Verus Vs Rim Drive

Last night my friend Vic came around we been planning to evalute the two versions of Idler Drive for awhile. It was a great evening but ultimately I came away a bit frustrated by this as the leap from belt drive to rim drive was a big leap I supect our findings are do to belt slippage on the rim drive anyway please read the review. Please bear in mind the rim drive does a good job it just that the Verus does it better.

Teres Verus Drive Vs VPI rim drive
Idler drive systems have been around for years. There have been many variations including Garrard, Lenco, EMT, Thorens and Rek-O-Cut. Generally this type of drive has had issues with rumble, but over time due to good plinth design principles, people have managed to work through them and take these turntables to heights no one really knew they were capable off. This has sparked a whole field of DIY interest in Idler drive, as for very little outgoing, it is possible to get extremely high performance.
It was only a matter of time that mainstream Manufactures came to this realization & started to introduce this type of drive into their ranges. Both Teres and VPI have introduced their own variations.
The major issue with Idler drives is rumble from the motor reaching the platter. Good isolation & mass plinths can decrease this. Both Teres and VPI use different means to overcome this issue. The Verus uses a low noise, slowly rotating DC Motor with precision ground O-ring, while the VPI uses belts & a huge flywheel. The Verus is unusual insofar as the motor drives the platter direct: there is no interim idler, belts or springs……….. just a pulley on the motor shaft that rests against the platter by force of gravity.
A few months ago I heard the 401 on a slate deck using the Terminator arm; I was very impressed with the sound. Vic (of Trans-Fi Audio) also uses a similar set up with Terminator tonearm plus a ZYX R 100H Cartridge. Initially I was going to get a 401 but decided to get the Super Scoutmaster due to its better bearing and platter. For me it seemed to make sense if I was going down the VPI route to stick with the same design.
I was initially told that all the equipment would take 6 weeks (Super Scout SDS Mini Feet and Duel Rim drive Motor) It took 10 weeks due to VPI staff holidays I do not mind waiting the extra time just want more accurate information.
Vic also experienced rumble from his Verus motor which was traced to an uneven O-ring. Teres give instructions on how to even this out & it took him several goes to finally create a rumble-free ring!
The VPI rim drive is easy to set up and presented no real issues. The Motor has the new belts and feet recently introduced. It now takes less time to settle and there are no issues with movement which was a problem on the first units. I hope VPI continues to pass on improvements to the Rim drive as it gradually develops.
The set up
Super Scoutmaster Turntable with the old lead TNT platter. Trans-Fi Terminator Linear tracking Arm ZXY R100H Cartridge SDS power supply. ZXY R100H Cartridge Whest PS30DT YS Audio A2SE PS Audio P500 SAC KT88 Glowmaster power amplifier and Wharfedale Opus 3 Loudspeakers.
Teres Verus drive with power Supply
VPI Rim drive with SDS

The Verus uses a 40 Watt 3 phase synchronous DC motor with a very sophisticated power supply. Please check the Verus site for more details

The Rim Drive uses a dual flywheel motor to turn the drive around. This has two motors driving a flywheel which the rim runs off. It’s powered by the SDS which allows control up to 100 of a Hertz.

Spinning the vinyl
Finally…..what it’s all about!
We played a few tracks LPs that Vic brought in and then some records that I know well.
With the VPI motor spinning the platter, Vic put on Massive Attack & immediately felt the bass sounded boomy & lacked definition. Not being too familiar with my setup, he suspected it was the bass reflex speakers.
Similarly with Sade, which has some very tuneful rich bass, Vic felt the texture he was used to wasn’t there.

We then substituted the VPI for the Verus. This had to be a bit of a bodge as we were dismayed to learn the overhang was not sufficient to reach the platter. We had to use a book & create our own ‘Leaning Tower of Pisa’ to create contact! Hardly ideal! We felt at the time this arrangement would not do the Verus justice. VPI owners beware!

In spite of the awkward setup, we instantly both felt the bass was cleaner on the Verus. This was obvious no matter what genre of music we played through the system. But it was not only the bass that improved………..also the top end keyboards were cleaner, as were guitar notes, allowing you to clearly hear what technique the musician was using. Al DiMeola’s percussive picking really stood out in a way I never heard before on Egyptian Danza!
On the Nick Drake Cello Song, the bongos were real. You could hear everything Nick was doing on guitar, and the cello came through with no sense of overhang. In contrast, the VPI rim was slightly darker & not quite as focused.

Later on I played Metrolopolis by Dream Theater. A piece of music I know particularly well. The kick drums seemed more powerful while the guitar riffs were clearer.

Similarly, with Vics records the rich texture on the bass of Sade was restored. There is a lot of background detail relating to percussive elements & hi-hats that were just audible with the VPI, but with the Verus, they came right to the front.

The bass on Massive Attack’s SLY, which was bloated before and Vic attributed to the speakers, suddenly had a percussive start to it, a textured middle & distinctive end! These were not subtle differences either, but like night & day.

I came in thinking that there would not be a lot of difference between the Verus and Rim drive but have to reluctantly admit, I prefer the Verus in terms of sound. I think for my turntable, the Rim drive looks a better solution, but in sonic terms the Verus takes you closer to the real event. To be quite honest, I wanted the VPI Rim Drive to win just for my own piece of mind. I am still happy with my rim drive and will not be getting rid of it easily outperforms my belt drive, but if I was to do it all again I would go down a different path!
It's nice that someone actually compared these two rim drive systems. In theory the Verus should be the more speed-stable of the two, owing to the lack of compliant rubber belts in the drive-train.

What do you think of the Trans-Fi Terminator linear tonearm? I've been considering one as an alternative to my Graham 1.5tc.
Nice review. I need to run up to Teres and Versus to try with my Pro-ject RM10. I haven't read a bad word about it, except with the potential problems with the O-rings. (Seems like they would nail a solution down on that and not leave it up to a crap shoot).

Being a Scoutmaster owner, I waited for a year for the VPI Rim Drive. Finally gave up and went with the Verus. I had the motor/flywheel combo. When I got the Verus set up, I was immediately happy with the overall improvement. As you mentioned, the height of the Verus makes it a little tricky unless you don't use or want the outer ring. The smaller motor is the only one in that case that works with the Scoutmaster, and I temporarily, (or so I thought), put the motor on top of a piece of plywood. Haven't gotten around to trying something else under it but also not sure it would make much difference really.
I've had no problems with rumble or the O-ring. Adjusting the speed took some time.
I strongly recommend the Verus. Looks and sounds good with the Scoutmaster.
Yes I think its the speed stabilty that gives the Verus the edge in terms of performance. It seems like a lot of design and thought has gone into the speed controller. I really wish my findings were different but there is a noticeable change in sound quality.
The Terminator is a fantastic arm and has plenty of bass I can totally recommend the arm, have a read of Clive review on Enjoy the music I agree with every word he says or Trans Fi web site (Clients corner). What makes the Terminator so special is the inverted V block it allows you to use short wands so decreasing the amount of resonace picked up. I heard a lot of arms and this is eaisly one of the best
Thank you for the review,
I am looking into getting a Verus for my Aries 3. From pictures it looks like The Aries 3 has more platter overhang than the Super Scoutmaster which would eliminate the problem of not enough reach with the Verus. My platter overhangs the Aries 3 plinth by approx. 1.25 inches.
What is the platter overhang on a Super Scoutmaster?

I use the old lead TNT platter so maybe different with a standard Super Scoutmaster but having a quick look at the distance between edge of platter and the plinth about 10mm (about 0.4inch)
The overhang isn't the issue. It only stands a little over 4". The overhang of the drive on the motor is around 1/2". You'll have to raise the motor to reach the platter. Mine doesn't lean at all and it's not necessary to either. I'm using the Superplatter on mine with no problems. Reaches speed quicker than the combo fly/motor
I can see where overhang is not an issue with a scoutmaster or Aries 3 but would be with a Super Scoutmaster. The Super Scoutmaster does not have a cutout in the plinth where the motor goes. Thanks for the overhang measurment of the motor.

The standard Verus motor drive wheel overhangs the motor pod by 0.4". We have an optional drive wheel that is larger with an overhang of 0.8" that works with the Scoutmaster.
Thanx for an informative test. I am considering the Teres Verus for my VPI TNT upgraded mk3 with superplatter.
Gut_man Think the Verus would take the VPI TNT with superplatter up with the very best
As I read this post I got to wondering if Johnjc's Rim drive was set up properly. It is my understanding that the VPI Rim drive can be fussy and needs to be set up just right. I have heard that the proper set up for the Rim Drive is that the drive barely touches the platter, and that when the motor is shut off, the platter should continue to turn around one or two rotations. I have recently acquired the Super Scoutmaster Ref with Rim drive, but I am still working on getting it sounding its best. So, I just set the Rim Drive so I get one or two platter rotations after it is shut off. My analysis of minute Rim Drive set up is just going to have to wait until my other performance goals are realized. So, the question is, was Johnjc's VPI Rim Drive fully optimized before comparisons were made?
Agree with Jbcello, VPI rim drive is quite fussy to setup.

first, you need to make sure the belt sits in the "rim" evenly. this is easier said than done. if belt is not seated evenly, speed will vary.

second, the spacing between motor and platter is very sensitive. too close, you will hear motor rumble. too far, pitch will vary. I found VPI's initial recommendation of ~1 revolution of free spin after power off is too far and can introduce pitch variation especially if belt is not seated in the rim evenly.

play a piano solo record and you will know if you have the rim drive properly setup. but once setup, the transient attack is significantly better than old SSM motor with belt.
I thought I would check in to see if anyone else could comment on the teres verus vpi combo...any comments would be much appreciated...
I was just about to write about how fussy the rim drive is to set up when I read those other posts. My VPI rim drive is quite fabulous now, but I've been tweeking it for about a year....different feet on motor drive...different Oring on the rim drive, with extreme care in installing it as not to twist it while doing so, making absolutely sure the motor drive and the platter are on the same plane, etc., etc.,etc. One of the best things about the rim drive I find is the absolute clarity and pitch tunefulness of the bass...not bloated at all. I have not heard the Teres motor, but if you are willing to come to Scottsdale, Arizona, lets have another shootout.
Just so we are clear on this the VPI drive is not a true rim drive by definition. It still uses belts to drive the rim so technically this is NOT A RIM TRUE DRIVE but a typical get on board and sell what somebody has designed (ALL VPI TURNTABLES are direct copies from other previous designs)already to keep making money off others paid for engineering designs.
I lived with the VPI rim drive for a couple years and found it to be a big improvement over complete belt drive. I agree with Stingreen on that point. It can sound quite good but is very tweaky and sensitive to set up. YMMV but in my opinion it only hints at what a good direct drive can do with just the push of a button. A well set up Technics mkII or mklll not only beats this but never drifts off speed or Boggs down. It's like living with a toy record player that performs like a SOTA design costing tens of thousands.
Ha_ha_he_man: "a typical get on board and sell what somebody has designed already to keep making money off others paid for engineering designs."