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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:01 pm 
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Or: How I learned to stop worrying & love direct drive turntables.

I've decided, with a little prodding, to start a direct-drive turntable appreciation thread here on CAM. Feel free to share your stories, post your pictures, recommend tweaks & cartridges & be free of ridicule.

I'll go first. I'm the proud owner & daily user of two Technics direct-drive turntables:

The Technics SL-D2, a rock'n'roll turntable if ever there was one. Semi-automatic operation, with auto-return. Built to last, with the looks to prove it. I found that the 'Red Ed' cartridge, with optional elliptical stylus, works wonders on this tonearm, with a huge, warm, 3-D soundstage. Speed/pitch stability is excellent once the control was cleaned. I love it's sound, I love it's looks & I love it's unfailing reliability. Found it in March of 2010 for $20, with at least 20 years of grime on it. Once cleaned & lubed, it worked like new. Almost a year later and about a thousand records played, it spins the black circle like a champ.

The Technics SL-D202, my dedicated jazz turntable. Manual operation with auto-return. This table, for whatever reason, has absolutely the worst feet on it in the history of turntable manufacture. So I removed the stock feet & replaced them with some spring-loaded rubber feet from a Technics SL-20 I used for parts. The plinth is now completely isolated from outside vibration & impact. I slapped an Ortofon LM-15 cartridge on it & 'the-cats-that-swing' regularly play their beatnik-bop in my livingroom. Found it in Vancouver for $40 from some poor bastard renovating his livingroom to his wife's specifications. Specification #1? No turntable for him. His loss, my gain!

So there ya go, people, have at 'er...

-- 18 Jan 2011 21:02 --

Profiles!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:28 pm 
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Location: Smalltown, ON, CA
Had one of the first Technics SL-1500's to hit this shore,.... and still have it Currently, I've got a Dual 701 which resides in my sitting room system... see avatar, Technics 1401 in the office, 1500 which is a floater, and then.... SP10 and two SP15's along with a Denon DP75. I don't want to denigrate the belters in the collection... Thorens 125, 126, 160, Sota Sapphire, Yamaha PF800, and Empire 598.

I like both, but, from an engineering POV the DD's have a certain "je ne sais quois"

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:33 pm 
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Location: Penticton, BC, CA
I hope this question does not compromise the spirit of this thread, but as a “belt drive” guy what does a DD do differently that you prefer it? I don’t mean this as an attack it is more of a case that I have zero DD experience to draw on having always ended up with a belt drive for one reason or another.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:45 pm 
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Location: Freelton, ON, CA
have these two that i enjoy swapping into the table rotation regularly to try out different arm/cartridge combos. both very good, under-appreciated, tables.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:34 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2008 7:35 pm
Posts: 363
Location: Wetaskiwin, AB, CA
I enjoy listening to my DD tables as much as my belt drive tables.
Cart swapping is good fun!

Technics:
SL-1200 M3D
SL-1401
SL-1700
SL-1800

Yamaha:
YP-D6

Dual:
701
604

Good Luck and Happy Listening
John


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:39 pm 
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Location: Victoria, BC, CA
Wow corby, those are fantastic plinths. Did you build them? Beautiful.

I'm using a DD Dual 704 with a budget (but better than anything I grew up with) Ortofon OM5 cart. Great fun. I'd love to mount it in a nice heavy wood plinth, but that DIY project is behind about 3-10 others. Shorter term, I need to fix the sporadic strobe/quartz lock bulb.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:42 pm 
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Location: Kamloops, BC, CA
okanaudio wrote:
I hope this question does not compromise the spirit of this thread, but as a “belt drive” guy what does a DD do differently that you prefer it? I don’t mean this as an attack it is more of a case that I have zero DD experience to draw on having always ended up with a belt drive for one reason or another.


For me it's as simple as this: my direct-drives have no belt-drive, therefore no belts to replace, and what I consider better speed stability & pitch control. I've had many belt-drives in the past that drove me nuts with speed issues. It's not really a fidelity thing for me either, I just prefer direct-drive as a design concept. I've also got a soft-spot for Japanese direct-drive build quality. The research & development on these tables must have been insane!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:49 pm 
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lambic
thanks for the compliment. yes i did build the plinths. i have a backlog of fun projects as well, a mix of idler, belt and another dd table to do.
the OM5 is a great cartridge for the money. i have a couple of them. the dl103 really is a bargain as well as is the high output dl110.
these older dd tables can sound fantastic with the right combo of plinth, arm and cartridge, without breaking the bank.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:14 pm 
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Location: Nanaimo, BC, CA
My DD in use a fair bit. Originally bought for late night listening when I have a tendency to nod off. :oops: However, with the Sumiko Pearl I put on it, i find myself listening to it more and more. Big, lush sound in comparison to my Rega BD. I am now on the search for a semi-auto DD and a full manual DD. I have popped the hood on the Sony and cleaned, lubed, tightened stuff I could recognize. The build on this thing makes the Rega look like it was made in a shop class at the local high school....Think about it..To bring the Rega up to snuff, you can replace the arm, sub-platter, platter, and motor. Leaving you with a piece of MDF as the only original part......Biggest problem I have is I find a nice table and no one will ship it!!!!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:00 pm 
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Location: Mississauga, ON, CA
I have a Technics SL1200 MkII and like it very much. I like the consistency of direct drive and the fact that no belt to replace.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:10 pm 
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Location: Penticton, BC, CA
Old Rusty wrote:
okanaudio wrote:
I hope this question does not compromise the spirit of this thread, but as a “belt drive” guy what does a DD do differently that you prefer it? I don’t mean this as an attack it is more of a case that I have zero DD experience to draw on having always ended up with a belt drive for one reason or another.


For me it's as simple as this: my direct-drives have no belt-drive, therefore no belts to replace, and what I consider better speed stability & pitch control. I've had many belt-drives in the past that drove me nuts with speed issues. It's not really a fidelity thing for me either, I just prefer direct-drive as a design concept. I've also got a soft-spot for Japanese direct-drive build quality. The research & development on these tables must have been insane!



Thx for the answer. Makes perfect sense. One of these days I have to get hold of a DD to play with. I quite like some of the vintage Denon DP series.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:14 pm 
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I use a Denon DP-40F with a Denon DL-160 & absolutely love this combo!!


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Last edited by ace420 on Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:16 pm 
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Quote:
. One of these days I have to get hold of a DD to play with. I quite like some of the vintage Denon DP series.





Expect to pay for what you get....... My DP75 was around the G note and was a bargain at twice the price,

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:42 pm 
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Location: Edmonton, AB, CA
What a great topic! after Months of searching and tweaking, I'm getting closer and closer to vinyl nirvana! My NOS...That's right folks, New Old Stock JVC QL-Y55F BABY IS IN THE HOUSE! Original box, clam shell packaging. Original owners manual, Spare bulb, Basically all the goodies with warranty card too!
I mounted her with the now very hard to find Audio-Technica AT-33PTG moving Coil cart and wow! Amazing! These old UFO high end JVC models from the early 80's were right up there for stability, reliability and beauty! I replaced the stock mat with an old Oracle Groove Isolator sticky mat and have plans to do some plinth dampening and rack modifications. Many of you may know that the factory plinth is the week point of the old JVC's since they are constructed of cheap wood then laminated with a glossy Veneer. Still this puppy is 14kg and when I'm done she will be the envy of a lot of belt drivers that's for sure. The servo controlled tone arm is amazing and with decent noise floors, the TT will never be replaced! I hope the pictures I took are ok since I’m like, totally blind (grin)

Cheers…Rocker
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:25 pm 
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Location: TO area, ON, CA
okanaudio wrote:
I hope this question does not compromise the spirit of this thread, but as a “belt drive” guy what does a DD do differently that you prefer it? I don’t mean this as an attack it is more of a case that I have zero DD experience to draw on having always ended up with a belt drive for one reason or another.


Because I can totally forget about it and concentrate on the arm and cartridges. Technics SP10 MKII with an ET 2.5, Benz Micro MC3.


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