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Rigid or elastic belt for turntable?
Rigid or elastic belt for turntable?
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Old 26th October 2017, 08:00 AM   #1
lcsaszar is offline lcsaszar  Hungary
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Default Rigid or elastic belt for turntable?

Which is better? A flat butyl rubber belt is used commonly, even in premium turntables. Some DIY constructions use dental floss, others mylar tape (VCR tape) with good results. A while ago I constructed a turntable with an inverted bearing and marble platter, driven by a 500 RPM Papst motor. I experimented with a very soft rubber string, but it had unbearable wow. Then I replaced the string with a piece of silk yarn, and the wow has gone.
I concluded that the soft rubber belt is filtering the motor speed fluctuation. However the platter may have worse speed variation due to variable friction of the bearing, since the platter is detached from the motor, so that the motor will not straighten the fluctuations.
Any thoughts, exeriences?
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Old 26th October 2017, 08:18 AM   #2
kaputt is offline kaputt  Germany
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Berlin
Personally I'm in the direct drive or idler wheel camp and feel that a rubber belt is the worst connection between platter and motor. There are several movements in a turntable/tonearm/cartridge system and trying to detach one from another leads to each part of the system doing it's own thing in regards to vibrations and fluctuations instead of vibrating and fluctuating together as a system.
I am aware that this a very basic description.
In your case with a very heavy platter: use the least elastic coupling you can find. Maybe even a V-shaped drived belt, the stuff that's used in machinery or a step further a tooth belt.
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Old 26th October 2017, 01:17 PM   #3
lcsaszar is offline lcsaszar  Hungary
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Budapest, Hungary
I got rid of the heavy marble platter since then. Now I use a Thorens TD-160 Super, and am thinking about replacing the rubber belt with a mylar tape (1/4" magnetic tape), just for experimenting.
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Old 27th October 2017, 01:41 AM   #4
PRR is offline PRR  United States
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Maine USA
You are towing a car.

Bungee-cord: the stretchy cord bounces against the mass. Wow-wow-wow--

Solid hard steel rod: no bounce, but every jerk or twitch is transmitted full force.

It does seem to be a good place to spring-isolate the motor from the platter. But like any spring-mass problem, the spring, mass, and *damping* must balance out.

Twisted yarn has some spring, and internal friction and damping.

Mylar has little spring but may have slip, which self-damps jerks.
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