But the record store guy says belt-drives are better..?

Of course, because that’s what he has and that’s what he’s read or been told. Many people lacking experience with high-end turntables propagate this myth.

The reality is that there are stunning belt-drive and direct-drive turntables. It’s ultimately not the drive method alone that determines system performance. Unfortunately, most people aren’t interested in the technical details, nor have they been exposed to the range of equipment necessary to form a really valid opinion.

How many record store guys do you think have listened to an SP-10 or L-07D for example, let alone owned these grail machines? This lack of experience and education is at the heart of the problem. It’s similar to using and championing a camera or phone you think is amazing until you use a better one.