Can you actually hear noise in your music from your direct drive turntable?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by radioalien, Jul 30, 2020.

  1. radioalien

    radioalien Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    I've got a Technics SL-D20 and I am trying to hear anything, it's dead quiet, what's the story with belt drives being superior in this respect ?

    Maybe I'll put my ear to the speaker crank up the volume to max and listen as the motor starts up
  2. L.P.

    L.P. Forum Resident

    I have the humble Audio Technica LP120usb, and I hear the motor in the quiet parts between the tracks over headphones or when I turn up the volume. It's a murmuring sound.
    Lucca90 likes this.
  3. RhodesSupremacy

    RhodesSupremacy yeah man

    Northern Europe
    I owned an 80's Denon direct drive table in the past. I can't remember the model number, but what I can remember is the reliable dead quiet operation. Zero rumble or hum, perfect unwavering speed & and a tonearm that tracked every record without issues. Partnered with a Shure M97 the whole system was free of any of the nefarious artifacts one associates with LP playback. Now I wonder why I ever sold it...
  4. radioalien

    radioalien Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    hi thanks for reply! Yes I've seen a few videos demonstrating that with that particular model, but if you can't really hear it otherwise that's great, i was thinking about getting one of those, without the USB functionality , looks like a great machine, and would be fun to tinker with something other than a P-mount setup
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
    L.P. likes this.
  5. radioalien

    radioalien Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    thanks for sharing
    My D20 was a hand me down from my parents :) Think they probably got it around 79' or so, it's quite a rugged beast, and I haven't had any problems with it, it really needed a good cleaning though as you can imagine it received quite a workout, lots of Peter Frampton, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Cat Stevens at least looking through my folks old vinyl
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
    Floyd Crazy and timind like this.
  6. Uglyversal

    Uglyversal Forum Resident

    If the TT is good enough there would be some noise but is not going to be that noticeable or get in the way of enjoying the music, the original tape noise and groove noise would be way louder. On the other hand a bad belt driven one can induce noise too but yes I have heard DD producing noise.
    BrentB likes this.
  7. sathvyre

    sathvyre formerly known as ABBAmaniac

    I have a Technics SL-1500C and can't hear any noise from the TT - not even with a MC card and headphones.
    Old Rusty, The FRiNgE and timind like this.
  8. vwestlife

    vwestlife Forum Resident

    New Jersey, USA
    Different design. The Hanpin-made direct-drive turntables (AT-LP120, Crosley C200, Reloop, Numark, etc.) use a motor attached to the platter.

    With Technics direct-drive turntables, the motor is the platter. It has magnets attached to it, and a coil of wire in the chassis, forming the rotor and stator. The platter is the only moving part.
  9. ssmith3046

    ssmith3046 Forum Resident

    I've owned a restored Dual 701 for over 10 years now and all I hear is music from the record spinning on the platter
  10. Erik Tracy

    Erik Tracy Meet me at the Green Dragon for an ale

    San Diego, CA, USA
    Don't forget the dreaded 'cogging' effect of DD. o_O

    I've got pretty good hearing, but don't hear it on my SL1200Mk2
    Wally Swift, Echoes Myron and BrentB like this.
  11. rebellovw

    rebellovw Forum Resident

    Prescott, AZ
    I can't hear a thing on either type of table. Cheap low quality tables - sure (an old belt drive in my case.)
  12. eltigreferoz

    eltigreferoz Active Member

    1200 owner here. I do hear "rumble," but only when I jack up the volume on my amps to unprecedented levels ; typically, when my toddler has been playing with them. (I use MC carts, so that could be a culprit, too.) Thus, it has never bothered me.
    Lucca90 likes this.
  13. BillWojo

    BillWojo Forum Resident

    Burlington, NJ
    All this crap about cogging and noise on DD tt was made up by the British audio magazines to protect the British tt belt drive companys. It's an urban myth.
    They were horrified when DD came out. The Japanese car builders also had the same effect on the auto industry.

  14. Mister Pig

    Mister Pig Positive Feedback Reviewer

    Olympia, WA
    The issues I have had with some direct drives is not an audible noise that you can listen for. When I write this I am talking about my experiences with the Technics SP 15 and SP 25. What I found with those tables is that the subtle detail that instruments have is lost. For instance, with a piano note the fundamental note is there but the harmonics that define the sustain and reverb were either muted or completely lost. I did not have this issue with my tape drive or idler tables I was comparing to.

    I eventually tried a Technics SP 10 MK II I had, and to my surprise this phenomena was not present. It sounded wonderful! I had the same experience with a Denon DP 75. So the issue is not with the drive system itself, but its implementation.

    Today I own two belt drives in a SOTA Cosmos Eclipse and Well Tempered Reference. I also own one direct drive in a Brinkmann Audio Bardo. All are great tables. It is not the drive system itself that is inherently flawed, but rather how well it can be executed. With that said, I would rather have an inexpensive belt drive than an inexpensive direct drive. The DD system is more expensive to execute properly in my experience.
    4-2-7, Grootna, Echoes Myron and 4 others like this.
  15. Bingo Bongo

    Bingo Bongo Music gives me Eargasms

    GyroT likes this.
  16. anorak2

    anorak2 Forum Resident

    Berlin, Germany
    Try listening through some headphones and pay attention during the silence between tracks, you'll probably hear some rumble. You'll certainly hear groove noise.
  17. hbucker

    hbucker Well-Known Member

    No motor noise on my JVC dd...
  18. Pavol Stromcek

    Pavol Stromcek Forum Resident

    SF Bay Area
    No noise from my Technics SL-1400 (mk 1). Nor did I ever hear noise from my (now retired) Denon DP-51f.
    E.Baba, AXington and nosliw like this.
  19. regore beltomes

    regore beltomes Forum Resident

    Helenville, WI
    Cogging is not crap. I've heard it myself on some AT-LP 120usb turntables. They used a 8 pole three phase motor to get higher torque ( 1.6 kg/cm)
    The AT-LP120x uses a 8 pole two phase motor (1 kg/cm). It has reduced torque but cogging has been eliminated.
  20. MGW

    MGW Less travelling, more listening

    Scotland, UK
    More like it was in response to the many super-cheap DDs that were dumped in our market and really did sound dreadful. Certainly at the time, a cheap BD would easily outperform a cheap DD. I was not in a position to judge the higher levels of the market at that time.

    Now on the car bit I would agree with you, British-made cars were truly shee-ite!
  21. Floyd Crazy

    Floyd Crazy Forum Resident

    My old 1979 Technics SL-Q2
    Quite no noise,
    these Direct Drive motors just go on and on.
    Never had any issues with this deck built like a tank.
  22. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    The "story" is marketing by BD makers. One of the most effective marketing tools is presenting that the alternative has a "problem" and why you should buy their offering.

    While music is playing, of course you won't hear anything of the sort. Between tracks the main thing you'll hear is the "noise" from the cartridge picking vinyl noise, that is what will be audible. But if anything like "rumble" or "cogging" is more audible than that, you have a problem with the TT. If you're putting your ear to the speaker with the volume cranked when the motor starts, my guess is you'll get an earful of white noise from your phono pre / line stage - that'll be the predominant thing filling your ear drum.

    Frankly, it's a non-issue, but I'm sure there are some lower end, inexpensive TT's that don't filter out motor noise well.... but I wouldn't recommend owning those for other reasons in the first place. I know there are those that have hooked TT's up to sensitive / expensive test equipment and proclaim "look - there's the cogging" --- but can you hear it?

    Yup, marketing tool to present a "problem" with DD and why BD is better.... both platforms (BD, DD) have their +/-'s but if someone decides not to buy a DD because of a cogging fear, they've been deceived.
    Dan C, Shawn, bever70 and 1 other person like this.
  23. nosliw

    nosliw Azunyan! にゃーーー!

    Ottawa, ON, Canada
    According to the technical specifications, the signal-to-noise ratio on the AT-LP120USB is rated as >50db. Not a particularly impressive number.

    The higher the number, the less motor noise you'll hear from your turntable.
  24. Doghouse Riley

    Doghouse Riley Forum Resident

    North West England
    As a jukebox enthusiast, a common fault with Rock-Ola turntable motors is that the three grommits through which the pins pass that attach the motor to the chasis. tend to harden over time. This causes a vibration that you can't hear yourself but can be picked up by the cartridge so becomes a slight background noise through the speakers.
    I've changed mine.
    I don't know if this helps, but it may in some cases, be more of a problem than possible noise caused by a turntable belt or as in jukeboxes, a direct drive jockey wheel.
  25. Boltman92124

    Boltman92124 Fish tacos.

    San Diego
    Try a cork/rubber combo platter mat. Or stack rubber on top of cork. Made a huge improvement on my LP120.
    L.P. likes this.

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