My New "Prime Scout Supreme"

Re: My New "Prime Scout Supreme"

Postby Mat » Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:35 am

Yeah that all kind of worked out nicely :)

The gimbal option will be a great choice for anyone who is just not feeling the unipivot. Still working out the details on what we are going to do but so far it looks like we are only going to run it as a 10"... potentially with the Reference wire as standard and have it as an add on that can be easily used on any turntable (VPI or others). But we are locking in the finer details now :)

Love the pics!!!
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Re: My New "Prime Scout Supreme"

Postby dodgealum » Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:38 pm

Hey Mat:

Just a quick "shout out" for the 3D-10 Gimbaled arm now that I've had a month to play with it....First off, let me say that I am getting some really good sound with this package. Because the upgrades are numerous--we did not simply swap arms (3D-10 UNI for the 3D-10 Gimbal)--I am unable to make a direct comparison between the two (both are excellent performers). That said, I love the feel of the 3D-10 Gimbal and it seems to synergize very well with the new Prime Scout chassis. What I'm noticing is a very low noise floor (jet black) coupled with a more refined sound (more detailed yet laid back at the same time--probably lower distortion). The bass goes deeper and is more tuneful and the high frequencies are as good (if not a tiny bit better--more natural shimmer and sparkle--maybe attributable to the Nordost wire). The biggest difference, however, is with the transient response--more authentic and real sounding. There is much more natural leading edge information and a more sustained decay than with the other set up. Also, the imaging appears to be more stable, focused and three dimensional. Overall, I think this set up pushes into rarefied territory and produces sound that approaches the best front ends I have had the good fortune to hear since I've been at this--25 years now??!! The 3D-10 Gimbaled arm gives your customers another way forward to top tier sound and I would encourage anyone who might find the unipivot a little finicky to consider one--I am pretty confident it gives up nothing in performance to the best unipivot you offer--perhaps with the exception of the "fat boy" which I have not yet had the chance to hear. Thanks again for working with me to make this a reality. I could not be happier with the result!!
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Re: My New "Prime Scout Supreme"

Postby tom_hankins » Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:56 am

I love the look of the 3D Gimbaled arm!
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Re: My New "Prime Scout Supreme"

Postby WntrMute » Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:56 pm

dodgealum wrote:The Arm: The new VPI-production version (first off the line!) of the 10" gimbald "Levinson" arm with a robust bearing housing made from stainless steel (rather than aluminum), ABEC 9 bearings, 3D arm tube and threaded fine adjust counterweight. The arm is mounted to the VTA tower which sits on a custom spacer made from high density tool steel (the spacer alone weighs about 3 pounds--my dad is a machinist so this was his contribution!) so the arm is elevated to the proper height for the Prime platter. Nordost Reference wire for the tonearm and RCA junction box. The new "American" arm lift rounds out the package.


I'm trying to get some additional info on your arm as I've approached HW at his workshop for a quote on a 12.7 replacement.
How do you adjust azimuth on your arm?
Is anti-skate available and is it just twisting the wire or can you use something more sophisticated?
Were you able to compare the new arm to a similar standard VPI arm with or without the dual pivot mod?
Looks very cool BTW!
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Re: My New "Prime Scout Supreme"

Postby dodgealum » Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:38 am

Hey There:

The azimuth is adjusted from the underside of the arm tube using a set screw. You simply loosen the set screw and rotate the 3D arm tube relative to the stainless steel inner sleeve. You can use either the string and weight anti-skate OR the wire twist. Unlike the Levinson arm, the VPI version has the wire exiting the stainless steel portion of the arm tube at the top like the other VPI arms. I am (and have always preferred) using the wire twist method. I have not done a direct comparison of the 3D-10 and the 3D-Gimbaled arms. I ran a 3D-10 for a year with the same cartridge I am using now (ART 9) but that combination was mounted on an old style Scout plinth with the original 300rpm motor housing and feet. Also, the 3D-10 had the standard Discovery wire instead of the Nordost Reference wire. So, not an apples to apples comparison of the 3D-10 unipivot versus the 3D-10 gimbal. That said, the new set up is significantly better across the board and I love the functionality of the gimbaled arm. Not sure if the 3D gimbal will be available in 12" however, that would be for Harry and the team to answer. Hope this helps your quest.
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Re: My New "Prime Scout Supreme"

Postby WntrMute » Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:13 pm

dodgealum wrote:Hey There:

The azimuth is adjusted from the underside of the arm tube using a set screw. You simply loosen the set screw and rotate the 3D arm tube relative to the stainless steel inner sleeve. You can use either the string and weight anti-skate OR the wire twist. Unlike the Levinson arm, the VPI version has the wire exiting the stainless steel portion of the arm tube at the top like the other VPI arms. I am (and have always preferred) using the wire twist method. I have not done a direct comparison of the 3D-10 and the 3D-Gimbaled arms. I ran a 3D-10 for a year with the same cartridge I am using now (ART 9) but that combination was mounted on an old style Scout plinth with the original 300rpm motor housing and feet. Also, the 3D-10 had the standard Discovery wire instead of the Nordost Reference wire. So, not an apples to apples comparison of the 3D-10 unipivot versus the 3D-10 gimbal. That said, the new set up is significantly better across the board and I love the functionality of the gimbaled arm. Not sure if the 3D gimbal will be available in 12" however, that would be for Harry and the team to answer. Hope this helps your quest.


Thanks for the info. I am dealing with Harry through his workshop and he can put together the 12 inch gimbaled arm. I was having trouble with my T-3 linear tracking arm getting stuck on record after record and no amount of fooling with it resulted in improvement. I have a 12.7 metal arm but I never have been a fan of VPI's unipivot for no good reason and so I was investigating the gimbaled 12 inch arm. I was really digging his earlier model that released with a single pin but this new gimbal bothers me aesthetically for some reason. I've resolved the sticking issue so I'm not quite as motivated as I was 2 weeks ago. I will probably go through with the new arm and see which sounds better.
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