VPI Scout 21
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With the original Prime, Mat came up with a concept for the plinth designed to minimize the pickup of external vibrations. The Prime Scout has almost the exact same shape but is slightly less thick than the Prime. You also get a massive outboard motor on the Scout — totally separated from the table itself. The only connection point is the rubber belt. This is the exact same motor used in the more expensive Prime, just with a more basic housing. The Prime does have a slightly more precision-tuned motor pulley, however.
All VPI tables use a very heavy platter for a great flywheel effect. Once a heavy platter gets up to speed, the mass prevents some of the small speed variations you see in other, less expensive turntables. We can hear this as super true pitch. The Prime Scout is no exception to this rule with its massive 12lb. platter!
Another very important factor in maintaining that pure speed VPI tables are famous for is the bearing that supports the platter. Designing a great bearing system can be a bit of a challenge. You do not want any chance that the lower shaft of the turntable platter will wobble. It has to be held firmly, but with almost zero friction. On top of all that, it has to be dead quiet as any noises will make their way up to the platter and into your phono cartridge. This is why in cheap turntables you can hear a rumbling sound in the background.
In the case of the Prime Scout, the bearing system is almost identical to the Prime. VPI’s oil bath system uses a Thompson Engineering 60 Rockwell case hardened shaft that sits on top of PEEK thrust disc surrounded by machined graphite impregnated brass bushings. That’s a mouthful, but suffice it to say that with this type of design there is zero wobble. It should be able to spin for about 100 years without any wear on the bearing. It’s also practically dead silent!