Direct Drive

I am firmly in the digital camp, but I’ve dabbled in vinyl.  Back in the day I was fascinated by Technics Direct Drive tt, but couldn’t afford them.  I was stuck with my entry level Gerrard.  I have been sans turntable for about 5 years now but the new gear bug is biting.  I am interested in the Technics 1500 which comes with an Ortofon Red and included pre amp.  I have owned Rega P5 which I hated for its speed instability and a Clearaudio Concept which was boring as hell.

  Direct Drive was an anathema to audiophiles in the nineties but every time I heard  one it knocked my socks off.  What do the analogers here think of Direct Drive?  I listen to Classical Music exclusively 


The Rega moved me more but the pitch instability drove me nuts.  I had Wilhelm Kempff playing Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata where the famous triplets in the First Movement were distorted  to point that I had thought someone slipped acid in my coffee.

I assume on Deutch Gramophone - one of my favourite performances of the Beethoven Sonatas, other than Horowitz. Beautifully balanced top and bottom hand and the piano is nicely miked not too close. The playing is wonderful.

Piano lays bare any pitch instability - rubber belt drives are very susceptible. Some are worse than others.

My 2 TT's use silk thread drive and idler drive - the thread drive being the most pitch stable.

If you must have direct drive why not push the boat out to a new Technics 1200.

A classic that will be reliable and serviceable for years. Having said that there have been wobbly platter issues with the new generation, so beware,



I couldn't agree more. I modded just about everything in one way or another and I'm mighty impressed with the final results.

One piece of equipment I haven't considered is the turntable.  Details of your components would be a terrific starting point to get me started.


I don’t have anything against Technics or DD. Both, the brand and technology is great and have their pluses, but I like the BD better. According to Mechanic rules (mechanic as part of physics) it is much harder to maintain balance and isolation of shaft with motor attached to it towards surface than shaft separated from the motor. 

I’m a big fan of the Technics Direct Drive tables. Still have one that I purchased new in 1978 for $150 and while I didn’t use it much for many years I recently set it up in my office system and it sounds great and is quiet and keeps perfect speed.

You have a nice system and it would be worth the extra $500 to jump up to the 1200GR. I would do the same myself if my old table would ever break down but that is probably unlikely.  

Yes, the Ortofon red is quite good as a first cartridge. I tried it and was pleasantly surprised. I’ve since moved on to MC carts and am loving the detail they provide.

Hard to go wrong with DD turntables. I had a Technics SL1200mk2 for 20 trouble free years and finally moved up to a 1200G. Technics makes outstanding TTs. Can’t go wrong. They have such a strong grip on the sound. The new technics tonearms run better gimbal bearings than the older mk2 can feel the difference, which is kind of incredible if you know that handling the old tonearm felt like handling ’air’.

Lot’s of other great designs out there. But it’s really easy setup-wise having a Technics.

Good luck!