Idler wheel drive vs Belt

I noticed in the last day a frenzied bidding on an EMT 930 (plus arm/cartridge, etc) that went for $6.5Gs. Lots of money for a vintage kit. I also read some laudatory comments on the venerable Garrard 301 with boutique plinths. Anybody out there have experience with such, and can comment on whether I should abandon my purchase of a Teres and go for a 'transcription' turntable like Garrard 501 (with Schroeder DPM). Those vintage designs have lots of torque as they were used in radio stations, but don't seem to have close tolerance bearings or heavy platters. Yet some have thrown some serious positive comments on these vintage solutions. Is the magic real, and what contributes to it?
(I am not going to blow $6G on an EMT930 any day soon).
Hi Raul, you're right, seeing this thrread is like a starving man stumbling out of the desert and discovering a buffet! As to the system capablities/resolution of each of those testers, a better source should sound better regardless of the system, be it NAD or Audio Research: remember "garbage in garbage out", source first? And don't make the classic mistake of dismissing those who attempt the experiment as not serious because idler-wheels and the Lencos have not been stamped with the Audiophile Stamp of Approval, participants range from the extreme high-end to lower high-end, all are evidently audiophiles with at the very least decent systems, or they would not even be interested. But to allay your fears, the very first e-mail I received on the Lenco project in the beginning was a fellow asking me if he should put his Triplanar tonearm on in in his Jadis/Wilson Audio system. As to the quote you featured, since the Walker Proscenium Gold Signature is, or should be, at the very top of the heap in every respect bar none, then the fact the Lenco brought delight and surprise speaks volumes.

I know you respect and like the Acoustic Signature Final Tool, and so I will quote from a letter sent me from a fellow who mounted a Decca International re-wired and mounted with a Grado Platinum: "I have been listening contently to the Lenco. Sweet. I am hearing things in the grooves that I never heard before. No joke. And the things I`m hearing, that I could only hear before with the Ruby 2 and the Signature Final Tool turntable, SME 309 arm is much more musical. Not as dry, and uninvolving as the $6000.00 setup was. You have read all this stuff before on the threads I`m sure. I will be adding my two cents worth when I get a chance to sit still for a bit....Well, that PRaT is starting to click in my brain. I was out of tune listening to music that was out of PRaT. Yea, now it is making sense. I don`t know how it can sound much better using a heavier plinth, but it will be interesting to find out. I used to have the MC cartridge Micro Benz Ruby 2. For the money it should sound better then the Grado, but it does not. It may have had more detail, or whatever, but I was not enjoying the music as much as I do now. It was dry, bland, compressed, and homogenized. I don`t know if I want to try the Denon 103 for fear I will lose something that I have now in the MM. I just listened to a great recording in Jazz and one in Classical, and they of course sound even more enjoyable then before Lenco was discovered...But how can an old turntable using an old tonearm using a $300.00 cartridge, compete with the big boys. I did listen though and was not closed minded, I thought maybe this Jean is really on to something, and did not pooh pooh you like some may do. There loss and our gain. Well of course now I hear it with my ears. You don`t need to spend bunches of money to have great sound from vinyl. Or for that matter spend more and have less...I want to discover something new in the music that was hidden in the grooves of those records" and so on. Whatever the system, you'll agree that if he was running a Final Tool/SME 309/Ruby 2 it must have been up mthere in Audiophile Cred Land. A fellow switched his Moerch/Allaerts from his Teres/Cocobolo 245/lead in his system and reported the following: "Lenco, unequivocally. listening to mine for the first time tonight, with only a rough setup. have owned an LP-12 and a Teres, and a restored/modified with heavy plinth Lenco L75 leaves them in the dust! soooooooo much more money for LPs. wade into the jean nantais thread and have at it--you won't regret it for a second once you hear what it can do. makes the belt vs. direct drive argument moot." This takes care of the diference-in-equipment thing.

I'm honestly trying to expose the truth of this matter, and the more people participate, the more solid and incontrovertible the evidence will be. As I wrote, the people who spent their hard-earned cash on the various high-end 'tables listed had every reason to dismiss the Lenco out of hand and protect the reputation of the 'tables they sank their money/egos into, but instead reported, to a man, the superiority of the Lenco, except in the case where the Lenco was used solely with budget equipment in a state-of-the-art system, and even he was surprised. And you're right, the neutral Koetsu being designed on an idler-wheel drive explains the colourations, which are entirely due to the coloured belt-drives they are then played on ;-)! Not sure what you're saying means, but feel free to join in the fun, as you always say, actual hands-on experience is the ONLY arbiter in the end, theory and hearsay has no place in this discussion, this is the heart of empirical science, and the foundation of Western civilization. And don't worry raul, I always enjoy the music...because I use a Lenco! I'll eventually be taveling down Mexico-way to explore the various Aztec and Maya remains, as I do a fair bit of research on this subject for a project of mine researching the role/effect of assumption and prejudice in Western scholarship and science (which explains a lot, eh?). I will be then enjoying that fabulous Mexican music live!
This was taken from the Dirct Drive site.

A huge advantage of a direct-drive record-player is the fact, that the whole mechanical system consists of just one moveable part (the combined motor-shaft/platter-bearing) which turns quite slow and has a big mass (the platter) attached to it - almost a mechanical ideal for quiet rotation. The resonance of the combined motor/bearing assembly lies in the range of 0,5 Hz due to its slow speed compared with the 50/60Hz resonance of the motor of a typical belt-driven turntable. All belt - or idler-driven record-players incorporate a lot of mechanical parts for adapting the fast speed of the motor to the comparably slow speed of the platter. Each of this parts implies an own sonic footprint by inducing resonances and suffering from bearing-tolerances in this more or less complex mechanical system. Another advantage of good direct-drive decks is speed-stability.
The german magazine "Audio" once measured the frequency of a 3kHz burst played through a belt-driven state of the art turntable system. There were 4Hz missing! To compensate for the effect of slowing the platter during heavy modulations you need a fast and precise regulation and rigid coupling between the motor and the platter. Compare this to your typical belt-drive deck... Some might argue that a very heavy platter won't slow down because of its sheer mass - this is not the case. Even worse - when the motor regulation tries to speed up this platter will react much slower than a light one. It's like driving a mountaineous way with a truck - I would prefer a Porsche. Coupling the motor to a heavy platter with a string is questionable, too. Whoever changed the tension of the string of a Platine Verdier (platter weight around 50pds.) knows what I mean. Some enthusiasts take even tape instead of a belt to improve coupling the motor to the platter. Now speed stability may improve but there is no filtering of motor resonances any more...
Negative effects of the needle slowing the platter during heavy modulations are best avoided by incorporating a fast and precise speed-regulation, a not too heavy platter rigidly coupled to a strong motor (best the platter is bolted to the motor like with the Technics SP-10Mk2). With such a deck speed-fluctuations during playing a Wagner opera will eventually become neglectable.
Ok, if I am forced to comment on these drive systems, I'll just say that the application is the key to how well any of them will perform.

It has been clearly shown that all of the drive systems mentioned have been capable of excellent performance, in certain turntables.

It is up to the buyer to determine which turntables have the proper application of their respective designs.
There's no question that you can get great sound from any of the drive systems. For great music, I'll go with the Lenco. And did. Dave
Dear Jean: As I already told you, I have to try it. When somebody impulse any project with the excitement and emotion that you have it's time to " heard " it not to argue.

Go a head !.

Regards and enjoy the music.