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anodizer
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Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: Sep 15 2011 - 7:19am
direct drive turntables

Currently I own a Thorens TD160 super with SME series 3 and Grado statement platinum.

I'm looking for a new turntable and found the new Rega RP3 an interesting prospect.  However if one looks at the 2nd hand market, there are a whole lot of those bulky Denon direct drives to be had for very reasonable money.  Does anyone have any idea how these stack up to the likes of Rega & Project tables these days?

I'm starting to wonder this after reading an article about the Technics SL1200 where the author critisises Rega for not publishing any specs (wow & flutter comes to mind) on their tables, he then goes on to state that the Technics has excellent specs.  I looked further into this and found that these direct drives have indeed great specs and that Rega doesn't list them (if someone has them, please point me to it).

So, can DD turntables play a satisfactory role in an audiophile system?

deckeda
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Joined: Feb 1 2006 - 7:41pm
Why not a CD player? They

Why not a CD player? They have NO wow and flutter. Perfect, flat response. Largely immune from issues of hum, footfalls, media wear, no surface noise.

Trust your ears, not spec sheets.

jackfish
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Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
My suggestion would be to talk

to the Vinyl Engine forum.  You will get diverse opinion there regarding your options.  Personally, I would get a Rega RP3 before a Technics SL1200.  But then I'm partial to belt drive turntables.  Back in the day I could not really get what all the buzz was about direct drive turntables when they didn't sound any better than a belt drive AR turntable.

dbster
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Joined: Apr 22 2011 - 6:54pm
DD versus belt

Belts can stretch, break and even vibrate and resonate. AC drive motors can induce hum into cartridges. Idler wheel drives can become less than perfectly circular or develop worn spots. So the news that is not news is that nothing is perfect. I have DD and an idler. If I play a test record and use one of the digital tuners from a stringed instrument player, and that test record has a 440 Hz middle A track on it, I get these results:

40 year old good brand idler wheel has more variation in pitch, like plus or minus 10, in a random fashion, but has more time on frequency. DD has more predictable variation in pitch, smoother and tighter, plus or minus 5, but less time right on frequency. Also, closer to dead quiet when it should be - no hum, no rumble. So as someone with mostly classical, 60s, and some jazz, I like the DD, especially in sustained classical music note situations.

To another of your pints, the SL-1200 has flavors. The speed control circuitry on the SL-1200MK2 and higher is much better than on the original SL-1200. Lots of new, factory original parts for these too, because they were so popular. In fact, they only stopped production within the last year (causing used prices to rise).  I have a few biases:

A new turntable without a built in strobe to prove it is on frequency is not what I'd pick. Or at least a speed adjustment and you check it once in a while with your own strobe disk. Next bias - whether DD or other, turntable mass is a good thing. A few pounds is my bias.

Since this site is sponsored by a magazine I like, which needs ad revenue to survive, look elsewhere for a used versus new comment concerning spending your dollars. But if you did pick up something used, then the Vinyl Engine web site mentioned in a prior post is GREAT for finding user and service manuals.

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