Belt or direct drive turntables...

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plasticpenguin

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...what's the fundamental difference?

Reason for asking is I've always owned belt drive. The last DD was either a JVC or Pioneer back in the early 80s. What are the pros and cons of both?

My overriding memory is the DD, compared to my Garrard, had a lot of flutter.

Cheers 

 

lazycat

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A decent turntable will keep speed accurately without any/much noise. I don't think it matters about the drive.

Having said that, and having owned a LP12 for over 25 years previously, folk can take my Technics from my cold, dead hands.

 
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MVJ

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I have had a belt drive TT for many years of various makes & last year changed to a latest Technics SL-1200G DD due to my age & loss of dexterity and the speed is rock solid compared to belt drives that need checking/servicing on a regular basis DD is plug & play.

 
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Rockchild

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All have there benefits and pitfalls and sonic signatures. It’s personal preference and ease of use to suit the owner.

I purchased a direct drive washing machine for its longevity and how quite it is. Can’t comment on the wow and flutter tho 😜

 

CnoEvil

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I was of the HiFi generation that was groomed in the 70s and 80s to believe "Belt" was good and "Direct" was bad. IIRC. Something to do with the belt isolating the motor. As a result, I only owned Belt Drive, as anything else wasn't proper HiFi.

I now believe that was complete bollox.

 

Beobloke

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It’s true to say that all three methods have their pros and cons. Equally, it’s true to say that it’s less about how you do it, but more how well you do it.

But given that, we all know direct drive is best.

wink.png


 

MVJ

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I was of the HiFi generation that was groomed in the 70s and 80s to believe "Belt" was good and "Direct" was bad. IIRC. Something to do with the belt isolating the motor. As a result, I only owned Belt Drive, as anything else wasn't proper HiFi.

I now believe that was complete bollox.
I had belt drive for the same reason DD was for dj's & discos...😳😳😳

 

Nifkin

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For DJing purposes direct drive, like on an SL-1210, are preferred as they start up more quickly than belt drive.

 

plasticpenguin

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TBH, the only DDs I heard decades ago were very affordable models.

Love the retro look of the Pro-ject and in isolation sounds absolutely fine. No worries there.

Think the last DD I heard had a strobe light to get the speed right. But it was so long ago the memory is hazy.

 

CnoEvil

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I had belt drive for the same reason DD was for dj's & discos...😳😳😳
Exactly that.

It was the same nonsense that said Naim + LP12 was the pinnacle of HiFi ownership and that Japanese Amps with their flashing lights and extra knobs, were a trap to snare the gullible - as austere, no-nonsense British brands actually sounded much better.

 
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DomT

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As has been said there are pros and cons of all approaches and good and bad examples of each.  These days people and the media are more objective about the differences. It really is a case of having a listen.  Speed stability is critical but whilst I had £5000 to spend on a motor unit recently I didn't end up with a D/D, it was belt drive, and thats because we all have differing criteria.  But if I was starting from scratch and wanted something stress free on a lower budget I would probably get a new d/d Technics.  One really isn't better than the other; it just depends.

Fortunately there are dealers that seem to have both d/d and belt drive and so it should be easy enough to get a demo.

 
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AJSki2fly

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Having heard one of these if I had the dosh I would probably be going for one of these.

https://www.stereophile.com/content/brinkmann-audio-bardo-turntable  

I disagree with the report on the reproduction of bass, I found it very, very good. The timing and rhythm were stunning. The only alternative belt drive might be a SME 20/12 or possibly a Brinkmann but then it is getting rather expensive.

 
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Nifkin

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For DJing purposes direct drive, like on an SL-1210, are preferred as they start up more quickly than belt drive.
I imagine their robustness when transported/knocked about a bit is also important.
Yes but we're talking specifically about the type of drive here, not build quality. You could get imitation 1210s that are robust enough to be chucked in the back of a Transit, etc, but we're belt drive, so weren't as sought after as the Technics originals.

 
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