I've had mine range from 60.00 to 60.40. It's been on the lower end after new lube with VPI bearing grease or putting a drop of oil in the motor.
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I would only use the recommended lubricants for the VPI. The Classic platter has a dry lubricant from the factory that lasts quite a long time. When you mix lubricants you get trouble. I have a Superscoutmaster rim drive with a Classic platter. The setting on the SDS is Voltage 71, Frequency 6151. It is absolutely stable and accurate at these settings.
I would lubricate the bearings yearly. Around every 12 months I would sense speed instability. Bearing lube fixed it immediately. Motor oil for the motor is probably needed less frequently.
I agree with the above - ALWAYS use VPI bearing grease and motor oil. It's cheap relative to the cost of the investment in your turntable.
Thanks for the responses, guys.
The grease topic has been discussed in another thread I started so I don't want to turn this one into another grease thread, but I will say that the VPI grease also contains Teflon so it's very similar (or so I thought) to the bike grease I used. VPI ok'ed it as well.
Stringreen - my Classic was pre-lubricated with "wet" grease as I saw the excess come out a bit when I first started using the turntable. If there was any dry lubricant in my Classic, it should be long gone now as I've cleaned the bearing at least three times over the past two years.
After my experience with the slowing down of the platter after lubricating it, I believe the table sounds better at lower settings. The sound at 61.85 Hz was anemic and lacked the liveliness I heard when the SDS was set to just over 60 Hz. After I re-lubricated the bearing I was able to lower the setting by over 1 Hz, and the liveliness, energy, and snap came back.
I don't know whether the Super Platter requires a higher setting (apparently not per the poster above), but I am now of the opinion that there is a sonic benefit in having the SDS set to the lowest possible setting. Ensuring the platter spins effortlessly is one of the ways to accomplish it. For the Classic platter, a setting of almost 62 Hz seems very high to me. Since apparently the current frequency is quite stable, I'd think that the SDS should be set close to 60 Hz under most circumstances. If so, the higher setting could potentially be explained by less than ideal lubrication that causes the motor to struggle to maintain correct speed at 60 Hz.
Actusreus...I have a Superscout Rim Drive, so the SDS settings will be different from yours if you have a Classic. I have the 2 motors with the large flywheel, so I have to set the SDS to accomodate the 33/45 speeds. When I replaced my Superplatter with the Classic platter, I mistakenly put some lubricant on the ball not seeing any lubricant on the ball. Because of this, the platter would not turn at all. VPI told me of the dry lubricant....I removed the stuff I put on and it plays well now.
65.75? Holy cripes! I was told silk thread renders sonic benefits on VPI tables, but since you cannot move the motor on the Classic to adjust tension, silk threads or fishing lines will not work. I saw an A-gon member using the Teres speed controller/motor with a mylar belt with his Classic, which I guess is a very advanced option, but otherwise the rubber belt is it.
Regarding different settings for different platters, I think I might just send an email to VPI so that they can hopefully clarify it. I don't have engineering background, and I might be misunderstanding the role of the SDS, but it seems to me that since all VPI tables are fully functional and quite accurate without the SDS, it should not matter how many belts, flywheels, or what kind of platter you have as far as the SDS setting. It should ideally be as close to the standard 60 Hz as possible, and really used as a fine tuning tool, rather than a full-blown replacement for the power supply. Reading the manual, the SDS is more about the stability of the power than changing it.
If your current has a frequency of 60 Hz and you need 65 Hz to get your platter to spin at 33 1/3, your table would be useless without the SDS, which would be absurd. Less than 2 Hz makes a tremendous difference in the speed of the platter, and can easily be heard. I just don't see how this can be reconciled unless there is a serious anomaly in the power supply.
From my frustrating experience with lubricating the bearing on my Classic, it became quite clear to me that the platter needs to be optimally lubricated so that the SDS is not used to force the motor to work harder to counteract the resistance within the bearing, rather than simply supply a stable current to the motor. As the lubrication settled, the SDS is now set to 60.25 Hz as opposed to close to 62 Hz when I first used the bike grease. Both settings resulted in the perfect speed, but obviously the motor had to work much harder to maintain 33 1/3 rpm at the higher setting. That transferred to the quality of the sound.
If anyone has a deeper understanding of the SDS, please chime in.
I've never seen any of the VPI Classic Tables in the flesh up close, so I am unsure of this?
But I will ask, does the Classic's Drive Motor possess a simple two step (33-45rpm) Pulley, or does it have a longer "stepped" Pulley like I've got on a VPI SAMA Motor?
If it does have a Stepped Pulley, preliminary initial speed adjustments can be performed right at the Pulley first by moving the drive belt up-down into the number of grooves, and usually, one will then be able to set a smaller deviation from a reference 60.00hz at the SDS.
Probably doesn't make much of a difference sonically actually, but thought I would mention this feature if the Classic, or others have it? Mark
Yes, the Classic has a stepped-up pulley with three possible positions for 33 and 45 rpm each. The latest models come with a different, wider pulley, and I'm not entirely sure with how many positions, but I'd think it'd be the same deal.
The different pulley positions are useful if you don't use the SDS as apparently there are differences in speed (Fremer found the top position to be most accurate for 33 rpm when he was reviewing the Classic III). With the SDS however, you just use one pulley position as you can make way more accurate speed adjustments through the SDS. Also, you want to use the same pulley position when setting the speed from 33 to 45; the SDS automatically adjusts to the higher speed (you still have to make small adjustments to dial it in perfectly initially), and if you switch the pulley position the speed would be way off.
When VPI manufactures or sources components from their suppliers, they are specd to an acceptable tolerance. Variations in motor, pulley, belt and platter tolerance will result in slight speed variations.
For 2 tables to have the exact same speed without a SDS, both will need to have identical motor rotation, identical pulley diameter, identical belt tolerance with no stretch, and identical platter diameter without any deviations between the 2 samples.
If there is any deviation in tolerances between the 2 tables, they will have different speeds. It is simple physics. The SDS is designed to fine tune a table and to factor out the fact that each table will not have the exact same manufactured tolerances and be feed with a stable 60 Hz power.
If you believe that a lower frequency sounds better, then put on a motor pulley designed for a 11 ½ inch VPI platter and adjust your SDS to the low 50 HZ.
My old TNT was very close to this setting as well. And
around 64.50 if I remember with silk thread, dental floss
and fishing line. FWIW - if bypassing the belts, Mike at VPI
had a preference for fishing line when I talked to him a
while back. He said look for the Spider braided version.
Actusreus, the TNT was designed to work with a speed
controller. Otherwise it runs way to fast. So as a caution
anyone looking to purchase one used should ensure it is
being sold with a functional SDS. Otherwise budget an extra
$900 1000 into the purchase. I would not touch the old
PLC controller. Unless you like to rip out your hair.