Belt Driven Turntables

Belt Drive Turntable
Pros, Cons and Comparison with Direct Drive Decks

A belt drive turntable's motor is either located underneath or outside the deck's platter. The motor is not centered on the platter and is connected to it by means of an elastic belt.

belt-drive-turntableThe motor is connected to the platter using a rubberized belt. The mechanism is for spinning the platter of the turntable. Most high fidelity decks are usually belt driven. Beginner DJs use belt driven turntables.


Belt Drive Vs. Direct Drive Turntable
Comparison and explanation video demonstration

The Good: Belt drive decks are cheaper than direct drive motors. It is also a fact that a turntable's elastomeric belt can absorb the vibrations from the motor.

The Bad: However, belt-driven decks do have their disadvantages. For one, turntable drive belts have a slow start-up time. The torque is nothing like the direct drive because of the belt mechanism.

A belt turntable generally has poor resistance to vinyl records skipping. The belt will eventually wear out that it needs to be changed. If not, the belt will slip and the belt turntable platter's speed will be compromised.

There are belt drive turntables that have advanced electronics and Quartz control which, in a sense, make such turntable with belt buckle a good choice for easy listening and for DJ-ing hobbyists. Making sure that the turntable belts are firm and have not lost their elasticity, guarantees a more than acceptable deck for gigging.

Stanton T.50x Belt Drive Turntable

Stanton-T.50xFor good entry level belt-driven turntable, the Stanton T.50X is a good choice. It offers a more than acceptable performance at a very affordable price. It may be a belt drive deck but its straight tone arm is almost skip-resistant.

There are two start/stop switches which are great features for mixing or for battles, a +/- 10% pitch slider for scratching and tracking, perfect for the gigging DJ. For those who are into belt driven turntables for easy listening of vinyls, this unit is entry level.

Bona fide audiophiles will not find this model satisfactory. Note that this unit was designed and made with DJs in mind. It has an average consumer rating of 2.7/5. The price is $100 without the cartridge.

Sony PS-LX250H Automatic Belt-Driven Turntable

Sony-turntablesThis belt drive deck is a good enough entry level record player. It plays at two speeds of 33 1/3 and 45 rpm LPs. It has a built-in phono preamplifier and a signal to noise ratio of 50dB. The Wow and Flutter is at 0.25 % WRMS which is good enough for a unit that can be purchased for only $70.

This unit is not for the gigging DJ or certified audiophiles. However, for those who are only seeking for a working nice-enough-sound-quality turntable, this unit will do. It has an average using rating of 3.9/5.

Numark TTUSB Turntable with USB

Numark-turntablesThis turntable has a USB interface for converting analog songs to digital files through PC or MAC. Software is included to facilitate the conversion from LP to CD and “clean” the vinyl from pops and clicks.

The unit has an anti-skating control for increasing stereo balance. It has two speeds of 33 1/3 and 45 rmp for LPs. It has an acceptable +/- 10% sliding pitch control. It has a headshell with a pre-mounted cartridge and has all the cables necessary for connectivity.

For converting analog to digital files, the Audacity software is included upon purchase. This software basically copies the vinyl record at high speed but plays at the normal speed, cleans the record from the usual pops, clicks and hisses and has the capability to export the digital files to MP3s and WAVs. Pegged at $ 90, this belt turntable model has a 4/5 consumer rating.

Audio Technica AT-PL50 Belt Drive Turntable

Audio-Technica-AT-PL50This model is an automatic belt-drive turntable that plays both 33 1/3 and 45 rpm vinyl records. It features an aluminum platter and a switchable preamplifier. It is equipped with a dual magnet stereo cartridge with a replaceable stylus.

The tonearm is quite balanced fitted with a soft damping control. The unit can be directly plugged into amplified speakers for a hassle-free system installation. An option to turn off/on the preamplifier in case the amplifier to be used has a phono input or none.

Though this belt drive turntable is low-end, it is a good enough product for listening to old vinyls. It has a consumer rating of 3.8/5 and is modestly priced at $ 70.

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