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Old Technics SL1200 vs New version?

Discussion in 'audio' started by Alex S, Jan 7, 2020.

  1. Alex S

    Alex S pfm Member

    I’m particularly interested in anyone who’s moved from a reasonably modded old one, such as mine, to a new version.
     
  2. Simon s

    Simon s pfm Member

    Was just going to ask that question myself so thanks...
     
  3. Alex S

    Alex S pfm Member

    Do you have an old one?
     
  4. Simon s

    Simon s pfm Member

    Yes I have a 1210 Mk2 with some mods.

    The arm was a stock 1210 model but only a few years old, and had only light domestic use, so the bearings were pretty much perfect.
    But i still sent it off to J7 @ Audio origami and had it rewired and foam filled. I have to say that this really transformed the deck.

    It was fairly dark and shut in prior to the mods but after the rewire the deck became was much more open and detailed. I was quite shocked by the difference.
    I tried various MM carts after the rewire, from 2M Bronze and Linn Adikt, up to a Troika and the arm was able reveal the quality and characteristics in the sound of each cart.

    I also added Isonoe feet and a 5mm Achromat, although i would describe those differences as less significant than the arm rewire.

    After that i believe these decks are capable of some very good things but would love to hear how this compares against the new 1210GR and G offerings.
    I know that these new decks have been redesigned from the ground up and the engineering is on a different level to the old Mk2's but would be useful to hear feedback from others
    who went down the modding route and have also been able to compare the new deck and old side by side.
     
  5. Simon s

    Simon s pfm Member

    What mods did you do to yours Alex ?
     
  6. Alex S

    Alex S pfm Member

    I bought mine with the Isonoe feet already on it and bought a Soundeadsteel mat instead of an Achromat for no particular reason. Then I bought a s/h KAB external PSU (the best mod so far). I have a Jelco arm plate but decided to get the KAB fluid damper instead. I’ve had quite fancy DV carts on it but settled for higher priced MM ATs that marry well with it and my GSP Era Gold. So, no arm rewire or RCA socket fitment (yet, mainly to avoid faff). As such, it sounds good to my ears, especially at the price. I’ve not been tempted to spend AOS type money on it but I do wonder about the new ones...

    Generally, I’ve down and sidegraded from LP12/Aro and various Well Tempereds but might make tentative steps back up the vinyl ladder in future.

    Oh, and any TT I have sits in a huge slab of slate by which I am totally convinced.
     
  7. MVV

    MVV pfm Member

    My Amadeus GTA sits on a big bit of black slate the same size as the plinth. It sits on a very chunky oak frame.

    Which WT did you try and how do they compare to the Technics?
     
  8. Alex S

    Alex S pfm Member

    I only traveled from the original Record Player to the Classic. Never owned the newer WT decks but have heard and admired many.

    The Classic with a cheap Rega sounded surprisingly similar to the Technics with a Dynavector.

    One reason to think about vinyl again is that auditioning turntables is so much more enjoyable than any other gear, for me anyway.
     
  9. Simon s

    Simon s pfm Member

    Alex i haven't tried the external PSU up to now as i didn't want to butcher the deck too much but i would be interested to know how did it improve the sound for you ? Also did the KAB fluid damper make a big difference ?

    I have been taking a similar route from you in that i have been comparing it side by side with an LP12/Aro and although the LP12 was better it wasn't the night and day difference i was expecting, especially when considering the cost difference !
    So a down/side grade move to the Technics has been an interesting learning curve and teaches you to trust your ears more. I also realise that the stock arm which people often point out as the 'weak spot' in the 1210's is anything but that, once suitable rewired .

    Haven't tried it against any Rega decks although a shoot out against 1210 Modded/1210GR/G and maybe a Rega RP6 with a decent MM and MC cart would be great.
     
  10. Jason P

    Jason P pfm Member

    My modded 1210 was every bit as good as the LP12 it replaced, after modding - mainly arm-wise and feet (Isonoe). Rewire, KAB damper, Sumiko headshell. A very capable arm that sounded great with my AT33PTG, and a half the cost of the Linn it replaced. I think the new G/GR should be a substantial step up though - the G in particular should be better in many respects as the arm is said to be very good. I preferred mine at the time to similar price point Regas just because the speed was so damn stable - try metronomic and very immediate.
     
  11. Rug Doc

    Rug Doc pfm Member

    Does anybody on PFM have a pair of these and actually dabble in a bit of the wheels of steel??

    I did, but moved onto Numark CDs instead.
     
  12. chartz

    chartz pfm Member

    I had an SL-1200 mk2, with RB300, very good indeed.
    However, the ancient SL-1500 mk1 is every bit as good. Basically the motor is the same, sans quartz control, with a better platter.
    I expect the newer, posher ones to be better, but not by a large margin.
    We’ll see when I get one.
     
  13. Alex S

    Alex S pfm Member

    Simon, The main benefit is just getting a humming transformer out of the plinth but, although the mechanism may be different, the sonic benefit is just like adding a better power supply to an amp. The fluid damper I just bought; it hasn’t arrived yet.
     
  14. James Evans

    James Evans Bedroom Bodger

    Be interested in your thoughts on the fluid damper Alex, tempted to get one for my GR. When I popped in to Doug Brady's to pick it up they said a customer had replaced a pair of 1210 mk2s (presumably stock) with the GRs and was surprised how much better they sounded. They actually only bought one to see how it compared and were that impressed they came back for another.

    My aural memory of the mk2s I once had is long gone, and the use case and listening environment is now significantly different :)
     
  15. lazycat

    lazycat pfm Member

    Sadly, I'll never get to compare my Techy with my LP12/Ittok (26 yrs of ownership and gone long before the 1210). All I can say is I hear far more from my vinyl from said Technics. I do have a Tabriz - better than Rega - better than non-KAB'd arm.

    Not much fettled besides foculpod feet - the Isonoes robbed it of all joy for me, and the KAB bearing delrin plate/wax - well worth it.

    And a SDS mat - better than an Acromat. IMHO

    If it blows up at some point, I'll buy a GR - it's all I can afford.lol
     
  16. Alex S

    Alex S pfm Member

    The fluid damper allows me a nod to the Well Tempered.

    Not sure how I’d do any meaningful dem but my plan would be to test my modded thing against a G, a Gyro, and a WT Versalex. Those three interest me more than others. Perhaps also the cheapest SME.

    Interesting, I’ve never thought to take the Isonoes off since they were on when it arrived.
     
  17. Simon s

    Simon s pfm Member

    Let us know how you get on with the fluid damper Alex and any dems against the new GR or G.
    I always thought WT decks looked interesting but a bit out of my price range.
     
  18. gx502

    gx502 pfm Member


    I had the KAD TD1200 fluid damper, on a SL1200MK5 for some time, before I replaced the arm for a Jelco SA-750D.

    I would say that the KAB fluid damper, is a real no-brainer. It massively improved the quality and tunefulness of the bass, gave much more insight into mid and high frequencies, and improved cartridge tracking capability in general. As well as potentially making the arm more compatible with a wide range of cartridges (but I did not really try any grossly mismatched cartridges myself). Also the damper is well made, and fits and looks on the deck like it was an OEM component.

    Hopefully the new damper for the GR/G models worked as well as the old one did on the old SL1200MK2/Mk5 decks. But if I owned a GR/G deck, I would not hesitate to buy one immediately, based on my experience with the old one.
     
    wd40addict and James Evans like this.
  19. alanbeeb

    alanbeeb pfm Member

    I have the KAB fluid damper on my 1200G and it was a big step forward from already excellent. I think it saved me a lot of money as I was tempted to get a Jelco or SME arm on it... Which is actually unjust to the 1200G arm.
    I've had 1210 mk. 5 in the past with Rega arms and a technoarm, and thought they were good at the time.... But always thought they could sound a bit grey and sterile. But the 1200G is clearly better sounding. It is a different deck.
     
    gx502 and jackbarron like this.
  20. Nic Robinson

    Nic Robinson Moderator

    1210GR here. I nearly went for a G but couldn't justify the extra cost as to be honest I don't have the time to listen to much vinyl at the minute. I'll just say that with an ESCo/Midas DL103 I do not miss the decks LP12/301/Lenco that preceded it. I should say that I listen almost exclusively to classical on vinyl and this has been noted elsewhere to be a strength of the Technics decks.
     

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