The direct drive turntable earned its popularity in the early 70s. At first, turntables with this type of drive were successfully used in studios, where their feature of instant start, inaccessible in other types of drives, was immediately evaluated. Then, as the production of low-speed motors became cheaper, such direct drive turntables were becoming more common in the domestic sector and, by the time of the arrival of another carrier, direct drive on the record players was most common.
Direct Drive Turntable Definition
Direct drive turntable meaning lies in that the disk (and the plate, respectively) is directly rotated by a low-speed motor, without any transmission elements.
If you look at the best examples of the direct drive units, for example, Pioneer-Exclusive, Yamaha, Denon, EMT, etc, you will see that these are technically complex and expensive constructions. The budget variants of the direct drive turntables were never appreciated for excellent sound. Although, budget models cope well with the speed stability. However, despite this, in their sound were manifested all the side effects of the price reduction and simplification. Aurally it perceives as rigidity, rudeness, and straightness of the sound.
Direct drive, in general, is already in the past. The heyday of this type of drives is gone, and all the best and most famous models of direct drive turntables were already released by large and well-known companies. It is only possible to design and release a high-quality direct drive with the availability of appropriate development and production capacities, as well as with sufficient production volumes of such devices. Just average budget direct drive players turned out to be successful almost always only with very large production volumes and sufficient capacity of the manufacturer.
Among modern devices, direct drive turntables are very rare and mostly represented either by professional DJ models, by rare and or really expensive models.
The Advantages of The Direct Drive Record Player
One of the main advantages of direct drive is its accurate and smooth speed, although, it depends on the concrete direct drive record player specs. Also, the rotational stability usually distinguishes in this type of turntable (which is reflected in the sound dynamics), as well as reliability and durability of the structure with relatively low maintenance requirements.
The Direct Drive Turntable Disadvantages
The most obvious disadvantage of direct type of drive is the noise of its motor, which is transmutes and converts into a component of a sound.
The others significant disadvantages of even the best direct drive turntables are considered to be their complex construction and the difficulty of its repairing. Complexity and age of the device increase the possibility of breakdowns, and its repairs and maintenance can be extremely difficult and expensive, not even because of the circuit of turntable itself, but because the details can be not even available.
So, now you have enough information about what is direct drive turntable. In any case, the type of drive itself is not as important as its implementation.