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TECHNICS SL1200/1210. HYPE OR FACT?

Discussion in 'audio' started by John P, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. Alex S

    Alex S pfm Member

    Sonddek, agree entirely about the deck, that's why I'm doing it - but what about the stock arm?
     
  2. Greg

    Greg 2t5b

    Alex, I'm not convinced the Jelco sounds any better than the stock arm.
     
  3. sonddek

    sonddek pfm Member

    OK - that's interesting. I only mention the Jelco because there seems to be a bit of a consensus on it. I can say this from personal experience: I thought the stock arm sounded just as good as an Origin Live modified Rega RB250. However, when I fitted an Ekos II significantly more detail was resolved and there seemed to be more control. I'm still not happy with the way my Ekos is mounted and suspect there could be significant improvement there. That's why I reckon one needs to spend about a grand, at least, to soundly beat the stock arm. Funk FXR, SME IV, look like interesting options. Unfortunately the only way to judge is to experiment and listen for yourself.
     
  4. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    More than a few people say the stock arm is pretty good. I've not heard one with a good cart in the std arm, what I have heard is a 1200 with a heavily modded Rega and (wait for it) a VdH Grasshopper. It was dazzling. Absolutely fantastic. It gave the lie to the Linn mantra that an expensive deck plus cheap cart beats the other way round. In Linn land, maybe. However that deck remains the best I've ever heard, and I've listened to some exotica at FlatP's bakeoffs. The 1200 can cetainly carry an exotic cart.
     
  5. John

    John TDS free

    I thought for a bit of balance, I'd throw this piece out onto this thread. I especially like the shop that offered direct comparison between the Rega and Technics. I suppose he needed to remove the power supply from the Technics in order to totally transform it. :rolleyes:

    http://www.furious.com/perfect/vinyl53.html
     
  6. Gromit

    Gromit Plasticine Dog

    That is indeed interesting, and I'm actually quite glad you've said this as it backs up a certain amount of what I heard when I recently fitted a Jelco 750D to my old 1210. Sure it did a few of the hifi-ish things better, but it definitely wasn't a night & day improvement. Now there will be those folk who poo-poo this and say 'he must be deaf' but I'm only relating exactly what I heard. Put a few different cartridges into the Jelco, namely a DL103R, a 10X5, and Rega Carbon and whilst yes, they sounded very good in the Jelco, it wasn't the huge improvement I'd been led to expect. The standard arm was un-modified, although had been off to J7 for a full service (bearing clean/adjust etc).

    In my experience, the most fundamental change to the Technics - for the better - is brought by sorting the power supply. In one swoop it rids the deck of its samey dynamics, helping it to portray musical subtleties properly and 'grow up' sonically.

    Unless you're using a fairly demanding MC cartridge, I'd be tempted to stick with the stock arm. I had a 2M Black in a previous 1210 and it sounded fabulous. :)
     
  7. Greg

    Greg 2t5b

    this is similar to my experience of friends' tricked up 1200/1210 vs my own. Exactly the same opinion of the OL RB250 - neither it nor the Jelco seemed worth it over the stock arm, plus move to a Rega based arm and you lose VTA adjustment and you can't easily swap/compare carts.

    I'd also agree that the Funk Firm arm is a significant upgrade the £1000 price point being the tipping point in my view too. I found a rewired stock arm straight to decent RCAs sounded better compared to a standard Mk2 arm (the Mk5 arm has better quality wiring as standard).

    On that basis I personally would probably be looking at an alternative TT rather than taking the Technics all the way.
     
  8. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    A Rega 3 matches a Tech 1200? Yeah, right. I've owned a P2, it was mediocre at best. Nice arm, the rest of it was basically a free gift and it was worth about what I paid for it. The platter wasn't even horizontal. I've had 2 P3s, one with a Linn arm (average) and one original. This last was pretty good. I liked it. Better than a Technics? No.
     
  9. Greg

    Greg 2t5b

    this is what I use and for the discounted price of £345 it's by far the best improvement per £ to my 1210 of those I've tried or those my friends have had me listen to. Even at the RRP I'd probably say the same.
     
  10. John

    John TDS free

    Have you compared them side by side with the same cartridge? Was the Technics stock?
     
  11. Greg

    Greg 2t5b

    it's an interesting read, John. I do wonder at his own bias given he describes the SL1200 as sounding like shit, which just isn't remotely the case in my opinion.

    On the other hand I have a rough total figure in mind above which I would not spend any more money on any of my Technics TTs and would instead be putting the pennies towards a better deck. An SP10 (direct drive) would at least be a candidate along with an Idler. I just don't "feel" belt drives so this is where I probably fundamentally disagree with the author.
     
  12. sonddek

    sonddek pfm Member

    Some people like a bit of wow. They will not enjoy a Technics. It almost sounds like computer audio. The clue is when he says "and I've heard Technics turntables on several occasions, and I think they sound flat, lifeless, and downright boring compared to a decent belt-drive turntable." They hold pitch very accurately. He probably doesn't like that. They also don't come alive until you take out the power supply. It doesn't sound as though he tried that. It's a bigoted article accusing others of bigotry.

    In my case, I discovered the Technics by surprise because I couldn't afford a new Akiva for my Sondek. I bought a beat-up old Technics for 200 quid as a stop-gap, expecting it to be "shit", in the words of Marc Thingy. I plugged it in and had a Damascene experience. It could hold a note and a tune and a beat like no Sondek I had ever heard. I started listening to music again, and auditioning turntables with a new perspective on what a turntable's job was. My enjoyment of vinyl is back with a vengeance. But take the power supply out.
     
  13. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    No, who has? The next line is "how long did you listen to each?", then "what support", "what cables", "have you lived with both" and so it goes on down the obfuscation route. I've yet to see anyone compare 2 TTs under the conditions you describe. Ever.

    One thing I do know is I lived with a Rega 2 for 6 or 7 years, with a variety of cartridges and the standrad of engineering was always poor. That wonky platter was still wonky. It only started to sound better than my CDP when I sold it and got an LP12. Better again with a Garrard. Did I compare these with the same cart, back to back, same time, level matched, all that? No. I know it's better though.
     
  14. chris@panteg

    chris@panteg pfm Member

    Imagine if you will , a review of the LP12 by Peter Qvortrup and put it on an LP12 discussion ! He loathes the Linn I believe , would it offer balance ?

    I just think that guy is a Techy hater , and none to fond of its fans either .
     
  15. John

    John TDS free

    I have, many, many times. I would want to do a direct comparison myself, it's the only way that makes sense to me.

    I don't understand why you didn't return the Rega with the wonky platter?
     
  16. linnfomaniac83

    linnfomaniac83 I bet you can’t wheelie a unicycle!

    I thought the 1210 was hype until I went to scalford, with a rega arm and some PSU mods it really is a very good deck!
     
  17. Alex S

    Alex S pfm Member

    Has anyone tried Dv carts (10x or 20x) on the stock arm (with or without a Sumiko headhsell)?
     
  18. Greg

    Greg 2t5b

    Mind you a certain character who cannot be named, but not unlike Voldemort, started bugging that chap about the Technics TTs. That would be enough to put anyone off for life
     
  19. sonddek

    sonddek pfm Member

    I have done several comparisons of this kind, often only taking a couple of minutes to switch cartridges. I even had two Ekos2s, so I used to swap rapidly the whole arm between 1200 and Sondek. That was pretty interesting, because the deck/motor unit was the only variable. I really wanted my trusty old friend the Sondek, upon which I had spent so much, to win that one, but the Technics just held a tune in a way that the Linn couldn't. There may have been slight differences in timbre, rumble, detail et cetera, but the big difference was the tune. The Sondek only gets close if you attach a Kleat.
     
  20. John

    John TDS free

    He later bought a new or mint Technics and tried various cartridges on the stock unit. In subsequent reviews he applied various mods to it including aftermarket power supplies. The bottom line is that he felt the mods improved the deck but he felt there were decks out there for the same price as the heavily modded Technics that bettered it.

    I would post his review but I might be banned. It's all out there if you do a search.
     

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