There are many details that go into a great turntable, from a properly weighted tonearm to an attractive finish. However, one of the most basic questions to consider when deciding on a new addition to your home audio setup is whether you prefer a belt or direct-drive turntable. Each design has its advantages, but in most cases, music fans will find that a belt-drive turntable consistently delivers the best results for sound quality.
What's the difference between a belt and direct-drive turntable?
The distinction between these two types of turntables is how the motor works to spin the platter where you place a vinyl record. In a direct-drive turntable, the motor is situated under the platter and, as the name suggests, spins it directly. That construction allows a high level of torque, getting your records moving at the correct speed right away.
Belt-drive models, on the other hand, feature a motor positioned off to the side of the platter. A thin belt, usually made of rubber, stretches from the motor's spindle to wrap around the platter and turn it. These turntables may take several seconds to reach the desired speed
As a result, direct-drive turntables are often favored by DJs who prioritize precision control when starting up tracks and lining up beats. However, those benefits often come with sacrifices in sound quality since the motor can cause vibrations in the platter and thus distortion in your music.
A belt-drive turntable avoids this issue by isolating the motor and damping vibrations, making it the choice of fans who are focused on getting the clearest, most immersive experience from their music.
Get the best sound out of your record collection
A belt-drive construction is just the beginning of engineering a turntable that produces exceptional results. If the belt is not of consistent thickness all the way around or doesn't stay sufficiently taut, there can be variations in rotation speed that affect playback. That's why it's important to select a turntable built with quality materials and engineered for reliable performance.
The Marantz TT42 offers a DC servo belt drive that ensures a constant speed and distortion-free playback. With low-coloration, resonance-resistant tonearm and a moving magnet cartridge, this turntable was created to reproduce music as it was recorded.
To get the best out of your music collection, there's no substitute for quality engineering. Explore the full selection of Hi-Fi components available from Marantz to complete your home audio setup.