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Thread: Can you ever go back to belt drive?

  1. #41
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

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    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Hi Hugo,

    Quote Originally Posted by Ammonite Acoustics View Post
    I'd add a cautionary note here - I have some classical piano recordings where you can clearly hear speed instability, even on a new Technics deck that is measurably (I have measured it) as precise as any deck can be, because that instability is on the analogue master tape, or the cutting lathe, or both. So, attributing pitch instability in an arbitrary fashion to any particular drive system is being a tad simplistic.
    Good point, and one certainly worth bearing in mind. However, in terms of your last sentence, I don't know about it being done in "arbitrary fashion", or the concept being "simplistic". It's simply about reporting, in a common sense and practical way what you hear, based on your [in this case, in reference to myself] years of experience comparing various belt-driven turntables to their direct-driven counterparts.

    And given the use of recordings that don't display any inherently audible instability, which after all was the only way you knew that such was present to measure, I'd still contend that any well-designed direct-drive turntable would outperform virtually any belt-drive design *in the specific area* of pitch/speed stability, notwithstanding the possibility that the latter could, overall, still sound better, or rather the sound produced be more preferable to the listener.

    Since Andrew seems sensitive to the effect of speed/pitch instability, it therefore seems sensible that he should target turntables which excel in that area, and from having achieved that platform of accuracy, then 'tune' the sound, in terms of musicality, to achieve the desirable results, through judicious selection of partnering ancillaries, such as arm and cartridge.

    That's simply what I would do in his position; not some definitive guide that everyone should follow

    Marco.
    To be scientific is to take into account all of reality, not to be selectively inattentive to the inconvenient -- Pharos 2019.

  2. #42
    Join Date: Sep 2013

    Location: North Island New Zealand

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    I'm Chris.

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    Can you ever go back to belt drive?

    Still using a LP12 , which I purchased new in 1979. IMO the belt acts as a form of isolation from the vibration of the motor
    Perhaps Direct Drives have found some answer to isolating vibration better than using a belt. Would be interested to know
    just what their advantages are and Why.

  3. #43
    Join Date: Sep 2017

    Location: Dublin

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    I'm Pavel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Light Dependant Resistor View Post
    Can you ever go back to belt drive?

    Still using a LP12 , which I purchased new in 1979. IMO the belt acts as a form of isolation from the vibration of the motor
    Perhaps Direct Drives have found some answer to isolating vibration better than using a belt. Would be interested to know
    just what their advantages are and Why.
    Eliminating the problem is much better than isolating it.

    Any direct drive motor rotates at the same speed as the platter and any vibration it produces is at inaudible frequencies (0.55Hz for 33RPM). No elimination necessary. Bearing rumble is the only source of noise in a well-designed DD turntable.

    Oh, and the bearings in DD turntables tend to live longer as well simply because there's no belt or idler to pull on the platter...

  4. #44
    Join Date: Aug 2012

    Location: South Beds, UK

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    I'm Mike.

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    Bit late to this thread but I've owned most of the decks mentioned and many others, too. Of the 'better' decks I've had, my personal favourites have been -

    SP-10 - rock solid speed stability, does everything exceptionally well
    PT Anni - another top performer all round
    401 - that bass and those looks
    Lenco G99 - good bass, another good all rounder, just a touch forward
    LP12 - very musical but coloured, enjoyable


    My least -

    TD125 - Yawn, too laid back


    A mix of DD and belt, so I guess, in my experience, the implementation of the drive method is everything.
    My kit, subject to change, frequently -

    TT: Goldring Lenco G99 / Technoarm / Hana SL / G1042
    Amps: Denon PMA-850, Pass F5 and TVC pre / N.E.W. A60 power
    CD Player: Doge 6
    Music discovery: Spotify into Burson V5'd EE Minimax DAC
    Speakers: Teribil Katkista
    RCM: Okki Nokki 2

    To the privileged, equality is a backward step

  5. #45
    Join Date: Jun 2018

    Location: Mildenhall, Suffolk

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    I'm John.

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    I have mailed the OP, he is in Norfolk, I am in Suffolk.
    The offer is made to meet up and listen to the PTP Solid 9 and use the LDA MK11 as I have done a write up on in community.
    This can then be compared to the OP's Linn and accompaniments played on their system.
    It should all add up to a valuable experience.
    I like my PTP, I have that feeling of satisfaction through ownership.
    I like my SP10, I have great memories of the Journey to get there.
    I like my TTS 8000, It fills me with great anticipation.
    I like my GL75, it is a project, and I know how it can improve, if I make those decisions for it.
    I like my Linn, it has played more LP's than all the above combined, but will probably be considered the weak link in the system.
    The point is the music is the experience, and all can reproduce it to a level, I can happily live with.
    Any other comparisons, will not make my listening experiences any more pleasurable, they will just highlight the benefits of the engineering in the differing designs.

  6. #46
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Sheffield - UK

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    I'm Mark.

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    The last time the speed stability of my own belt drive was measured the graphs generated were accurate enough to show the motor cogging of the cutting lathes direct drive motor*. So, speed stability is not a ‘given’ for belt drive decks and nor is speed stability a ‘given’ for direct drive - it’s all in the implementation.

    * The graph was generated by playing a tone from a test record.

    100% Analogue

  7. #47
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Sheffield - UK

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    I'm Mark.

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    There was mention in an earlier post if one turntable being better than another with off-centre pressings. With the best will in the world this cant actually be the case - irrespective of the turntables merits* it cant overcome an inherent problem with the record, nor exaggerate it.

    * Yes, I do know about the auto centring deck that Nakamichi made.

    -

    I think its also worth pointing out that use of the piano pedals can lead to effects that can be easily confused with record wow.

    100% Analogue

  8. #48
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

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    Quote Originally Posted by YNWaN View Post
    The last time the speed stability of my own belt drive was measured the graphs generated were accurate enough to show the motor cogging of the cutting lathes direct drive motor*. So, speed stability is not a ‘given’ for belt drive decks and nor is speed stability a ‘given’ for direct drive - it’s all in the implementation.

    * The graph was generated by playing a tone from a test record.
    What about 'stylus drag' factor, Mark? As in, said stability 'under load'... Did you measure that?

    Yes, it all depends on implementation, but I assure you that you can hear the effect of piano notes 'wavering' (pitch instability) on belt-drive T/Ts, with low-torque motors, especially when heavy arms/cartridges are used, with high VTFs.

    Try fitting a high-mass arm (say an FR64), and an SPU tracking at 4g, onto an LP12, play some music that tests for accurate pitch delivery, and tell me you can't hear the subsequent detrimental effect, due to the drive system struggling to cope with the mass 'under load'

    Marco.
    To be scientific is to take into account all of reality, not to be selectively inattentive to the inconvenient -- Pharos 2019.

  9. #49
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Sheffield - UK

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    I'm Mark.

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    The AC motor that Linn use (not the D.C. motor they now use on their higher end variants) is not low torque - quite the opposite in fact. Don’t be fooled into thinking the Technics is inherently higher torque when what you are actually experiencing is active control of the motor torque by the feedback circuit.

    As for stylus drag, yes I have looked into (measured) that. In fact, the whole measurement of speed that I mention was instigated by my investigation into stylus drag. Without repeating a lot of what I have written in the past (and writing a bit of an essay) I believe the entire issue centres on the fact that torque is generated by load and the actual running load on a good turntable is exceedingly low - as such, when up to speed, most turntable motors are operating at close to zero torque and so the very small drag imparted by the stylus can become a significant component.

    In the case of the LP12, and decks using a similar suspension, there is the potential for motor torque variations to work with spring and belt compliance to create a further problem, but this is not a given and often overstated IMO. In addition, particularly so in the case of the LP12, one has to be very careful as to precisely which version you are thinking of. The D.C. motor Linn use is a very different thing to the AC motor and the drive electronics differ considerably, both in terms of concept and implementation. However, if any deck can’t cope easily with the drag imparted by 4g of tracking weight there is an actual fault with the drive system!

    100% Analogue

  10. #50
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

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    Quote Originally Posted by YNWaN View Post
    The AC motor that Linn use (not the D.C. motor they now use on their higher end variants) is not low torque - quite the opposite in fact. Don’t be fooled into thinking the Technics is inherently higher torque when what you are actually experiencing is active control of the motor torque by the feedback circuit.

    As for stylus drag, yes I have looked into (measured) that. In fact, the whole measurement of speed that I mention was instigated by my investigation into stylus drag. Without repeating a lot of what I have written in the past (and writing a bit of an essay) I believe the entire issue centres on the fact that torque is generated by load and the actual running load on a good turntable is exceedingly low - as such, when up to speed, most turntable motors are operating at close to zero torque and so the very small drag imparted by the stylus can become a significant component.

    In the case of the LP12, and decks using a similar suspension, there is the potential for motor torque variations to work with spring and belt compliance to create a further problem, but this is not a given and often overstated IMO. In addition, particularly so in the case of the LP12, one has to be very careful as to precisely which version you are thinking of. The D.C. motor Linn use is a very different thing to the AC motor and the drive electronics differ considerably, both in terms of concept and implementation. However, if any deck can’t cope easily with the drag imparted by 4g of tracking weight there is an actual fault with the drive system!
    Sorry, I have to vehemently disagree. Despite your measurements, which I'm not disputing btw, I can still clearly hear (and most likely identify blind) the 'wavering' effect with pitch, on piano notes, on most belt-driven turntables, especially LP12s, compared with the rock-solid stability, in that respect, of quality direct-drives. You also have to factor in the weight of the partnering arm on the suspension, and that of the cartridge itself.
    ,
    SPUs weigh 30g on their own, which is considerable, so there's that to consider, in terms of drag, including the effective mass of the arm (18g or so, with an FR64), along with the 4g VTF applied. It all mounts up... And that's why you rarely see low-mass belt-drive turntables fitted with high-mass arms and high VTF cartridges, which are normally the reserve of more 'brutal' designs, such as the Platine Verdier - or D/Ds, like SP10s.

    Anyway, either I'm 'imagining' what I'm hearing, which in this instance I seriously doubt, or you haven't measured some necessary parameter, in order to fully ascertain what is happening in relation to 'stylus drag'.

    Marco.
    To be scientific is to take into account all of reality, not to be selectively inattentive to the inconvenient -- Pharos 2019.

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