Direct Drive Home Record Players & Turntables

The DJ’s Choice: Direct Drive Turntables

Although turntables are available with a belt-drive or the idler wheel system, it is the direct drive turntable that’s the more popular choice for DJs. The direct drive system offers musicians a number of options for working their records. Keen DJs will be able to find their direct drive turntable of choice on eBay. How does the direct drive mechanism work?

In contrast to the belt drive mechanism, direct drive turntables have the motor located directly beneath the platter. This can then be rotated directly, whereas in a belt drive turntable, a belt is wrapped around a spindle which then turns the platter.

Why is a direct drive turntable a wise choice for DJs?

Direct drive turntables are ideal for DJs as they allow the record to be manually stopped and rewound, as they’re magnetically driven. Scratching is possible, as well as the manual control of the record by hand. As direct drive turntables have a higher torque, they’re capable of faster start-up speeds. They’re also less subject to effects which come from the stylus tracking the groove of your vinyl.

What are some direct drive turntable features to look out for?

Whilst the array of direct drive turntables available on eBay is vast, there are a few manufacturers who have specialised in this kind of turntable and have perfected their features for DJs. Depending on the model you find, some key features may include:

  • Pitch slider: These are usually adjustable, enabling you to manually control the speed of the record.
  • USB connection: Depending on the age of your turntable, it may be fitted with a USB connection. This means you can connect your turntable direct to your PC or Mac.
  • Heavy base: It’s a good idea to look for a heavy, sturdy base for a turntable – especially if it is going to be used for turntablism. A heavy base means there can be less intereference from external vibrations, which would influence the playback of your record.
  • Slipmat: This is a piece of material, used on the platter beneath the record. The idea is that the material, unlike the rubber of the platter, will not keep the record firmly in place. The platter will continue to rotate, whilst the DJ can move the record independently.
  • Platter: Platters made from aluminium offer great durability, making them a good choice for enthusiastic DJs.