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Audio Systems/direct drive vs. belt drive - ?

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Question
Hello -

I've been without a turntable for 20 years - but am thinking of getting back 'into it.'  In years past, the audio press looked down their collective nose at direct drive tables (i.e.: motor transmits vibrations to rest of assembly).  Just wondering if this consensus still holds -  or if there are any direct drive units that get respect.  Thank you in advance.

- Mark

Answer
During the intervening years much improvements have been made amongst all TTs.

Here is an quicky overview that might help:

http://www.pickmyturntable.com/

Direct drive with large enough motor and heavy enough rotor and platter will act as a mechanical smoothing filter to keep speed variations very low and approaching zero.

Belt-drive TT has motor noises transmitted through the belt system to some extent and has the same requirement for heavy moving parts for smoothing out any mechanical vibrations that come through the belts and capstan drive parts.

I'd say the consensus is in favor of direct drive for DJ professional work.  I'd say belt drive is favored for audiophiles at home.

Acoustical feedback is more of a problem with belt-drive unless the motor, base and platter are heavy enough.

So, there are good and bad characteristics for both designs.  Checking the online ratings and reviews I see the Audio Technica LP 120 direct drive gets high marks but it is rather pricey.

The Denon unit is a good one and since I was at one time employed there I can vouch for its quality and excellent design characteristics.

https://usa.denon.com/us/product/hifi/turntables/dp300f

Hope this helps.  

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Cleggsan

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Audio Design Engineer; systems, loudspeakers, cd/dvd players, etc. I am knowledgeable in all high end audio equipment and installations. MAKE SURE YOU GIVE A MAKE AND MODEL NUMBER AND CAR IF IT IS AN AUTO QUESTION. Note: I am getting some who ask good questions that take a lot of time to research but then the questioner fails to read the answer. Please don't ask questions unless you are seriously looking for an answer. If you find an answer to your question otherwise then let me know with your reply. Thank you.

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Have been associated with audio design, standards, testing and component systems for over 40 years.

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Review technical manuscripts for IEEE Spectrum Write occasionally for high-end audio publications

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Past Employee/advisor to several well known audio products manufacturers

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