Petition launched to reintroduce Technics turntables (Update: The SL-1200 is Back!)*

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by englishbob, May 27, 2014.

  1. FashionBoy

    FashionBoy Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I'm up in Canada and can't seem to find any available up here, only the 1200G. Very limited distribution seems like. I'm guessing the demand was high on the GR. Let us know when you get yours in, hopefully will be soon as we are nearly end of July!
     
  2. wgb113

    wgb113 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chester County, PA
    Touched base with my dealer today and he said his rep said I should still have it this month...fingers crossed!
     
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  3. FashionBoy

    FashionBoy Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Awesome news. I just saw the 1200GR listed at the local dealer. Going to pop by and check it out hopefully this week, maybe compare with the G.
     
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  4. wgb113

    wgb113 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chester County, PA
    So I called my dealer last week and they said they only got a couple in on their initial shipment and that they expected a handful more by the end of August.

    When I ordered on 5/5 I was told I had about a dozen people ahead of me which meant I wasn't likely to get in on the August shipment. 4 months is way to long to wait for a turntable - I think Technics terribly underestimated demand and announced/started taking orders far too early.

    I ended up cancelling my order after finding another dealer with some inventory. Should have it sometime next week - stoked!
     
  5. All the focus on "cogging" is inaudible voodoo conjured up by the audiophile press to convince their readership that the belt drive tables produced by cottage industry companies are superior to direct drive turntables that used to be the territory of mass market manufacturers.
     
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  6. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    No, it's not. Induction motors cog. FWIW, I wasn't talking about the cogging of the SL1200 motor, I was talking about the cogging of AC synchronous motors in belt-driven tables. And the vibrations from cogging and torque ripple are transmitted into the playback chain in turntables and if and when the reach the stylus-cantilever assembly, like all vibrations that do, they will result in the generation of a voltage, but it will be a spurious noise voltage unrelated to the groove modulations. It's one of the major sources of vinyl whoosh noise, and it affect tracking, and it's one of the big reasons in tables of the sort I was talking about, that motor control devices that trim the phase of the controls to the motor, and/or reduce motor torque after start up, etc., can dramatically lower the noise of vinyl playback; I'm also not talking about timing related issues from ripple, those are relatively easy to ameliorate (you never fully rid yourself of the mechanical challenges of vinyl playback) with something like a heavier platter with perimeter weighting or something . I don't know enough out the SL1200 drive system -- as I noted in the passage you quoted -- to opine about the nature of any ripple -- and I'm not at all talking about servo ripple or anything like that, I'm talking about torque ripple, I think other people have over the years suggested there's some kind of servo ripple -- other than to note, as I did, than, Technics' major improvements to the new table related to the motor and the motor drive circuitry, specifically by the company's own description to "eliminate cogging."
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
  7. The hype that "cogging" is audible is what is audiophile b.s., designed to sell magazines and belt-drive turntables. Have you noticed that the audiophile press associates "cogging" ONLY with direct drive turntables? I dare you to find a review of a belt-drive turntable that discusses "cogging." I put the word in quotation marks because the audiophile press does not understand the phenomena and misuses the term, much like they do with jitter.
     
  8. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident


    I couldn't disagree more. I think motor vibration and motor vibration breakthrough is the principal source of mechanical self noise in turntables, adding whoosh, robbing low level detail resolution, negatively impacting tracking and depending on the amount and frequency a source of sibilance problems people sometime complain about, and a big source of motor vibration is torque ripple from cogging. I've done these experiments myself lowing the torque after startup with a AC motor and a belt drive and lowering the amplitute of the torque ripple has a substantial impact on the sound of playback. I understand that over the years there's been debate in audiophile circles about servo related ripple with the SL1200. I don't have an opinion about that not having conducted any experiments with an SL1200. But I do know that generally motor vibrations from cogging and cogging ripple can produce very audible effects and it does seem that among the biggest things Technics did with its new uber SL1200 is change the motor and drive circuitry which according to the company's literature was done to address cogging.

    Whatever other people have written about it, I can't really address, but it is certainly my experience that motors and how they're driven and cogging can play a big role in how turntables sound. I'm not at all knowledgeable generally about motors though, so I'd personally be quite interesting in some real mechanical expertise and opinion about the nature of the motors, motor drives and differences between the old and new SL1200 systems. I understand that the down market new SL1200 doesn't have the improved motor and motor drive.
     
  9. costerdock

    costerdock Forum Resident

    Location:
    Prescott, AZ, USA
    I normally always agree with your posts - they are always great and spot on and helpful - but I have to disagree about Technics addressing the Cogging in their latest iteration - they did this and other things (and mentioned heavily in their marketing) to appease Fremer's various criticisms - who clearly was moved by it and took the bait hook line sinker and gave it a great review. My hats off to anyone that can actually hear the cogging - I absolutely cannot. If cogging was a real world issue the Technics it never would have survived in clubs and as a major DJ instrument. Also the specs are the same with the new table and the last iteration (ex my M5G.)
     
  10. missan

    missan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Stockholm
    I have no idea, but I don´t think we should presume that this 'cogging' affects the W&F. It can be so that it affects plinth vibrations/arm vibrations. I have listened rather close to files from the 1200mkII and the 1200G, made very strict. There is a clear difference IMO, but the reason isn´t perfectly clear. There are several differences in design that can individually affect the sound. But to me the sound is 'much' better on the 1200G.

    That there should be any difference in W&F seems unlikely to me, but I haven´t done any tests.
     
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  11. I recently purchased the SL-1200G. I haven't had time to post a full review, but in short: it is fantastic. As to the cogging issue, I agree that Technics—to their credit—recognized the need to win over the Michael Fremers of the world if the SL-1200G was to be taken seriously as an audiophile turntable. So, it is a marketing issue, but it is undoubtedly a top-notch audiophile turntable in any event, and in my opinion bests many higher-priced belt driven turntables, some much higher priced.

    Also, on the matter of cogging effecting performance, I used the AP Ultimate Test LP silent track to test for rumble, etc and the thing is dead silent. Of course the wow and flutter and pitch stability are also near perfect with a concentric record.
     
  12. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    Nah, nothing like the kind of differences of noise and even slight mistracking that we can hear in critical listening at the scale I'm talking about would ever show up in any kind of meaningful way in a club with all that noise. Wouldn't be the kind of thing that's relevant in a club situation at all. Like @missan says above, my experience with cogging ripple with different motors and drive systems relate to noise, not speed instability (though I'm also not really that sensitive to the very low levels of W+F in good turntables anyway). What they do or don't do with respect to the SL1200, I can't say. But I can say as a general matter, motor cogging ripple, can, and often does, have a real impact on a turntable's sound and tracking ability.

    What Technics marketing materials about the 1200G say is, "In the SL-1200G, the use of a newly developed coreless direct-drive motor with no iron core eliminates cogging. Also, the twin-rotor construction reduces the bearing load while maintaining high torque and also reduces minute vibration during rotation. " Doesn't sound like something they didn't pay attention to. Also, it's not about the servo. It's about the motor. They also went to a higher mass platter -- which both could have the impact through inertia of smoothing any potential speed variation, but also apparently has improved damping characteristics, so Technics says and they put a little info graphic up to show it, which also could have the effect of damping motor vibrations reaching the record and stylus.
     
    costerdock likes this.
  13. Yes. Marketing aside—and again they've done a good job with that—they've done a phenomenal job with this turntable. I don't know how the previous iterations compare, but this one is demonstrably excellent.
     
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  14. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    I've only heard online clips but they sound very good. I mean if you can't make a great turntable at a $4K price point, you should probably get out of the turntable business.
     
    snorker likes this.
  15. Agreed. And I think with most manufacturers this turntable would have to come in higher than $4,000.

    EDIT: Incidentally, the SL-1200G can be had for less than the $4,000 retail price. I was offered discounts from more than one dealer by merely inquiring.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
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  16. wgb113

    wgb113 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chester County, PA
    I suspect the same will happen with the SL-1200GR in terms of price. One dealer mentioned that their Technics rep said dealer backorders should be completely filled this fall and they should have normal inventories by the holidays. I'd think by then you'll be able to negotiate $1,500 easily but due to short supply and high demand none of the dealers I talked to were budging on the MSRP of $1,700 right now. All of the negotiation had to be done on the cartridge and in my case shipping charges. I'm happy with the deal I got and I'll be picking it up from UPS tomorrow (sans 2M Bronze that they had to order in). Sounds like a great excuse to break out some Beatles or Blue Note monos to spin with the 2M Mono.
     
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  17. missan

    missan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Stockholm
    Just a comment on the 'cogging' on the 1200. In principle, depending on the frequency, there is no significant difference between W&F and arm vibrations. Both act as frequency modulations of the signal, and as such degrade the signal in similar way.
    If the W&F or vibration frequency is low, it will possible to hear them as 'warbling' of certain tones. But then the amplitudes must also be high, which IMO is not normal.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017 at 9:05 AM
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  18. Thought I would also mention a discovery I made today. The venerable Technics headshell that has been included with previous iterations of the SL-1200 makes a reppearance with the SL-1200GAE/G. It is very rigid and and low mass, but until now it didn't feature adjustable azimuth. They have now included a little set screw to adjust azimuth as pictured below. This may make it the lightest headshell to feature adjustable azimuth (at least that I could find). It seems to only have increased the weight from 7 grams to 7.6 grams.

    I have personally found it unnecessary to adjust azimuth using the screw, as the SME-style mounting leaves enough play to properly adjust azimuth with the cartridges I've tried. It's a useful feature nonetheless, and further evidence that Technics saw the SL-1200GAE/G as an audiophile turntable.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  19. I just wish Technics would re-introduce an armless direct-drive turntable that can accommodate up to 12-inch tonearms of your own choice like the SP-10 turntables of old but even better.
    Imagine a new SL-1200 GAE motor and platter installed on a bigger and heavier plinth with a 12-inch Reed 3P or an Ortofon TA-210 12" static-balance tonearm. Wow!
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017 at 8:31 PM
  20. RPM

    RPM Active Member

    Location:
    Easter Island
    There's no reference to it in the manual.
     
  21. No. That's why I only discovered it on closer examination. The previous headshell lacks that screw.
     
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  22. 56GoldTop

    56GoldTop Forum Resident

    That is an excellent little added bonus. :agree:
     
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  23. RPM

    RPM Active Member

    Location:
    Easter Island
    If it's not in the manual I highly doubt it serves the purpose of azimuth adjustment. It's just a screw. It's been discussed in this thread.
     
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  24. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    Location:
    South West, UK.
    For MC cartridges a heavier more rigid head shell is desirable. Using the old style head shell is the most obvious oversight in this new design.
     
  25. The Technics headshell is plenty rigid, it's just not heavy. I may be wrong, but I don't see that it matters though. Whether to use a heavier or lighter headshell depends on the weight and compliance of the cartridge, with the goal of getting the resonance frequency between 7Hz and 12Hz (10Hz supposedly being ideal). The original SL-1200 arm had an effective mass of 12 grams with the stock headshell. I'd imagine the SL-1200G arm is similar, though the new headshell is about 0.5 grams heavier. You can use this calculator to check approximate resonance frequency.

    I have also been told it's advantageous to get the counterweight closer in towards the pivot, so using a heavier headshell and cartridge with one of the two supplied auxiliary weights may enable you to do that. The headhsell that came with the M5G models had a 4 gram weight you could attach to the headshell if you wanted to add more mass.

    I would also offer this advice about using different headshells...the SME-type mounting may not be in exactly the same spot as on the Technics model, and that will effect the VTA setting. I tried and returned an Ortofon LH-9000 because the mounting point was lower, resulting in the cartridge riding too high even when the arm was all the way down at "0."
     
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