The Different Types of Turntables You Should Consider Before Buying

Types of turntables

When selecting a turntable or record player or gramophone there is one main thing to be taken into account, which is the position and placement of the motor. There are a few turntables that stand out among the rest, and you can get them all at all of them are mentioned below:

Belt-drive turntable

In a belt-drive turntable, the motor is distanced from the platter and the rotation is achieved through an elastic belt connected across the platter and the motor. Now the platter is placed on a bearing (which increases and stabilizes the rotational movement). To avoid vibrations elastic belt is used, it not only stabilizes the platter but also absorbs the shocks produced in it.


–         A belt-drive turntable prevents the platter from the vibrations produced by the motor

–         There is less noise transmission which is due to the isolation of platter from the motor

–         It is believed that this type of turntable, owing to the noise interference from the motor being reduced,                       produces better sound than others 

Direct drive turntable

It was invented by Shuichi Obata an engineer in Matsushita. This type of turntable is most commonly used by disk jockeys. the direct drive turntable is the advanced version of belt-drive turntable. It has the platter directly on top of the motor which is housed for protection purposes, this allows more control and consistent speed. The platter has better torque than the predecessor, this high torque provides more stability. It has a good response to the pitches and sensitive enough for the DJs to work with.


–         The direct-drive turntable is quick to recover from the external stimuli making it reliable for scratching and other motions of the DJ.

–         The latter is less sensitive to the external force due to the higher torque provided by the turntable, the high torque also helps to attain a constant speed faster.

–         Special sound effects can also be produced by rotating the platter in the backward direction

–         The shock absorber is placed between the platter and motor to absorb the unwanted vibrations produced by the motor

Idler wheel turntable

The idler wheel turntable is lesser-known and very rarely found in operation. It has a rubber wheel connected to the shaft and further connected to the platter and rotational movement takes place. This provides good torque and much control as a direct-drive turntable, but usually not used because of its maintenance being high and unreliable.


–         It cannot be run for a long period of time because of the wheel that gets slippery and unstable over time

–         More noise is produced due to the moving part even while doing a single operation

–         Frequent replacement of parts is required due to the instability caused by the shaft, this makes it hard to find.

DJ turntable

A DJ turntable is generally sensitive towards the external force and offers high torque with constant speed, it produces a special sound effect when the platter is manually rotated in the reverse direction. The most influential turntable was TECHNICS SL-1200, it was developed Shuichi Obata at Matsushita(later known as Panasonic) in 1971. Although there are many turntables in the market the TECHNICS SL-1200 series is said to be the all-time favorite. It gained rapid attention amongst the club DJs and even radio jockeys. This was a game-changer for the industry disk jockeys with direct-drive design. The new design provides better control and other DJ effects like damage due to excessive scratches and beat-shuffling or beat-juggling.

Those were some of the many many turntables available. You can check them all out at so be sure to head over there now!

Leave a Comment