Why According to some Turntable extremists Pitch Control and Direct Drive is Sacrilege?

Why shouldnt perfect direct drive speed and pitch control be part of an Audiophile turntable system.  Not having pitch control is like missing a stereo mono switch.
Every high end turntable should have pitch control. 

Showing 10 responses by chakster

I have two Luxman PD-444 and it does not sound "digital" at all, my first Luxman with vintage japanese tonearms replaced by Technics SP-10 mkII with modern Reed 3p. I remember i’ve been using them together (technics and luxman) in the same system. I decided to keep Luxman and even bought another Luxman PD-444 a bit later. Sold my SP-10 mkII then. Put my Reed 3p "12 in the box on the shelf. Enjoying my pair of Luxman PD-444 with toneamrs like Lustre GST-801, Fidelity-Research 64fx with N-60, Victor UA-7082 and UA-7045, Luxman TA-1, Sony PUA-7 ... and this week my Technics EPA-100 has been mounted on PD-444 for the first time and blew me away with two different top of the line Grace LEVEL II cartridges. I haven’t used Technics tonearm for 5 years or so. It was my first serious vintage high-end arm back then. After nonstop experience with many different arms i have anothe EPA-100 in my system and i have to say this is amazing tonearm, it’s too bad that i can’t mount my EPA-100 mkII on PD-444 (it’s impossible).

I will compare PD-444 to my new Denon DP-80 in DK-300 plinth once the tonearm will be mounted. But i don’t believe the turntable itself have a big impact on the sound when we’re dealing with the best of the best Direct Drive turntables. I think the arms and cartridges are far more important.

And yes, i like pitch control option, not every DD turntable have this option, but it is nice to have it to correct pressing errors. Nice option anyway, i don’t care what the majority of "audiophiles" think about it. My Victor TT-101 and Denon DP-80 are both have pitch control option and everybody know that these DDs are top class in terms of speed stability.

P.S. I hate belt drive turntables!

BTW one of my Luxman PD-444 was serviced by a japanese pro before i bought it. Another one has never been serviced, both are identical to my ears. What i want to upgrade is side panels, they must be veneered properly. I have no problem with stock feet as i only use my PD-444 on specially designed 30-50kg metal racks on spikes.

@lewm Luxman PD-444 die-cast aluminium platter is 2,5 kg (5,51 lbs)
I guess we can add platter mat like gunmetal Micro Seiki CU180 or CU-500 on the platter to change the weight, also a record weight like Micro ST-10 on top. Then we can compare the sound with ot without mats/weight. It's not necessary to change the platter itself. 

Those Micro Seiki accessories are not for every turntable, but many turntables can accept them. 

  If a direct drive sounds brittle to one persons ears and pleasing to another......it’s why we have choices for our own tastes, and not just for the zealots of one drive choice.

Do you compare different turntables with the same tonearm/cartridge ?

 The .025 wow and flutter of a good direct drive , on the surface is impressive but it’s just one thing of many that harms playback. A good belt drive with .05 wow and flutter , as much as some direct drive and idler zealots scream, will be unoticed by most as a problem at all.

A good DD has lower wow and flutter:

0.015 Denon DP-80 and Technics SP-10 mkIII
0.02 Victor TT-101
0.025 Luxman PD-444 and new Technics SL1200GAE  

And don't forget that cutting lathe is Direct Drive too 


I owned a Nakamichi TT for years, direct drive made as good as the Japanese could make them back then. Tried several arms, including a Forsell linear air bearing arm, it never sounded really good.

Which one? Probably The Dragon CT ?

Because their best and extremely rare today TX-1000 was probably made by Micro Seiki. 

@has2be I don’t care about belt drives, it’s a priori inferior technology. There is a belt with compliance, low torque .. this is what i never liked. This is enough for me to ignore this technology forever.

No single belt drive can give me what a Direct Drive can, been using japanese DD motors for about 25 years. Two Luxman PD-444, Two Victor TT-101, one Denon DP-80 is what i have now for the main system.

Sold my Technics SP-10mkII and SP-20.

If you ever seen me recommending Technics for other users it’s because nothing can compete with the current price for a brand new Technics G or GR, only some vintage Direct Drive TT can be better. And nothing can compete with the prices for top quality vintage DD like Denon DP-80, you can’t buy anything like that for the money people asking for DP-80 drive for example. It is a steal, best deal ever.

Your belt drive is a joke in this price range up to $1500, considering a good belt drive for $1200-1500 is a dream, shops selling entry level turntables for students for that money nowadays, for this price you can only buy some plastic toys on the modern market (made in china).

As i said some belt drives that i believe can be good cost $30 000 (like top Micro Seiki) and thank you, i’m better off with my Luxman PD-444 DD for under $3000 or even Technics SP-10mkII for $1500.

The prices for Garrard 301 are insane! So if you have unlimited budget for all those overpriced belt drives or idler you’re free to buy them all. But motivating people to buy a cheap junk belt drives is not what i’d like to do on the public forum.

When you’re talking about some turntables please add the models and prices, i have no idea what you’re talkling about.

While vintage Japnese Direct Drive are the most reasonably priced High-End turntables on the market it is much better to buy them for those who does not have unlimited budget. And i’m not talking about some cheap modern junk, i’m talking about exceptional Direct Drive turntables from the 70s/80s, they are still 10 times cheaper than any belt of idler pretedning to be good.

Personally i’ve never paid more than $1500 for any top vintage Direct Drive i’ve mentioned here (with express delivery to my door from all over the world).

What $1500 belt drive can compete with Luxman PD-444 designed for two tonearms in a superveavy plinth, or with Denon DP80 and coreless Victor TT-101 ???


As much as i hate $15k modern cartridges, i hate those $30k belt drives too, i have no idea who’s buying them.

Technics charge for an SP-10R with coreless motor just $9k, even this big number is a bargain compared to many high-end belt drives on the market.

And SL-1200G is a bargain at $4k with the same coreless DD motor.


You really should get use to adding to your Japanese DD obsession diatribes with the caveat...."in your opinion"...not everyone does or is required to be that narrow of mind and sight to enjoy their music , played back their way.

I don’t even read after that paragraph, you did not even mentioned what turntable are you refering to as your own choice while i have actually mentioned some exceptional vintage and new direct drive turntables with current price tag. So, again, i have no idea what you’re talking about, i hope you’re not advocating for those cheap plastic belt drives like Rega or similar junk, because i’ve seen and tried them, most of my friend (newbies) who bought them by mistake (brainwashed by reviews) replaced them later with vintage Technics DD recently and noticed huge improvement in everything from sound quality to usability (and it was affordable high-end, talking about this pair). And all of them who did not replaced them yet, but heard my DDs in my system, are willing to replace their belt drive turntables as soon as possible.

Glad you own all types of turntables, but you won’t tell us the brands, exact models and prices.

I don’t want to own all types of turntables, i only need a few, but i want to make sure the speed is correct, the sound is great and i don’t have to service them often. I’m much more interesting in tonearms and cartridges to reach my audio nirvana. I appreciate design of those vintage DDs and i don’t like the design and everything associated with belt drives in the same price range, there is nothing to choose, really.

If you think there is some in $1500-3000 price range than can compete with Luxman PD-444, Denon DP-80, Victor TT-101 or Technics SP-10mkII please add links and we will see what do you mean. There are mode decent DDs, but i onwly mentined what i have (had).

There is a belt drive that does not looks like a plastic toy, but it’s $30k minimum (without tonearms). It is not affordable for me.

At the moment your post in pointless untill you will name turntables of your choice if you’re so proud of the belt drives.

You really , really , really should read , then comprehend BEFORE you reply. Where did I say or give the idea I was all about belted tables or cheap plastic stuff. Why are you so demeaning to anyone who points out there are other choices besides what you narrowly see and opine like your the gospel according to chatter.

We’re all aware of the different turntables on the market, you want me repead it in every post? I prefer Direct Drive over any Belt Drive in the same price category, no doubt. Yes, it’s my opinion. And i hope it does not heart anyone’s feelings. Everything Belt Drive is the same price category is cheap junk compared to vintage Direct Drive turntables, let’s say $1200-2000.

I like , own and appreciate all drives for their individual sound and the unique way each approaches the same goals for playback. I currently own an Orbe SE with Graham 2.0 tc arm

That’s fine if you have unlimited budget to buy all the turntables (all kinds) and room to place them. This is a typical audiophilia. But you Graham is a copy of the Audio Craft tonearm from the past as far as i know.

Recently purchased back my Micro RX 5000 and put on an Sme iv arm and the max 282 I had kept.

I expected that, but as i said this is extremely expensive turntable and only a few people can afford it, not each of us can throw $40k on a belt drive turntable, but with a limited budget DD is a better choice, always.

I recently refurbished an SP 10 mkii A and set it in a panzerhotz and carbon plinth with the EPA 100 mkii arm I bought with it. I have a Reed 3p arm to be used on a custom table I am in the middle of building (mass weight heavy plinth and platter belt drive.

So please name any Belt Drive than can compete with SP-10mkII within $1200 price tag. I have EPA-100mkII and Reed 3p "12.

I use to repair and refurbished many of those Japanese DD tables so it’s a mystery to me why your so thick and quick to defend what you don’t need to.

I have no needs to repair any DD, except for the Victor TT-101 (considered one of the best DD ever). And actually this is a benefit of vintage Direct Drive too, they can work for 40 years and you can only replace caps if needed. and add lubricant. And yes i don’t need a turntable musseum in my room, i already have 4 different brands and that’s too much.

I NEVER said they were inferior or belts were better....that’s your thing to run others choices down because they don’t match yours and even go off half cocked when no one said your wrong , but desparaging others opinions and choices is not impressive, at all.

If you can’t choose then you’re running turntable museum, normal people does not need all those turntables, can you imagine a person with just ONE turntable and limited budget? People like you reminds me a salesman in the shop full of turntables claiming they are all good, well maybe, but a buyer needs just ONE of them, a buyer can’t buy all of them. Then the problem is a choice between one kind or another.

I am fully aware of how good many DD tables were in their day and how the value they have can be good IF YOU LIKE THE SOUND OF THEM.

The sound is pretty much a cartridge and tonearm, phono stage and speakers. Now you and a few others will tell me i am wrong, some people will tell me the fuse has a sound, but let me ignore it, i am not so crazy yet. In other words i like "the sound" of vintage direct drive turntables, when it comes to the best ones.

To some they don’t do it for them , some like a good idler , others a good belted unit for THEIR preference and budget. Not everyone can afford what some of us took a lifetime to build up and enjoy.

Everyone on audiogon forum can afford brand new Technics GR instead of some plastic looking cheap Belt Drive at the same price!

This I do know, many a Rega owner is happy with what they have, enjoy it and that’s all that matters. Owning this stuff isn’t impressive chackster, it’s fortunate we do , but the guy with the lowly belt drive you actually used the word hate to describe. ......he enjoys his own preference, his music and gear as much as anyone....so why be a jerk and look down on them.....respectful attitudes to fellow enthusiasts costs nothing. .......

These guys are asking for advice here and willing to upgrage their turntables, not me. Most of them never ever heard a good Direct Drive, but were forced to buy cheap belt drive for rediculous price by the dealers and reviewers. Then came you claiming all the turntables are good, no matter belt of direct etc. Not so helpful for guys who needs something better without breaking the bank, they are already victims of propaganda of the digital world.

I resume: On the lower budget under $2k direct drive like new Technics GR is always better, some vintage direct drive TT are under $1k + tonearm and plinth, and there is nothing on the belt drive territory that can beat it, really. This is a common sense.

P.S. My opinion is irrelevant for an audiophiles with turntable museums in their home, if they can buy all the best turntables at any price then life is good already.

Let me put it this way ... my PD444 sounded like hollow... well accuracy if you like. In other words, digital. And actually its seeming dynamics sounded more like just sheer power not real dynamics, e.g. music really, just power. All in all, its sound didn´t manage to move me emotionally, spiritually nor intellectually.

Regarding the Harrold's comment it's funny, because i bet he did not mentioned that when he sold his PD-444, it's a double standards as always. 

In case with his cartridges and turntables we have completely different taste, but i have no idea how analog can sound "digital" when digital simply can't sound "analog". Strange, isn't it ? 

When one is not happy about the sound coming from spinning platter i would recommend to think about the speakers. Because everything  sound dynamic with high efficient speakers, better with full range paper drivers. This is where dynamics really is (imo) !  But when you're guys would like to improve dymanics you are looking at turntable? This is very strange, because speakers are far more important in terms of dynamics (if your cartridge and arm already nice). 

Different strokes for different folks ... 

P.S. We have many more users of PD-444 on this forum and they are happy about this turntable for decades. I hope my new Denon DP-80 will impress me as much as the PD-444