Direct Drive V Belt Drive sound - demonstration

RobHolt

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Lots of opinions around on various forums about the generic differences in sound presentation between belt drives, idlers, direct drive and others.

There seems to be a general view today that direct drive sounds more assured, solid and stable, while belt lends itself to a more open, airier, looser presentation.

Some time ago I found this comparison of a Technics 1200/5 and Rega P5.

The demonstrator has used the same record, cartridge and phono stage on each TT and has very skilfully spliced segments of each TT output together to produce one single composite track. The image on the video changes as each TTs audio segment is played. It's a fascinating comparison since you can of course look away and do this truly blind to see if you can spot the swap.

Play at 720p through your hi-fi for best quality (320kbs) which is more than enough to reveal what should be quite obvious differences.

Enjoy!

[video=youtube_share;zGKUD9i9fjY]


 

bandit pilot

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Yep, the superior speed stability of the Techy over the P5 is rather obvious. Thanks for that. :^

 

rocky raccoon

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that is the worst thing I have ever heard. Thought I could hear a difference at the start (more air & space with the rega) and then irritation overcame me.

Nope. Listened again and I think we're being taken for a subtle tone controlled ride. And they're sending us up by making us listen to shite.

 

RobHolt

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Nope. Listened again and I think we're being taken for a subtle tone controlled ride. And they're sending us up by making us listen to shite.
Or it just could be that the people saying DD sounds so different to BD are wrong. I hesitate to say taking us for a ride.

Perhaps there simply isn't the sort of difference people assume between the drive types, and it simply boils down to good, bad and average TTs whatever the method of drive.

In this instance I think the music sounds equally shite on both.

What interests me is I'm not really picking up the effect of the rigid Rega arm, the compromise of the Techie's arm joints, the different mats, Rega wow, technics hunting, Rega running fast, etc ,etc.

So I think this needs further investigation.

 
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Mike P

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They sound different, not sure either sounds great. The music is hideously dreadful.

 

notevenclose

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The noise in question is by the Alan Parsons Project, from an album designed to expound the theory you can sharpen razor blades by placing them under Nagra power amps, or something like that.

Like a lot of 70s/early 80s concept albums, it's not dated terribly well, although of course it was further handicapped by being complete cack to begin with.

 
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MJ.

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I think I have ears made of fudge as I could discern no noticeable difference.

That could also explain the unusual phenomena that despite the fact my system is getting cheaper and cheaper it is sounding better and better :D

 

pure sound

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What is the characteristic sound of a DD turntable supposed to be? That of an SP10 Mk3, a Brinkmann Bardo, EMT 950 or some plasticy Akai item perched on top of a 70's stack system? What about the characteristc sound of a belt driven deck? Should we use the Tech Das Airforce One, a Thorens TD150 or a baby Pro-ject?

I'd have said it was too difficult to generalise about the characteristic sound of either kind of deck. There are too many other design factors that will influence the end result.

 

SergeAuckland

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Those as old as I am may remember a time when all a turntable had to do was go round at the right speed with minimal wow and flutter and rumble. The very idea of a turntable sounding different to another was rather a nonsense. Cartridges sound different, possibly phono stages, but not turntables.

Having had a lifetime of playing with turntables, I can't say that these ideas of the '60s are wrong. In this particular test, I can't hear any significant difference, even when I know the turntable has changed, and certainly not blind. Both are doing a decent job, and I also like Alan Parsons.........

I prefer unsuspended turntables, either direct or idler, but that's because I just don't like the bouncy-bouncy of suspended turntables, nothing to do with the sound. A good turntable is a good turntable whatver the drive method.

But then I'm not into the minutiae of sound reproduction, both are decent enough.

S

 

ob1

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The different is so tiny to my ears, the only way to compare this is to do the Rip into digital and play back through the main system.

still, thx Rob :^

 

RobHolt

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No worries. I wanted to spark some discussion around the topic as a precursor to perhaps a few of us getting together and doing something a little more thorough by way of experiment.

And with real music of course :)

I do think the stitching into a continuous file method and paying 'spot the join' is a nice way to do these comparisons.

What is the characteristic sound of a DD turntable supposed to be? That of an SP10 Mk3, a Brinkmann Bardo, EMT 950 or some plasticy Akai item perched on top of a 70's stack system? What about the characteristc sound of a belt driven deck? Should we use the Tech Das Airforce One, a Thorens TD150 or a baby Pro-ject?I'd have said it was too difficult to generalise about the characteristic sound of either kind of deck. There are too many other design factors that will influence the end result.
Agree entirely, Guy.

But I do read generalisations often about 'typical' characteristics of different drive methods, especially in magazine reviews.

It would be nice to experiment quantifying the effect of various design choices. Are they minor in effect and difficult to spot or fundamental and immediately obvious?

For this particular Youtube demo my interest was piqued as the Technics is often cited as having excellent drive, grip and stability thanks to its excellent DD system, while the fairly lowly Rega is often picked out (unfairly IME) for having audible speed issues.

I think a fixed motor (important) RP3 compared to a Bardo using the same very high end cartridge would make an interesting comparison.

Captured at high resolution using music people actually like....

 

pure sound

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Like a lot of 70s/early 80s concept albums, it's not dated terribly well, although of course it was further handicapped by being complete cack to begin with.
A contender for Wam Album Club record of the week surely?

 

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