Do turntable belts sound different?

I’ve come to the conclusion that on a good hi-fi system every change to anything is audible.  Not necessarily an improvement, just audible. The better the system, the more audible but below a certain quality changes are masked.  Looking back at my experiments with a budget system it is clear to me that it’s possible to put together some quite good sounding systems, that have low resolving power, for a pretty low cost. Unfortunately good sound and resolving power – the ability to hear small changes and fine detail within the music – don’t come nearly so cheaply.

So, an experiment. I recorded the output from my Dynavector P75 phono stage at 24/88 using Pure Vinyl 4.  The turntable a Rega RP6 was fitted with a Audio Technica OC9 Mk II. The track excerpt was from Jambalaya (On The Bayou) from a copy of the Carpenters second hits compilation  I picked up at a charity store. Sorry I didn’t have time to run the Keith Monks so it’s a bit noisier that it will be when I do.

You can click on the links below and download around a minute of the track recorded using the standard black belt or the optional white belt. No other changes.

See what you think.  Any difference?

Black Belt

White Belt