I found a significant difference in the musical presentation between two quality direct drive turntables. One, a Technics SP10 had a very metronmic effect on music that had me questioning if the albums I was so familiar with, had really been recorded in this fashion. The other, a Teac TN400 had a more flowing presentation, more akin to a belt drive. These turntables were both mounted in identical and substantial home made plinths and compared in the same room using the same equipment and supports, only the arms, cartridges and tonearm wires were different. Idler drives also have characteristics that distinguish them from other turntables, so YES, you can "hear the turntable".