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After many, many years with BAT/Avid/SME YG Acoustics systems this is what my wife and I have spent the last year building for listening to records through. VPI HR-X w/12.7 arm, and VPI ADS power supp

The horror, the horror. Basically this is the final Erno Borbely design. It is a current mode phono stage, where the cartridge looks into close to zero impedance. First stage with parallel J40/K170, a

Gorgeous! Your vintage turntables amazing and your setup is something to behold. Congrats!   Me, I'm finally getting my table and speaker system put back together after my move. 

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Using the VPI 16.5 cleaner that Al graciously gave me on extended loan for the first time.

There's something so satisfying when you hit the vacuum switch and the wand sucks down and dries the album. This is the first automatic record cleaner I've ever used. I'm hooked. 

20201224_115012.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm feelin' Al's pain this week.  "Analog can be frustrating."  Bought a VPI Prime back in 2017 while on vacation in San Diego (not even as a whoops...I planned the trip that way.)  The dealer, Stereo Unlimited, was...ok... to deal with.  The sales guy was a boob and the owner was as well.  Still, I was hungry for the 'table, so there it was.  No dealers near Seattle at that time.

FFWD to 2019, I jump on the vpiforum to figure out how to do some general maintenance.  There is some 120Hz motor hum and I'm thinking something needs some work.  I do the maintenance and never really get rid of the noise, but ignore because hey: tunes!

FFWD to the awful holiday season 2020 and I find the noise is worse than I remember.  I read up and find that the crap Hurst motors that VPI purchases "sometimes just get noisy", probably due in part by the fact that they are only supported on the top by a single, simple friction bearing.  I know the noisy little bitch is out of warranty, but find out the replacement is $800.  For what?  The joy of doing this again in a few years?  Bite me.  

Ah, but SOTA has somehow now emerged on my radar because they sell an excellent DC motor package, one of which includes the old Roadrunner tachometer.  They also can mount said motor in a VPI-friendly-height motor pod for some unknown dollar value.  

So at least I have options, but they start at $800 and go up from there.  Crap.  I was supposed to replace some other components this year (plus get my Lyra Delos rebuilt).  I guess that's how it goes with audio (especially turntables).  

Anyway, here are a few links should anyone else be in the same noisy boat.  

SOTA Eclipse Package

SOTA Total Eclipse Package

 

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Ouch! I had a good visit with stereo unlimited when the fam was in San Diego a couple years back. Was able to snag some quality vinyl, sorry your TT purchase was ok. While by all accounts my technics should run maintenance free for quite a while, I’m not looking forward to the day that eventually my Lyra Delos will have to be looked at as well!

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Okay, Marc: I have not yet hit the buy button.  Are you thinking I could just replace the motor myself?  Or do you have better plans?  Thanks!

I've sent email to Audioquest regarding the Delos rebuild but they have not yet responded.  Y'know, at what point do we begin mocking companies for not having a business continuity plan for a 1-year-old pandemic?   

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13 minutes ago, bhjazz said:

Okay, Marc: I have not yet hit the buy button.  Are you thinking I could just replace the motor myself?  Or do you have better plans?  Thanks!

I've sent email to Audioquest regarding the Delos rebuild but they have not yet responded.  Y'know, at what point do we begin mocking companies for not having a business continuity plan for a 1-year-old pandemic?   

Yeah, this is definitely doable.

Do you just want to replace the motor? I can do that for you, if you would like / or walk you through this.

If you want upgrade, you can ride on my coat-tails, I am doing the same process - motor, controller and tach. The SOTA offerings are provided in a slightly less turnkey format to the DIY community. 

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I'd be interested to follow the rebuild if you're willing to post it Marc.

My VPI Aires motor has always had a slight hum (I think mine is the first gen Aires) and I've damped the hum enough so I can't hear it through my system. 

I uses a piece of "anti vibration padding" from Shop Fox ( I bought it from Grizzly eons ago) under the motor.

I doubt if I'd be willing to mod my motor at this point but I'd be happy to see what you've come up with.

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7 minutes ago, ironbut said:

I'd be interested to follow the rebuild if you're willing to post it Marc.

My VPI Aires motor has always had a slight hum (I think mine is the first gen Aires) and I've damped the hum enough so I can't hear it through my system. 

I uses a piece of "anti vibration padding" from Shop Fox ( I bought it from Grizzly eons ago) under the motor.

I doubt if I'd be willing to mod my motor at this point but I'd be happy to see what you've come up with.

Ok, fair enough! I have about a hundred irons in the fire on this project - just debugged the display and moving onto casing up the controller - then I need to layout a backplane and then write some software.

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3 hours ago, luvdunhill said:

Yeah, this is definitely doable.

Do you just want to replace the motor? I can do that for you, if you would like / or walk you through this.

If you want upgrade, you can ride on my coat-tails, I am doing the same process - motor, controller and tach. The SOTA offerings are provided in a slightly less turnkey format to the DIY community. 

Thanks!  I'm in for replacing the motor.  I suppose all I need is a location where to get them and the model number.  

I'd like to know more about the motor/controller/tach DIY project.  This might be a good route for me as well.   

What language is the software in?

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The stock motor is a Hurst P/N 3201-001 - for the 300rpm motor. You might have the 600rpm motor. First order would be to check then you can order direct or take your chances with a used one:

http://www.hurst-motors.com/papbdirectdrive.html

I am replacing it with a motor from Anaheim Automation - likely same motor as SOTA.

I am thinking about trying CircuitPython. Using a Cortex M4 - well, will be.

Thanks!  I'm in for replacing the motor.  I suppose all I need is a location where to get them and the model number.  
I'd like to know more about the motor/controller/tach DIY project.  This might be a good route for me as well.   
What language is the software in?

https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/analogue-source/307918-3-phase-class-amp-diy-bldc-motor-drive.html

https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/analogue-source/298018-diy-4-phase-sinewave-generator-turntable-motor-drive.html

https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/analogue-source/301609-digital-tachometer-record-player-lcd-display.html

I can supply most of the bits if you decide to go this route.
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3 hours ago, luvdunhill said:

The stock motor is a Hurst P/N 3201-001 - for the 300rpm motor. You might have the 600rpm motor. First order would be to check then you can order direct or take your chances with a used one:

I am thinking about trying CircuitPython. Using a Cortex M4 - well, will be.
https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/analogue-source/307918-3-phase-class-amp-diy-bldc-motor-drive.html
 

I took the motor pod apart and found Model PA, P/N SP4007.  Google mentions that this is the equivalent Hurst part number you mentioned. 300 RPM.  Thanks!  Looks like it is a whopping $98 through Hurst.  However, I am wondering if I will be replacing that part again in another two years.  I'll toss that around in my head.  I really blame the single bearing and wish they had a hotrod version of this motor with top and bottom sealed grade 10 tungsten ball bearings.  And flashing lights.  And a flamethrower.

I like your BLDC motor project.  Man, those links to diyaudio.com always end up pointing to threads that are at least 100 or more pages long.  Am I right?  Lots to learn there for sure.  Is the project cost-effective or is it the thrill of the hunt?  

Thanks a lot, Marc.  I really appreciate the info.  

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The $800 is for the entire motor pod, which includes the massive stainless steel milled enclosure. You can definitely ask VPI about a warrantee replacement. They are very approachable and helpful. Say hi to Tara and the gang for me - they are busy but willing to help. I think it’s reasonable to start here.

That project won’t be very cost effective - the 24V Anaheim motor will run around the same price shipped - say $100. The stuffed boards, will run around $200 for the two and then you have casing and the bits for the tach (optional) - maybe $100. It comes in lower than what SOTA is asking, but obviously more than replacing the motor.

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On 1/13/2021 at 5:26 AM, luvdunhill said:

 You can definitely ask VPI about a warrantee replacement. I think it’s reasonable to start here.

I agree.  You never know unless you ask.

BTW, on the vpiforum I learned SOTA will update a current VPI motor pod to accept the BLDC motor.  For around $300 I think.  Not sure.  Haven't had confirmation from SOTA yet.  

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10 minutes ago, bhjazz said:

I agree.  You never know unless you ask.

BTW, on the vpiforum I learned SOTA will update a current VPI motor pod to accept the BLDC motor.  For around $300 I think.  Not sure.  Haven't had confirmation from SOTA yet.  

Yes, but you will need something to drive the new motor. The VPI one runs off wall voltage and the BLDC 3-phase 24V.

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Heeeeeere's the latest news with Action News correspondent BH.

Good Evening.  

The current price list (as of today) for SOTA packages:

eclipse package: $750
total eclipse package: $1100
SOTA motor pod for VPI: $450 (and you still need a motor package)
current price for converting VPI motor pod for SOTA BLDC motor: 250  + 50 plate = $300
pulley  - if you need the 1.5" pulley - $50 (doesn't seem likely, though)

And just to think this one all the way out:

std eclipse package with sota motor pod:  750+450 = 1200
ttl eclipse package with sota motor pod:   1100+450 = 1600
std eclipse package with VPI motor pod:    750+300 = 1050 + shipping to/from
ttl eclipse package with VPI motor pod:    1100+300 = 1400 + shipping to/from

It looks like sending your current VPI motor pod to SOTA for machining is a good deal, especially in light of it being a bit heavier than the SOTA pod.  Someone on the VPI forum had done so and had the top plate pretty scratched up, so I think there would be some hand-wringing while waiting.  


I called VPI and asked about my current noisy motor.  Claire tells me, well, the Prime has a 5 year warranty, so you're still covered.  However, you'll need to contact your dealer first.  If they are unable to help, please call us back.  So I called Stereo Unlimited in SD, but it's the owner's cell phone and had to leave a message.  Hopefully I'll talk to him at some point about how to coordinate an interstate warranty claim.  Fun.  (paging mr savitsk: good call - it really is a warranty item.)

As for Lyra, ha.  Interesting.  I spoke with Alasdair at Audioquest.  He told me Lyra is at least 6 months behind with new work and repairs.  He then suggested that I might have better luck, for the same cost of rebuilding mine, to just trade for a new one; just find a dealer with a large supply then I could reduce my wait time.  I was sent a dealer list and found that one is closer to my home than I expected.  Cool.  I'd be happy to hand them my credit card.  

We'll see how all of this turns out.  Thanks for all the great ideas.  My credit card is giving me the evil eye, but frankly I haven't been out to dinner in a year so it should be happy to be out of my wallet. 

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