer. This, from a 40 year old company.
I can already hear from people who will say, I should have done this or that. NO! I did the right thing by going through the appropriate channels.
How much does one have to spend on a boutique audio product before they can get an answer to a basic question that, in all honesty, should have been laid out in the manual? Don't even get me started on the manual!