CAN A HUMBLE TURNTABLE BELT REALLY MAKE A SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE?
If you think heavy weight platters are impervious to motor vibration, or that a platter designed to be “inert”, will render belt design irrelevant, the following may be of interest.
We received an email on this subject from Alon Sagee - President of the San Fransisco Audiophile Society. This is a significant group with 654 members and includes presentations by senior industry figures such as Michael Fremer among others. With his kind permission we are publishing this in case you are harbouring any doubts about what an Origin Live upgrade belt will do for your turntable. The deck used here is a Rock 7.
"I’ve been an audiophile for what seems like forever, and yet, I'm sitting here like a beginner in utter disbelief. How is it possible that changing a belt could make such a difference? How did I not know about this before? I've been playing album after album and experiencing holographic three-dimensionality, new discoveries of inner detail, and spaciousness of soundstage that literally gives me goosebumps. The difference is not subtle at all. Due to what must be the improvement in speed stability of the platter, the music just snapped into focus and now emanates from the speakers with more impact and ease than I've ever heard. I've made no other changes to the system to account for this instant and significant improvement in sound quality, except for installing this unassuming belt and letting it break in overnight.
In our obsession, audiophiles happily spend thousands to get an improvement of 5% in sound quality… the very definition of “diminishing returns” (and the definition of insanity according to my wife). This upgrade, that can be had for the cost of a nice lunch, is a breath of fresh air! I'm going to encourage all my analog-loving friends to order one, and then buy me lunch.
I really can't get over the improvement, I'll probably be up all night listening! What a wonderful, simple and effective product you created. This is one of those aha! moments that stands out in my 35 years of audiophilia, even if it makes me feel like an idiot."
President & Chief Troublemaker
San Francisco Audiophile Society
It’s worth adding that most of us have little comprehension of the massive levels to which turntables amplify vibration - 8000 times. It astonished me when I learned that our dc motor kit was able to significantly improve the performance of a deck running a 33kg (72 lbs) platter as opposed to commonly used 3kg platters (33kg is heavier than some people can lift). How can a small motor and belt make any difference to such a massive weight? but it does! In case anyone thinks the vibration must have got transmitted into the arm to make the difference - the turntable base was even more massive.
I heard a rather extreme story of one audiophile who wanted to eliminate motor vibration problems. His solution was to use an enormously heavy platter with no motor at all. He turned the platter up to speed by hand and then let the momentum take it to the end of the record. There are serious associated problems (like bearing noise) with this approach but one must applaud the idea.
You can find full details on the Origin Live upgrade belt by clicking here