Speed stability: Direct Drive vs belt

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by DaleClark, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. David Fischer

    David Fischer Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    It isn't only about the Direct Drive mechanism that creates a low noise floor - it is the entire table, which includes Plinth, feet, Isolation, tonearm to minimize resonances, Platter, etc. and how they all work in unison. It also depends on the entire system as to whether one can actually hear those differences though, imho.
     
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  2. Not Insane

    Not Insane You talkin' to me?!

    Location:
    Kentucky
    Ain't that the truth! :D
     
  3. Not Insane

    Not Insane You talkin' to me?!

    Location:
    Kentucky
    Yeah. That's a valid point. It's one reason I bought the KD500 41 years ago. ;) My PF-50 puts the drive system and arm on a floating mechanism separate from the rest of the unit. Maybe I'm in ignorant bliss on that whole issue because all of my TT's are quiet in the other ways too. Well, if you tap the lp120, you can hear it. But I don't normally tap TT's. :)
     
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  4. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    This post could easily cycle into a heated debate.... important to keep it in perspective, and realize it's all relative to budget and what one might be comparing.

    There are trade-offs with everything --- and belt drive vs direct drive, to me they are both good platforms and can get the job done with different considerations.
     
    bever70 likes this.
  5. Not Insane

    Not Insane You talkin' to me?!

    Location:
    Kentucky
    I certainly can't argue with that. ClearAudio makes a darned good TT in belt drive. ;)
     
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  6. Raylinds

    Raylinds Martinis, music and glowing tubes

    Yes, you are correct- in terms of speed stability, DD have a far superior price to performance ratio. The Pioneer is a PL-550.
     
  7. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brazil
  8. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Looks like the original spec for the Pioneer was .025. That's very good (on par with my JVC) but there are tables that can beat it.
     
  9. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    That's not a bad rec! :)
     
  10. DaleClark

    DaleClark Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Bexley, Ohio
    Sounds like good advice. Actually, I’ve heard a belt driven turntable with uneven speed. A friend of mine in high school had a Pioneer table. Elton johns funeral for a friend synth sounded like a wobbly drone. Sounded fine in my TT. Not as noticeable on other recordings.
     
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  11. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brazil
    I would trust the speed accuracy and stability of higher end turntables, but if you suspect you'll be somehow insecure, buy the GR and forget about it. It's a formidable turntable.
     
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  12. Grant

    Grant C'mon let me show you where it's at!

    Location:
    United States
    Have you guys forgotten your math? As long as you are 0%, you are good.
     
  13. allied333

    allied333 TUBE AMPLIFIER REBUILDER - inquire

    Location:
    MI
    As stated DD is far superior to belt drive. But those vintage TTs with belt drive and .04 wow and flutter spec would not like be heard. Vintage DD is more subject to failure due to the electronics and ICs long out of production vs belt drive with few discrete components if any electronics at all. The Luxman PD-272 DD has discrete components thus can be rebuilt/repaired with off the shelf parts.
     
  14. Not Insane

    Not Insane You talkin' to me?!

    Location:
    Kentucky
    Yep. Let's just hope those IC's don't fail. :)

    On a side note, I notice as I get older that time absolutely flies by. In a very real way, at least perception wise, it means things don't last very long any more. Ten years is nothin'.
     
  15. thegage

    thegage Forum Currency Nerd

    When thinking about speed accuracy I start with a couple of basic facts. First, very few LPs are pressed precisely on-center. Second, most LPs have surface imperfections and irregularities that generate a signal at the cartridge. The audibility of wow and flutter on any modern turntable, DD or belt drive, operating correctly, will be lower than the first two factors. Therefore, lower and lower wow and flutter specs are essentially marketing tools, and not meaningful in the real world. Motor torque, power quality/regulation, and moving mass are much more critical.

    John K
     
    Anjo likes this.
  16. Morbius

    Morbius Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brookline, MA
    Not to mention master tapes and cutting lathes.
     
  17. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Yea, there are so many things besides the wow & flutter spec that effect the sound you actually hear when playing records. And like some of those decreasingly small power amplifier distortion specs back in the vintage audio days of the 70s, we often found the methods used to get those vanishingly small numbers (ie huge amounts of negative feedback) had a much bigger negative effect on the sound than any positive effect from the decreasing distortion numbers. Modern high end DD tables still use large amounts of negative feedback, but better speed correction algorithms and higher sample rates can lead to less (or even none) of those undesirable artifacts. Personally, I have favorites in both DD and BD tables, and regularly use both, even though my usual pick for just kicking back and listening to my favorite music is my Clearaudio belt drive, no speed control or electronics, no negative feedback loops, just a 120 VAC synchronous motor and precision silicone o-ring belt driving the outside of a thick acrylic platter. I might just not be very sensitive to wow & flutter, though :)
     
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  18. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I definitely haven't.

    .10 w/f is the minimum I would consider acceptable. Some people may even notice pitch fluctuation on that while listening to classical piano.

    OP asked a question, and I answered.
     
    Big Blue likes this.
  19. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    With all due respect (and I really do respect your work), I think that you are reaching more than just a bit with this post...

    Regarding torque, my experience has been the exact opposite of yours: DD TTs in general have way more torque than do belt drive TTs.

    Don't believe me? Here is a simple test which will easily prove my point: Take an old Diskwasher record brush, and press it down on a 1200 (even the old ones, not even the new much better ones), and watch as the strobe doesn't budge even a bit unless you press down really hard. Then take a Linn, and put a strobe disk on top of your spindle as you do the same thing, and watch it slow way down, potentially even coming a stop if you press hard enough. While I suspect that a VPI will probably perform better on this test than will a Linn (due to the additional leverage afforded by their external belt positioning, and its greater rotating mass), I can almost guarantee you that it's speed will not remain as stable as a 1200 (any version) under this kind of extreme load; at least when running with just a single motor.

    Now if you want to have an actual horse-race in terms of torque, then try doing this same test with an idler design. Then you might have a genuine competitor to DD in terms of torque.

    FWIW: None of this is meant to denigrate BD TTs because I am myself a Linn owner, and was a long time believer in the superiority of high-end BD designs overall. However I am also now a 1210GR owner now, and I must say that the 1200G /GR are much better than I had ever imagined. The G and GR are not your father's 1200.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
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  20. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Looking another way at the facts you point out, though, wouldn't it still be desirable to get the wow and flutter as low as possible so it does not compound the already imperfect pitch reproduction caused by off-center pressing and surface irregularities?
     
  21. SteelyNJ

    SteelyNJ Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    While it's a good idea to get the wow and flutter as low as possible (all other things equal), I don't think one has anything to do with the other. In other words, two separate processes. They don't get compounded.
     
  22. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    But if you have pitch fluctuating for two different reasons, it's going to be fluctuating more than if one of those reasons was nearly eliminated. I know they are unrelated processes, but a constant revolution speed of an off-center record should not sound as wavering as a varying revolution speed of the same off-center record. Compounded was probably the wrong word for me to use, because it's not making each wow and flutter of pitch bigger, it's adding additional but separate wow and flutter.
     
    SteelyNJ likes this.
  23. SteelyNJ

    SteelyNJ Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    According to the official specs, my Dual 510's wow & flutter is <0.08%.
    According to my ears after 43 years with the Dual 510, it has a wow & flutter of 0.00%!

    I'm willing to bet that if I made unlabeled recordings of the same material (even sustained notes on an acoustic piano) with my BD Dual and my DD Technics, no one would know for certain which was which.
     
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  24. Helom

    Helom I'll take the monkey coffins

    Location:
    U.S.
    Some belt drives have pitch control and speed accuracy that very near rivals a good DD.

    Some of the older DD tables suffer from motor cogging big time. It's easily identified by the strobe marking oscillations.
     
  25. DaleClark

    DaleClark Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Bexley, Ohio
    Yes, plus the pitch control would be handy for playing some 78's that I am about to inherit. I've heard the Clearaudio concept does 78's but lacks the tonearm force and torque to play them on a regular basis.
     
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