PLX-1000 vs Denon VL12 vs SL 1200 MK7

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by curiousgeorge, Aug 27, 2019.

  1. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    Or about 1 hour.
     
  2. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock

    Location:
    Best Coast USA
    It does sound good out-of-the-box, but Naga's distributor quotes a 30-hour break-in time.
    .
     
  3. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    Yes most brands do, but just letting the OP know, its never really been shown to take that long for MM carts at least. MCs can take much longer, but that also makes sense because of how they are built.
     
  4. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Never really been shown by/to whom? I’ve heard break-in with MM carts and even just new styli (I expect the suspension is the main thing that needs breaking in).
     
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  5. fmfxray373

    fmfxray373 Forum Resident

    Location:
    san diego
    I just using an AT3600L that I got on Ebay for dirt cheap. I like the sound of those.
    On my 1200MK I am using an old Realistic RX-1500 cartridge.

    I actually found one of those Ortofon OMP 30 stylus and cart on a table at at thrift a while back...thinking of getting a one of those Pro s carts for it.
     
  6. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    Well, it should be easy to create a before and after comparison clip although Ive never seen one.
    And the reason I dont accept purely anecdotal claims is because over the span of 50 hours or so, which is weeks or months for some, the human memory is not liable to be accurate.
     
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  7. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Fair, and I wouldn’t even claim to have tracked progress over 50 hours. I can say confidently that about a week of heavy use after a stylus change has always shown improved resolution, though, and to me it is intuitive that a suspension would loosen up with use.
     
  8. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    The suspension is what would loosen yes.
    And I agree that break in is real, just not for as long as some claim.
    Its interesting because its one of those claims that are wildly different depending on who you ask. Some say 200+ hours, even though at that point youre more likely to hear stylus wear than anything else. And even though some may think its a well accepted phenomena, you would be surprised at even well known figures in the vinyl community say that its only a a few hours at most.
    So really, you cant know what to trust, and I wont subscribe to any timespans before I have proper evidence.
    For the 3 MM carts Ive had I havnt really noticed much difference past the first few records
     
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  9. curiousgeorge

    curiousgeorge Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    BELLEVUE, WA
    So I finally mounted the MP-150 on the PLX-1000 and my initial impressions is that it has a greater level of detail than the Ortofon 2m Blue and Bronze. In terms of definition and detail: Ortofon 2m Blue < Ortofon 2m Bronze < Nagaoka MP-150. The surface noise with the MP-150 seems like it might be a bit more than the Bronze. I'm still waiting for my SL1200 MK7 to arrive next week to complete my testing and keep 1 turntable and 1 cartridge that suits my tastes.

    Right now, in terms of cartridges, its a toss up between the Ortofon 2m Bronze and the Nagaoka MP-150. The cost difference between the Bronze and MP-150 is significant and I have to feel that the Bronze is substantially better than the MP-150 in order for me to justify the additional cost and so far it doesn't appear to be. In terms of turntables, I don't think the audio qualities between the PLX-1000 and Denon VL12 are different enough for me to make a choice solely based on sound. When looking at build, esthetics and cost, the PLX-1000 edges out the VL12 for me at this point. Cost is not the primary factor for me between PLX-1000 and VL12 as the VL12 costs a few hundred dollars more than the PLX-1000. For me, the build and esthetics of the PLX-1000 appeals to me and the VL12 just looks a little too garish for my tastes and the sound of the VL12 is not leaps and bounds better than the PLX-1000 to make up for its esthetics and general build. (in my personal opinion).

    The next comparison is going to be the PLX-1000 and SL1200MK7 at this point.

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock

    Location:
    Best Coast USA
    Congrats, your testing seems to be moving right along and giving you a lot of good insights. :thumbsup:

    And on the carts, surprising, isn’t it? The $440 Bronze with an ‘advanced shape’ fine-line stylus gets equalled or outperformed by a $250 MP-150 with a common ‘fat elliptical’ stylus.

    Just goes to show that stylus shape is only part of the equation... having a high-quality magnet, coils, suspension, and cart body is critical. IOW, everything matters, not just one parameter.

    If you feel like expanding your cart testing further, the MP-200 is even better, and still cheaper than the Bronze if you shop around at all.

    Have fun. Suspect you’re gonna like that Technics Mk7 when you hear it.
    .
     
  11. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    Location:
    South West, UK.
    Both the PLX 1000 and VL 12 are the same price in the UK. £599. I paid £100 less for the Pioneer nearly 3 yrs ago.
     
  12. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage

    Location:
    Belgium
    Bronze is a pnp setup that can't be properly aligned to the pioneer's arm, no wonder the fat nag is better ;):p.
    To the OP : get some records out with a minimal lead out groove and see if the last song on those records play with the same quality as the first song of that side. Also, I would wait until Technics arrives so you'll have a proper set up bronze to see how it compares to the nag.
     
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  13. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock

    Location:
    Best Coast USA
    So, a rematch? Sounds good... hope the OP does that.
    .
     
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  14. curiousgeorge

    curiousgeorge Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    BELLEVUE, WA
    Yes, once my 1200Mk7 arrives, I will do a shoot out between the 1200MK7 and PLX-1000 using the Ortofon 2M Bronze (non-PnP version) and the Nagaoka MP-150. I may consider a MP-200 if I can find one on Amazon.
     
  15. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock

    Location:
    Best Coast USA
    In the US, the PLX is $700 and the VL12 is $900.
    .
     
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  16. curiousgeorge

    curiousgeorge Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    BELLEVUE, WA
    So I just got my SL1200MK7 today and my initial impressions of the MK7 was that it felt substantially lighter than the PLX-1000. My reaction was, wow this thing is quite light am I making the right choice? I get that weight isn't everything, but those are the initial thoughts that popped up in my mind. Other than the weight differences, the MK7 build differences are similar. The MK7 might feel slightly more polished with better feeling switches, tone arm lifter and a smoother pneumatic damper that drops the needle onto the record. However, the build of PLX-1000 is still awesome and "tank" like and at almost 50% of the MK7, is a steal.

    Anyway, I set it up with the MP-150 and listened for a while and then swapped with the 2M Bronze (with headshell instead of the PnP version). My thoughts are that hmmm, the MK7 doesn't sound that much different from the PLX-1000. There were bigger sound differences between the 2 cartridges I tried than between the MK7 and PLX-1000. One thing I did notice is when I'm listening via headphones (B&W P7) and nothing is playing on the PLX-1000, there seems to be an audible background buzz or hum. On the MK7, its also there but not as noticeable. I don't hear this buzz\hum when playing via speakers, just when I have the headphones hooked up to the
    receiver.

    As for the cartridges, I don't see how the 2M Bronze ($440) is worth $160US more than the Nagaoka MP-150 ($280). Don't get me wrong, the 2M Bronze still sounds great, not quite as much detail as the MP-150, but still crystal clear, smooth and velvety. The MP-150 has a brighter sound with more detail, but costs quite a bit less. The only thing the 2M Bronze has over the MP-150 is esthetics, as I think the Ortofon does look nicer and it has an upgrade path to the 2m Black stylus. However, for the cost of a 2m black stylus, I could get a MP-200 with money left over for more records.

    I'm starting to wonder whether the SL1210GR is worth it and whether there are any perceptible audio differences

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    The hum is likely just a small difference in grounding, hard to get it identical.
    The Bronze should be better at tracking and reducing distortions like sibilance.
    But the Nags are often regarded as the top performers in and even outside their price range. Just be aware that no fine stylus appears until the 500.

    As for the table sound difference, Im not surprised. They are essentially the same model and design. Stick with what seems best to you feature and spec wise or if one looks better than the other and the price is worth it.
     
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  18. Tim1954

    Tim1954 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    I doubt that there will be ANY sonic differences.

    I owned a PLX-1000 and a GR at the same time for a while. I could not hear any difference between them. In case my ears were playing tricks on me I even ran some vinyl rips with everything the same and only the TTs changed out. All the audio came out absolutely identical.

    The GR has far better build quality, but sonically? No difference that I could really detect.
     
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  19. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock

    Location:
    Best Coast USA
    To George: No, you're not hallucinating, the Mk7 is quite a bit lighter than the PLX-1000 (21 lbs vs 29 lbs). IIRC, Technics used some sort of lighter 'anti-resonant' plinth material this time around.

    Am a tiny bit surprised the Mk7 didn't at least slightly outperform the PLX though. Was the comparison through the Mani? Either way though, seems like the PLX continues to be a value-leader... at $699, it's the cheapest 'better than entry-level' table I know of.

    To Bever: Well, there you have it... rematch, and the Naga still takes it. 'Fat elliptical for the win!'. :)

    Or, more accurately... synergistic cartridge design FTW. Again, it ALL matters, not just the stylus shape. Ian harps on this constantly in his cart comparo vids on HiViNyws, and he's right. :thumbsup:

    Which is not to put the Bronze on blast. Plenty of ppl like it well enough.
    .
     
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  20. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brazil
    I have both a PLX-1000 and a SL-1210GR.

    The fact that you can't hear a difference between the PLX and the MK7 does not surprise me at all.

    The difference I heard when I swapped the PLX for the GR was a better soundstage, wider and more defined/refined. I opened a thread where you can see my comparison and @Tim1954 's input:

    Technics SL-1210GR & Pioneer PLX-1000

    HOWEVER, I'm aware that:

    - I had to unplug the PLX, take it from its place, unplug the headshell, realign it to a different overhang, plug it to the GR, put the GR in the turntable place, and plug the GR into the system. It all took some time and energy. Hard to compare before and after.

    - Since I had to unplug and plug again everything, I could have some grounding difference and the PLX could have a slightly louder noise floor that could be blurring the soundstage.

    - I was using a 2M Black with a JC3+, which means I had A LOT OF gain in the phono stage, much more than what would be reasonable. I didn't understand that at that time as well as I do now. This ridiculous amount of gain could be creating a distortion that was more audible with the PLX than with the GR.

    - I had to realign the EXTREMELY FINICKY 2M Black, then set VTF and anti-skating again. That alone says it all. It is highly likely that I had a different alignent with the GR than with the PLX and that could be the reason for the difference.

    - I could be under placebo effect and/or confirmation bias. I was very exciting while doing all of this.

    - Many other factors could be involved.

    I never put the PLX back in the system, so I really can't tell whether I was right when comparing the decks. All I know is that my current system sounds so good that I don't think my digital chain is more refined. Actually, it's the opposite. When I'm ready to invest in my system again, it will be in the digital chain to try to make it sound as good as the analog one.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
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  21. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage

    Location:
    Belgium
    Yeah well, some people have a taste for fat, some have a taste for lean :)!
     
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  22. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock

    Location:
    Best Coast USA
    Are we talking about styli, food, or women now? :laugh:
    .
     
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  23. curiousgeorge

    curiousgeorge Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    BELLEVUE, WA
    So I just ordered a Schiit Sol and MP-200 cartridge to throw into the mix. I know the Schiit is a completely different type of turntable than the MK7, PLX-1000 or the V12. However, the style and price point of the Schiit Sol lands right in the price range I'm looking at and it would behoove me not to also test the Schiit Sol :)
     
  24. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brazil
    Good luck setting it up.
     
    patient_ot likes this.
  25. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock

    Location:
    Best Coast USA
    Wow, that is going to be interesting! Hopefully you’ll still have the PLX or Mk7 around for some comparison testing.

    The Sol is going to be a bit of work to set up, though. Have you seen that vid that’s been making the rounds? It’s very helpful.

    Oh, and the MP-200 is a really sweet cart, congrats. I do hope it’s a good match for the Sol tonearm, but in the absence of published effective-mass specs (yet), it’s hard to say for absolute certain. May wanna give Schiit a call on that.

    Hopefully, they did the common-sense thing, and spec’d a more or less medium-mass arm. :thumbsup:
    .
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2019

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