Direct drive turntable is one of two types of vinyl record players available to consumers today. The other type of turntable is the belt-driven design. The label is dependent on the type of motor used to power up the turntable.
A direct drive deck has the motor installed directly under and directly connected to the platter. The first brand that produced direct drive models is Technics under the Masushita Company way back in the late 60s.
In the early 1970s, Technics designed and manufactured the SL-1200 turntable. Up to now, the 1200 series of Technics, now under Panasonic, is the standard by which all other direct drive turntables are judged.
What should you buy? Direct drive or belt-driven?
Direct-driven decks have accurate speed. Its start/stop buttons is fast and at point. The speed is constant and no variations. It is low-maintenance as there is no belt change.
One undesirable effect is the vibration due to the rotation of the motor. However, this issue can be addressed merely by placing shock-absorbers between the platter and motor.
Most direct drive DJ turntable motors have a higher torque than belt-driven ones. This is a good feature as the speed of the platter is not vulnerable to the forces or movement of the stylus, tonearm and other incidental outside forces. A higher torque also ensures less sound distortion as the platter will start in the required speed without problem.
There are plenty of good brands in the direct drive niche. There are cheap and there are expensive models. The difference lies in the sound produced in the extraction of the sound. For gigging DJs the choice would have to be from the niche of professional turntables. Easy listening is certainly different from DJ-ing.
Technics SL-1200MK2 is the first deck that used a direct drive motor. It has a reliable and accurate quartz movement, adjustable tonearm weights, an anti-skate control and a sliding pitch control. For more than 30 years now, Technics direct drive technology continues to evolve. There is no denying that the Technics 1200 series remain the most popular and coveted piece of direct drive decks.
Gemini TT03 Direct Drive Turntable is a manual turntable with a high torque of 2.2 kgfcm. It has a sliding pitch control of +/- 10%. Its platter is made of solid aluminum with glide grooving. Its straight tonearm provides excellent tracking as it is adjustable (with lock) of up to 6mm. The counterweight is also adjustable.
The unit has anti-skating controls and can play in 3 speeds (33 1/3, 45 and 78 rpm). The Gemini TT03 is one of the latest additions to the TT series. It exceeds the standard set by the DJ-ing industry in torque power. This unit is ideal for DJ mixing and scratches as the tonearm does not skip as it locks into the grooves of the vinyl record. The unit is available for purchase at $ 190.
Numark TTX PROFESSIONAL Direct Drive Turntable was conceptualized, designed and manufactured with the professional DJs in mind. Its silicon base absorbs and dampens vibration and feedback. Its tonearm is can be changed from straight to S-curve for complete adaptability to a DJ's style of scratching and mixing. Its torque is variable from 2.5 kgfcm up to an ultra high 4.7 kgfcm. The sliding pitch control is simply “awesome” with a range of +/- 8% to +/- 50%. With consumer rating of 3.8/5, the price is in medium range at $365.
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