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#2830802 - 01/24/17 07:50 PM OT: Turntables
Skinny Offline
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Belt drive vs. direct drive... which do you prefer, and why?
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#2830806 - 01/24/17 08:07 PM Re: OT: Turntables [Re: Skinny]
J. Dan Offline
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I prefer direct drive. DJ's use direct drive for the torque and getting the platter up to speed fast. I like it because I feel like it's more durable over time - no belts to stretch, rot, come off, etc. Some audiophiles prefer belt because the belt absorbs rumble from the motor makeing for a lower noise floor. I'm not convinced.
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#2830811 - 01/24/17 08:32 PM Re: OT: Turntables [Re: J. Dan]
AnotherScott Offline
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At least in the old days, the cheaper turntables were typically belt, and the high end stuff was more often direct. For whatever that's worth.
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#2830819 - 01/24/17 09:11 PM Re: OT: Turntables [Re: AnotherScott]
justin_havu Offline
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I could go either way. Mine happens to be a belt-drive, and I still get a little rumble, however that is easily taken care of by engaging the subsonic filter on my control center (I have a Marantz 500 series system with a separate control module and power amp.)
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#2830822 - 01/24/17 09:15 PM Re: OT: Turntables [Re: justin_havu]
zxcvbnm098 Offline
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http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-turntable/

Not sure where in the quality level you're aiming for, but the guys at The Wirecutter's best pic is a direct drive. I have that exact one, and I've been very pleased with it.

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#2830825 - 01/24/17 09:35 PM Re: OT: Turntables [Re: zxcvbnm098]
J. Dan Offline
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IMHO, you can't go wrong with a relatively vintage technics direct drive Mine is an SL-3300 I got for $50 at a pawn shop. The ortofonafom cartridge was probably worth more than that, I recently replaced the stylus, which cost more than I paid for the turntable,

High end turntables break down this way:

1). Base, more mass the better, means to isolate the music from environmental effects
2) platter - the skinny part. It rotates.
3) tone arm: this is where you get into tracking force, angle and all kinds of stuff - just need to make sure it's adjustable enough to match the cartridge and stylus.
4) cartridge/stylus: probably the single most important thing, frequency response, channel separation, dynamic range, distortion....all defined by the cartridge/stylus combo. Period.
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#2830828 - 01/24/17 09:48 PM Re: OT: Turntables [Re: J. Dan]
davedoerfler Offline
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#2830838 - 01/25/17 12:13 AM Re: OT: Turntables [Re: davedoerfler]
timwat Offline
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My rig is a VPI HW19 III (a belt drive audiophile table), Rega RB300 tonearm, and Dynavector 10x MC cart into a Hagerman tube phono preamp.

Which basically means this stuff can get ridiculously expensive quickly - and more importantly to Skinny's question - I think there are a lot of additional variables that go into the end result of your vinyl than simply chocolate vs. vanilla / PC vs. Mac / belt drive vs. direct.
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#2830859 - 01/25/17 05:54 AM Re: OT: Turntables [Re: davedoerfler]
RABid Online   content
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Originally Posted By: davedoerfler


LOL Dave. smile

I remember going to my best friends house in the late 70's. I had loaned him a stack of LP's and found them stacked up on the floor, all out of the covers, and all scratched up. After that I never loaned any of my LP's to anyone.

Now my nephews all want turntables and LP's. Inside I'm thinking "Why do you want to go there?" Outside I'm offering to give them my old LP's just to get rid of them.

Just when we reach a point of making digital sound good, LP's come back into vogue.
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#2830865 - 01/25/17 06:10 AM Re: OT: Turntables [Re: RABid]
Strays Dave Offline
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I have maybe about 400 albums from back when I was playing them and they were "current" technology. I'm looking at buying a turntable and moving my stereo to my living room (it's in a room in the back of the house currently).

I've been reading and pondering the Sony hi-res turntable linked below. The price was $600 and has been dropping. I'm wondering if some other companies will venture into high resolution. So I'm waiting, pondering and reading. But I like the idea of ripping UP instead of down to mp3's. Time will tell.

https://www.amazon.com/Sony-PSHX500-Res-Turntable-Black/dp/B01D8RWMGQ
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#2830867 - 01/25/17 06:15 AM Re: OT: Turntables [Re: RABid]
MorayM Offline
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I've got a Rega Planar 2 (belt drive) which occasionally gets a spin. You can still get replacement belts, and it sounds just fine.
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#2830869 - 01/25/17 06:39 AM Re: OT: Turntables [Re: RABid]
Markay Offline
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Bought my last turntable in 1976, an AR XB1. It has a compression spring sub chassis, a design that was later implemented in the Linn Sondek LP12 and others like Roksan.

It does both 45 and 33. Just lift the really heavy platter off and move the belt to change speeds. Yep it ramps up to speed so not suitable for a DJ. But once it gets up to speed it will hold it all night night night night night.

Still got it, don't use it, might sell it to a vintage loving hipster who relishes expense and inconvenience. I will throw in a cartridge alignment protractor.

The vinyl snap, crackle, pop reminds me of eating rice bubbles while listening to music.
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#2830882 - 01/25/17 08:01 AM Re: OT: Turntables [Re: zxcvbnm098]
Skinny Offline
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Originally Posted By: zxcvbnm098
http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-turntable/

Not sure where in the quality level you're aiming for, but the guys at The Wirecutter's best pic is a direct drive. I have that exact one, and I've been very pleased with it.


I was contemplating that one... it seems that the tonearm does not return when the record is done; is that true?
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#2830884 - 01/25/17 08:05 AM Re: OT: Turntables [Re: Skinny]
Skinny Offline
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BTW, right now I'm using a lower-end belt-driven model that I got at Radio Shack about 8 years ago; I think the original price was $100. It seems to play records slightly fast, although the overall sound quality is fine. So, really, I'm looking for a more speed-accurate model, although I know that can be affected by other factors, too (fluctuating AC power? )
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#2830906 - 01/25/17 09:21 AM Re: OT: Turntables [Re: Skinny]
J. Dan Offline
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Most decent turntables have pitch controls. Mine uses a strobe - the 60Hz power flashes a light on reflective squares on the side of the platter and you adjust the speed until they look like they are standing still.
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#2830922 - 01/25/17 10:50 AM Re: OT: Turntables [Re: J. Dan]
Skinny Offline
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Dan, once you get it set, does it stay pretty solid, or does it fluctuate at all?
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#2830923 - 01/25/17 10:54 AM Re: OT: Turntables [Re: Skinny]
J. Dan Offline
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I go years without touching it, and if it does end up off it's very minor (not audible)
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#2830925 - 01/25/17 10:57 AM Re: OT: Turntables [Re: J. Dan]
hazerkeys Offline
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I recently got an entry level ProJect Debut turntable and am incredibly happy - yes, not a "convenient" as Cds .. but there really is a sonic difference (much better, warmer, etc) - regular CDs are great, but try making one from over compressed itunes and your ears will bleed - at the risk of coming across like an audio snob, listening to quality music through quality speakers, etc has been lost these days I fear
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#2830928 - 01/25/17 11:08 AM Re: OT: Turntables [Re: hazerkeys]
timwat Offline
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Agreed on analog.

But be prepared for the backlash. I've found lots of naysayers that digital is more accurate, analog is dirty, etc. I trust my ears and far prefer vinyl on great speakers.

The difficult part for me is only 20 minutes before you have to get off your tush.
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#2830938 - 01/25/17 11:32 AM Re: OT: Turntables [Re: timwat]
J. Dan Offline
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Originally Posted By: timwat

The difficult part for me is only 20 minutes before you have to get off your tush.


Remember the record players where you could stack records and when it would get to the end, it would drop the next one and keep playing?
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#2830939 - 01/25/17 11:34 AM Re: OT: Turntables [Re: J. Dan]
Skinny Offline
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My parents still have theirs. It's a Lear (or Learjet?) console from the mid 70's.
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#2830941 - 01/25/17 11:46 AM Re: OT: Turntables [Re: J. Dan]
timwat Offline
Quite wealthy...spiritually
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Originally Posted By: J. Dan
Originally Posted By: timwat

The difficult part for me is only 20 minutes before you have to get off your tush.


Remember the record players where you could stack records and when it would get to the end, it would drop the next one and keep playing?


Yeah, I grew up listening to my folks Garrard changer.
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#2830966 - 01/25/17 12:44 PM Re: OT: Turntables [Re: J. Dan]
harmonizer Online   content
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Originally Posted By: J. Dan
....
4) cartridge/stylus: probably the single most important thing, frequency response, channel separation, dynamic range, distortion....all defined by the cartridge/stylus combo. Period.


J. Dan made an excellent point, which I think is being overlooked. All this talk about "which turntable is best" is rounding error, when you consider the impact that the cartridge will have on the sound quality.

The guy who had the best stereo on my dorm floor at college had spent more money on his cartridge than on his turntable. And his speakers were absurdly efficient stage monitors (with 15 inch woofers). Every piece of his stereo between his cartridge and his speakers was crap, but the sound of his stereo blew away everyone else's because he had put his dollars in the right places.

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#2830968 - 01/25/17 12:50 PM Re: OT: Turntables [Re: harmonizer]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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Belt drive is FAR preferable. The myth of "direct drive superiority" was blown apart decades ago. Much less reliable, more to go wrong, harder and more expensive to fix, less flexible, etc.
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#2830980 - 01/25/17 01:18 PM Re: OT: Turntables [Re: Mark Schmieder]
richforman Offline
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Anybody watch the IFC series "Marron"? There was a funny scene where our hero Marc Marron is in a hipster record store, and the guy is telling him he needs to buy an expensive amp in addition to a turntable to play his vinyl. He gets excited and asks (something close to) "Will I hear the pain more clearly?"
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#2831002 - 01/25/17 02:35 PM Re: OT: Turntables [Re: richforman]
eric Offline
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I have the early '70s Pioneer belt drive turntable that my dad bought when I was a young kid. He eventually gave it to me and it sat unused in my basement for a couple of decades until I brought it back from retirement a few years ago.

It is in near immaculate condition, using all the original parts and it works great! I remember my dad teaching me how to properly care for records and the turntable when I was young, so we've kept it in great condition!

I'm a big fan of vinyl - I had a halfway decent collection from childhood and have continued collecting over the years. I was lucky to source a giant record browsing bin from a small local shop that was downsizing, so I have a careworn relic now in my music/party room with all the records organized alphabetically with dividers, etc.

We have parties (usually centered around some kind of sports on TV), but we mute the TVs and listen to albums all night long. People love browsing through my collection and finding music and I love hearing the albums from start to finish, they way the artist sequenced them from the start. It is also really fun to look at the cover art and lyrics (sometimes posters) in album covers.

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#2831035 - 01/25/17 04:51 PM Re: OT: Turntables [Re: eric]
Delaware Dave Offline
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I have a 70's Dual 1228 (belt drive). I didn't use it for a few years and the belt stayed in one position. When I used finally used it I got a little warble because of the belt being 'out of round', so I would vote direct drive.
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#2831130 - 01/26/17 04:32 AM Re: OT: Turntables [Re: MorayM]
scriabin Offline
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Originally Posted By: MorayM
I've got a Rega Planar 2 (belt drive) which occasionally gets a spin. You can still get replacement belts, and it sounds just fine.


#1 for the Rega Planar 2. Must be a UK thing. Did they ever export?
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#2831135 - 01/26/17 05:07 AM Re: OT: Turntables [Re: harmonizer]
MorayM Offline
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Originally Posted By: scriabin
Originally Posted By: MorayM
I've got a Rega Planar 2 (belt drive) which occasionally gets a spin. You can still get replacement belts, and it sounds just fine.


#1 for the Rega Planar 2. Must be a UK thing. Did they ever export?


No idea I'm afraid. They're lovely machines though. The belt occasionally slips off mine as I had to get a replacement for the ball bearing that the main spindle sits on and couldn't find out the exact size for it. Mine was missing it when I bought it.

Originally Posted By: J. Dan
4) cartridge/stylus: probably the single most important thing, frequency response, channel separation, dynamic range, distortion....all defined by the cartridge/stylus combo. Period.


Which is why my dad's turntable sounds SO much better than mine (we have the same base model). His tonearm/cartridge combo costs more than twice as much as my whole hifi setup.
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#2831143 - 01/26/17 05:43 AM Re: OT: Turntables [Re: scriabin]
Markay Offline
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#1 for the Rega Planar 2. Must be a UK thing. Did they ever export?

Yep widely available out here.
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