While they’re not an audiophile choice of turntable, the ease of play and the durability of Audio Technica’s direct drive tables make them an excellent record player for home use. But why aren’t they audiophile quality? Well, the motor sits directly beneath the platter, and this means that any noise or vibration it makes has the potential to travel directly into the platter, into the record sitting upon the platter, in turn being picked up by the stylus. And if any of that noise or vibration is amplified, it will sit on top of your music in the form of distortion. These days such problems are addressed by the use of shock absorbers between the platter and the motor; however, belt driven turntables continue to provide better isolation and dampening from things like motor noise and vibration. That being said, direct-drive audio quality is better now than it ever was, and if you’re interested in a durable, easy-to-use Hi-Fi system the benefits of direct drive might just be for you.
Direct drive turntables have higher torque than their belt driven competitors. This means not only do they offer highly consistent speeds, if you get a little clumsy (or drunk) and knock the platter or drag the tone arm it’s less likely to have any serious effect; however, this will depend entirely on how badly you do either. Speeds between 45 and 33rpm are only a button press away, there’s the added benefit of never needing to replace a worn out belt, and the units weigh a ton, so they’re fantastic at suppressing vibration from external elements like closely positioned bookshelves speakers or floor-standers.
Direct drive turntables, which these days are almost entirely DJ turntables, are generally considered to offer sturdier build qualities than their belt driven counterparts. They’re designed to be picked up, packed up, and carted across town to various gigs, often. This means that — as far as turntables go — they’re pretty well bullet proof. They’re durable, long-lasting record players, and it’s why even the audiophiles will likely have a direct drive turntable in their quiver of audio gear at home. In addition to all of this, Audio Technica’s range each come with inbuilt phono USB’s (pre-amplifiers with recording capabilities), integrating components that would otherwise need to be individually added into your system. We often pair them with active speakers to create micro systems for our customers who find themselves stretched for space. So if you’re after a lifelong turntable, something easy to use that offers great sound quality, a direct drive turntable could be just what you’re looking for.
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