Think about it. The whole Direct Drive thing.
It’s regarded as a technological full-stop to turntable drive systems.
An all-in-one solution.
One that works.
Well, yes…and NO.
It is a clear “Yes”…from a marketing man’s point of view.
If you look at it from a designer’s point of view, however, your perspective will change somewhat.
A marketing man? He’ll put a spin on anything he’s given – good or bad.
By contrast, a designer, well he wants to be true to his job. Always.
Ignore that they are bulky. No one doubts that a well designed Direct Drive is indeed good but it does have its own Achilles heel: They have a limited number of poles with which to apply any speed correction – only between eight and sixteen per revolution. To work well, to overcome this achilles heels, making the speed correction smooth with so few pulses is difficult and it is this that is particularly costly.
Here belt drive immediately wins: Its small pulley means the motor turns much faster: (typically 200 – 900 rpm) producing many more error detecting pulses.
In turn this permits far smaller corrections per pulse…and these are far less intrusive.
(At 666 rpm, say, pulse amplitude is 1/20 that of the direct drive…and then it is then further filtered by the belt.)
So, why do people say Direct Drives are SO good?
Conventionally, belt tension pulls the platter towards the motor…
The platter now tilts due to the tension. Rotation means it has to keep tilting over, i.e. The bearing dances around – or “precesses”.
Not very good for the stylus, is it?
Direct Drives don’t suffer this.
Now we know.
Very much like a ballerina being supported as she pirouettes, we add two extra slave pulleys around the platter to balance or Vector the force about the bearing.
The bearing now turns about a single point (less rumble).
The motor works less (less noise).
And there’s less variation from the drive circuit. This gives less wow.
Sounds good. Does it work?
Audio Magazine in Germany (March 2015), said of Vector Drive:
The stylus does detect far less error.
The designer is happy – he’s done a good job
The marketing guy is happy – he can sell the design with a clear conscience, no smoke and mirrors or spin – the deck’s doing that for him.
Where does that leave you the listener? Why, you’re the happiest of the lot.
Your deck? Well, simply it sounds great!