Modern Direct Drives

I am using two vintage models, the Denon 100M and the JVC Victor T-101. Today I would like to write on the new models published by Technics and VPI and on one other brand.

As the Technics is currently reviewed by almost every magazine the  VPI HW-40 was presented in the last weeks.



From what I hear some reviewers praise the Technics, nevertheless argue on the plinth, actual isolation by the feet (VPI) and tonearm (no null points delivered in case of the Technics). Fremer doesn`t want to give a statement unless he receives an OMA slate plinth putting his SAT arm on the deck.

While Technics goes for a new development with nine air core coils embedded into an aluminum bed VPI uses a motor from Thingap,

These motors are used in my Continuum Criterion as well as in the VPI Classic. I guess that Fremer did a mistake on calculating the costs. It shouldn’t be 4K on each unit but for 10 units delivered. Otherwise VPI wouldn’t order that much. The motor controller on top is most likely the $495 development board PMD sells to demonstrate their chips. I think it is a good choice.

Top notch analogue playback-like much of audio-involves the truism that everything matters. You can’t reach the peaks of vinyl playback with a mediocre drive system, a mediocre arm, a mediocre cartridge, or mediocre tonearm wire. It all matters. When it comes to the combination of plinth, arm, cart and internal wiring I rather would go different ways to combine my dream DD set up. But that´s me.

As I did not listen to both units we have to wait for others` feedback. What I have my own experience with, besides of the vintage models, is the Brinkmann Oasis coming with the tube based PS. The motor comprises a different design approach than Technics and VPI putting away the cogging disadvantages by a slower start/stop function.


Brinkmann uses this motor in the Bardo too. When I listened to this unit I got excited. It is maybe the best turntable concept Brinkmann delivered so far. Of course I would go for an Acoustical Systems Aquilar tonearm coming with an ART 1000 or Palladium cart.


Brinkmann Audio

4 thoughts on “Modern Direct Drives

  1. Eckart,

    Nice post. The Brinkman is lovely isn’t it? Simple, understated elegant design. I like direct drive, as I feel that it is the only drive system that can convey the pace-pitch-power of idler drive. I know there are many fine belt drive units, (you have them), but they are usually out of reach price wise to most of us.

    Technics has probably built more direct drive turntables then any other manufacturer. Even their base low end models (the 1200) sound superb with a proper arm and cartridge. They are likewise affordable and for the most part maintenance free. I have a close friend running a Panasonic SP-10 turntable that I believe is 40 years old or more. It performs flawlessly, and using a SME 3012 (series one) with a Denon 103 sounds wonderful.

    The Brinkman would look nice in your second system! Your wife might even like it. =)



  2. Norman,

    You know my two excellent vintage direct drives. I am very happy with those ones. I know what the Brinkmann is able to do. In case I find someone buying one of my DDs the Brinkmann could be an option if I may be able to pair it with a black Aquilar and the ART 1000 or the Palladium cart.
    I am not in a rush to bring my collection on a DD-museum state of the art exhibition 👨‍🍳



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