vpi super SSM rim drive vs grand prix monaco

I am narrowing choices for a "final" turntable, upgrading from a Rega planar 9. If one believes the Monaco white paper, belt drive will always have ongoing audible speed variations. With a good arm, the monaco is about triple the price the turntable/arm setup of an SSM "reference." By all accounts, the combo of rim drive and the "synchronous drive system" seems to achieve the same design goals and much less cost. I intend to check for myself in the new year, and will report. I question how much the audible difference is beween these 2 tables in a revealing system (aesthetix io/atlas/vandy 5a) electronics and speaker). Any opinions about synergy beween that system and turntable and a comparison between the 2 tables would be appreciated.
Thanks, and happy holidays, Tom
Superscout Rim Drive benefits from sitting on one piece of thick Butcher Block. I know it's expensive, but bite the bullet and have at it...not an insignificant upgrade
The only rim drive that I have actually seen in operation was a disappointment in the that motor drive vibration was being transferred to the platter. Since I was not familiar with the sound of the system it was being demo on, it was hard to tell what the impact was on the sound. Whether the problem was a set up error, defective motor, or other I could not tell, but any vibration should not have been there. I have not seen or heard the Prix. My plan was to upgrade to a VPI Scoutmaster Reference with the rim, but at this point I am looking for another dealer that has it set up so I can see if the vibration issue is a design defective.
I have the Super Scoutmaster with Rimdrive and 10.5i arm fitted with a Lyra Titan-i. I upgraded from the original Super Scoutmaster, adding the superplatter, special feet, 10.5i arm, and rimdrive. This is a wonderful sounding package that I have no desire to replace. Each upgrade to full 'Super Scoutmaster Reference Rimdrive' has benefitted the musical performance.

I experienced the drive vibration that Buconero117 mentioned. Do not use the rimdrive on a Gingko platform- the tennis balls below transmit vibration and wobble. I use a Symposium Acoustics Ultra platform with excellent results. I noticed I still had some vibration after placing on this platform, and traced the problem to the rubber feet on the double motor. I inserted thin Symposium Acoustics Point Pods in between the feet front and rear feet so the feet are no longer touching the Symposium platform. This eliminated any vibration, wobble, and feedback to the platter. The rimdrive must be properly and carefully set up with the right amount of contact pressure on the superplatter. Once set up, it stays that way, and speed is constant at 33.3 using a Digistrobo on a tripod. Highly recommended!
Yes indeed...setup is critical with these tables, but easily doable which yield fabulous results. There are current additions to the original. If the SuperScout you are looking at has metal feet on the motors, they have been replaced by a soft rubber set. The formerly black rubber around the rim drive itself has been replaced by a rust colored one. The reason I said that Butcher Block should be used is because any unwanted vibration set up on a soft (Gingko-like) platform will cause an oscillation which is sent to the platter and thus to the arm...giving that "bobble dance". My Superscout Rim Drive is absolutely stable and sounds fabulous...no desire to find anything else. I too have the feet, the heavy platter, etc.
oops...forgot one more thing. That now rust colored rubber O-ring around the rim drive has to seat itself properly. Make sure the entire ring is properly seated in its groove. In addition, it has to seat itself properly...just play the table of a couple of days and it will be dead silent with absolutely no wobble.
Many thanks for the thoughtful responses. I have read than Ginko and SSM is not a good match. I appreciate the info that setup and break in are essential for the SSM rim drive. The butcher block idea kind of jives with the VPI philosophy of function over form...will have to see if it will fly with el wifo. Thank you hiendmuse for the Symposium acoustics idea... I will look into that. I hope to audition ssm vs monaco at Brooks Berdan. $8k SSM rim dr. vs 25k monaco(with good arm) will be a bit of a David vs Goliath matchup methinks. Tompoodie
Tompoodie, just wanted to clarify something: The Gingko platform was excellent with the standard Super Scoutmaster with beltdrive, but does not work well with the rimdrive due to it causing the tonearm to wobble. If you get the Symposium Acoustics thin plates, they need to be sized to raise the motor assembly the right height so the rimdrive contacts the metal band of the superplatter running around the center of this platter. Peter Bizlewicz of Symposium made me custom plates for a reasonable price, which improved PRaT as well as keeping the motor from moving. It mates very well to the Symposium Ultra shelf.
Hi guys
I am in a similar boat or about to be.I have the original VPI SS with speed control etc .I am deliberting if the full upgrade would result in a equal deck to say for example the Systemdeck 3 at circa 1600K.My dealer assures me the VPI would not be near it and to be fair to him he is a honest guy and knows what he is talking about.
Any views please
You should also consider the Teres Verus rim drive system. It is much easier to set up and some who have made direct comparisons with the VPI rim drive found that it's sound quality to be better than the VPI. Also the Verus has it's own motor contoller so it does not require the VPI SDS motor controller.
To add to the confusion, I don't think you should limit yourself to GP Monaco, as your direct-drive alternative to rim drive. And you could potentially save yourself a lot of money in so doing.