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VPI Scout
Turntable Manual
Setup and Instruction Manual
Scout 2 upgrade instructions included
VPI Industries, Inc., 77 Cliffwood Ave. #5D, Cliffwood, NJ 07721
http://www.vpiindustries.com
Scout Turntable Packing List
Serial #:________________
Scout Chassis
Record Clamp
Azimuth Rod
Gauge
Cartridge Hardware
Instruction Manual
Drive Belt
Power Cord (115V Only)
Alignment Jig
Platter
Tonearm
Date:
__________
Final Check by: ________________________
1
BECAUSE THE SCOUT AND UPGRADED SCOUT 2 ARE SO SIMILAR IN
CONSTRUCTION WE HAVE DECIDED TO PUT BOTH IN THE SAME MANUAL.
THIS MAKES IT MUCH EASIER FOR CUSTOMERS UPGRADING FROM THE
SCOUT TO THE SCOUT 2 TO HAVE THE CORRECT MANUAL AT A LATER
DATE. BOTH WILL BE CALLED SCOUT FOR MOST OF THE MANUAL WHERE
IT IS DIFFERENT WE WILL STATE IT AS SO.
1.
Important: Read Before Proceeding!

1.1
Read and follow the
Safety Instructions below.
1.2
Save all packing materials. The Scout should only be moved or shipped in its original
packaging to reduce the risk of damage in transit.
1.3
The Scout must be placed on a flat, level surface. This will make setup easy, provide
better sound quality, and put less strain on the main bearing.
2
Safety Instructions
2.
Follow the instructions below to reduce risk of electrical
hazard or injury.
2.1
To avoid electrical shock, do not open the motor housing.
2.2
If the power cord provided with the Scout does not reach an outlet, use a heavy-duty,
grounded extension cord.
2.3
To avoid electrical shock, always plug the Scout into a grounded outlet.
2.4
Do not expose the Scout to rain or excessive moisture.
Do not touch the male pivot point of the tonearm assembly. It is extremely
sharp.
2.3
Follow the instructions below to avoid damage to the
Scout
Minimum Specifications
3.
4.

Wow and flutter  Less than .02%.

Rumble  Greater than 78db down.

Speed accuracy  within .1%.

Total weight  32 pounds/ Scout 2 45 pounds

Platter run out  +/- .001 inch.
Unpacking the Box
The turntable and tonearm are packed very carefully to avoid damage during shipping. It is
important that you save the packing materials and box to use for shipping or moving the Scout.
4.1
Remove the 2 foam side pieces and foam block in the center.
4.2
Make space for the Scout and remove the chassis from the box. Put the chassis down on a
solid surface.
The warranty does not take effect until the warranty is
returned by e-mail at the end of the manual.
4.3
Remove and set aside the items in the next layer:
o
Alignment Jig.
o
Record clamp.
o
Power cord.
3
o
Bag containing screwdrivers and screws for mounting the cartridge.
o
Digital stylus force gauge
4.4
Remove the pieces of foam covering the tonearm, then carefully remove the tonearm and
set it down in a safe place. Use caution with the tonearm’s delicate wires and Lemo
connector.
4.5
Remove the turntable platter and motor. Be very careful not to hit or damage the motor
pulley. It measured +/- .0005” when it was tested at the factory. Try not to disturb it at
all. The Scout 2 has an inverted bearing the Scout 1.1 has an oil bath bearing.
5.
Setting up the Scout
5.1
The Scout must be placed on a flat, level surface. This will make setup easy, provide
better sound quality, and put less strain on the main bearing.
5.2
Place the turntable chassis, with the square cutout on the left, on the shelf or stand where
it will be used. The better isolation you provide the Scout, the better it will sound. We
highly recommend a 1 to 3 inch thick maple shelf sitting on rubber isolator feet for this
purpose.
5.3
For Standard Scout: Remove the turntable platter and place the platter on the tapered
spindle. The platter bearing is lubricated; no additional lubrication is needed for at least
one year. When you lubricate the bearing place 3 drops of 40 weight motor oil in the
spindle hole.
5.4
For Scout 2 Upgrade: Remove the tape from the spindle hole on the turntable
platter and place the platter on the spindle. The platter bearing is lubricated; no
additional lubrication is needed for at least one year. When you lubricate remove
the platter and place a blob of Super Lube (PTFE Teflon lube) directly on the ball,
gravity will move it down to lube the shaft.
5.5
Be careful doing 5.4, the bearing is the heart of the turntable.
5.6
Connect the power cord to the motor, then place the motor, with the power cord at the
rear, next to the square cutout of the turntable chassis.
5.7
Lift the chassis and place it over the power cord. The motor should extend approximately
.25 inch from the left side of the turntable chassis.
5.8
Place the drive belt around the platter and around the pulley on the motor. The belt does
not have to be level on the platter. It will self-level when the platter starts rotating.
5.9
For 33 RPM operation, place the belt on the upper part of the pulley. For 45 RPM
operation, place the belt on the lower, wider part of the pulley. The center groove in each
diameter is the correct speed. The VPI Synchronous Drive System speed controller
provides the ultimate speed accuracy and best sound. Check with your dealer about
availability.
5.10
Verify the turntable is level by using a 9 or 12-inch bubble level front-to-back and side-toside on the platter. If it is not level, rotate the aluminum cone feet up or down. If you
must turn the Scout feet more than three full turns, level the shelf or platform the table
sits on first.
4
6.
Installing and Aligning the Cartridge
6.1
For cartridges with pass-through mounting holes, use the hardware supplied with the
cartridge and follow the alignment procedure carefully (Denon, Miajimma, etc.)
For all cartridges using 2.5mm standard metric mounting threads use the supplied Allen
head screws and the 5/64” Allen wrench. Be sure to use washers under the screw heads.
6.2
The tonearm wires are color-coded as follows:
Red  right hot
Green  right ground
White or Black  left hot
Blue  left ground.
If your phono section inverts phase, the hot color becomes the ground color.
6.3
Using tweezers or fine-tipped pliers, grip the center of the red wire’s connector  not the
wire itself  and push it onto the cartridge’s right hot terminal pin. Connect the
remaining connectors in the same way. To avoid damage to the cartridge, do not push
the connectors all the way on.
6.4
Place the Alignment Jig on the spindle with the V-groove against the base of the male
bearing shaft. Tighten the screws of the jig so it fits snugly against the male bearing shaft
and over the record spindle. The jig is adjustable and automatically corrects for alignment
when you put it in the position shown in the picture below.
5
6.5
Place the arm tube assembly on the male pivot point, using caution with the 4-color wire
and Lemo connector. Set the arm in its rest. If the cartridge has a guard, remove it.
MAKE SURE THE MALE POINT IS IN THE CENTER OF THE FEMALE CUP, IT SHOULD FEEL
SOLID BUT YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO SLIDE IT SIDEWAYS AND THE ARM RAISES AS
YOU GO FROM THE CENTER TO THE SIDES OF THE FEMALE BEARING. IT IS AN
INVERTED CONE.
FEMALE BEARING
6.6
Line up the red dot on the Lemo connector with the red dot on the receptacle on the
junction box. The Lemo connector can plug in only one way and should not be forced.
6.7
Swing the tonearm over the jig so the stylus is as close as possible to the dot in the center
of the grid. Set the counterweight for enough downward force to keep the stylus from
moving when resting on the jig.
6.8
Look down at the cartridge and align it between the lines of the grid. You should have the
diamond stylus on the white dot and the cantilever lined up with the lines on the grid.
Use a flashlight to look from the front and line up the cantilever with the grid
6
lines. That is the only alignment that matters, the cantilever lined up with the
white lines and the diamond on the white dot. The angle of the cartridge is
irrelevant.
6.9
Adjust the cartridge mounting screws and the counterweight as needed until the cartridge
is centered between the grid lines and the stylus is resting on the dot of the grid. The
picture below shows the setup, the jig is in white for clarity, yours is black.
6.10
When the cartridge is properly positioned, tighten the cartridge mounting screws and
remove the alignment jig. Do not make them overly tight, the Scout arm is self-damping
and you can damage the surface by over tightening.
VIEW OF CONICAL AND LINE CONTACT STYLI AND WHY ALIGNMENT MATTERS MORE WITH THE
LINE CONTACT.
CONICAL
LINE CONTACT
7
For more detailed information on setup visit this link:
http://www.theaudiobeat.com/vpi_ms/cartridge_setup_2.htm
7.
Setting the Anti-Skating – Two Solutions
7.1
Anti-skating is one of the least understood forces acting on a tonearm. Skating force is
created by friction between the stylus and the record, causing a force vector in a direction
towards the center of the record when the headshell of the tonearm has an offset angle.
Putting a stylus down on a flat, groove less record will cause the arm to move toward the
center of the record. Arm manufacturers have tried to compensate for this force, but that
is impossible because the force is constantly changing as the music and velocity change.
7.2
VPI has conducted careful listening tests and determined that every tonearm we tried
sounded better with its mechanical anti-skating disabled and the tracking force very
slightly increased.
7.3
VPI has a unique solution to anti-skating: the coiled wire of the Scout arm acts as a spring
and pushes the arm back without affecting the sound quality. You now have the option of
installing a mechanical anti-skate for those that want it.
If you try adjusting the anti-skate with a groove less
record, you will ruin the twist in the tonearm wire
and void your warranty. Do this with the mechanical
anti-skate if you want that much anti-skate.
7.4
If you need additional anti-skate go to the mechanical anti-skate we supply in the photo.
8
8.
Setting Tracking Force (VTF) and Tonearm Height (VTA)
8.1
Tracking force is adjusted by moving the tonearm counterweight forward and back on its
shaft. If your cartridge is heavy and the counterweight is all the way back, you can order a
heavier weight from your dealer.
8.2
The Scout Tonearm does not have a built-in tracking force gauge. We recommend that you
use a digital gauge.
Place the gauge on the platter (no record) and adjust the
counterweight for very little tracking force.
8.3
You must adjust the arm height, loosen the setscrews on right and rear of the round silver
base using the 5/64 Allen wrench supplied and turn the adjustment wheel above the base.
When the arm is parallel to the platter and the cartridge on the gauge lightly tighten the
screws.
8.4
If you do not make the arm parallel when on the gauge you will be between .2 to
.4 grams light or heavy when you are on the record. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!
8.5
Follow the gauge instructions and set the tracking force according to the cartridge
manufacturer’s recommendation. We recommend always going to the high side of tracking
force. High frequency vibrations on a light-tracking cartridge can cause more damage to
the grooves of a record than running a cartridge at a heavy setting.
8.6
Put a record on the platter and lower the arm using the adjustment in 8.4 so it is parallel
to the record. Now you will be tracking at the force you set and not a lighter or heavier
force. You can adjust VTA later on a personal basis but always begin with the tonearm
parallel to the record.
9.
Setting the Azimuth
9.1
Set a fireplace match or coffee stirrer (something light and about 6” long) into the groove
behind the mounting screws on the tonearm headshell.
9.2
If it is not level, use the supplied Allen wrench to loosen the setscrew on the
counterweight and rotate the counterweight around the shaft until the headshell is parallel
to the record. Be careful not to change the tracking force setting.
9
9.3
If you prefer you can rotate the azimuth ring to set azimuth instead of rotating the
counterweight.
9.4
Azimuth is the vertical orientation of the diamond stylus in the groove, if it is off the sound
will be tilted to the left or right channel and the balance will be off. Spending a little time
on this is well worth it because when it is right the focus on the music becomes laser like.
10.
Playing Records
10.1
Before playing a record, make sure that all of the tonearm screws are tight.
10.2
Place the black washer on the platter, then the record, then the record clamp. Always
turn off the turntable before installing the record clamp.
10.3
Press the power button on the motor. Sit down and enjoy listening to your records!
11.
General Use
11.1
Allow at least 20 hours of break-in time.
11.2
The motor will make some low-level noise. This will not get into the system. The motor
and bearings will become quieter as you use your Scout. Place the motor on a mouse pad
for better isolation.
11.3
If you notice hum in the system, remove the turntable to phono section interconnects and
replace them with very cheap, standard VCR interconnects. These are well shielded and
should eliminate the hum. If the hum goes away, get quality, well shielded interconnects.
10
11.4
After at least one year of use the platter bearing should be given 3 drops of 40 weight
motor oil and motor will need to be lubricated with 1 drop of 40-weight motor oil below the
black drive pulley and right on the brass piece.
11.5
You can experiment with mats but you need to adjust the VTA setting when doing this.
Additional Items Available from Your Dealer

The VPI Synchronous Drive System power supply provides a major increase in musicality by
feeding the synchronous motor in your table a perfectly stable wave form at the frequency
you choose. The SDS lets you change speed electronically.

300 RPM Scoutmaster motor

Classic aluminum platter (for Scout 1.1)

HR-X-Mini isolator feet
Possible Problems:

Noise in the system, a hum or buzz:
o

A pop on motor turn on or turn off:
o

In some systems the phono section is not well shielded and will pick up the EMF
created by the switch opening to turn off the turntable. If your system is like that you
can get into the habit of muting (the preferred method as you should really do that
anyways) or you can experiment with capacitors across the on-off switch. We supply
the table with a .001 microfarad cap, you can change it to a .01 microfarad cap and it
may eliminate or lower the problem to a tolerable level. BTW, judicious grounding will
many times solve this problem also.
Trembling of tonearm when playing records:
o

The answer is to ground the motor and system properly. A line filter that floats the
grounds will not allow proper grounding of the phono system, the phono system must
be grounded!!!!!! Phono is not like CD and if this is your first table or your return to
vinyl after a decade or so you must remember that phono amplification can be 1000
times higher than CD or streaming so any noise that gets into the system will be
amplified much, much more. Kill the noise with proper grounding and your system will
sound much better.
You have a uni-pivot tonearm, it sits on one point and is constantly moving with the
record grooves; spiraling in and out as the record center changes and moving up and
down with minute warps. It is perfectly normal and inaudible.
Sibilance and distortion in both channels:
o
Azimuth not set correctly or diamond stylus misaligned on cartridge. This is usually a
setup or cartridge issue, not a tonearm issue. It can also be caused by a tracking force
that is too light even if it reads correctly. Tracking force needed is determined by the
temperature in the room, below 70 degrees requires greater tracking force. We have
found almost all cartridges work and sound best at 72 degrees.
o
A 60 watt light put above a turntable in a cold room will heat up the cartridge just
enough to make it much more compliant and track better.
o
Before going crazy try a slightly higher tracking force, it usually solves all the problems
and zero in on the azimuth adjustment.
11
o

Distortion in left channel:
o

Too little anti-skate.
Noise at startup:
o

Too much anti-skate.
Distortion in right channel:
o

Another possibility is probably not as bad as the next photo but will definitely cause
distortion and sibilance even in small amounts.
We used to ship all tables pre 9-11 with talc powder in the bag with the belt. After 911 and the Anthrax scares we discontinued this. If you get a screeching sound on
startup just powder the drive belt and you will be fine.
Motor overheating:
o
It is perfectly normal for your 600 RPM AC motor to rise in temperature by 20 to 30
degrees, your motor is running properly. Too hot to touch is a motor running at too
high a voltage and you should check your line input, it may be above 117 volts. If it is,
a Variac (voltage variable transformer) or the SDS power supply will solve the
problem.
VPI Industries, Inc. Limited Warranty
VPI Industries, Inc. (VPI) warrants this unit against defects in materials and/or workmanship for
three (3) years from the date of purchase by the original retail purchaser. VPI’s sole obligation
under this warranty is limited to the repair or replacement, at VPI’s option, of any part(s) found
to be defective. VPI’s obligation to repair or replace defective parts is the purchaser’s sole and
exclusive remedy, and VPI shall not be liable for any direct or indirect injury and/or property
damage arising out of the use of the product or defect in or failure of the product.
This warranty does not extend to any unit whose serial number has been defaced or altered. Any
product that VPI determines causes a defect or malfunction due to incorrect installation,
modification, misuse, or servicing by the purchaser, or service technician not authorized by VPI to
perform such service will not be warranted. This warranty does not cover trivial or cosmetic
defects that do not impair the unit’s normal function.
VPI reserves the right to make changes in this product without assuming any obligation to install
such change in any product previously manufactured. This warranty to repair or replace defective
parts is in lieu of all other express or implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a
particular purpose. There are not warranties that extend beyond the description herein.
Some states do not allow exclusion of implied warranties or limitation of incidental or
consequential damages, so the above exclusion or limitations may not apply to you. This warranty
gives you specific legal rights, and you may also have other rights that vary from state to state.
Register your Product Online:
http://vpiindustries.com/warranty/
12
NOTES:
13
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