Direct Drive vs. Belt Drive

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by bre's dad, Aug 19, 2007.

  1. bre's dad

    bre's dad I drank what?!?

    Messages:
    1,652
    Location:
    indiana
    What typically is better: belt drive or direct drive? Specifically, I've got 2 Technics turntables I picked up. One is an SL-BD1 that I had to get a new belt for. It only has pitch adjustment & is manual, no skate or counter weight adjustments. Its got an Audio Technia Series VIII cart on it. The other I just picked up is an SL-D2, direct drive full auto. Its got anti-skate, counter weight, etc. Its got an ADC cart in it. By far, its the nicer of the two and will be the keeper if the wife makes me get rid of one. I'm just curious typically is more desirable, direct drive or belt. Seems like some of the nicer t-table I see are belt drive.
     

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  2. alexkerhead

    alexkerhead To High For Infinity

    Messages:
    4,234
    Location:
    Alabamatingvilleshiretown
    This is a polarizing subject, but all-in-all from all I have read from countless arguments about it. Neither is better acoustically in general, but both sides will come up with reasons why theirs is better. Some would argue having the motor attached to the platter makes noise, but if it does, I never heard it.

    I own several of each type, and sure enough, if the platter is spinning steadily, the cart and stylus do the rest of the work.

    I do prefer automatic functions myself though.


    Funny though, the cheapest crap tables and most expensive super tables both use belts.
     
  3. schucky

    schucky New Member

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Of the two, I'd keep the SL-D2 hands down.
     
  4. hakaplan

    hakaplan Needs professional help

    Messages:
    10,704
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    In this case it's more a matter of which is a more substantial table rather than the drive system. I agree with Schucky on the SL-D2.

    Better belt drives rely on reasonably heavy platters for speed stability. The problem with the BD1 is its lightweight platter and base. In those light p-mount tables, direct drive works better. But that BD1 is so small and flat, I can't imagine it would take up that much extra space. Nice to have a back up.
     
  5. ponderbear

    ponderbear waltzing with sin

    Messages:
    2,296
    Location:
    Jefferson City MO USA
    i have to agree, I've actively looked for an SL-D2 in the past, it's obviously a nice deck.

    I don't think a line can be drawn in the sand regarding DD vs belt- I've auditioned spectacular and pathetic tables in both categories. I used to have a nearly top of the line Denon DD that was absolutely killer. Right now my fave is the belt drive NAD 5120, simple and accurate and very quiet. So, no hard and fast rule from my experience at least.
     
  6. danj

    danj modern primitive

    Messages:
    5,298
    Location:
    Somewhere in Oregon
    This subject has been brought up countless times.

    I don't think there is a "better" drive system. There are great machines and average machines and lousy machines all using belt, direct, or idler drive. What matters is quality of engineering and construction and how well it is kept maintained. Plus, the quality of the base materials and the tonearm and cartridge are equally important. If any one component is insufficient the sound from the vinyl will suffer.
     

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  7. www.records

    www.records Quality over Quantity

    Messages:
    5,867
    Location:
    Joplin
    Your tables are a couple of the cheaper offerings from Technics from the late 70s-early 80s. Here is a site that will give you some info on your tables.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20060421180508/www.vintagetechnics.com/turntables.htm


    As far as your question about belt drive vs direct drive, that is an age old debate with the best answer I can think of being that there are excellent examples of both. I have examples of both and enjoy them equally.

    I will say that one of the reasons there are so many belt drives is they are simpler to manufacture and design.
     
  8. bre's dad

    bre's dad I drank what?!?

    Messages:
    1,652
    Location:
    indiana
    Right now, the SL-BD1 is in the closet and will probably stay there until the fall yard sale. I know both are lower end, but I've got less than $20 invested in both. I don't listen to vinyl much, so either fills the void. On the other system I've got an Technics SL-J2 linear tracker. I know, that was more of a fad from what I've gathered, but its got sentimental value (present from the folks), os its not going anywhere.
     
  9. thedelihaus

    thedelihaus Nocturnal transmissions

    Messages:
    29,293
    Location:
    Boston Area, Massachusetts
    I had the SL-BD1, I'm 99% sure, or at least a nearly identical model of it- passed it along 5 or so years ago, when I got- you guessed it- a SL-D2. No matter where it was on the pecking line order, that D2 was an excellent table, nary a hiccup with use, and I only recently passed it along when I got a Technics SL-1300 and a Sony PS-x5.

    The D2 is an excellent mid-price unit.
     
  10. Paul C

    Paul C Super Member

    Messages:
    3,681
    Location:
    USA
    I just picked up a like-new SL-D2 my self.

    http://audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=122584

    [​IMG]

    It replaced another Panasonic/Technics direct drive turntable that has worked flawlessly for more than 25 years.

    I'll tell you one advantage... never having to replace belts!
     
  11. whell

    whell AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,499
    Location:
    Livonia, MI
    The answer here is obvious. The best table is the one that your wife lets you keep!
     

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  12. Elfasto

    Elfasto Super Member

    Messages:
    1,861
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA
    All other factors being equal, neither one is better. Pick the unit you like best.
     
  13. egl333

    egl333 Active Member

    Messages:
    104
    I have used belt drive(DUAL, HARMON KARDON, PIONEER, PHILLIPS) and direct drive(AKAI, PIONEER, SONY, JVC, HITACHI) turntables and conclude that over the long run of 3 decades direct drive is the best. Belts stretch or the rubber degrades after more than a decade of use, thus what good is the supposed better isolation of belt drive when the speed goes incorrect. I have never had any problems with the supposed cogging effect of direct drive turntables and therefore as vintage components they are trouble free, hence definitely worth keeping.
     
  14. hakaplan

    hakaplan Needs professional help

    Messages:
    10,704
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    :yes:
     
  15. bully

    bully member

    Messages:
    12,663
    Location:
    Near Lafayette, Indiana
    The the last, oh, 20 years (since I got the Denon DP-47f), I have been hard into the direct drive camp--and automatic at that.
    Specs on direct drive tables are excellent, too.
    That's my opinion, and I'm stickin' to it :yes:
    My two tables in use now are the Denon and the Sony PS-X600.
     
  16. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    53,393
    These are both very low-end tables: the drive question is irrelevant.
    Of the two, the SL-D2 is probably the better choice, since it is older and almost certainly better built.

    Neither is likely to provide a good answer the "what's all the fuss about vinyl?" question, I fear.

    BTW, we have an SL-D2 (my wife's, from before our marriage). It is a perfectly OK but uninspiring machine.
     

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  17. jeffn

    jeffn Mid-Fi Crisis

    Messages:
    1,589
    Location:
    Australia
    One train of thought goes like this:

    Its relatively easy to isolate motor noise in a belt drive system, but because its more difficult to make a quiet direct drive, if they've gone to the trouble to do it, then the rest of the table may also be well made...........
     
  18. jfine

    jfine Super Member

    Messages:
    1,456
    Location:
    West Portland OR
    I'm gonna get this upgrade for my technics 1200 DD, then I'll have BOTH DD and Belt drive, Ha! :D

    [​IMG]
     
  19. whell

    whell AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,499
    Location:
    Livonia, MI
    Don't do it. The dustcover will never close!
     
  20. ehoove

    ehoove Old & New - Carpe Diem Staff Member Super Mod Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,850
    Location:
    Mid-Maryland
    Low end is low end, and high end is high end. Which ever drive you choose, you will get what you pay for. I'm a belt drive fan myself, more control over the bearing and lubrication of it. The bearing is where the noise originates to me. IMHO
    Jim
     

Share This Page