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

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

  1. Davey

    Davey define a transparent dream

    SF Bay Area, USA
    No, that's not the way to do it. You get the counterweight closer to the pivot by increasing the mass density via using a different material, or by increasing the diameter while maintaining the center of mass, or by decreasing the headshell mass, not by adding mass farther away from the pivot, that will just increase the tonearm effective mass, the opposite of what you want to do.
  2. oregonalex

    oregonalex Forum Resident

    Yes, SL-1200GAE arm with the stock headshell effective mass is 12g. I have it confirmed from a most reputable source.

    As for the headshell, the stock SL-1200GAE headshell (RFA3670) weighs 7.61 g.
    I also have a couple of genuine OEM Technics headshells (spare part for the original SL-1200, SFPCC31001K) that both weigh 7.60g, so they are not heavier than the new one.
    The only differences I see between RFA3670 and SFPCC31001K:

    • RFA3670 has gold plated lead clips (both headshells have gold-plated pins, though).
    • The aforementioned screw on the RFA3670 bayonet.
    • RFA3670 does not have Technics written on top.
  3. Okay, sorry...maybe I've got it backwards. So, the lighter cartridge/headshell gets the counterweight closer to the pivot? Which I guess proves the point that the lighter headshell is more beneficial in this case.

    EDIT: So how does adding the auxiliary weights to the back end of the arm effect the effective mass?
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  4. Interesting...I thought I saw that the original headshell was listed at only 7 grams. So they're actually the same weight then, which makes the effective mass exactly the same. So, yes, the "Technics" branding, the lead clips and the screw are the only differences I can see (I have one of each). The GAE/G lead clips are gold-plated, but I replaced them with Ortofon LW-7N leads in any event.
  5. missan

    missan Forum Resident

    I think one has to calculate the EM for a specific situation. Obviously if one mount the extra weight and isn´t moving the CW, the EM will increase.
  6. Okay, right. So a heavier cartridge/headshell usually requires addding one of the auxiliary weights, or you can't get the arm to balance and obtain the correct VTF.

    So, here's my question: Is it better to have a lighter headshell and no auxiliary weight, or a heavier headshell with the auxiliary weight? My cartridge is 8 grams and has a compliance of 9 u/mN. If I use the stock headshell I don't need the auxiliary weight, but if I use a heavier headshell (or a Technics M5G version with the 4 gram weight added) then I need the smaller of the two auxiliary weights on the end of the arm to balance it and get the VTF to 2 grams. Which is going to be preferable in that situation?
  7. Davey

    Davey define a transparent dream

    SF Bay Area, USA
    Depends on what you want to do. If you need to increase the effective mass because of using a low compliance cartridge on an arm not designed for it, then you want the heavy headshell and the added counterweights. But if you want to reduce the effective mass for better match with a high compliance cartridge, you would use light headshell and keep counterweight close to pivot. Effective mass varies by the square of its distance from the pivot.
  8. AArchie

    AArchie Well-Known Member

    It is my understanding that, even with the stock headshell, it is better to use the aux weight and move the big counterweight closer to the pivot. There is also a reason to fill the screw hole in the back of the (MKII anyway) tonearm to eliminate a washer resonance (KAB finding).

    Earlier someone mentioned the height difference between the stock Technics headshell and an Ortofon 9000. I use the Ortofon SH-4 headshells and I have to zero out the VTA to get a level tonearm. If zero isn't enough, shims should also work. I like the SH-4 since it gives a nice flat mounting surface without the hollow of the Technics. The Ortofon Cadenza carts need a flat surface.
  9. Thanks. So 9 u/mN is low compliance, which I think may not be ideal with this arm (looking at new cartridges as we speak), so I'm better off using a heavier headshell with the auxiliary weight with this particular cartridge, right?
  10. Yes, Kevin told me that as well. I can't use the Technics headshell with my cartridge and add the auxiliary weight, unless I use the M5G headshell that allows for the addition of the 4 gram weight. That's what I'm doing right now.
  11. I was considering a those can't be used with the Technics headshell?
  12. AArchie

    AArchie Well-Known Member

    They can but Ortofon puts a nub in the front that allows azimuth correction by giving a pivot point. I found that the nub landed in the void in the Technics headshell. There are other ways of adjusting azimuth given the play in the SME connection so it's not a show stopper.
  13. Davey

    Davey define a transparent dream

    SF Bay Area, USA
    Not sure why it would be better, other than using it to fix the inside retainer rattle, but KAB makes a lightweight dummy counterweight for that. As said earlier, using the added counterweight at the end of the tonearm will increase effective mass since it varies as square of distance, but if that's what you want, then sure, it's better.
  14. costerdock

    costerdock Forum Resident

    Prescott, AZ, USA
    I use my Sumiko headshell when I need more mass on the front - or the aux weight in back - the Sumiko is nice but $$ from what I remember and provides for azimuth changes.
  15. AArchie

    AArchie Well-Known Member

    I don't know the math but I think there is a trade off that by moving the big counterweight closer to the pivot, rotational inertia is reduced. At this point I need the extra 10 gm to balance with the heavier Ortofon SH-4. In fact, I drilled a couple holes in the headshell to lighten it enough to balance with only the 10 gm added. When there is no choice, things are easier to accept/ignore! :)
  16. Tim Müller

    Tim Müller Forum Resident


    I have some different thoughts or questions about the new technics.

    The original Technics was designed and engineered in the late 1970s, as the MK II model of the SL1200/SL12100.

    From then on, that MK II model was in production until, I think, around 2010, or so. So, there was no more engineering required since then.

    (There have been MK3, MK5 or M5G or so, variations of that model, too. But the basic design was never touched or re-engineered.)

    If a same product is in constant production, all you need to do is: School your manufacturers, your factory workers, your quality controll engineers. So, that you can produce a product that is consistend with long-ago engineered specs.

    Then, the Techncis went out of "print" and production.
    It was only now re-introduced.

    And they said, it was re-engineered to "make it better than ever before", or so. Not just built according to the old recipes and procedures.

    Now, I wonder, what engineers were responsible for and working on that re-engineering task?

    I guess, all the original engineers who had the know-how of constructing and engineering direct-drive record players, were either retired, re-located to designing CD-players, amplifiers or something else, or even sacked.

    I wonder, what engineers re-designed and conceived the new Technics?

    Where does the required know-how originate from?

    The original Technics was lastetly engineered around 1980. Engineers who were around 20 years old then (freshbees right from university) now are 57 years old.
    Somewhat experienced engineers back than, 30 years old back then, now are 67 years old.
    1982/83 was the year that CD broke into the market and made record players somewhat obsolete. No more research was required in this field. These engineers back then probably moved on to other fields of engineering... : CD, video recorders, DAT recorders, or whatever...

    So, I wonder what qualified persons Panasonic called for, to engineer the new Technics?
  17. Kevin claims adding the auxiliary weight theoretically doesn't change the effective mass. Not sure why.

    Also, as far as I can tell the rattle he described seems to have been fixed on the SL-1200G tonearm.
  18. So does the new Technics version apparently.
  19. missan

    missan Forum Resident

    The change in EM will be insignificant.
    snorker likes this.
  20. Gabe Walters

    Gabe Walters Forum Resident

    Technics has some promotional videos about hiring many of its old turntable engineers. Some of them started their own shop after being fired from Technics and were brought on as consultants.
    snorker and Tim Müller like this.
  21. AArchie

    AArchie Well-Known Member

    It's still only a turntable, not a Mars lander. I think a good engineer could work out a good design using lessons learned from the original and a bigger budget. I don't think they did anything fundamentally different than the MK2 in any case. (Don't beat me up over this opinion, I'm not disputing that the 1200 G is a step up from the MK2.)
    Aftermath and Tim Müller like this.
  22. vinylkid58

    vinylkid58 Forum Resident

    Victoria, B.C.
    If you weren't on the design team, how would you know?

  23. Bathory

    Bathory 30 yr Single Malt, not just for breakfast anymore

    if it wasn't 9 thousand dollars, i might have bitten. totally overpriced to the top 10% of humanity.......which leaves me out.
  24. aroney

    aroney Who really gives a...?

    Uh, it's not "9-thousand", it's 17-hundred, a slight difference...:agree:
    snorker likes this.
  25. AArchie

    AArchie Well-Known Member

    That's why I used the word "fundamentally," it's still DD. I've read the various Technics descriptions and I don't see anything that is a big departure from the MK2. They certainly beefed things up and seemed to improve the vibration control but to my mine a "fundamental" change would be going to belt drive. But that's just my opinion. BTW, part of engineering training is to look at something and figure out how it works. It's science, not magic, and doesn't require being on the team to understand how something works. While the execution of neutral vinyl playback may be difficult and potentially expensive, the principle is simple.
    costerdock likes this.

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