SOTA Eclipse Questions

SOTA Eclipse Questions

Postby Dorian » Wed Jun 10, 2020 4:58 pm

Hi all

I've had three different members PM me with questions about the SOTA Eclipse package. It seems to be garnering some attention lately, most likely due to the excellent write up from Vienna Acoustics about his experiences with the BLDC motor and controller in his rim drive.

I thought I would create this post to answer the questions that I've received so far for everyone's benefit, and also to answer any additional questions people might have.

To recap my situation, I previously owned the Phoenix Engineering Eagle and Roadrunner combo, which served me very well for a couple of years. The main reason I was looking to upgrade was that I found the Eagle's amplifier unit generated a lot of what I will call "chatter" - something that sounded like digital interference through my speakers. I was able to eliminate most of this noise by moving the amplifier as far away from the table as possible and also by grounding it to my amp. The fact that the SOTA Condor runs without one of those amps, and also the purported reduced vibration from the BLDC motor, were the main motivations for my upgrade. So I sold the Eagle and its amp, replaced it with the SOTA Condor and its new BLDC motor, and kept the Roadrunner Tachometer as it works with the Condor.

Here are answers to the questions that I've received.

Q: How do you like the upgrade?
A: It's great! The Condor does not generate any of that digital chatter that the Eagle's amp did. The system is overall noticeably quieter, which allows me to hear significantly more detail and nuance, in particular at lower volume levels. The music seems to flow better too and sounds 'smoother' overall in a good way, more liquid and less mechanical.

Q: What physical modifications were required to the motor pod (aka SAMA or stand-alone motor assembly)?
A: The Condor's motor is taller than the stock Hurst motor. The screws affixed to the top of the motor were not in exactly the same place as stock motor, so the SAMA's stock top plate would not fit. Also, the electronics connected to the SAMA's on/off button are no longer required, as the motor is controlled from the Condor. I removed the button electronics myself, but couldn't get the motor to fit so I sent it off to SOTA. They machined out the inside bottom of the SAMA to make more room for the taller motor and modified the top plate to allow the screws to align properly. They also removed the stock AC plug and replaced it with a custom mounting plate for the Condor motor's three pin connector. The mods all worked great and the SAMA looks stock from the outside, apart from the custom mounting plate for the motor connector. I ran it for a while with the standard SOTA pulley and one belt, but once SOTA made a VPI-specific pulley that allows two belts to run I added that. The only other mod necessary was taller feet on the SAMA in order to run the two-belt pulley; I bought these from Amazon and they align perfectly. Photos of SAMA with all mods below.

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Q: What is the size of the Condor motor, motor shaft, etc?
A: Refer to this technical drawing on the SOTA site.

Q: How tall is the new Prime pulley and did you pay extra for it?
A: SOTA makes two lengths, ~1" and ~1.5". I originally bought the 1.5" but it was too tall, so returned it for the 1". Cost was $35 plus $10 shipping.

Hope this is helpful. Any other questions let me know.

Dorian.
Last edited by Dorian on Wed Jun 10, 2020 11:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
VPI Prime | Ortofon A95 | Herron VTPH-2A | Luxman590axii Integrated | KEF Reference 1 | SOTA Condor & Roadrunner | Audio Sensibility Cables | Symposium Ultra | AQ Niagara 3000 | Stillpoints LPI | Focal Clear
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Re: SOTA Eclipse Questions

Postby powermatic » Wed Jun 10, 2020 5:16 pm

Thanks Dorian, great write up, thanks for taking the time and effort!
So, if you hadn't bought taller feet for your motor pod would the 1 1/2" tall pulley have been appropriate?
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Re: SOTA Eclipse Questions

Postby madrac » Wed Jun 10, 2020 6:28 pm

Thanks, Dorian.

I'm curious about this mod, as well. I've emailed SOTA to see if it would be possible to retrofit to my Classic. I'll update here when I hear back in case any other members with Classics are interested.
VPI Classic 1-Fatboy, VTA tower,periphery ring,PE Eagle & RR, HW16.5, VAS NOVA, Soundsmith Paua, Manley Chinook, Bob's SUT, Rogue RP5 & ST100, Sierra Towers w/ RAAL, Rythmik E15HPx2, Audio Sensibility, Blue Jeans ICs, Symposium & Isoacoustics
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Re: SOTA Eclipse Questions

Postby edw » Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:48 pm

Dorian:

Thanks for your review. I've been considering the SOTA Eclipse from your original long thread a while back. I see the schematic for the motor and the shaft's length but not the thickness of the shaft. Do you know?

[EDIT]
Never mind, I happened to find Bill's old post on the Condor motor...

Phoenix Engineering wrote:@Jonathanb- The new motor has a ¼" shaft where the Hurst motors are either 1/8" or 3/16" so the VPI pulleys will not work. The motor also runs at 600 RPM and HRX pulley is for 300 RPM.
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Re: SOTA Eclipse Questions

Postby vienna acoustics » Wed Jun 10, 2020 11:21 pm

Very clean modification Dorian and nice write up.
It seems that we share the same positive experience.
!
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Re: SOTA Eclipse Questions

Postby vienna acoustics » Wed Jun 10, 2020 11:28 pm

madrac wrote:Thanks, Dorian.

I'm curious about this mod, as well. I've emailed SOTA to see if it would be possible to retrofit to my Classic. I'll update here when I hear back in case any other members with Classics are interested.


If this retrofit is feasible, then I suspect that you will experience even more dramatic sound improvement since your motor is housed in your plinth.
!
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Re: SOTA Eclipse Questions

Postby edw » Wed Jun 10, 2020 11:33 pm

I recall someone installing an Eclipse package on their HW19 so I would think it would work on a Classic.

Just ordered the Eclipse package with new aluminum motor pod. :mrgreen:
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Re: SOTA Eclipse Questions

Postby vienna acoustics » Thu Jun 11, 2020 12:12 am

edw wrote:I recall someone installing an Eclipse package on their HW19 so I would think it would work on a Classic.

Just ordered the Eclipse package with new aluminum motor pod. :mrgreen:


Edw, I know how much you wanted this mod. Congratulations and please let us know on your impressions
!
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Re: SOTA Eclipse Questions

Postby Ducky » Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:29 am

Just saw this on SOTA's facebook page. Looks like they are getting close to having a stand-alone motor housing available for VPI tables.


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Re: SOTA Eclipse Questions

Postby edw » Thu Jun 11, 2020 10:12 am

vienna acoustics wrote:Edw, I know how much you wanted this mod. Congratulations and please let us know on your impressions


Thanks. I am looking forward to seeing/hearing the difference in measurements/listening for myself.


Ducky wrote:Just saw this on SOTA's facebook page. Looks like they are getting close to having a stand-alone motor housing available for VPI tables.


Yes, I think they are close. Maybe my standalone aluminum motor is there. LOL.
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