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dean_martin
11-26-2007, 01:31 PM
There seems to be a revived interest in the Technics 1200 series direct drive turntables in some circles although the purists may still scoff at the idea of employing what is essentially a DJ table in a home audio system.

As for me, I keep waiting for the day when I have enough disposable income to try the likes of a Rega P5 or VPI Scout. Until that day comes (it's just a matter of time before I get these kids through college), I went ahead and ordered a Technics 1210MkII from Musicians Friend. I've noticed sales at $399 reduced from $429. Then last week while the table was on sale, musicians friend added an instant discount of $35 until Nov. 27th.

$365 for a solidly built table that's been in production for years and years was something I couldn't resist. I placed my order today!

musicoverall
11-26-2007, 01:38 PM
There seems to be a revived interest in the Technics 1200 series direct drive turntables in some circles although the purists may still scoff at the idea of employing what is essentially a DJ table in a home audio system.

As for me, I keep waiting for the day when I have enough disposable income to try the likes of a Rega P5 or VPI Scout. Until that day comes (it's just a matter of time before I get these kids through college), I went ahead and ordered a Technics 1210MkII from Musicians Friend. I've noticed sales at $399 reduced from $429. Then last week while the table was on sale, musicians friend added an instant discount of $35 until Nov. 27th.

$365 for a solidly built table that's been in production for years and years was something I couldn't resist. I placed my order today!

I think those tables are quite good. Depending on the cartridge you're using, the combo could very well stomp a lot of more expensive tables. What were you using before?

dean_martin
11-26-2007, 01:56 PM
I think those tables are quite good. Depending on the cartridge you're using, the combo could very well stomp a lot of more expensive tables. What were you using before?

I'm using a Pro-Ject 1.2 table, an Ortofon MC-3 Turbo high output mc cart and a Bellari VP-129 phono stage. I hope the Ortofon will do well with the Technics. I'd rather not have to get a new cart right away. The Ortofon has a nice mid range and airy top end, but I think its bass extension is being limited by the Pro-Ject table. I'm thinking of upgrading the phono stage to the one from Jolida (I think the model # is JD-9A) next.

Bernd
11-27-2007, 12:13 AM
Congrats. Deano on the new TT. Technics DD have a sound rep. A different arm will make a huge difference. Origin Live do armboards for these.
But most of all enjoy the new toy. Great deal too.

Peace

:16:

Feanor
11-27-2007, 07:17 AM
There seems to be a revived interest in the Technics 1200 series direct drive turntables in some circles although the purists may still scoff at the idea of employing what is essentially a DJ table in a home audio system.

... I went ahead and ordered a Technics 1210MkII from Musicians Friend. I've noticed sales at $399 reduced from $429. Then last week while the table was on sale, musicians friend added an instant discount of $35 until Nov. 27th.

$365 for a solidly built table that's been in production for years and years was something I couldn't resist. I placed my order today!

Likely the Technics is as good as any belt drive in its price range. Just that with its higher mass tone arm, it's best to avoid very high complicance cartridges -- or that's the advice I seem to recall.

basite
11-27-2007, 07:48 AM
congrats!!

just FYI, they make mods so you can install a rega arm on them too :)
and probably an SME arm too...

if you intend to stay with this arm (and I believe you will for the moment :)), you should try a Denon cart, a 103 or a 103R or so :)

Keep them spinning,
Bert.

musicoverall
11-28-2007, 07:32 AM
I'm using a Pro-Ject 1.2 table, an Ortofon MC-3 Turbo high output mc cart and a Bellari VP-129 phono stage. I hope the Ortofon will do well with the Technics. I'd rather not have to get a new cart right away. The Ortofon has a nice mid range and airy top end, but I think its bass extension is being limited by the Pro-Ject table. I'm thinking of upgrading the phono stage to the one from Jolida (I think the model # is JD-9A) next.

Your Technics is a huge step up from the Pro-Ject 1.2, IMHO. But I think you knew that already.

BRANDONH
11-28-2007, 12:31 PM
There seems to be a revived interest in the Technics 1200 series direct drive turntables in some circles although the purists may still scoff at the idea of employing what is essentially a DJ table in a home audio system.

As for me, I keep waiting for the day when I have enough disposable income to try the likes of a Rega P5 or VPI Scout. Until that day comes (it's just a matter of time before I get these kids through college), I went ahead and ordered a Technics 1210MkII from Musicians Friend. I've noticed sales at $399 reduced from $429. Then last week while the table was on sale, musicians friend added an instant discount of $35 until Nov. 27th.

$365 for a solidly built table that's been in production for years and years was something I couldn't resist. I placed my order today!

Mine replaced the project 1.2 as well no comparison.
And as soon as you can afford to throw away the factory headshell that comes with it and get one of these
see thread http://forums.audioreview.com/showthread.php?t=23843

emaidel
11-29-2007, 04:49 AM
While the VP for Sales and Marketing for Stanton during the 90's, I had to concentrate my sales efforts on DJ merchandise, as that for "hi-fi" products was all but non existent. Stanton sold loads and loads of DJ cartridges, but a paltry amount of quality, "serious" ones. Naturally, I became very familiar with the Technics Sl-1200, as it's been the choice turntable for DJ's for as long as I can remember.

The SL-1200 is built like a tank, and will likely last its owner that owner's lifetime (and then some). The abuse DJ's give a turntable (and cartridge) would make an audio purist's hair stand on end, but the 1200 is up to the task.

That said, I have little use for a 1200 in a "serious" music system. Its clunky, very massive S-shaped tonearm is just too much for many a fine cartridge. I recently "won" a Dual CS-5000 on eBay, and, frankly, it runs rings around an SL-1200, and does so for less money.

I paid $299 for mine, including two cartridges (one of which is the Shure V/15 Type V - not a bad deal!). Since then, I've seen others come and go for under $200, which to me, is an outright steal.

There are better turntables out there than the CS-5000, but not for the prices one can get one for today. My personal recommendation would be to look for one, and not a new Sl-1200. Unless, of course, you want to beat the he** out of the turntable!

My two cents, as always.

BRANDONH
11-29-2007, 06:47 AM
While the VP for Sales and Marketing for Stanton during the 90's, I had to concentrate my sales efforts on DJ merchandise, as that for "hi-fi" products was all but non existent. Stanton sold loads and loads of DJ cartridges, but a paltry amount of quality, "serious" ones. Naturally, I became very familiar with the Technics Sl-1200, as it's been the choice turntable for DJ's for as long as I can remember.

The SL-1200 is built like a tank, and will likely last its owner that owner's lifetime (and then some). The abuse DJ's give a turntable (and cartridge) would make an audio purist's hair stand on end, but the 1200 is up to the task.

That said, I have little use for a 1200 in a "serious" music system. Its clunky, very massive S-shaped tonearm is just too much for many a fine cartridge. I recently "won" a Dual CS-5000 on eBay, and, frankly, it runs rings around an SL-1200, and does so for less money.

I paid $299 for mine, including two cartridges (one of which is the Shure V/15 Type V - not a bad deal!). Since then, I've seen others come and go for under $200, which to me, is an outright steal.

There are better turntables out there than the CS-5000, but not for the prices one can get one for today. My personal recommendation would be to look for one, and not a new Sl-1200. Unless, of course, you want to beat the he** out of the turntable!

My two cents, as always.
I see that rubber band driven TT is no longer in production...I wonder why?

As for the clunky S shaped tone arm Denon still uses it

the 1200 comes from the quadraphonic era, not the DJ era which followed
can the straight arm on the CS-5000 reproduce a stable 30 KHZ waveform from inside to outside groove?
can its tonearm track a 45 KHZ waveform to the inside groove at 3/4 gram?
Very few (FINE) cartridges can track at 3/4 gram.
Those were the challenges of the discrete quad recording circa 1977.
the 1200 technology was developed solely for that purpose.
1/2 speed mastering was developed solely for that purpose.
Can it also produce a consistent speed from beginning to end of the record regardless of stylus drag?
Note the the V15 tracks at 1.0 grams the 1200 can easily do that and I know because I have the Shure V15VxMR also.

When you know the history, you can then begin to appreciate why this 'table is still light years ahead of most anything produced today. No ones fault really, the market and the engineering challenge is not there for today's turntable mfg. But it was for Technics and JVC, the 2 big players in the quad era. And it should hardly be forgotten, however convenient that may be.

emaidel
11-29-2007, 02:23 PM
Hmmmmm, I hardly know where to begin. I'm well aware of the SL-1200's history, and the fact that it's been around since the 70's. It's development had nothing at all to do with Quadraphonic sound, as has been claimed.

Cartridges capable of tracking the 40KHZ multiplexed carrier signal on CD-4 quadraphonic discs generally tracked at forces well in excess of 2, or even 3 grams. This really wasn't that big a deal, as the tracking force was spread over a much wider area of the record groove wall with the "Shibata", or "Quadrahedron" stylus used. Still, most enthusiasts rejected the very idea of using such high tracking forces. the ONLY cartridge capable of playing CD-4 records at a tracking force of one gram was the Pickering XUV-4500Q, a truly outstanding product that had the misfortune of being introduced practically simultaneously with the demise of the quad business. And, both the high-tracking Shibata-equipped cartridges (mostly those from AT) as well as the Pickering XUV-4500Q worked just fine in the SL-1200.

As for "rubber band" turntables, you may want to check out The Needle Doctor, or other such sites, and look into ultra high-end turntables. You'll find something quite startling: not a one is direct drive. ALL are "rubber-band" drives. The most expensive turntable in the world is made by ClearAudio, and guess what? It too uses a "rubber-band."

The ultra low-mass tonearm of the CS-5000 will track at exceptionally light forces with those high compliance cartridges that can do so as well. It's tonearm geometry, and overall design also provide amazingly clear and distortionless sound from the innermost grooves of an LP too.

I don't doubt that the tonearm on the SL-1200 is capable of tracking at 1 gram, but I know from my own personal experience that the sound from it, and other Technics and Denon, JVC, Pioneer etc. models with "S" shaped arms, doesn't come close to the transparent, effortless sound from the CS-5000.

The ONLY reason the SL-1200 is still around is due to its overwhelming popularity in the DJ business. Technics has long wanted to discontinue the item, as it's not a particularly profitable item for them, but the DJ business has kept it alive.

It's a good turntable. The CS-5000, and others with straight, low-mass arms and with belt-drive platters (the CS-5000 is the only belt-drive I know of that's also quartz locked) just sound better.

dean_martin
11-29-2007, 03:19 PM
That said, I have little use for a 1200 in a "serious" music system. Its clunky, very massive S-shaped tonearm is just too much for many a fine cartridge. I recently "won" a Dual CS-5000 on eBay, and, frankly, it runs rings around an SL-1200, and does so for less money.

I paid $299 for mine, including two cartridges (one of which is the Shure V/15 Type V - not a bad deal!). Since then, I've seen others come and go for under $200, which to me, is an outright steal.

There are better turntables out there than the CS-5000, but not for the prices one can get one for today. My personal recommendation would be to look for one, and not a new Sl-1200. Unless, of course, you want to beat the he** out of the turntable!

My two cents, as always.

Thanks. As I placed my order 2 days ago and expect delivery today, your .02 came just in time.

So, your CS-5000 runs rings around YOUR SL-1200 in YOUR head-to-head comparison?

These were my considerations:
1. Not enthusiastic about buying a used turntable off eBay what with bidding wars, false, misleading or incomplete descriptions, poor packing and perilous shipping. (I'm in an area where there is no market for used electronics.)
2. A "good", new belt-drive would probably cost at least 2x the SL-1200. I considered the Pro-Ject RM-5 at $650 with added speed control box at $120 = $770 (about the price of a Rega P3). As you noted, the best belt-drives are quite expensive.
3. KAB fluid damper for arm, or new arm in the future.

Congrats on your Dual. I have one (a lesser model than yours, but it does have the ULM tonearm) in storage. It was an eBay purchase - "used to record vinyl to cassette then stored in box". It worked for about 6 months. I wonder if I can take the arm off it and put it on the Technics?

emaidel
11-29-2007, 06:50 PM
Buying online is always risky, but I genuinely lucked out with my CS-5000. Though it was slightly dusty, the unit was perfectly packed, with the platter packed separately, and at the bottom of the carton. The two cartrdiges (mounted on two separate headshells) were also individually packaged, and the owner went to great lengths even to pack the paper overhang guage. Even the dust cover has only minor scratches, and looks fairly new.

While the CS-5000 came with a perfectly operating Shure V/15 Type V, I greatly prefer the sound of my Stanton Collector's Series CS-100 instead. Still, if the Stanton should get damaged, or if I somehow manage to lose or misplace the spare unit and other Stanton cartridges I have, I'll always have the Type V as a backup! Even the belt on the turntable was brand new.

So, again, the $299 I paid (plus $50 for shipping) was a terrific bargain. Though there are certainly better turntables out there, I don't think any new turntable for only $300 to $350 comes even remotely close to the performance of the CS-5000.

dean_martin
11-29-2007, 11:11 PM
Buying online is always risky, but I genuinely lucked out with my CS-5000. Though it was slightly dusty, the unit was perfectly packed, with the platter packed separately, and at the bottom of the carton. The two cartrdiges (mounted on two separate headshells) were also individually packaged, and the owner went to great lengths even to pack the paper overhang guage. Even the dust cover has only minor scratches, and looks fairly new.

While the CS-5000 came with a perfectly operating Shure V/15 Type V, I greatly prefer the sound of my Stanton Collector's Series CS-100 instead. Still, if the Stanton should get damaged, or if I somehow manage to lose or misplace the spare unit and other Stanton cartridges I have, I'll always have the Type V as a backup! Even the belt on the turntable was brand new.

So, again, the $299 I paid (plus $50 for shipping) was a terrific bargain. Though there are certainly better turntables out there, I don't think any new turntable for only $300 to $350 comes even remotely close to the performance of the CS-5000.

Again, congratulations. Your aquisition is worthy of its own thread.

emaidel
11-30-2007, 05:02 AM
Again, congratulations. Your aquisition is worthy of its own thread.


I already did that over at ST. Of course, after I spent $299 plus $50 for shipping, several others became available for a good deal less. I can just hope that mine was in better condition (several actually stated, "Not in working order."). I've also seen others go for as high as $565, so I still consider myself lucky.

BRANDONH
11-30-2007, 07:14 AM
Hmmmmm, I hardly know where to begin. I'm well aware of the SL-1200's history, and the fact that it's been around since the 70's. It's development had nothing at all to do with Quadraphonic sound, as has been claimed.

Cartridges capable of tracking the 40KHZ multiplexed carrier signal on CD-4 quadraphonic discs generally tracked at forces well in excess of 2, or even 3 grams. This really wasn't that big a deal, as the tracking force was spread over a much wider area of the record groove wall with the "Shibata", or "Quadrahedron" stylus used. Still, most enthusiasts rejected the very idea of using such high tracking forces. the ONLY cartridge capable of playing CD-4 records at a tracking force of one gram was the Pickering XUV-4500Q, a truly outstanding product that had the misfortune of being introduced practically simultaneously with the demise of the quad business. And, both the high-tracking Shibata-equipped cartridges (mostly those from AT) as well as the Pickering XUV-4500Q worked just fine in the SL-1200.

As for "rubber band" turntables, you may want to check out The Needle Doctor, or other such sites, and look into ultra high-end turntables. You'll find something quite startling: not a one is direct drive. ALL are "rubber-band" drives. The most expensive turntable in the world is made by ClearAudio, and guess what? It too uses a "rubber-band."

The ultra low-mass tonearm of the CS-5000 will track at exceptionally light forces with those high compliance cartridges that can do so as well. It's tonearm geometry, and overall design also provide amazingly clear and distortionless sound from the innermost grooves of an LP too.

I don't doubt that the tonearm on the SL-1200 is capable of tracking at 1 gram, but I know from my own personal experience that the sound from it, and other Technics and Denon, JVC, Pioneer etc. models with "S" shaped arms, doesn't come close to the transparent, effortless sound from the CS-5000.

The ONLY reason the SL-1200 is still around is due to its overwhelming popularity in the DJ business. Technics has long wanted to discontinue the item, as it's not a particularly profitable item for them, but the DJ business has kept it alive.

It's a good turntable. The CS-5000, and others with straight, low-mass arms and with belt-drive platters (the CS-5000 is the only belt-drive I know of that's also quartz locked) just sound better.

I'll take you don't or have not owned a 1200.
And yes the 1200 will track at 1 gram I have the Shure V15VxMR which tracks at 1 gram perfectly although it is not my primary cartridge.
well I want to add Kevins at http://www.kabusa.com comments because I just dont have all the ammo to argue all the technical aspects I went to him with this and here is his reply.

It is rarely worth arguing with people about this.
This is the best synopsis I can put together. Maybe it will be helpful.

most mobile dj's getting into the business are all digital, the bulk of 1200's are being purchased by those doing professional work or House systems and audiophiles.

Everyone has their own take on the historic development of direct drive. I stand by mine.

discrete quad could only be mastered at 1/2 speed and at that time no systems existed to do it.
JVC and Masu s h i t a developed direct drive for that purpose, it had the precision and control to maintain the 30KHZ subcarrier.
the first pro players followed sp10. then the 48 pole motor was redesigned into a 12 pole consumer design and introduces in pro players sp15 and 25 and all the derivative sl models.

the simple fact that the 1200 arm is such a sensitive gimbal design should give some insight that it was not designed for the nite club. it was designed for serious precision playback. the fact that it has not changed shows that Technics is aware of the multiple markets for their 'table. The issue of tracking force below 1 gram just shows the distance technics would go to be sure the table met all market demands. the precision bearings, alignment optimized for the end of the groove, the precision of direct drive and the non resonant plinth are all aspects the speak to detail retrieval. Quad was just one driving factor, higher compliance stylus suspensions were another.

And while it may be true that the factory that makes the 1200 marvels at the continued demand for the table, to suggest that it is made at little profit to the parent is silly.

Finally, the reason there are so many belt drives is simple:
1. easy to do with low overhead and up front cost.
2. no one measures them so there is no standard to live up to.

if a simple wow and flutter limit of 0.05% were imposed on serious playback, all of the belt drive tables, sans a few, would be barred form the market overnight.

The dual CD5000 was the last belt drive made, to my mind, that had a drive system specifically made for a turntable.
a 4 pole brush less motor with linear feedback. It is indeed very good.
but like all belt drives it cannot read the stylus activity and so suffers from dynamic stylus drag.
you need a 20Lb platter or more to avoid this, and that is basically a brute force approach.

engage lcrim on audiocircle.com if you like. he has both a 1200 and a CS5000

much of the trouble with todays belt drives is that there are no application specific motors available that can produce low W&F.
and the few that are are very very expensive.

the direct drive system of the 1200 can read dynamic stylus load and compensate. it does this carefully and rationally with a time constant delay of approx 30ms, which lets it work in harmony with the flywheel affect of the platter mass. It does not make sudden adjustments. the result is a very pure tone delivery. for those sensitive to that, there are few substitutes.

there are lots of other points, and I address them on the website.

The hobby is heavily fractured into groups now, and just like politics there is little swaying one side to the other.
Epiphany's occur on a personal and private level, not in newsgroups.

E-Stat
11-30-2007, 08:27 AM
I'll take you don't or have not owned a 1200.
And yes the 1200 will track at 1 gram I have the Shure V15VxMR which tracks at 1 gram perfectly although it is not my primary cartridge.
I owned the heavier SL-110 with an SME arm back in the 70s. Nice table. Not as good sounding, however, as the Ariston that replaced it.

I use a M97 with the Ariston/SME combo today. You *can* track it at 1 gram, but will not get optimum results.

rw

emaidel
11-30-2007, 09:17 AM
I'll take you don't or have not owned a 1200.
And yes the 1200 will track at 1 gram I have the Shure V15VxMR which tracks at 1 gram perfectly although it is not my primary cartridge.
well I want to add Kevins at http://www.kab.usa.com comments because I just dont have all the ammo to argue all the technical aspects I went to him with this and here is his reply.


Good Lord! Kevin's comments make as little sense as some of yours, but at least I now see where you get your mis-information from.

I DID own an SL-1200, and thought it was fine at the time, but I've since moved on to better units. I'm sure that the person I sold it to loves it, and that his great grandchildren will be able to love it too, as it will probably outlast all of them.

I'm sorry but all of the comments about no other turntable able to sustain various ultra-low, or ultra-high frequencies, and their suffering from a non-existent defect called "stylus drag" are sheer baloney, as is any statement that the SL-1200 was designed primarily for "discrete" quad records. And, Technics made a lot of money on it, and their other models when records were king, but today, it's a very costly product for them to produce, especially considering the amount of raw materials it takes to produce one, and the much, much lower rate of sales.

I have to ask you two questions: first, were you even alive during the quad era? And, second, do you have over 30 years working experience in the audio industry as I do?

BRANDONH
11-30-2007, 09:40 AM
Good Lord! Kevin's comments make as little sense as some of yours, but at least I now see where you get your mis-information from.

I DID own an SL-1200, and thought it was fine at the time, but I've since moved on to better units. I'm sure that the person I sold it to loves it, and that his great grandchildren will be able to love it too, as it will probably outlast all of them.

I'm sorry but all of the comments about no other turntable able to sustain various ultra-low, No or ultra-high frequencies, and their suffering from a non-existent defect called "stylus drag" are sheer baloney, as is any statement that the SL-1200 was designed primarily for "discrete" quad records. And, Technics made a lot of money on it, and their other models when records were king, but today, it's a very costly product for them to produce, especially considering the amount of raw materials it takes to produce one, and the much, much lower rate of sales.

I have to ask you two questions: first, were you even alive during the quad era? And, second, do you have over 30 years working experience in the audio industry as I do?

Yeah I had a quadraphonic when they were brand new.
but Kevin is speaking of the reason the Direct Drive was established is pretty clear to me and the ability of the clunky S shaped tonearm.
And I don't know if you have 30 years or 30 minutes of experience so many here on this site make all kind of brilliant claims.
and it is typical of those with all this so called audiophile experience slam the 1200 with their belt drive straight arm glory.
Typical of this site.

I leave it at that with Kevin's last comment...

The hobby is heavily fractured into groups now, and just like politics there is little swaying one side to the other.
Epiphany's occur on a personal and private level, not in newsgroups.

OH if it makes you feel better telling people after they purchase 1200 that they made a mistake that they and should have bought something else or could have done better then be this forms guest.

emaidel
11-30-2007, 09:58 AM
Have a wonderful day!

BRANDONH
11-30-2007, 10:28 AM
Have a wonderful day!
Thank you and have a great weekend.

hifitommy
12-02-2007, 09:42 AM
the SL1200 is a good starting point and one can have a great time listening to music on this easy to use workhorse. yes, good sound can be had here.

HOWEVER, more refined sound can be had elsewhere. whether belt or dd (VERY expensive to do right) there are any number of choices new or used. the tonearm is the weakest link but i DO like detachable headshells. hence my ownership of the mmt arm.

when the novelty wears thin, some careful shopping and listening will yield greatly improved sound. is it worth it to go there? the same question asked about going away from compact disc. it depends how important the better sound is to you. staying with the 1200 may be just the answer for YOU.

denon and marantz electronics may be fine for you, OR audio research and VTL. there ARE differences.

lest you think i havent been there, or at least part way, i owned a SL120/grace 707 setup for a long time. also, a kenwood kd500/707 which has found its way back into my hands. it will take its turn as my backup table after i get the dustcover situation (a bad Agon seller) resolved and when i receive the cardas arm wire onsite.

dean_martin
12-03-2007, 09:15 AM
What the Technics accomplishes in comparison to the entry-level Pro-Ject is more extended bass (deeper) like I'm hearing all of a bass guitar note or kick drum rather than a truncated version. The music is presented with a strong foundation and more drive. The Pro-Ject may have an edge in the high frequencies. It's a little more "effervescent" for lack of a better word. However, I may need to experiment a little more with cart adjustment on the Technics.

I set up my Ortofon cart twice. The first time was very rough. Because of the Ortofon's weight, I had to use the headshell plate which made fine adjustments difficult. Plus, the headshell leads on the Technics are not very pliable which made sitting the light-weight Ortofon back far enough in the headshell difficult. I didn't like the outcome initially so I installed a moving magnet cart I had on hand. It's a Parasound cart which I believe is sourced from Audio-Technica. Setup was much easier. The Parasound had more life than it ever had on the Pro-Ject. I waited a day until I had a little more patience and time and re-installed the Ortofon MC3-Turbo - a high output mc. This time I believe I came much closer to accurate setup. I was never able to get the Ortofon to produce deep bass on the Pro-Ject, but that setup did have some very nice midrange and high frequency qualities. I still need to spend some more time with the Technics/Ortofon to see whether I can coax sweeter highs out of it to go along with the good bass and drive.

At first, I had the cart lined up parallel with the headshell, but when I used a 3-point alignment tool I had on hand (it came with the Pro-Ject table so it may not be the best tool for the Technics), the cart was not parallel with the markings on the tool when the tip was placed at the alignment points. I may need to find a more suitable alignment tool, graph, protractor, etc. Any suggestions are welcomed.

dean_martin
12-03-2007, 09:47 AM
the SL1200 is a good starting point and one can have a great time listening to music on this easy to use workhorse. yes, good sound can be had here.

HOWEVER, more refined sound can be had elsewhere. whether belt or dd (VERY expensive to do right) there are any number of choices new or used. the tonearm is the weakest link but i DO like detachable headshells. hence my ownership of the mmt arm.

when the novelty wears thin, some careful shopping and listening will yield greatly improved sound. is it worth it to go there? the same question asked about going away from compact disc. it depends how important the better sound is to you. staying with the 1200 may be just the answer for YOU.

denon and marantz electronics may be fine for you, OR audio research and VTL. there ARE differences.

lest you think i havent been there, or at least part way, i owned a SL120/grace 707 setup for a long time. also, a kenwood kd500/707 which has found its way back into my hands. it will take its turn as my backup table after i get the dustcover situation (a bad Agon seller) resolved and when i receive the cardas arm wire onsite.

High Tommy. I'm generally aware of your expereince. I try to read your posts, particularly re: analog and music, when I see them. I don't see the SL-1200 as a stopping point. Unfortunately, I'm stuck in a process of taking several small steps rather than taking a single giant leap. I've been wondering for a while now why I've never taken the same approach with my 2-ch system that I learned while being taught music for almost 10 years. In band, I was taught the importance of a good foundation. Bass and baritone notes should provide a solid foundation. The result should take the form of a pyramid with low notes at the bottom and the highest treble at the top. Obviously, there are less "blocks" across the top of a pyramid than there are at the bottom. I wasn't getting that foundation with my analog setup because the entry-level table I was using just didn't allow for bass extension. So far, the Technics has provided that foundation, but perhaps at the expense of the effortless, airy quality in the treble of a better direct drive or good belt-drive. But I'm not done experimenting with cart setup yet. (Also, I haven't determined whether the Technics is as quiet, yet. The level of background noise, if any, may be a factor.)

Nevertheless, the pyramid model may not be as relevant to music re-production as it is to live performance. Almost everything written about audio today focuses on the "all-important midrange." And, there's always that subjective factor that varies with each end-user.

BRANDONH
12-04-2007, 06:05 AM
What the Technics accomplishes in comparison to the entry-level Pro-Ject is more extended bass (deeper) like I'm hearing all of a bass guitar note or kick drum rather than a truncated version. The music is presented with a strong foundation and more drive. The Pro-Ject may have an edge in the high frequencies. It's a little more "effervescent" for lack of a better word. However, I may need to experiment a little more with cart adjustment on the Technics.

I set up my Ortofon cart twice. The first time was very rough. Because of the Ortofon's weight, I had to use the headshell plate which made fine adjustments difficult. Plus, the headshell leads on the Technics are not very pliable which made sitting the light-weight Ortofon back far enough in the headshell difficult. I didn't like the outcome initially so I installed a moving magnet cart I had on hand. It's a Parasound cart which I believe is sourced from Audio-Technica. Setup was much easier. The Parasound had more life than it ever had on the Pro-Ject. I waited a day until I had a little more patience and time and re-installed the Ortofon MC3-Turbo - a high output mc. This time I believe I came much closer to accurate setup. I was never able to get the Ortofon to produce deep bass on the Pro-Ject, but that setup did have some very nice midrange and high frequency qualities. I still need to spend some more time with the Technics/Ortofon to see whether I can coax sweeter highs out of it to go along with the good bass and drive.

At first, I had the cart lined up parallel with the headshell, but when I used a 3-point alignment tool I had on hand (it came with the Pro-Ject table so it may not be the best tool for the Technics), the cart was not parallel with the markings on the tool when the tip was placed at the alignment points. I may need to find a more suitable alignment tool, graph, protractor, etc. Any suggestions are welcomed.

The Technics comes with a supplied alignment tool specifically designed for that purpose.
Its called an overhang gauge and just make sure the cart is square and thats it easy as pie.
http://www.kabusa.com/GIF/ohang.jpg

http://www.kabusa.com/GIF/overhang.jpg

I know your still tinkering with it right now but in the future I recommend that you look into an upgraded head shell.
this link will take you to the thread.
http://forums.audioreview.com/showthread.php?t=23843
There is a day/night difference in the performance.

dean_martin
12-04-2007, 07:26 AM
I used the supplied overhang tool first and then tried an alignment graph I had which showed that the cart, if perfectly aligned with the headshell, was not perfectly aligned with the lines on the graph per the graph's instructions. I do have reservations about whether the graph I used is appropriate for the Technics. After I tinker a little more, I'll figure out which alignment is proper.

I'm saving your link for future reference. Thanks, Brandon.

BRANDONH
12-04-2007, 11:51 AM
I used the supplied overhang tool first and then tried an alignment graph I had which showed that the cart, if perfectly aligned with the headshell, was not perfectly aligned with the lines on the graph per the graph's instructions. I do have reservations about whether the graph I used is appropriate for the Technics. After I tinker a little more, I'll figure out which alignment is proper.

I'm saving your link for future reference. Thanks, Brandon.

I tried the protractor that came with my Hi-Fi News test record and also the one that came with my Shure V15VxMR both yielded different results mostly a bloated bass with hardly any treble at all along with excessive record rumble.
My the best results came from using the overhang tool with the cart squared nicely with the head shell brought everything together.
Not sure why but my guess is that the protractors are not set up for an S shaped tonearm...just a guess on that one.
And after a while you will become an expert at swapping the carts out with the tool.
But I plan to get more headshells though just for fun so when I want to play the Shure V15VxMR its a snap to switch out or I can use the KAB PRO S-40 just depends o0n what mood I'm in.
A cool thing about removable headshells.
just keep trying you'll find the magic spot.
Oh whats cool about the PRO S-40 no alignment needed.
http://www.kabusa.com/GIF/Cc_pro_sL.jpg
http://www.kabusa.com/ortofon.htm#integrated

dean_martin
12-04-2007, 10:37 PM
I went back to the overhang tool that came with the Technics and spent a little time with it getting the feel of sliding the cart in the headshell. I think I've got it dialed in. I'm seriously digging the overall balance I'm getting now. I might play around with anti-skate and arm height tomorrow.

I don't think there's anything out there new that can compete with what you get for under $400 with the Technics SL-1210. No speed issues. Solid bass and drive. It's quieter than I expected. In fact, I haven't noticed any background noise. The presentation is very clean from top to bottom. The build quality is top notch. Now I'm planning to get an extra headshell and one of the Denon carts that most owners say works well with this table. I don't think my phono pre can handle the low output 103 so I may try the 160.

royphil345
12-07-2007, 07:28 AM
Congrats on the new Technics!!!

I still love mine. I don't think there's any beating it for the same money these days. Picked mine up for $399.00 and I haven't seen that price since. Congrats on the real nice deal you got!!!

Have also had the Jolida JD-9A around awhile and I'm still very pleased with that as well. Still liking the Groove Tubes Mullard copies in it. They seem to smooth out the frequency extremes a little compared to the stock tubes, while retaining a little extra richness in the mids.

The Technics overhang gauge can be tricky to use because of the distance between the stylus tip and the indicator... I've found it to be accurate though. Results match up with what my generic Baerwald protractor says.

I'm using a 103. There is some dropoff at the frequency extremes, but it always sounds pleasant as heck and reasonably detailed once I sit back and get to listening. Many people are saying the new AT 440MLa works well on the Technics. I have the older (non "a") model and think it sounds too thin. They say the newer model is a better. So far, I've been happy enough with the 103 to not try anything else in a similar price-range. I'm dreaming of a Benz Ace low output... like somebody else I know...

jrhymeammo
12-10-2007, 08:58 PM
Copngrats Dean,

Nice to hear you are enjoying your new gear. REGA kit sounds very interesting.

For DL160, if it sounds anything like 110, then I;m not sure how much you would enjoy it. DL-110 served as a great escape from Grado, but it is anything but neutral. I hate to say this right after you got your new toy, but perhaps the most logical upgrade will be a new phono stage capable of LOMC. Whest? Herron? Hmmmm.....



Benz Ace low output... like somebody else I know...


Ahhhhh.......man, I would like to get my hands on that Red little box. I think I'd go with a LO Glider though(retip costs the same as ACE).

Regards,

dean_martin
12-12-2007, 09:28 AM
Copngrats Dean,

Nice to hear you are enjoying your new gear. REGA kit sounds very interesting.

For DL160, if it sounds anything like 110, then I;m not sure how much you would enjoy it. DL-110 served as a great escape from Grado, but it is anything but neutral. I hate to say this right after you got your new toy, but perhaps the most logical upgrade will be a new phono stage capable of LOMC. Whest? Herron? Hmmmm.....






I'm tending to agree. New phono stage is on the to-do list for early '08.

I picked up The Strokes' first album on vinyl and the UK cd import last week. The cd is ok for the car (I got it mainly for the the different cover and bonus dvd) but it's very "tizzy".

But the vinyl flat out ROCKS, especially on tracks 7, 8 & 9! The Technics adds that boogie factor to fun/party rock that I was missing with the Pro-Ject. Makes me wanna dance (when no one's looking).

dean_martin
12-12-2007, 09:35 AM
Congrats on the new Technics!!!

I still love mine. I don't think there's any beating it for the same money these days. Picked mine up for $399.00 and I haven't seen that price since. Congrats on the real nice deal you got!!!

Have also had the Jolida JD-9A around awhile and I'm still very pleased with that as well. Still liking the Groove Tubes Mullard copies in it. They seem to smooth out the frequency extremes a little compared to the stock tubes, while retaining a little extra richness in the mids.

The Technics overhang gauge can be tricky to use because of the distance between the stylus tip and the indicator... I've found it to be accurate though. Results match up with what my generic Baerwald protractor says.

I'm using a 103. There is some dropoff at the frequency extremes, but it always sounds pleasant as heck and reasonably detailed once I sit back and get to listening. Many people are saying the new AT 440MLa works well on the Technics. I have the older (non "a") model and think it sounds too thin. They say the newer model is a better. So far, I've been happy enough with the 103 to not try anything else in a similar price-range. I'm dreaming of a Benz Ace low output... like somebody else I know...

Thanks, Roy. Any trouble with adjusting the Jolida for use with the 103? I've noticed that the Jolida's gain settings seem to be a little high (especially for MM) compared to what I see on average. Also, do you know whether the qc issues have been ironed out with the GT Mullards? Some sellers stopped carrying them because of poor quality, but users who were able to get good tubes (like yourself) have said great things about them.

royphil345
12-13-2007, 04:26 PM
The 103 and the Jolida seem like a perfect match. I'm really enjoying them. Load is set at 100 ohms, capacitance 150 PF. I'm using the highest gain setting. I haven't ever had my vinyl rig go this long without me changing something. Like I said... I wouldn't mind stepping up to something like a Benz Ace in the hopes of the frequency extremes sounding a little more open and effortless without losing that midrange "magic... but it's not bad at all the way things are. I've had cartridges that were more open sounding, but nothing that souded as musical and satisfying to me overall.

The gain specs for the Jolida are a little misleading because there are two sets of output jacks. One is recommended for passive preamps or hooking straight to an amp with level controls. This is probably the output with the crazy-high gain specs. There is also a set of reduced output jacks they recommend for use with standard preamps, receivers, etc... These are the outputs I'm using. They only list one set of gain specs. I'm sure they're for the stronger outputs. The gain does seem a touch higher than what I've gotten out of other phono stages, even when using the reduced outputs. It's helped me make some great vinyl to CD transfers with proper recording levels.

Yeah... I heard about the quality control problems with the 12AX7M... Mine sound fantastic. I tried several other new production tubes and some NOS Brimar. The Groove tubes came out on top in my system. I paid top dollar for mine from Upscale Audio. Perhaps it's because of their screening I'm not having problems... maybe I'm just lucky... I did notice the Groove Tubes Mullard copies are the only new production 12AX7s this dealer carries. They seem to know their stuff. The quality control problems were awhile back now. Perhaps things have been straightened out. I hope they still sound the same. I'm gonna' want some more eventually.

pixelthis
12-13-2007, 11:47 PM
I have an sld-20 that was built in 1982, also a sl-b350, a belt drive built a little later.
Both work like a charm, sound great too.
Sound q aside you have to admit these things were built to last!:1:

jim goulding
12-14-2007, 12:15 PM
Like Tommy, I owned a Kenwood KD500 but replaced it with a Micro Seiki BL91, a beautiful table with a rosewood deck and a massive platter and tonearm mounting plate. It is belt driven. The dynamics are better than what it replaced with more warmth to the bass and the ebb and flow of music is seamlessly luxuriant. I still use this but not as my primary table because my current phono pre doesnít quite have enough amplification for the low output MC cartridge I use with this deck. My current table, also belt driven, is a Nottingham Horizon with which I use a Grado Sonata Reference. I canít imagine ever going back to a direct drive. Good luck on this.