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zeb
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VPI SSM review with Rim Drive

I was interested to read that review, as I own a SSM recently upgraded with the rim drive. I have been pretty dissatisifed with it, and have had some problems which Mr. Fremer doesn't seem to have had.
My turntable and motor drive sits on a Ginko Cloud 11, and the whole thing shakes when the motor is put on. At 33rpm, the shake and wobble of the arm/cartridge is 'acceptable' but at 45rpm, it is all over the place and there is no way I am playing my precious Fantasy and Blue Note 45rpm reissues on that. I spent days trying to vary the distance between deck and motor and can only get to an acceptable wobble at 33rpm. One possible solution would be to remove the Ginko and put the table on the FE Pagode, but the presence of such wobble suggests an out of balance weight in the rim drive or an imperfect connection with the superplatter. Since the table's speed depends on a smooth mating of the rim drive with the platter, any imperfection would affect speed stability, which is unacceptable. I didn't have such an issue with the belts, even on the cloud 11. Two friends of mine with the same 'table report various degrees of the same problem, but mine seems to be the worst.
My other issue is with the tracking ability of the JMW-10.5i arm. Used without anti-skating, as VPI recommends, my arm has never been able to track satisfactorily the second test track on any test record (+14dB), let alove the torture tracks.
I think I was most happy with my first purchase of the SSM, with the 9" arm etc.. that was fantastic value at $5500. Subsequent upgrades have been doubtful value for money, with the rim drive being very questionable.

Jan Vigne
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Re: VPI SSM review with Rim Drive

Your intial prolem would seem to be related to the table and motor sharing the same support system. Use the Ginko supporting only the table and the motor should be isolated from that support system. This would change the resonant frequency of the system and you would want to adjust the number of balls under the table. If you didn't changed the support system when you addded the rim drive, this could be part of your problem with that set up.

zeb
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Re: VPI SSM review with Rim Drive

Separating both is not really practical, as the motor/rim drive has to be in contact with the platter. As I mentionned, I had no such issues with the same motor drive using belts on the Ginko. I think there must either be a non-uniform weight distribution in the rim drive or the contact surface between it and the platter has a small bump. I agree that, due to its floating nature, the Ginko is exaggerating the wobble and this would be much reduced if I removed it entirely. However, you would still have the out-of-balance forces there.

I am using the maximum number of balls, as recommended by Ginko. I understand that the number is dependent on the weight of the equipment above it.

Jan Vigne
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Re: VPI SSM review with Rim Drive


Quote:
However, you would still have the out-of-balance forces there.

I don't understand why this would still be out of balance. Can you not build up a rigid subplatform for the motor assembly to sit on? To raise it to the correct height for the Ginko suspended table? If you want to stay with the Ginko, I would think this is your solution.

Otherwise, let me suggest you move to tennis balls from the sporting goods store in place of the Ginko O.E.M. balls. The tennis balls have a different structure with a "tighter", higher tension surface that provides less give. Less give should mean less lateral sway. I think you are getting into mixing upgrades and one has not caught up to the other. Experimentation on your part is in order here. You might try cutting the tennis balls in half to provide an even more stable platform with virtually the same benefits as complete units.

Alternatively, you might look at Stephen Scharf's thread on his DIY isolation cups. I believe it's in the "tweaks" section or you can find it by calling up his name and clicking on all of his posts. Check his "Rega table" thread also for another solution I provided that SS seems to agree works quite well.

Finally, I would say if neither of these two options appeals to you, you might want to move the table to a sandbox type isolation platform until Ginko catches up with VPI's upgrades. If you're concerned about the sand floating around the table, which I don't think it can but some people believe it's dangerous when it's just sitting there with nothing on its mind and nothing to do but isolate, isolate, isolate, use a plastic zip lock bag to contain the sand.

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