Direct Drive vs. Idler Drive vs. Belt drive


I'd like to know your thoughts on the strengths and weaknesses of each drive system. I can see that direct drive is more in vogue over the last few years but is it superior to the other drive systems? I've had first-hand experiences with two out of the three drive systems but looking to learn more.
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Dear Mijostin,
Clearaudio make some very good cartridges. Just take the Goldfinger II. They are famous for that, much more than their tables and arms. So I do agree with you on that. But not on your old/new comparison.  I do have new stuff, no problem about that. This is the reason why I am able to compare. If you go for an old and perfectly looked after vintage R 80 you end up at about 50 mios. I would not call it a bargain. Comparing a D103 against an Atlas is very easy, not forgetting that we have some very nice improvements on that cart. If you end up with subtle differences you really should change your amps and speakers. So we are talking about good systems and a serious approach to compare units in your own room.

E.
...not mios but thousands. Sorry.

E.
Just to clarify that I am not a hater of any drive format but just I know what I hear and what i am liking in said hearing.

Prior to the 401 I had numerous belt drives including a Nottingham Analog Spacedeck, not their best but a good table.
With exactly the same lomc cartridge running on the 401 there simply was no comparison, the 401 has dynamics, life, soul whatever you want to term it in spades over the Notts.
Now I have also owned two Victor DD, the TT-81 and the TT-71 both with respective Victor plinths and tonearms ( ua7082 and ua7045).
Again both just sounded flat and lifeless next to the 401.
Just the way it was in my system, I never wanted this result, it just is what it is.
All are gone now apart from the 401.

A wise friend said to me while were discussing this...." you cannot unhear what you hear" 
Thuchan, I was only joking when I mentioned using 3 or 4 motors. However I think there actually was or is at least one commercial product with 3 motors as an optional “upgrade”. In these discussions, it is my tendency to favor direct drive and idler drive over belt drive, but I certainly do recognize that there are very fine belt drive turntables that have sounded wonderful to my ears. As I noted earlier in this thread, I think, the Doehmann helix turntable is one of those latter. But you have to spend what is for most of us big bucks in order to get to that level of performance. And lesser levels of belt drive turntables just don’t cut it for me.

Richard, I was surprised to read your comment about the difficulty of designing and building a direct drive turntable. With respect to vibrations. Because to me a saving grace of direct drive is that there is no physical contact between the motor and the platter, the platter itself is the rotor of the motor. It is driven by the magnetic forces generated at the stator which never touches the rotor. So the only issues are accurate speed and speed stability despite stylus drag, bearing friction, etc.This is not to say that designing and building the world’s best direct drive is not a challenge, but I would have thought that one of the challenges is not motor noise of the mechanical type.
Dear Lewm,
got you! 😀 there are many products with three motors which is just a waste of energy, time & money. When I went to Burmester in Berlin I had the chance to look deeper into their new 4 motor concept. Brilliantly implemented!
E.