Direct Drive versus Belt Drive

vmscbe1974

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Dear Friends

Iam confused in buying the kind of turntable.

1. Is a Direct Drive better to Belt Drive in terms of maintainence and performance.

2. Rumble , Wow and Flutter comparison

3. what models are better in both Types

4. Suggest me a solution.

Regards
Srinivas
 

marsilians

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Suggest a budget please unless you have unlimited funds, then you would not be wasting your precious time on this forum :)

Reason is that there is a huge no. of choices for each kind with wide ranging price points. Direct drive probably gives best sound output from theones I have listed to. The Audio-Technica AT-PL120 though cheaper is very popular amongst starter into analogue music. nice thing is that it comes with a pre amp. Denon 500M is good as well. Technics, Thorens and LInn are obviously big names.

Purists prefer the disconnect between the drive and phono (i.e, belt drives) Clear Audio, Rega and Marantz are some big time names for these models.
 
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flanker.r

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Direct drive TTs have made tremendous progress. There are as many badly designed belt drive TTs as there are their direct drive counterparts.

Decent Direct drives offer speed stability that are hard to match by belt driven ones. Belts by their inherent nature are not 100% efficient in power transfer.

Consider the Technics SL-1200 whe you go out to audition. Very few TTs can match the performance provided by the 1200, of course at that price range .....

to answer your questions

1. Maintainence : yes a DD is easier to maintain esp in a country like India where belts can crack, sag, melt due to our weather conditions
Performance: Depends. I would favor DD and would go for one anyday

2. Rumble, Wow and Flutter: flutter can be ignored in TTs. Its more applicable to tapes. Badly designed DD can have rumble but good ones like SL-1200 have lesser rumble than lots of BDs. Wow is almost non-existent and undetectable in designs such as the SL-1200 as it is controlled by a quartz locked PLL giving rock steady speeds

3. DD- SL-1200, Sl-1200, SL-1200 (any version) as long as its a SL-1200
BD - Project III, Rega, Clear audio are good

4. I think the 4th question is answered

Welcome to the vinyl world!
 

vmscbe1974

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Dear sir,

30k is my budget
Regards
Srinivas




Suggest a budget please unless you have unlimited funds, then you would not be wasting your precious time on this forum :)

Reason is that there is a huge no. of choices for each kind with wide ranging price points. Direct drive probably gives best sound output from theones I have listed to. The Audio-Technica AT-PL120 though cheaper is very popular amongst starter into analogue music. nice thing is that it comes with a pre amp. Denon 500M is good as well. Technics, Thorens and LInn are obviously big names.

Purists prefer the disconnect between the drive and phono (i.e, belt drives) Clear Audio, Rega and Marantz are some big time names for these models.
 

marsilians

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Dear sir,

30k is my budget
Regards
Srinivas

Thats a decent budget to land a TT. So now you have to think between the two types. For sake of stability yet with very good quality, the direct drive is a pretty good choice. Visit some audio stores and get a feel for how they perform. Also check to see the rate of failure as thats one of the biggest dilemmas with older TTs if it is not taken care of well in a household with children.

Plus pricing for cartridges and tone arms etc. should also be points for communication.
 

rsud

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Direct drive TTs have made tremendous progress. There are as many badly designed belt drive TTs as there are their direct drive counterparts.

2. Rumble, Wow and Flutter: flutter can be ignored in TTs. Its more applicable to tapes. Badly designed DD can have rumble but good ones like SL-1200 have lesser rumble than lots of BDs. Wow is almost non-existent and undetectable in designs such as the SL-1200 as it is controlled by a quartz locked PLL giving rock steady speeds


Welcome to the vinyl world!

I'll personally vote against direct drive. The issue with quartz locked drives is that they are always correcting speed which induces vibration to the platter as the motor constantly adjusts. Belt drives are better because they mostly (but not totally) decouple the platter from motor vibrations.

Yes, welcome to the Vinyl world (though I am an old guy who never left).
 

prashant_dv

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Consider the Technics SL-1200 whe you go out to audition. Very few TTs can match the performance provided by the 1200, of course at that price range .....

Hi Flanker.r

Where exactly are the Technics available for purchase ? I have been checking them for quite a while now.. any price range that the SL 1200 series that you are aware of.

//Prashant
 

rsud

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Hi Flanker.r

Where exactly are the Technics available for purchase ? I have been checking them for quite a while now.. any price range that the SL 1200 series that you are aware of.

//Prashant

If you are buying a turntable because you appreciate the sound quality of vinyl and analogue DO NOT BUY this turntable.

Instead, a good place to start is a Rega turntable for similar price (p1 or p2 or higher if you can afford more).

For starters, just by the picture I can tell the the geometry of the arm is off on this technics thing. All low end turntable manufacturors do this to save an inch of material (in $$) because a properly placed arm would be a little further from the platter.
 

venkatcr

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If you are buying a turntable because you appreciate the sound quality of vinyl and analogue DO NOT BUY this turntable.

RSud, I am curious. I don't know much about TT, excepting for fact that I used to own a Dual TT with Ortofon Concorde Cartridge. I played The Wall so many time, I could literally see through the record.

Back to the point. The Technics TTs seems to have a cult following and I have read many people swear by it. The basic Technics mechanism seems to be some sort of de facto standard for DJs. So I am curious you are saying it is not good.

Cheers
 
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grubyhalo

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If you are buying a turntable because you appreciate the sound quality of vinyl and analogue DO NOT BUY this turntable.

Though I have not listened to the SL extensively, IMHO, it is a very good starter TT and according to many people I know who use it virtually as their defacto source, you can upgrade the tone-arm, add an arm-damper and the SL can sound better than the low end Regas. Is there anything in the sound of the SL that has you less enthused about it?
 

stevieboy

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RSud, I am curious. I don't know much about TT, excepting for fact that I used to own a Dual TT with Ortofon Concorde Cartridge. I played The Wall so many time, I could literally see through the record.

Back to the point. The Technics TTs seems to have a cult following and I have read many people swear by it. The basic Technics mechanism seems to be some sort of de facto standard for DJs. So I am curious you are saying it is not good.

Cheers

hi venkatcr,

a turntable that is good for a dj will not necessarily be good for home audio listening. i forget the exact reasons why but dj tt's have certain qualities that make it easy for a dj to adjust speed on the fly, back scratch, cue lps to a particular song or spot easily etc., features which are needed when they're playing live but which are of no concern in home audio. a home audio tt would have features like better arms, better platters etc all aimed towards bettering the sound quality.

re the original question an idler drive would be best, reputed to have dynamism and a 'there' quality to the sound cos of the high torque of the platter, belt drives are basically plug and play easy to set up and get going. good examples of each can be found. havent had a direct drive so no comments on that type of tt.

regards
 

hifiashok

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nice thread. am in a similar boat, contemplating the vinyl foray.

however, no clear decisions as yet.

the range suggested is:-

Rega P1
Pro-jekt Debut 3 (Phono SB, or w/o with separate phono maybe from NAD/Lyrita)
Pro-jekt Genie (RPM1) or Genie 2
Music Hall MMF 2.1
Technics SL-D3/SL1200 Mk2/SL1210 Mk2
Dual HS52 (1218)
Thorens TD125
Phillips 242
Denon DP300F
AudioTechnica PL50/AT-PL120
Sherwood PM-9805

Linn Majik LP12 (starter, hi-end)

It is possible some of the a/m are not available any longer, esp. in India.

Leaning toward Pro-jekt Debut 3 and Denon DP300F.
 

rsud

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RSud, I am curious. I don't know much about TT, excepting for fact that I used to own a Dual TT with Ortofon Concorde Cartridge. I played The Wall so many time, I could literally see through the record.

Back to the point. The Technics TTs seems to have a cult following and I have read many people swear by it. The basic Technics mechanism seems to be some sort of de facto standard for DJs. So I am curious you are saying it is not good.

Cheers

I'm glad you asked but the overall answer is a bit long...

But in a nutshell, DJs don't have the same criteria in mind for music reproduction as a home music listener would have. For example DJs want to cue records back to back, fade from one to the next, play backwards, etc. none of which you will be doing in at home.

For home audio you want a turntable designed to minimize distortion affects inherent to TT. These include proper geometry (DJs go for short arms for easier record cueing but this is bad geometry), good suspension system to minimize external vibrations (DJs need firm platter to quickly place records and this is bad for vibration control), belt drive to minimize vibrations from the motor (DJs want the quick spin up of direct drive which is bad for motor induced resonances). etc, etc...

Good home audio turntable designs are scientifically engineered to maximize reduction of external distortions (at their price point) and are quite delicate and would not stand up to DJ pounding/use.

So by my view almost nothing a DJ wants relates to what I want for a home audio experience when it comes to a TT.
 

flanker.r

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I agree, but a point to be noted with the SL-1200 series is that it was meant to be an audiophile's TT right from the beginning until DJs chanced upon it and realised that it was built to such high standards that it could easily take their abuse. The SL series unlike a stanton was gemini was never designed to be a DJs TT in the first place. Technics were the pioneers in perfecting the DD system and the SL series is the pinnacle of DD design.

The SL uses a completely isolated suspension system and the chassis is completely free floating unlike other TT which rely on damping using materials used in construction

when it comes to maintaining speed there are very few TTs that come close to the SL. The SLs speed is rock steady. Also in a place like India belts wear off, lose tension, melt and fray so soon due to the temperature that it does not make sense to go for a DB

I have always preferred a straight tonearm to an S shaped tonearm that the SL comes equipped with, but its easy to fit an external straight tonearm. This also helps in isolating the tonearm. Anyway the technics offers steady speed, proper isolation, reliability, extremely good electronics, solid construction and excellent engineering skills and I would recommend it anyday.
 

venkatcr

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until DJs chanced upon it and realised that it was built to such high standards that it could easily take their abuse.

Anyway the technics offers steady speed, proper isolation, reliability, extremely good electronics, solid construction and excellent engineering skills and I would recommend it anyday.

That is exactly what I was wondering about. That it became popular with the DJs by chance, and was not designed to be used by DJs in the first place. I suppose DJs buy the basic drive mechanism and change it to suit their requirements including the tonearm.

Given the fact that the SL seems to have a cult following and some sort of legendary status amongst its users, it can't be all that bad.

Cheers
 

rsud

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I agree, but a point to be noted with the SL-1200 series is that it was meant to be an audiophile's TT right from the beginning until DJs chanced upon it and realised that it was built to such high standards that it could easily take their abuse.

Technics has rarely, if ever, built anything that would be considered audiophile. I don't know who espouses this but I would take this with a grain of salt

Given the fact that the SL seems to have a cult following and some sort of legendary status amongst its users, it can't be all that bad.

Cheers

Well.... just because everyone likes it or it has cult following does not mean it is good. In fact it often means just the opposite.

People who don't know anything (and a majority DJs come close to not knowing anything when it comes to good quality music reproduction. They do know loud though!) usually just follow others.

A couple of cases in point:

In the USA:
- Budwiser is the most popular beer
- chain resturants serving canned / frozen food dominate

The overall idea is to be objective and not follow what other people do blindly.
(and realizing this is a lifetimes lesson that is often not achieved or even realized)

So my advice would be to listen to turntables on good systems.
 

grubyhalo

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Technics has rarely, if ever, built anything that would be considered audiophile. I don't know who espouses this but I would take this with a grain of salt


I don't want to sound feisty but I had a slightly different shade of thoughts regarding this. I am not sure what or who decides if a component is 'audiophilic'. I'm also not sure how many of Technics' products you've listened to but I know for a fact that the SL sounds GOOD with a decent tonearm and cart. Ditto for the SU-A900 integrated. I also know of 2 sound engineers trying hard to get a used Technics reel-to-reel for their home use so I know they won't be all that bad. Well, are these all 'audiophile' gear? I don't know but I'm sure if you had a chance to listen to these, you would skip the grain of salt ;) I have read from various sources both print and web (HFN&RR, Wiki and a bunch of other sources) about how the SL was originally launched as a hi-fi table and call me gullible but I believe them. :D


Well.... just because everyone likes it or it has cult following does not mean it is good. In fact it often means just the opposite.


In the case of the SL, I believe it's a case of being good enough to be a solid starter table which can be improved to a great degree by upgrading the components. I think of the SL more as a Honda Civic and that it deserves the cult status, just like the Civic.

People who don't know anything (and a majority DJs come close to not knowing anything when it comes to good quality music reproduction. They do know loud though!) usually just follow others.

I think you've been visiting a lot of clubs with bad DJ's :eek: The only part I could agree with is the 'loud' part. If you are indeed talking about the sound quality of a lof of clubs, please remember that the all the sound gear except probably the source belongs to the establishment and not the DJ. Maybe I should invite you over for one of my gigs. :)

A couple of cases in point:

In the USA:
- Budwiser is the most popular beer
- chain resturants serving canned / frozen food dominate


In the case of Bud, it's popularity is probably because it's cheap enough to be affordable and of a decent quality. Of course, I won't trade a good micro-brew or this for a bud, but a bud is better than a LOT of stuff that's out there.

So my advice would be to listen to turntables on good systems.

So is mine. I'd much rather have the OP listen to the SL first and then dimiss it. :)
 
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