Buying the VPI SDS was the single most important upgrade I ever made when I had my VPI TNT Mk II. It came with the predecessor PLC line conditioner, but the SDS took it to an entirely different place in terms of clarity, speed stability, dynamics and "authority."
As Dopogue notes above, the VPI SDS motor controller will bring a very noticeable improvement to your Scoutmaster, and to most turntables with AC motors. If you can afford the cost differential, the Walker will bring yet another step higher performance relative to the VPI SDS, but either one will make a very noticeable improvement.
Picked up a SDS a few months ago. The positive impact was easily heard right away with my Aries II.
I must say that I was some what doubtful since I had already bought a Super Platter and thought that the more than doubling of platter weight would have gone a long way towards speed stability. That does not hurt but the SDS goes a lot further.
Another vote for SDS! I used it with my Basis 2500 Sig. Works great. I've checked speed measurements time from time and the SDS remains steady and right on 33 or 45 rpm.
There may be better controllers, but at $700 used hard to beat it.
There's a guy on audioasylum who had both. He kept the Walker. I suggest you do a search there.
If I was to buy one myself, I would still consider the SDS because of the way it ramps down the voltage when the motor is running. My motor gets pretty hot after a long session.
A turntable without a motor controller is only 1/2 a turntable. The addition of a motor controller will give you unending pleasure. How can you get the most out of a TT AC motor which varies constantly in its rotational speed regardless of how good the motor may be? The choice of the VPI or the Walker depends on your finances and which one you like best. They are both good, but the Walker is superior in its ability to hold speed over a longer period of time before you will have to reclock the platter and controller. You will need a strobe and light too. The KAB is an inexpensive strobe and works very well. By the way, I have a Walker Controller and I will probably be selling it soon. It is only 6 months old. My TW Raven Acustic TT is being delivered Mon. 3/17 and I will no longer need the Walker. Email me if you are interested.
A new entrant is Mark Kelly's Synchrotron AC-1. Available in kit form only, the AC-1 derives 120VAC from a large 12V SLA battery. Build cost ca $500-$700 including battery. It has the theoretical advantage over single-phase controllers like SDS and Walker, of generating both phases of the AC sine-wave. This requires removing the phasing capacitor from the stock motor and wiring a dedicated connection from motor to drive controller. It works very well.
I use the Walker on my TNT6-HR and can't imagine having this table without it.
Take Elinor up on his offer.
If that's out of your price range, get the SDS. Cheers,
I am puzzled by your statement that the Walker "holds speed over a longer period of time". Does the actual output frequency of the VPI unit drift over time?
I can see no other mechanism causing the effect you have observed
The major determinants of speed stability with belt TTs are mechanical and are therefore independent of the setting of the controller.
I own the Walker Motor Controller and would not be without it or some analagous device. A proper motor controller will not only help to maintain a stable speed but also causes the motor to run more smoothly with therefore fewer vibrations and less mechanical noise. This may be one reason why the benefits are so obvious. The fact that your table may run at exactly 33.3 rpm off the wall socket is not an indicator that you would not benefit from the addition of a motor controller, for reasons cited above. One other benefit, in at least some installations, is that a well-designed MC prevents electrical noise generated by the tt motor itself from leaking "backwards" into your AC circuits and possibly contaminating, for example, the AC that goes to your preamp.
Why does the Raven not need a motor controller? How long have you waited for the Raven?
The Raven may come with its own outboard MC, as do several of the v expensive tts. But I'll let Elinor tell us.
One question ,please.Would the SDS work with Oracle Delphi mk2
The Raven uses a DC motor. Motor controllers like the Walker and the VPI work on AC motors. So, no reason for Elinor to keep his motor controller for the Raven.
George: The Walker motor controller will work on any turntable with an AC motor, and I assume the same is true of the VPI SDS. I see on the web site that the Mk V uses an AC motor. If your Mk II also uses an AC motor, then the SDS should work with it. Best way to know for sure would be to call VPI and ask them.
Thanks for the responses. I decided to go ahead and get the Walker PMC. I was skeptical, but it really does make a difference in my system especially noticeable with percussion instruments and bass. It also seems to provide a smoother, fuller and more liquid presentation, which I like.
Anyway, thanks for the responses.
Since a lot of this may depend on the system in which it is used (important for people like myself who are new to this), below is a list of some of my system components:
Scoutmaster with JMW 9 signature tonearm, ring clamp, Shelter 501 and super-platter.
Blue Circle FtTH integrated amp using a Stealth M-5000 power cord.
AqVox phono stage connected to the FtTH using Nordost SPM interconnects, connected to the Scoutmaster using Cardas Golden Reference XLR interconnects and a Stealth M-5000 power cord for power.
Merlin TSM bookshelf speakers connected to the FtTH using Stealth MLT speaker cables and Analysis Plus jumpers.
MJ Acoustics 200 sub connected to the FtTH using Analysis Plus Subwoofer interconnects.