I converted my SuperScoutmaster to Reference with rimdrive when the rimdrive first came out, and have not had any problems with squeaking or noise, it runs silently. My thought is that the contact pressure of rimdrive to platter is too high.
I adjust my rimdrive while the turntable is spinning, and very slowly and in very small increments move it until it has the proper pressure. It can take a while to do this properly. Make sure the body of the motor is parallel to the plinth. There should only be very slight contact of the rimdrive belt to the center metal rim of the platter. You can always call VPI and ask Mike for some pointers. He is very helpful.
Have you examined the o-ring on the rim driver wheel that contacts the platter? If the periodicity of the noise matches the rotation of the driver wheel, there must be some irregularity in the o-ring. If the periodicity matches the platter rotation (i.e., the time it takes for the platter to rotate 360 degrees), then look at the edge of the platter where it contacts the drive wheel. If all looks well, then I suspect you have a defect within your motor, perhaps a bad bushing or something like that. What you describe is unacceptable in such a product, and since your problem is rather unique, I suspect that one of the above is occurring. But you need to do some homework to figure it out.
I auditioned the rimdrive at a dealer, who I think knew how to set it up since he has been doing VIP for twenty years. But, I did hear your squeak a few times during the audition along with some other problems, mainly vibration on the plith. I mentioned all that to the dealer and he seemed to suggest it was the characteristic of design. I passed, as it spelled too much fuzz.
Thanks for the (as I respond) 3 replies. Keep them coming PLEASE.
I really dont believe contact pressure is too great. I have tested incrementally and minutely by reducing it until platter speed is uneven AND platter continues to rotate long after motor stops (ie too light). All is level too. The whole thing is stood on one substantial and level Symposium Ultra base. Motor parallel to and symmetrical with the platter.
This squeak is in fact the tip of an unfortunate iceberg. Problems started before the rimdrive conversion. I see from other threads I was not alone in experiencing a loud Hummm. Even my unprompted wife commentated on it from 8 feet away ! when at 45rpm ( the deck, not her) 5 feet at 33rpm. After a long long story and lots of contact with VPI the Hummm disappeared (see later, it may help a fellow Hummer or two) but now Im still left with the squeak.
When belt drive was first converted to rimdrive I was still failing to solve the Hummm and hoped rimdrive would fix it. It didnt. I then had a Hummm and a squeak.
VPI shipped me a whole new (native, unconverted) rimdrive and motor assembly. You cant ask for more than that from a manufacturer. Unfortunately I soon found out that, indeed, I couldnt ask for more than that. Well, I could ask but I couldnt get.
Mysteriously, the replacement, unconverted rimdrive assembly made exactly the same squeak and was returned. Odds-wise, the finger of suspicion shifted elsewhere ( to ME for instance, if you are VPI).
Superplatter edge seems to be vertical, even and consistent as I watch the rotating edge through a magnifying glass with a lined background as reference. There is no apparent lateral or other movement. And anyway, the squeak is in sync with the rimdrive, not the platter.
Hence, Im still at a loss and will gratefully consider all suggestions other than advice to only play records by the Chipmunks.
As promised, I will return to the Hummm but think this response is long enough. Ill do the Hummm in another (I hope required) Response.
My rim drive is dead silent. My problem is with vibrations from the motor assembly being transferred to the platter and then to the tonearm. I find that great care needs to be maintained not to twist the rust colored O-ring as it is installed on the large drive wheel. It must be as straight as possible to maintain the precise edge to the platter, or unwanted vibrations are transferred to the arm. While viewing the Nordost wire loop that extends from the arm proper to the junction box, I can get it as quiet as possible, however there is still a very slight motion that can be seen if carefully scrutinized.
Stringreen.. Rust coloured O-ring ??? Mine is black as black. Do I have an old component which was changed by VPI because it caused such problems ?? This might explain why the replacement rimdrive they shipped made the same squeak.
AND, you will see from my earlier Response I said I'd address my Hummm problem. This was not electrical it was mechanical. I think I can add to your understanding even if I can't solve it. Maybe I should start a seperate thread.
the two small belts that drive the rim drive can produce squeaks. if you disconnect the rim from the platter and still hear the squeak, it's coming from the two smaller belts. clean the pulley of the motor well, that should eliminate the squeak.
if problem persists and squeak is not coming from motor belts, make sure the rim drive belt sits evenly in the groove. Mike suggest using a small pin or needle, carefully lift the belt off the rim drive and insert the pin in between belt and the metal rim, run it around the whole rim a few times, and pull the pin out. this should ensure rim drive belt sits evenly w/o bumps or twists.
Rateourmover....Actually the rust colored belt is an updated version of the original black belt. Also, the feet of the motor assembly has been changed to a kind of sponge rubber...the original ones were solid aluminum.
Hum and squeak are unrelated phenomena, as you seem to know. Hum with phono reproduction is usually a matter of grounding. First try grounding the turntable metal chassis AND the tonearm to the preamp. Make sure this is a firm connection; I like to use bare wire and scrape any paint or other finish off the chassis in the area of the ground connection, so that the wire really is crimped against the bare metal of the chassis. If you have done that and still have hum, then disconnect one or both grounds from the preamp and see what happens. Another more rare possibility is that with your table the motor is close enough to the cartridge so that its EMI radiations are being picked up. Try shielding the motor in that case. This is a totally solvable problem.
As to squeak, since you have now heard it with two different rim drive motors, I am kinda stumped. Like others say, be sure the rim driver wheel is plane parallel to the platter surface and perpendicular to the driven edge of the platter. Since the squeak is in synch with the drive wheel rotation, examination of the o-ring where it contacts the side of the platter is in order, as others have said and as I mentioned before too. Sorry, you are getting the same ideas from everyone over and over again.
OK everyone. Really big thanks for all your input. It HAS moved me forward, sometimes not as I suspect you intended but by what you said in passing or implied. Ive (re) tried checking the minimum contact pressure plus required horizontal and parallel geometries. Ive lifted the O-ring out of its groove and tried at length to ensure it is sat back in there with no twists or other misalignments. (No difference, whatsoever).
Im now going to hope my old-style black O-rings dont have a uniform cross-section &or because of their outdated composition can creep along the rimdrive groove they sit in. No idea if thats correct but its top of my list to at least eliminate by replacing them with the latest rust coloured rubber.
As to the Historical Humm. It was not an earthing issue. I have a depressingly thorough matrix of all combinations of earthing configurations which made no difference - as well as isolators and couplers under the motor assembly WHICH DID and noting the (very) different levels of Humm with each. The worst caused my more rigid (non-stock) power cord between motor and SDS to vibrate and feel as if water was running through it. Even the SDS vibrated. Depressing and thorough matrix may be available if wanted. I personally believe it was so comprehensive it convinced VPI that I was a nutcase. It clearly took a lot of thought, time and effort to obsessively create (because I thought I was alone with this problem. See below.)
I got rid of the Humm by believing the Symposium platform guys. Symposium believe things which vibrate should be coupled to their platforms (or somesuch) which absorb and dissipate that energy. (Hence their Couplers...) Isolating and feeding it back is the worst thing you can do, by which they include the new soft rubber feet on the VPI motor assembly as NOT the best way to go [ but of course VPI can't assume evryone is sat on Symposium or equivalent ]
My old VPI motor assembly had the old aluminium feet with sticky disc squidgy inserts as a forerunner of their big soft rubber feet. I removed the inserts and allowed the aluminium feet to directly couple with the Symposium platform so it could do its job. Humm disappeared. Totally.
What I think remains the case is the motor assembly still inherently vibrates but the platform absorbs sufficient of it to stop me hearing anything. Probably some residue makes its way to the platter and the cartridge (Stringreen !).
I read in another Humm thread that someone had solved the Humm by placing the motor on Symposium Point Padz. I independently tried that in the early days of diagnosis. For me it enhanced the Humm wonderfully. Dont know why but can take a stab at the Point Padz not having enough absorbothingystuffness and actually isolating from the main benefits of the Symposium platform.
A basic suspicion behind all this is VPI must be sat in the middle of problem feedbacks (as are all manufacturers) whatever small or minute percentage of total units it comprises. I can fully appreciate they wouldnt want to take a recall hit like Toyota is planning but Id be grateful if they didnt work so hard at making the sufferer think they were the only weirdo with the problem and therefore THE PROBLEM. Not easy but I think do-able.
Ill let you know how the rusty O-rings fare.
Rateourmover, I have my super scoutmaster rimdrive reference table sitting on a symposium ultra shelf, and I use the symposium point pods below the motor assembly. Symposium made be 2 sets, each consisting of 2 pods, one on top of the other, which fit exactly between the rubber feet, and raise the rubber feet off the symposium ultra surface. I did this because the rubber feet were moving slightly with the rimdrive and creating a slight movement in the motor assembly and the table. The point pods eliminated the movement problem, and in fact improved the sound, with better PRaT.
Hiendmuse...isn't that odd....VPI changed to the rubber feet on the motor assembly from the solid metal original ones to allow the motor assembly to slightly rock so as not to transmit any out of roundness of the rim drive to the platter. You're saying the pointed solid feet are an improvement?
If all else fails, try oil/grease change on both platter and rim-drive spindle.
No Stringreen, I'm not using pointed solid feet. I'm using flat plates made by Symposium Acoustics, which mate beautifully to the bottom of the motor assembly above and the Symposium Ultra shelf the plates sit on below. These plates made a real improvement, and eliminates movement that the motor assembly had using the rubber feet. I tried both the original rubber feet and their upgraded rubber feet. Both types of rubber feet were problematic in my motor setup with lateral movement, which was transmitted to the turntable.
I said I'd report back what effect my changing from black belts to the (new) rust-coloured ones had.
It almost entirely eliminated the Squeak ! It's not achingly quiet but is a very significant improvement. If it had been like this from new, instead of audible from up to eight feet away, I may not have noticed anything amiss.
This result invites speculation. Here's mine.
VPI have always produced a certain look of kit. Many people like it (I do) and many don't. The new rust coloured belts are strangely at odds with their usual brushed steel and black theme. Could it be that black compounds couldn't be made squeak-free for all installations ? This would also explain why VPI made me think the squeak was mine alone and therefore of my doing - because they didn't then have a solution available. When one was developed they couldn't let me know of it without the glaring contradiction...
Only a theory, of course. Allowing it may be true - what do YOU think YOU would have done as VPI when faced with apparently random squeaky installations and suspecting the rim-platter interface was the problem ??
...just remembered....I DID have a squeek when I first got my Superscout. I was told by Harry to lube the motor shafts which I did and never had any squeeks thereafter. I used the VPI lube that looked like oil that was sent to me.