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

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

  1. BrentB

    BrentB Forum Resident

    Location:
    Midwestern US
    None of my 3 DD have ANY noise associated with cogging, feedback, whatever. As a former belt-drive diehard I have to conceid to this. And as I slowly went over to DD I actually tried to be over critical of DD and was unsuccessful. My 3 DD tables are SL-1200 MK1, Sony PS-X50, and Project/One DR-770.
     
  2. Raylinds

    Raylinds Resident Lake Surfer

    Devolve is the correct word. It just gets a little tiresome that almost every gear discussion turns into a what-I-have-is-better-than-yours pissing contest. I thought I left this behind when I got out of grade school.
     
    sturgus and BrentB like this.
  3. Mister Pig

    Mister Pig I didn't Choose Farm Life It Chose Me

    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    No it doesn't, and the discussion of the topic should be at a deeper level than "noise" or "I don't hear speed variation."

    Turntables are mechanical systems, and therefore every design configuration has the possibility of strengths AND limitations. This is belt drive, direct drive, idler, suspended, unsuspended, pivoted arms, linear tracking arms, high mass arms, low mass arms, and so on and so forth. At the end of the day, its not a matter of good better best, but rather how well a design has been implemented and how the limitations of a tables overall configuration have been minimized, and how its strengths have been maximized, and finally at what cost?

    As previously mentioned by another poster, all motors cog to one degree or another, its within the nature of having poles in the motor and how energy is transferred. Belt drive motors cog, direct drive motors cog, idler motors cog, its a matter of how you minimize the effect and stop it from being transferred to the platter. Direct drives have challenges regarding this as most have the motor with a direct coupling to the platter, where as belt drive have issues with belt creep, and in suspended designs a change in belt tension which can affect speed, while idlers have the mechanical coupling issue which may not create speed problems but can induce rumble or other noise issues.

    There are creative solutions to all these shortcomings that can result in excellent tables in all types of turntable categories. The two piece decoupled platter in the better Denon turntables works well in isolating the vinyl/cartridge from outside vibration. Hanging suspensions in belt drive tables ensures a vertical bounce and that limits issues with speed variation due to belt tension, Lenco DIYers stack platters to use mass to damp vibration from reaching the stylus, and so on and so forth.

    Its not a matter of my way is right and your way is wrong. There are so many ways to spin vinyl and get excellent audio playback. But the devil is in the details, and how that is done matters. As does what it costs. Given the nature of certain designs, some are more successful at the lower price points, and others have a threshold that needs to be met for the better implementations of their technology. There are no pat answers when discussing this sort of stuff.
     
    nosliw, 4-2-7, sturgus and 4 others like this.
  4. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    It's created by the motor cogging and transmitted through whatever the motor is coupled to, typically the main bearing, and in the case of turntables where the motor is mounted to a plinth to which the tone arm is also mounted, it's transmitted through the plinth to the arm -- and it can usually be measured pretty easily and heard with a stethoscope.

    @edwyun posted some measurements. It's only a partial bit of the discussion in Poul Ladegaard's famous AES paper from the late '70s, "Audible effects of mechanical resonances in turntables." This is not an unknown or magical issue in turntable design. It's one of the primary issues and considerations for a designer. It doesn't matter if you're working with a belt drive design or a direct drive design.

    I'm not talking not about anything having to do with wow or flutter or speed, I'm talking about noise. W&F really isn't a problem with anything but the cheapest turntables of any design type, in my experience, at this point in the production of turntables, belt drive or direct drive. The near ubiquitous imperfect centering of vinyl LPs commonly produces much more significant pitch instability that any half decent turntable adds, and tonearm resonances are bigger components in flutter than motor run instability in anything but the cheapest turntables any audiophile would choose today.
     
    KT88, sturgus, edwyun and 1 other person like this.
  5. BrentB

    BrentB Forum Resident

    Location:
    Midwestern US
    I cannot disagree with anything you stated. My point was kind of along the lines of this, but I have played this vs. game for 30 years and am tired of writing about it. Same with ported speakers vs sealed, digital vs. analog, and so on. The bottom line is if one was clearly better all the way around then there would simply be NO market for the other. These debates have raged on for decades and is by no means uniqe to this forum. I for one am grateful to have the different designs and recordings to choose from. Trying to change someone's mind about their own preferences is pointless. Especially when they have experimented and made up that mind. I do like to read people's opinions, but I would rather stay out of the theories and debates.
     
  6. Mister Pig

    Mister Pig I didn't Choose Farm Life It Chose Me

    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    That certainly is a reasonable take. The other thing worth mentioning is that analog playback systems are so complicated with each piece contributing to the final product that it is darn near impossible to evaluate a single variable, especially when it gets to the expensive stuff. Different cartridge, different phono stage, different arm wiring, different cables, different alignment, different stands on which the table rests, and so on and so forth. Single variable comparisons are so hard to do in the analog world.

    I don't have experience with the uber class tables, I top out at a SOTA Cosmos Eclipse with SME V or a Brinkmann Audio Bardo with Audiomods Series 6. At the pool depth I reside in I find that the tables themselves seem to offer little differences, and its arms and cartridges that have the most distinctive presentations. But as you climb to certain levels of cartridges I find the sound more similar than different. I don't worry about what a table from TechDas can do, as I cannot afford them. I am just happy to listen to what I have, and feel blessed to own a level of analog playback I never dreamed of owning when I was a young blossoming audiophile.
     
    KT88, 4-2-7, BrentB and 1 other person like this.
  7. BillyBuck

    BillyBuck Forum Resident

    Location:
    California
    I'm highly susceptible to minor pitch variation. That's not a "golden ears" brag, in fact it's a real pain for someone into vinyl. From discussions here and elsewhere, I've come to suspect this is a genetic anomaly that occurs in a small percentage of people, like say, being able to roll your tongue into a U shape, being double-jointed, or having "perfect" pitch. The vast majority of people don't hear minor pitch variations that are easily measurable in software. Like many things in audio, there appears to be a threshold of variation amplitude below which most people don't hear anything wrong.

    If you're one of the unlucky few who do hear pitch variation (and you're enough of a masochist to be into analog playback) by all means simplify your life and get a direct-drive table. I spent years with Regas, Thorenses, a Heybrook (a branch of the Linn design), etc, endlessly chasing more stable playback in the form of ceramic bearings, exotic spindle oils, talc-ed belts, improved motor mounts, and so on. Finally, by chance, I ended up with a Technics 1200 and put it into my main system to see what the dreaded cogging and rumble would sound like. I heard nothing except extremely stable pitch, even on music content that normally challenges pitch stability, like long sustained piano chords at the end of an LP side.

    Since then, I stopped futzing around with turntables and just enjoy playing records. I did swap out the Technics for a Denon dp52 a few years ago, but I also find that table very much a "set it and forget it" component.
     
    nosliw, patient_ot, JohnO and 3 others like this.
  8. matteos

    matteos Stereotype

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    No noise from my Denon Dp75. If it wasn't for the occasional crackle or pop from dust on the record you would think it was digital it is so silent with such a black background.

    That's not to say I've never heard a noisy DD table. But then I've heard a noisier belt drive. Both of those tables were very cheap and poorly made (The Sony belt drive that lasted a week in my system had a steel plate attached to the inside of the bottom of the plinth to make it feel heavier) and it was objectively a piece of poop. A well made turntable of any type shouldn't give you problems. It's not the tech or type, it's the $$$ you are willing to spend.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
    KT88, RhodesSupremacy and Old Rusty like this.
  9. kevinsinnott

    kevinsinnott Forum Coffeeologist

    Location:
    Chicago, IL USA
    Above the vinyl noise?

    Never!
     
  10. radioalien

    radioalien Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Washington
    I'm just asking questions!!
     
    4-2-7 likes this.
  11. violarules

    violarules Forum Resident

    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    So the Direct Drive TT fixed your off-center records, too? ;)
     
    Glmoneydawg likes this.
  12. doctor fuse

    doctor fuse Forum Resident

    My Technics SL-D2 is as quiet (if not quieter) than my best belt drives. But the best belt drive tables do sound more dynamic and mesmerizing, as good as the Technics is. I have to hear an SP-10 or an SL-1200!
     
    Old Rusty likes this.
  13. BillWojo

    BillWojo Forum Resident

    Location:
    Burlington, NJ
    docter fuse, the best belt drive TT have a much better arm than that Technics. Imagine how good your Technics would sound with a high end arm and cart.

    BillWojo
     
  14. punkmusick

    punkmusick Formerly 4011021

    Location:
    Brazil
    No I can't, but I could with my belt drive one.
     
  15. BillyBuck

    BillyBuck Forum Resident

    Location:
    California
    Ha! No, it definitely didn't. But surprisingly, I don't run across them that often. When I do, and I can't return the record, a carefully deployed half-round file usually does the trick.

    The DD table obviously doesn't fix the early (?) Blue Note 80/Tone Poet reissues either, but that's a different problem and a different thread.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
  16. HiFi Guy 008

    HiFi Guy 008 Forum Resident

    Location:
    New England
    Direct drive improved the sound of off center records I’ve listened to. I’d love to find a belt drive that does the same. Any suggestions?
     
  17. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    Do you listen to your LP's with a stethoscope? :D:cheers:

    I don't think anyone is denying that a physical property of motors is noise, cogging, etc. The topic is do YOU hear it on your turntable, especially when playing music?

    Do you? You seem to covering the physics of motors, that's fine, but confused if you're making a case that it's audible during normal listening. And if so, what TT do you own?
     
  18. BillyBuck

    BillyBuck Forum Resident

    Location:
    California
    I think, in analog nothing's ever perfectly round and nothing's ever exactly spinning at 33 1/3. It's a matter of getting those close enough so the eccentricities are below your level of perception. An out-of-round LP on a fluctuating-speed platter actually multiplies the eccentricities rather than merely adding them together. If you can correct either of those two problems, it's possible the other one may not be that big of a deal on its own.

    I don't know of a belt-drive that offers the pitch stability of DD. I'm sure they're out there on the high end of the scale. I might prefer the sonics of better belt-drives over DD because they typically have more design skills put into resonance and isolation, and they usually have better tonearm options. But pitch is a dealbreaker for me, so I'm likely residing in the land of Technics and Denons for the near future. I'm not complaining.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
    nosliw and HiFi Guy 008 like this.
  19. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    Yes. I always hear mechanical noise including vinyl whoosh and rumble from motor vibration with any turntable. My Merrill Heirloom is very quiet, the motor is in a fluid bath to damp vibration and I run it after startup at lower voltage to lower cogging vibration amplitude and it dramatically lowers the noise floor and reveals low level detail and even improves tracking. But yeah of course I hear it. I'm shocked when people don't hear it. They're very lucky to not be awarenof it.
     
    KT88 and Grant like this.
  20. Glmoneydawg

    Glmoneydawg Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    Highly skeptical that any of you could identify the difference between a decent dd or bd table...this has been played out many times before....not hard to set up a test...a good turntable is a good turntable regardless of drive system.Considering this is a forum for hobbyists and sharing ideas,this topic has become truly revolting.
     
    The Pinhead likes this.
  21. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    Question - are you also able to echolocate small, winged insects when they might be flying somewhere in your house? :D
     
  22. HiFi Guy 008

    HiFi Guy 008 Forum Resident

    Location:
    New England
    Pitch “wow” is a dealbreaker for me too.

    Don’t want a DD though. There’s got to be something else our there.
     
  23. edwyun

    edwyun Well-Known Member

    Location:
    USA
    Good enough (not very high end though)?

     
    BillyBuck likes this.
  24. Davey

    Davey I carry the moon inside a silver bag

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Nice, but not sure what it really shows since it's only updated every 2 seconds. You really need some more serious anaylsis software to look at pitch stability, and wow and flutter, and the related "noise". I've been making some posts lately showing sample spectrums of turntables under different environmental conditions, really interesting subject, and there's still a lot to explore in that area.

    But back to the OP, I think Dual really established how quiet a direct drive table could be when they introduced the CS-701 in 1973, with the first coreless motor used in a turntable, the EDS1000. Sent most of the big Japanese companies back to the drawing board in a mad scramble to introduce their own cog-free direct drive tables, and most of them did eventually release some pretty amazing ones (even though a couple tried to cheat a bit and copy the Dual design too closely, and had to do some redesign work or face litigation :)), some have even gone on to achieve near legendary status. Notably Denon and Technics decided to keep going with what they had, and hard to argue they weren't turning out some very good tables too, sticking with their iron core motors (until recently of course for Technics with the reintroduction of the SL-1200 series with coreless motors across the lineup).

    Anyway, turntable talk is fun, and there are so many unique designs from the past and present to lust after, and even own and talk about here. Some direct drive and some belt, can do it well both ways.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
    BillyBuck likes this.
  25. BillyBuck

    BillyBuck Forum Resident

    Location:
    California
    Yes, I think that would be sufficient, if someone would like to send one my way.

    VPI seems to put a lot of emphasis on speed stability, both in its belt models and lone DD model.
     
    edwyun likes this.

Share This Page