I recently purchased a Rega Planar 10. The RB3000 tonearm is a revelation. The plinth/drive/entire assembly with their exotic materials make a very significant difference. I thought that I knew my vinyl collection very well. I am now hearing information that I never had heard in the past. Details and nuance that is amazingly, well, just there. It's like a new discovery. I carried over the same cartridge from my previous deck, a Lyra Delos. So the cartridge, and also the phono stage (Manley Chinook) remained the same. Apples to apples. The only change was the turntable. It's an amazing performer. It's also a significant step up in price. If it fits your budget, go for it. You will be very happy that you did.
- 129 posts total
There is an app (RPM) where you can test the rpms on your table. Mine is at 33.26 and 44.9 respectively, the slightly slower rotation due to the weight of my iPhone on the platter versus weight of a record I am sure. You know the physics fact that measuring anything reduces it’s speed if some (even minuscule) weight is added to it. Even with that , it’s off by about .2%. Exactly the same at both speeds.
No, thanks. I don’t think i need a Rega belt drive (or any belt drive) anywhere near my collection of the best Direct Drive turntables.
1) This is my over 40 y.o. Victor TT-101 with Coreless Direct Drive motor and the rotation is spot on. You can read more about this TT-101 here:
"If the TT-101 series is almost completely unknown outside Japan and Germany, it is nevertheless one of the best LP record player system ever made....
The Double Bi-Directional Servo, as its name suggests, adds to a conventional FG Servo a second quartz-lock servo section loop outside of the drive itself. Double phase comparison offers negligible drift and no fluctuation under heavy load conditions. This precision also allows a unique feature : the control of the pitch withn ±6Hz around the A fundamental (440Hz) without switching off the Quartz locking !
The motor itself is a coreless DC with 180 slots where the servo is applied on both positive and negative areas to avoid speed overshooting when started or when correcting speed.
It was mostly Victor’s professional LP players that were widely accepted in the Japanese broadcasting studios with big guns like the JL-B1000P, the original Victor professional record player the TT-101 series and later tt-801 came from."
2) Luxman PD-444 is my everyday turntable and i love it, another Direct Drive designed for use with two tonearms and it’s super easy to swap tonearms quickly without messing around with wooden armboards like on many other turntables. I even bought two PD-444 and using them with 4 tonearms. More about this wonderful direct drive is here.
3) Yet another great DD in my system is Denon DP-80 and this is the best value on the market today, absolutely amazing turntable. More information HERE.
4) I already mentioned my SP-10 mkII i’ve been using for a long time, i sold it when i bought Luxman PD-444 and i like my LUX even better.
Searching for rare cartridges and studying this subject i need many tonearms to match carts very well and to compare them. I am not interested in any tuntable with one fixed tonearm, because i change tonearms often (all my tonearms are different size from "9 to "12 inch). The most versatile turntable is Luxman PD-444 Direct Drive (by the way Luxman made a Belt Drive version with vacuum pump too, it was PD-555). Both turntables designed by Micro Seiki for Luxman.
I have no idea why audiophiles older than me never tried some of the best Direct Drive turntables and always refer to the modern mainstream belt drives ? I think it is a lack of experience, because 80% of the "information" about DD turntables coming from a Belt Drive owners is fake news.
We have different preferences and that’s fine, but people comparing apples to oranges, each time i read about DD turntable from a Belt Drive owners they’re referring to some cheap entry level Direct Drives they tried 20-40 years ago. This is weird.
P.S. The best answer to OP question is vintage direct drive of the highest quality (my personal preferences as you can see) or brand new Technics because i don't know anything else (at the same price or even twice as much) that can compete with new Technics reference models.
belt driven tables can have very high torque, DPS for example, dead silent and dead accurate on speed, with lots of friction by design, apart from its other sonic virtues like transparency, rythmic qualities and amazing information retrieval.
Japaneese DD turntables are highly justified with above mentioned models, though i would include Sony's X9 and TS8000 that could fit easily in the list but costing more.
I agree that they would outperform many modern belt drives though their age will be of serious concern to new buyers. In the late 70's early 80's both sides of the Atlantic were trying to mimic and prove that the best was something like LP12. No space for big and expensive Japaneese tt's, their arms or other components. Nowdays we discover that they still make top sound.
"1) This is my over 40 y.o. Victor TT-101with Coreless Direct Drive motor and the rotation is spot on. You can read more about this TT-101 here: "
"I have no idea why audiophiles older than me never tried some of the best Direct Drive turntables and always refer to the modern mainstream belt drives ? I think it is a lack of experience, because 80% of the "information" about DD turntables coming from a Belt Drive owners is fake news."
I know that back in the late 80s there was so much fanfare in the UK press over belt drive decks. It was all Linn or Rega in those days (or a Dual if you had to).
Even decent decks like the Pink Triangle or Alphason Sonata could hardly make any headway. I took the plunge and bought a Rega 3. It was - ok.
As for the Japanese direct drive decks, they were only ever mentioned in passing (or letters) and never reviewed, their owners were mocked and the decks universally derided.
It's taken the press a very long time to come round.
- 129 posts total