Which Should You Choose: A Direct Drive or Belt Drive Record Player?

You’ve probably also heard many questions on record player forums on which type of drive is better: belt or direct? This is quite a complex question because there’s no clear answer to it. The build of each record player is so different, such that a belt drive (despite being the older and more conventional version in the past) could potentially outperform a direct drive. In the most general terms, a direct drive is technically better since it eliminates the need for the ‘belt’ which could add to what’s called vibrational interference of a record player. Without getting too deep into the technical aspects of music and audio quality, vibrational interference of any audio devices is basically imperfection or ‘artifacts’ caused by vibration of the many parts of a record player.

blue record playerAs audio is being played, the sound waves being produced will lead to vibrations, especially in the more intricate parts of a device. In the case of the record player, that could lead to vibrations in the stylus, tonearm, cartridge or even the base of the record player. This is also the reason why many of the best record players come with a rather heavy base beneath the platter. This base contributes a lot towards the elimination of vibration above and below the base itself. This allows each component of the record player to perform at its optimal level without such interference affecting it.