plasticpenguin

Stupid question: What's the difference...

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... in sound between a direct drive and a belt driven turntable?

Can hear the groans already: I should know the answer, but as I've only ever owned belt driven tables and never compared like-for-like. A mate used to own a JVC strobe DD table, but that was about 30 years ago.

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When I went from a Marantz TT15 to a Technics SL1210 I noticed a sense of solidity and good base.  

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Moderator

At one time I had seven decks. Some belt drive, a couple of idlers and a direct drive. I chose to keep the direct drive but, tbh, I could easily have lived with any of them and they all had their virtues. There is no definite right way, there are just good implementations and not, and hearing each in your own system is the only way to tell.

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3 hours ago, Andrei said:

sense of solidity

Almost cd player like...

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Belt drives are mostly made in European countries and turn clockwise. Direct drives are mostly made in Japan and so turn anti-clockwise.

Fact








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Super Wammer

I have a few of both types of drive, and my preference usually is for  quartz locked DD. Obviously speed stability is rock solid, which to my ears, and preference, seems to give a tighter bass.

I did build a belt drive TT with a 9kg platter, which did sound great, but there have been teething problems, with the motor ( no surprise there!). I must re-visit this project, I was going to add repelling magnets, to stop the load being so heavy(or none at all) on the bearing, and a more powerful motor.

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Posted (edited)

There's quite a bit more than how you make the platter go round which determines how a turntable will perform...but the quality of drive is fundamental to getting good results.

Both methods have their advocates and  both require excellent engineering in the critical areas to avoid the respective pitfalls.

In broad theory you need better control of both motor speed  and motor noise with direct drive because you don't have a compliant belt to help decouple the noisy motor from the bearing/platter and you don't have the flywheel effect of a heavy platter and  low torque drive  to even out  any minor speed wobbles.

This is not to say that belt drives are better...just that that they need the   money & technology to be concentrated in different areas of the design. 

And its been shown increasingly in recent years that belt drive turntables also remain very sensitive to the quality and stability  of the motor drive .

Edited by Smokestack
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There is good and bad in both technologies...….:geek:

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I've recently purchased a DD (Technics SL150) to see what all the fuss is about, and am waiting for the tonearm to arrive. I've always used belt drive tt's in the past, a Pink Triangle PTtoo is resident at present so will update when I can.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, plasticpenguin said:

... in sound between a direct drive and a belt driven turntable?

Can hear the groans already: I should know the answer, but as I've only ever owned belt driven tables and never compared like-for-like. A mate used to own a JVC strobe DD table, but that was about 30 years ago.

Like speakers, LP players are very flawed devices - each topology has it's advantages and downsides and ultimately it's down to cost and implementation

For turntables you should be looking at achieving the highest stable rotational speed with as little resonance as possible, all whilst isolating the platter from the external environment.

.

Years ago there was a thread about turntable speed analysis at PFM:

https://pinkfishmedia.net/forum/threads/turntable-speed-analysis.70027/

Edited by tuga
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1 hour ago, tuga said:

Like speakers, LP players are very flawed devices - each topology has it's advantages and downsides and ultimately it's down to cost and implementation

For turntables you should be looking at achieving the highest stable rotational speed with as little resonance as possible, all whilst isolating the platter from the external environment.

.

Years ago there was a thread about turntable speed analysis at PFM:

https://pinkfishmedia.net/forum/threads/turntable-speed-analysis.70027/

Thanks, tuga. I'll have a butchers later. :^

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What does stick out from my mates JVC TT was it spun faster than my Garrard at the time. So not sure which one was more accurate. The only other thing IIRC his Quartz DD table had more wow and flutter. It rumbled like a good'un.

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2 minutes ago, plasticpenguin said:

What does stick out from my mates JVC TT was it spun faster than my Garrard at the time. So not sure which one was more accurate. The only other thing IIRC his Quartz DD table had more wow and flutter. It rumbled like a good'un.

If I'm not mistaken, wow and flutter is related to speed staibility issues whilst ruble is low frequency resonance.

His JVC must have been :td: but is not illustrative of the topology.

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Good and poor examples of both exist, If I had to put a description to the sound of rim or direct drive, I think it would have to be relentless. This may well be down to the memories of various Technics and Gerrard's I have heard over the years. Both have flaws, just pick your poison and go with it.

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