VPI Rim Drive vibrations

I have VPI SSM with RIM drive and SDS. The issue I'm having is a vibration being transferred from rim to the desk/platter. As the result tonarm wobbles a little bit in azimuth plane.
I tried to replace the brownish rim belt, change contact force/distance between the drive and the platter, and reinstall the belt - the vibration still there (exactly one wobble per rim's full revolution - 360 degrees).

The speed stability is very good though - have checked it with KAB Speed Strobe.

Any ideas how to resolve the issue?

Thanks a lot!
That's normal. Fans of that call it PRaT. Great for soul music.
Is the belt on the rim drive properly seated? I've heard tell on some other threads that this could be the cause of any bumping against the platter. Make sure it is not twisted at all in its groove.
Krell 303.....that absolutely drove me nuts. I spoke to Harry a number of times, he gave me different belts, but although the wobble was less, it still wobbled, and it still drove me nuts. After searching for a year, I found the answer. My rim drive is absolutely rock steady, and sounds better than any turntable I personally have heard. OK...what's happening is that although Harry's belts are machined well, they are not perfect. You have to have the belt that is around the large disc drive that moves the platter itself be absolutely perfect, or have a workaround. Here is the workaround that is perfect. The motor assembly has to be able to move back and forth thus absorbing the outofroundness of the rust collored belt that is around the drive plate. HOWEVER!! the turntable itself CANNOT move therefore, that back and forth motion that was transferred to the table, and thus to the arm has to be completely eliminated. Get Bearpaws from Vermontaudio.com. These are very heavy brass cones that replace those VPI feet which were designed to move and absorb stray sound. NO GOOD. The platter has to be absolutely rock solid so that all the energy from the turning drive platter moves the motor assembly but not the platter and arm. Trust me...this is THE cure. You will love the increased fidelity from this setup.
Stringreen, thank you for the suggestion!
Just face it, the design is flawed, and Harry often admits it. Harry is marketing smart and knows the following will buy any 'change' that keeps product moving. Don't get me wrong, VPI basic units are outstanding, I own an Aries I. Just don't buy into his current designs wherein he takes the original concepts and violates them, e. g. motor in the pith.
Buconero117 - Not any more
I found that the rubber feet on the SAMA motor assembly were causing slight vibration on my Super Scoutmaster with
Rimdrive. I placed 1 Symposium Acoustics Fat Pad below and in between each set of front and rear rubber footers below the motor assembly. Result was no more vibration and better sound- more solid, better soundstaging. Also replaced the mini-HRX feet below the table with Eden Sound Audio Bear Paws- again, better performance, as Stringreen noted above.
Dear Stringreen,per your advise I've contacted Dan from Vermontaudio.com (edensoundaudio.com)regarding Bearpaws. He has responded quickly with info about just lanched new Bearpaw specifically for the SSM.
Per Dan, it's plug and play with the stock VPI mounting hardware; the base height is the same as the VPI OEM cones (1.875", or 1 7/8") and yet the solid brass of this Bearpaw remains infinitely adjustable (within 1/2" of the base height) in order to fine-tune leveling of the table at will. Adjust height with the touch of finger, then tighten the locknut just as easily.

One question though - my table sits directly on the top of the MDF shelf of Sanus rack and I have a bit springy wooden floors. Stock VPI SSM feet are able to tame floor vibrations relatively well.

With Bearpaws the table's plinth is going to be coupled directly to the rack/floor. If there will be any issues with vibration transfer from floor to the table?
Yes I know about that. Dan and I went round and round until I figured out my issue. What I did was raise the motor assembly with four Cardas wooden blocks still with the soft sponge rubber feet on the unit, which placed the rim drive in exactly the right place on the edge of the platter. With the newly designed Bearpaw, you don't need those 4 wooden Cardas blocks. Regarding vibs from the floor....I would make sure that my supporting table is solid, and would still get those Bearpaws...especially now that it is a custom fit. I know that it will prevent the arm from rocking. I think that's the best you can do. My floor is very solid French travertine tile...one reason I bought this house
Well, dear Stingreen...when I've bought my house I didn't have analog setup yet :-) After talking to Dan from edenSound, I'm going to get his new gizmo - polymer/brass TerraCone:

"Yet for the ultimate in single-direction energy transfer and simultaneous isolation, you might want to step up to our hybrid polymer/brass TerraCone .
With a model sized specifically for the VPI tables w/ outboard motors, the TerraCone is our best and most sophisticated vibration-control foot for replacement of the stock VPI feet. It has a dual-material construction: solid high-quality brass for one-way egress of energy, and our proprietary TerraStone high-density acoustical polymer for isolation of the table from structure-borne and room-borne vibes. The TerraStone polymer is the most inert, neutral vibration-absorption matrix I have tested in more than twenty years of listening."
Thanks for the information about the tera stone. Let me know how it works out

If you need to isolate your TT from the floor yet also need it holding rock steady vis-a-vis the motor, the obvious solution is to place both TT and motor on a single platform, then isolate that from the floor. Vibraplane, Symposium shelf, Minus-K, a DIY or whatever.

Two engineering requirements, two solutions.
Some Canadian garage business tried the rim drive approach and it failed miserably.

There were numerous revision/upgrades in the first year all of which resulted in excessive motor noise, erratic speed, and overall poor performance.
I had updated my plinth feet to TT Weights brass Soundpoints before adding a single motor rim drive flywheel so never heard of this issue before.

In order to help seat your belt in the flywheel track, place a round toothpick or other small diameter object (small drinking straw etc.) between the flywheel grove and belt. Run this around the flywheel circumference a few times. Make sure you keep the belt even to the grove as you navigate around the circumference. You should be able to seat the belt evenly in the grove. I use a small diameter wooden cylinder I borrowed from the kids.

I also see you have the brownish rim belt for the flywheel. Does your flywheel make any noise when it touches the platter? Regardless of the contact pressure, my flywheel makes a high pitched noise. I have tried a few things to reduce/remove the noise but cannot eliminate it.
Maczurak, I did try to seat the belt with a round polished pin - it made the wobble less visible but still...No, there is no noise at all.

I hope to receive 4 TerraCone for VPI SSM Height-adjustment hardware Point-receivers from Eden Sound in the next few days and will post an update.
Macauak....That's what Harry told me....didn't work. The cure I noted above is the only way to completely solve the problem that I know of. The increase in purity, dynamics,
soundstage, etc. is magnitudes better than stock.

My belt must have an even diameter as I really don't have any wobble issues once it is seated using the above method.


When I received the single motor flywheel rim drive, I had already replaced the VPI feet and plinth so this issue was new to me.

When I have some free time, I will have another go at the rim drive belt noise.

Just thought of this. I have the Super Platter and the rim drive contacts the stainless steel. I will try changing the height of the rim drive so it contacts the acrylic instead as see if this eliminates the noise.
Maczurak, the belt itself might be perfect but it's almoust impossible to put it in the rim 's groove evenly. Small differences in belt's tension around rim's perimeter cause variations in the belt diameter - thus causing vibrations on contact with platter
I was told that the metal rim on the superplatter is more accurate than the acrylic....that's why the directions is to adjust the height so that that drive wheel rotates on the metal.
With a rim drive table, the drive puck or idler wheel has to be perfect. Their should be NO variations whatsoever so that the motor, platter or idler wheel have to absorb them! That's crazy. My Dual 1229 (yes I know it's a different design, but the principal is the same) is perfect, as are thousands of Thorens, EMT, Garrard, Miracords,Rek-O-Cuts etc. Nothing can be 'out-of-round', that is simply unacceptable especially for a table of this caliber. It isn't rocket science to manufacture something from rubber or metal and to make sure that it is 'true' and 'balanced'. Anything less will certainly be transmitted into the music. I would raise all kinds of trouble until the manufacturer corrected the problem. I hope things work out for you. Idler/Rim drive has been the most rewarding listening experience I know of for vinyl playback. Good luck..
TerraCones installed on VPI SSM with Rim Drive … with mixed results.

1. Good part:
- no Rim drive rumble/vibrations felt on the plinth and tone arm is stable
- the soundstage feels expanded
- the bass is tighter
- imaging is spectacular
2.No so good part:
- all external structural low frequency noises (floor, etc.) are loudly heard in the speakers
- even a light finger tap on the rack (Salamander Synergy) is being amplified (with the stock feet it never happened)

Go figure…
Krell303....as for MY SS/rim drive, I got all of #1 and none of #2. Maybe it's my Bearpaws maybe trolls, but I'm a happy vinyl guy. Just thinking as I write. My floor is very solid French travertine tile at ground level with no basement. The turntable sits on a very solid table on a very solid floor. Anyway, its working well.

Normansizemore...VPI arms sit on a needle point, and the rocking can be very obvious with the rim drive. Most arms have gimbled bearings which would prevent the rocking I discribe. I suspect Thorens, Duals, Garrards, Miracords, etc. wouldn't have this problem even if the drive wheel were elliptical.
I have the Super Scoutmaster Reference with Rimdrive and Edensound Bearpaws. I get absolutely NO rocking of the tonearm- it is totally rock steady from the point the tonearm is lowered onto the record to the end of the record. I used the Fozgometer to adjust azimuth. This has completely eliminated any wobble I used to get when I adjusted azimuth without this device.
Stringreen...I have hardwood floor in my listening room and the basement under it. Both do not make a sound foundation for the table. Before SSM I had VPI Scout wall mounted on Target shelf - no issues with vibration whatsoever. Unfortunately SSM with Rim drive is just too big and heavy for the Target shelf.

Now I put back original feet and running the table non-stop for 24 hrs trying to sit the rim's o-ring belt more/less evenly
Krell303...Running the table for 10 years won't help it. you need Bearpaws or something similar to eliminate the wobble. If you have wooden floors, I would make sure that the table that the VPI rests on is very solid...that's about all you can do. I am quite sure that would be enough.
Adventure in audio space – Part 2.

I spoke to Symposium Acoustics (they are located not so far away from me in NJ) and have decided to try Symposium Acoustics Ultra Platform shelf – put it on the set of three Roller Blocks Jr on top of my rack. Ultra Platform supposed (hopefully) mto eliminate microphonic effect introduced by hard pointed TerraCones and at the same time to eliminate lateral vibrations from floor.
To be continued.

I have the VPI SSM with rimdrive and Edensound Bear Paws which sit on a Symposium Acoustics Ultra shelf. I strongly recommend that you do NOT use the roller blocks under the Symposium Ultra shelf for your VPI SSM rimdrive. The Ultra shelf is superb, but you do not want any lateral movement which can cause problems with tonearm rocking which can be transmitted by the roller blocks. The roller blocks are excellent under a CD transport.
Hiedmuse is absolutely correct. The reason for the Bearpaws is to eliminate any movement whatsover. Rollerblocks will only make it worse.
Problem solved!!! I've got SolidSteel 6.3 rack, placed Symposium Ultra platform on the top (via Symposium Couplers), replaced the original SSM's feet with Edensound's TerraStone TerraCones (custom model for VPI SSM, height-adjustable via solid brass cone tip and brass knurled locknut, and complete with point-receiver) and ... WOW! It was like adding sub to the system + I hear much wide soundstage, pace and rythm are unbelivable on Ray Brown's "Soular Energy" LP. VPI SSM tonarm is rock steady now and there are absolutely no microfonic effect I've experienced while using TerraCones only.
P.S. I've tried Edensound Bear Paws too with almoust similar effect - but decided to stay with TerraCones to avoid scratching Symposium's surface with the sharp Paws points.

Stringreen and Hiendmuse - thanks a lot for sharing your experiences! By the way RollerBlocks Jr. now are sitting under my Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD player
Good place for those RollerBlocks.

I went through a similar issue converting my TNT HR5 to a rim drive. My problem was with pitch variations. I ended up replacing the air bladder feet with large brass cones and setting the rim drive pod on a sorbathane/acrylic bed and steel cones. This has made a vast improvement but requires some intermitent tweaking to keep the pitch steady. When it's on - the rim drive totally beats the belt. I'm in Central Jersey if you ever want to compare notes.

Anyone compare a silk (or any) thread to the rubber belt and then the Rim Drive. Would love to hear some in-depth analysis.
What would be the bigger improvement.....spending for a Rim Drive or taking the cost and putting it into upgrading from an older Phonomena to a more costly (by that amount) phono section?? Thoughts?
Gja, I'm in Central NJ too :-) Is it a Rim Drive country? :-)
Here is something I just did which further improved my VPI Super Scoutmaster Ref. rimdrive's performance. I placed a round Symposium Acoustics coupler made of aircraft aluminum between the rubber feet on the SAMA- 1 front and 1 rear, which sits on a Symposium Acoustics Ultra Shelf. The sound further improved with more solid presentation, better staging, more stable.
Anyone with thoughts on my previous post?
Hiendmuse, after placing the coupler under RIM Drive - have you found any RIM drive's body vibrations caused by uneven rusted belt tension?
Mred, there are too many variables to consider - including budget, current cartridge, synergy with other parts of the system...From my experience, switch from Scout Master to SSM with rim drive brought rather dramatic improvement in terms of dynamics, soundstage and lowering noise floor (same cartridge). Another big "WOW" was when I've switched from beloved AcousTech phono preamp to internal phonostage of McIntosh C2300. I thought it's going to be my very last analog setup. Well...then I've got a chance to buy a new Manley SteelHead - well below the regular price. Can't stand to listen to the internal McIntosh C2300 phonostage after Manley. So - it's all up to individual taste/setup
No vibrations. I suspect that the rubber feet on the SAMA contributed somewhat to any possible vibrations I may have had before using the A.S. round couplers.
Hiendmuse, I think that the vibrations are being caused by uneven placement of the ring belt on the RIM wheel. It's almost impossible to put the belt in the wheel's groove evenly
Krell303, I don't have any issues with vibrations from the rimdrive belt or anywhere else. The 10.5i tonearm is rocksteady when playing an LP- no wobbling. I use no special care or tool when putting on rimdrive belt. Make sure there is not too much pressure from the rimdrive belt against the platter. When turning off motor the platter should turn approx. 1 turn before stopping completely.
Hiendmuse, looks like I'm putting rimdrive too close to the table - it stops almoust instantly. But - do not have any tonarm wobbles anymore. Will try to reajust over the weekend, thanks!
Krell, I put a small red sticky dot on the side of the center clamp. you can also put one on the side of the platter to count the number of revolutions. You do NOT want the tonearm to wobble which is GOOD. Do not adjust so the tonearm wobbles, adjust it so the platter stops after about 1 revolution or slightly more. It only takes minute changes in moving motor. Make sure motor is centered front and back between the side of the table and the gap between motor and side of table is equidistant. Your vibration problems should go away.
I've only just come to this exchange - so you may all have gone away by now...
I've read it all because it addresses many of the problems I've had with rim drive - and I'll try the suggestions, particularly Stringreen, Thanks.
One thing I don't understand. Various people have put various things under the motor assembly. It isn't clear if they bypass the stock feet and rest them on the underside of the motor casing or not. I can only raise the motor assembly a very tiny amount before the rim drive is so high it prevents my using the ring clamp.
What am I not understanding ?

Hello...... Anyone still there......
Could this problem occur with a VPI Traveler on a rigid wall rack and shelf?

The VPI Traveler table is a belt drive table. The issue being discussed here converns VPI's rim drive.
2014 Oct update - Thank you everyone in this thread helping me to resolve the HRX vibration issue caused by the Rim motor drive pushing against the 30 lbs HRX Super platter. As my components improved, the noise from the vibration became extremely intrusive to the music on the LPs. I contacted Dan at Eden Sound with his TerrCone footers on both the Rim Motor drive and the HRX turntable footers. And it works getting rid of the vibration! Unbelievable!

The improvement in the sound is quite spectacular; the clarity is pure like electrostatic speakers. There is no smearing in any frequency of the sound. My suffering over the years from the wobbly footers on the HRX and the motor rim drive is over. The rumbling of the rim drive that impacted the groove of my LPs are eliminated, and I have no idea the music is so much richer and fuller. The highs are skywards and the lows are reaching the subterranean deep. The mid bass is agile with speed; and surrounded with bloom of air. All these gain from the Eden Sound TerraCones is astounding.

No doubt the noise level has dropped tremendously from the chatter caused by the vibration from the rim drive pushing the heavy HRX Supper platter. All the energy has transferred from the shaking motor rim drive using the cheap rubber flimsy footers on the original motor drive. I have no idea how poor the HRX footers are until I replaced them with the new Eden Sound TerraCones. I am amazed when I turn on the motor drive now; I got no vibration from the new TerraCones. Even at 45-rpm. In the old days the 45-rpm spinning is such a pulsating rumba dance. I touch the motor drive with my fingers now with the TerraCones, and hardly any sensation. I actually jump for joy when I first touch the motor unit running as I felt almost nothing; Wow!

Now I find the details from the LPs uncovering in the open. Live nightclub and live concerts events are wonderment. The inner voices from audience as apart of the event is ear catching lifelike; you can count every finger touching each string of the instrument like the guitar. It's a transformation of a new record collection from my listening sessions. I wish I had got word of Eden Sound for my HRX Rim Drive sooner.

Anyway, thanks for the solution everyone pointing me towards Eden Sound.
Mmerlionus, I found the Classic platter to be a big improvement over the Super Platter on my Super Scoutmaster Ref. with rim-drive, not only in sound but also in how more smoothly running the rim drive works.
It would be interesting experimenting using the Classic aluminum platter. Not sue if it’s compatible with the HRX? For sure the HRX Rim Drive will have an easier effort and less stress pushing the Classic platter than the heavy Super Platter with two acrylic discs sandwiching the aluminum disc in the middle.

In theory the pure aluminum Classic will induce vibration ringing compared to the Super Platter with damping on both end using acrylic. It’s an interesting point I like to share with everyone in this thread as you all help me so much.

When I first install the TerraCones on both the HRX motor drive and the HRX turntable footers, the touch point of the Rim belt was touching the top acrylic disc on the Super Platter. You can get away with 33 rpm but at 45 rpm you begin to hear a weezing spinning sound on the LPs. I think the acrylic is not perfectly uniform like the middle aluminum disc.

With the added adjustability of the brass cones underneath the TerraCones footers, I reposition the Super Platter where the Rim belt is touching the aluminum middle disc where its manufactured more evenly like the Classic platter. The weezing spinning noise disappeared like Houdini. The experiment suggests that always use the Rim drive on the aluminum disc of the Super Platter. If there is any minute noise, let the acrylic absorb it like the original design intention.

The TerraCones also enables me to perfectly level the Rim top plate with the Super Platter. To play with Rim driving the platter, it must be perfectly level on both spinning disc. My Clearaudio Bubble is centered perfectly on all surfaces of the turntable, Super Platter and Rim motor drive. The fine-tuning is necessary for best results.

Some of you may recall the esteem editor Myles Astor from his past Ultimate Audio magazine, recommends using Walker Audio damping discs on the HRX. I have four large Walker disc on the corners of the HRX Rim motor drive and two on each side of the tonearm base support on the HRX turntable. The fun is tweaking and hearing the improvement. Needless to say my Graham Supreme pivot tonearm is rock steady and doing the Graham magic. The Walker discs made perfect sound imaging and cleans things up. The Walker will eat up any spurious vibration.

I am still dreaming of a slightly larger heavier top plate on the Rim Flywheel to push the heavy turntable platter with better compatibility. I think VPI maybe doing something, but no announcement.

Thanks again.
it was a revelation when i sold the Superplatter and installed the Classic platter...much better in every way. The Superplatter sounds tubby, closed in, and restrictive compared to the Classic.
Yes, I totally agree Stringreen!