Belt Drive Vs Direct Drive Turntables

If you are looking for a turntable and maybe buy a device for the first time, then you have probably already noticed that there are two types of drive.

Belt drive or direct drive – that’s the biggest question when buying a turntable. In the price turntable with a belt and direct drive not differ, you get inexpensive models with belt drive and direct drive as well as expensive devices with these drives. One criterion for the purchase, however, is the sound quality.

There are belt drive turntables and direct drive turntables.

Belt Drive Vs Direct Drive Turntables
Belt Drive Vs Direct Drive Turntables

Content of the article

  • 1 The belt-drive
  • 2 The direct drive
  • 3 My recommendation

Logically comes to the question, what is better now?

Basically, one can say that both model variants have their own advantages, disadvantages, and applications.

What is better now?

You decide!

But of course only after you have experienced the advantages and disadvantages.

The belt-drive

  • As the name suggests, this turntable or turntable is powered by a belt connected to the engine.
  • The motor is usually offset somewhere to the edge of the base plate.
  • But there are also models that he is housed in a second base plate.
  • This is used for decoupling and prevents the transmission of engine vibrations.
  • Due to the design, it may take a moment longer until the turntable has reached the desired rotational speed.
  • You do not have to worry about an egg plate.
  • He is still up to speed faster than the arm has lowered itself to the plate.

Advantages of the belt drive

  • The decoupled motor significantly reduces the development of vibrations and other disturbing noises.
  • Is also logical, after all, the elastic rubber belt absorbs virtually all engine vibrations.
  • By reducing noise, belt-driven turntables are generally considered to be the better sound quality devices.
  • The plates often just sound clearer and cleaner.

Disadvantages of the belt drive

  • A disadvantage is the already mentioned lower torque.
  • Although this is not a fundamental disadvantage, it can certainly be a purchase criterion for one or the other interested parties.
  • Lack of elasticity of the belt can lead to slight deviations in the playback speed and of course, such a belt may need to be changed sometimes.
  • The last disadvantage is that for a change of tempo from 33 1/3 to 45 RPM usually only manually make directly on the belt.

The direct drive turntable

  • Now that it’s clear how the belt drive works, it should also be pretty clear how such a direct drive works.
  • But to say so, the plate is driven directly by the engine directly below it.
  • In this construction, the speed is reached immediately and without delay.
  • Another point is that with the engine off, the plate is free to move.
  • Both factors make the direct drive turntable the first choice for DJs.
  • For example, you do not have to worry about getting the motor to move the plate the other way.
  • In addition, the direct start is an advantage, because the track is immediately full and at the right speed.
  • Direct-drive turntables have, yes even more features, the so-called pitch control with which the speed can be manually influenced.
  • This is always important when two songs with slightly different beat should merge into each other exactly.

Advantages of the direct drive

  • The biggest advantage is probably the reliability of the turntable.
  • There are no problems or limitations due to wear.
  • In addition, directly driven turntables are considered to be particularly durable, so they are worth the investment.

Disadvantages of the direct drive

  • As reliable as they are, direct drives often have minor limitations in the quality of playback.
  • The main thing is that the vibrations of the engine can always affect the sound.
  • Incidentally, this is also the reason why many owners of direct-drive turntables use special anti-shock pads.
  • So the vibration can be dampened a bit.
  • Alone this circumstance lets people who want to listen to music mainly, resort to turntables with a belt drive.

My recommendation

In the end, of course, it’s always a matter of personal taste.

I know people who swear firmly on belt transmissions, but also just as many people who prefer direct gearboxes.

Since most people and I now just assume that you are so synonymous, rather spend no 5000 euros for a really good turntable, my recommendation is …

Just buy the best belt-driven turntable your budget can give.

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