Belts used in turntables, tape recorders and other HiFi devices deteriorate over time. They get hard, lose elasticity and expand a little over time to the point where they don’t work properly anymore. It is difficult to say how long a belt lasts. It depends on the type of belt, how much use it has and also on the humidity of its working environment. The good thing is that the old belt will tell you clearly when it is worn out and should be replaced.
4 main types of belts
Flat belts are the most common type of belts for turntables.They are very often used for driving the platter by a motor on the side. For flat belts the width of the belt is bigger than the thickness. Flat belts are also called turntable drive belts and used in some idler wheel turntables.
Square Belts are mostly used in tape recorders and cassette recorders. As the name says, they are square in form, so the width and thickness measure the same. They are also called square-cut-belts and cassette belts.
Round belts or O-rings are used in both tape machines and turntables. Rega turntables use this type of belts.
Toothed belts are mostly used in tape recorders but also in tape- and cassette recorders. For turntables they are mostly used as a pitch belt or for the tonearm automatic.