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

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

  1. Kevin of KAB told me the Technics headshell is angled by design.

    He wrote me as follows:

    I would stick with the stock headshell. I still think it is one of the better ones out there. It is also properly designed to compensate for the small upward motion you get when you only use one bayonette pin.

    The original SME stylus HS's used to pins one on top, one on bottom.
    That keeps the headshell perfectly straight.
    When you only use one, there is a slight upward force that tilts the headshell up ever so slightly.
    It you look at the back of the 1200 headshell, you will see it is not at right angles to the top, it has a small angle to it.​
     
    recstar24 likes this.
  2. AArchie

    AArchie Active Member

    Location:
    Colorado
    First, why doesn't Technics put two pins on theirs (or any of hte other makers)? Second, I can possibly see a slight angle on my Technics HS but it looks like it goes opposite to what would be needed it the pin (on top) pulls the HS up. The angle I see also would push the HS up (the angle between the mounting ring on the immediate bach of the HS and the HS top is greater than 90 deg). My Ortofon looks more square. I'm not sure how much these slight angles matter but in the future I'll be paying closer attention to leveling the HS.
     
  3. oregonalex

    oregonalex Well-Known Member

    Probably a good advice. I think I am done messing with third party shells. It ain't worth it.
     
    recstar24 and snorker like this.
  4. back2vinyl

    back2vinyl Forum Resident

    Location:
    London, UK
    Again, that's my experience too. I can't check at the moment because I have an SME arm on the turntable but I spent a lot of time dickering around with headshells and my clear recollection is that the stock Technics headshell, old and new, had a very slight downward tilt to the headshell mating surface, going from rear to front, while the Ortofon was dead flat. With the Technics, this made matters even worse from a VTA perspective because it meant that to get the headshell flat, you had to get the rear end of the arm even lower - but if you had already hit bottom, then the only alternative was even more spacers and mats at the cartridge end.

    On top of all that, the tonearm itself wasn't straight and was slightly angled downwards at the headshell end! So you had everything conspiring against you: first, even if everything had been straight, the tonearm wouldn't go low enough for a 16mm cartridge. On top of that, the headshell was angled downwards, which made matters worse, and on top of that, the tonearm was angled downwards, which made matters ever worser! In the end I gave up and just put on my old SME V arm but even that needs a 3mm headshell spacer to get correct VTA with a little bit over to play with. If using a 16mm cartridge, you would need more than that to get a truly correct VTA with the stock headshell, and probably quite a lot more, in my experience.

    Don't get me wrong - this is a very fine turntable indeed and the arm is fine too. It's just not very well suited to shallow cartridges like the AT33PTG/II, or not in its stock form, anyway.
     
  5. oregonalex

    oregonalex Well-Known Member

    Here I have taken aligned pictures of the various headshells. The bottoms of the gauges are horizontal. The red lines drawn near the top of the headshells are also horizontal. You guys tell me what you see, but I think I see the Nagaoka and Ortofon being slightly tilted upwards and the Technics perfectly level. Could it be optical illusion?

    Technics SFPCC31001K:
    [​IMG]

    Ortofon SH-4:
    [​IMG]

    Nagaoka HS-5010:
    [​IMG]
     
    Robert C likes this.
  6. Yup, I agree. Technics looks level and the others look tilted up. Does it look that way when you mount them in the ‘arm?
     
    PhilBiker likes this.
  7. oregonalex

    oregonalex Well-Known Member

    Yup. The Ortofon very noticeably. Strangely enough it is not as obvious with the Nagaoka.
     
  8. bluemooze

    bluemooze Forum Resident

    Location:
    Frenchtown NJ USA
    Excellent! :righton:
     
  9. AArchie

    AArchie Active Member

    Location:
    Colorado
    When the HS gets locked in by the single pin that tilt may get worse. (We are dealing with small angles though. One of my carts' cantilevers is several degrees off from the spec'd VTA and it took a shim to get it right. The arm height adjustment wasn't nearly big enough.) Whether these HS misalignments are enough to worry about is debatable but since the new Technics HS seems to have azimuth adjustment built in it really seems to be the best option all around. Too bad the only price I've seen for them is $100.
     
  10. oregonalex

    oregonalex Well-Known Member

    Both RFA3670 (1200GAE headshell) and TPBGA003 (1200GR headshell) go in Japan for the same price, less than 6000 yen.

    I have compared the 1200GAE and 1200GR original headshells and can't see any difference whatsoever. So I have just bought a TPBGA003 on eBay from rohihita110 (bought from him before without issues) for $64 + $8 shipping. There is now a listing for even less, but the guy does not have as good a rep.
     
    AArchie likes this.
  11. recstar24

    recstar24 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    Holy smokes if the technics headshell is that much, I'm just going to go with the ortofon Concorde S unibody style with om40 stylus from KAB for my next cart upgrade.
     
  12. freedomgli

    freedomgli New Member

    Location:
    Reston, Va
    Argghhh! Dust cover down while spinning records! The horror! ;-)
     
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  13. freedomgli

    freedomgli New Member

    Location:
    Reston, Va
    Well, I got a Mk2 headshell last month for $34. But now KAB is saying they're no longer available. I'd still stick with an OEM Technics headshell unless you have good reason to do something else.
     
    PhilBiker likes this.
  14. wgb113

    wgb113 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chester County, PA
    While I didn't measure or weigh them there are cosmetic differences between the two - the G/GAE headshell being a smooth finish, the GR being more eggshell/orange peel-ish and the G/GAE having a thinner but longer finger lift.
     
  15. oregonalex

    oregonalex Well-Known Member

    Wow, I had them here both, installing a cartridge in them, I can't believe I missed that. I did weigh them: GAE was 7.61g, GR was 7.77g, I attributed it to normal mfg tolerance. The old-style SFPCC31001K that I have is 7.60g.
     
  16. Gabe Walters

    Gabe Walters Forum Resident

    I have cats.
     
  17. oregonalex

    oregonalex Well-Known Member

    I have dust. ;)

    Seriously though - I did extensive listening with lid up/down/removed. Could not hear any difference.
     
  18. back2vinyl

    back2vinyl Forum Resident

    Location:
    London, UK
    Those are great pictures oregonalex and thanks for posting but there is too much scope for optical illusion for my liking and the biggest problem is that, certainly in the case of the Technics, you can't even see the cartridge mating surface, which is the only surface that matters in this case. My suggestion would be to do the pictures again but this time with a small, rectangular bubble level pressed against the cartridge mating surface of each headshell. If you don't have such a level, I could try to do this myself but I would have to get the arm and headshell out of storage first so it might take me a day or two to get around to it.

    BTW I made a mistake in my last post when talking about the Technics tonearm. I said the end of the tonearm slopes down but thinking about it, I mis-remembered and in fact it flicks slightly up. But this too is a problem in itself because it takes the needle further away from the playing surface, so you need more headshell spacers or turntable mats to close the gap.
     
  19. Gabe Walters

    Gabe Walters Forum Resident

    I can't imagine it does make much difference on this deck--it's very well damped. Let me ask you, assuming the same cartridge type in both the stock headshell and the Ortofon SH-4, how should the arm height ring be adjusted when using the Ortofon? Down a half-point, maybe?
     
  20. AArchie

    AArchie Active Member

    Location:
    Colorado
    There is a huge difference between the Technics and Ortofon SH-4 in height. I needed to dial down 4.25 for the SH-4. I'm at zero with the SH-4. Shorter carts will require shims for this HS.

    One note about Technics HS prices: The new HS has a screw on the underside that some say can be used (or is intended?) for azimuth adjustment. That may justify paying a higher price.
     
    oregonalex likes this.
  21. oregonalex

    oregonalex Well-Known Member

    I could not venture a guess. It could be that the tilt just compensates for the higher position of the mounting surface somewhat, but the height difference may be the dominating effect. My suggestion would be to invest in a USB microscope, especially if one uses 3rd party cartridges. As @AArchie said earlier, some cantilever angles are or can get over time severely out of spec and actual measurement is the best way to deal with it.
     
  22. oregonalex

    oregonalex Well-Known Member

    I think no matter how you take the pictures, perspective and lens distortion is going to happen. I don't know how to settle this for good.
     
  23. AArchie

    AArchie Active Member

    Location:
    Colorado
    I think it's going to depend on individual headshells. Mine don't look like the pictures. As oregonalex suggests, the best way to ensure SRA is to use a microscope and measure it directly. While I've semi gone that route with one cart with an out of spec cantilever, I'm happy adjusting using the "level tonearm" method when the cantilever is in spec. At that level of "precision" I don't think these slight misalignments matter much. That said, checking both the arm and headshell for level seems like a good idea.
     
  24. Chris Treece

    Chris Treece Member

    Location:
    Haworth, UK
    My 1210 arrives today. I was hoping to just stick a cart on and enjoy some music. Now I'm scared to take it out of the box :D
     
    bluemooze, oregonalex and recstar24 like this.
  25. wgb113

    wgb113 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chester County, PA
    Ahh you'll be fine! Just us obsessive hobbyists! The adjustability on these decks makes them easy to set up and a joy to use.
     

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