Technics 1200GR vs alternatives

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Giacomo Belbo, Sep 24, 2018.

  1. Giacomo Belbo

    Giacomo Belbo Journalist for Rolling Stone 1976-1979 Thread Starter

    OK so I have to say I’m intrigued by this: price is good and seems to be getting really good reviews. Has anyone made a side-side vs SIMILARLY priced competition (Clearaudio, Rega, etc) in a similar setup (ie cartridge) and identify how they differ? Build quality is miles ahead in my view (I have a lot of respect for the Japanese) but how is the sound different, in what way?
     
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  2. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brazil
    I'm interested in this thread just for the fun of it. I only compared it to the Pioneer PLX-1000:
    Technics SL-1210GR & Pioneer PLX-1000
    But I believe there are some forum members who compared it with turntables at the same level and with more expensive ones too.
     
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  3. Giacomo Belbo

    Giacomo Belbo Journalist for Rolling Stone 1976-1979 Thread Starter

    I've seen it and that's what triggered my question!

     
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  4. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Orlando, FL
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  5. joeym3

    joeym3 Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Would be interesting to hear a comparison between the Technics SL-1200GR and a Rega P6.
     
  6. reeler

    reeler Forum Resident

    Rega and technics tables are pretty different from each other design wise. One is belt drive with straight arm and no headshell or VTA, other is direct drive, S arm and has VTA dial.
    But the two often get mentioned as possible choices since both are well known, popular and usually considered to be high performing tables that fall under the budget to mid price sector.
    I have a mk5 1200 and Rega 8, I've also had other Regas from the 3 on up.
    What I usually hear is the pluses of each design the few times I have compared.
    There is something to be said for the stability of the technics which gives it a more propulsive presentation. There's also something to be said for the Rega design, having a rigid arm with no joints or VTA does give it a more detailed and open presentation. Both are relatively easy to set up and use. The technics probably more so, with everything pretty much at your finger tips, and more convenient cartridge swapping. So I give it the edge there.
    Some people like to say the technics is not a "audiophile" item. I don't wholly agree with this, at the same time, when I take the Technics out of its box to revisit it, eventually it winds up back in its box... yet I find myself missing some of its qualities. I have not heard a GR but those who have usually say the difference between old 1200 and new GR is not huge.
    If the New Rega 6 is at all similar to the 8 I'd hazard to guess that the 6 is a better overall table than a technics GR. I think 1200 versus 3 is a closer call.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2018
  7. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brazil
    From the experience with mk5 you can't say how the GR will sound. Different motor (coreless) and different platter. It seems to be a common evaluation that the GR performs better and more closely to the G than to the MKII. By having compared the MK5 with the RP8 I suppose you can't really say how a GR would compare to the Planar 6 as asked above except of course by comparing the common features of direct drive vs. belt drive and the differences in arm adjustment and headshell as stated above.
     
  8. would you saythe Raga has more laid back sound against the 1200?
     
  9. Drewan77

    Drewan77 Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK/USA
    The new Technics GR & G (GAE) have a few qualities that differ from all the Rega, Linn, Michell or Clearaudio tables I've owned, not necessarily better but different:

    - Imaging is extremely sharp & individual elements have a more 3D-like quality to them - not just flat facsimiles of an instrument or vocal, they actually sound solid and layered when there's an appropriate soundstage.

    - Bass is likewise precise, tight, fast and controlled. It subjectively seems deeper than those other tables although I can't measure that. The first time I listened, it was if low frequencies on those had a thinner, fractionally out of phase quality whereas this was noticeably fuller, more fleshed out and engaging.

    - I like Regas very much (& still own an RP10 hybrid) - they are rhythmic & musical but somehow they sound 'slower' & less lively than the new Technics decks. That's sometimes a good thing of course & depends on personal taste or mood.

    - Unlike many suspended chassis decks (Linn etc), these are built as fit-&-forget & once set up, all you have to do is play music without periodic adjustment or modification.

    - It's simple to setup and achieve a very satisfying performance from the Technics decks. Sibilance and distortion rarely appear, far less so than I've experienced with other decks unless an inordinate time was spent on alignment.

    Maybe some of this relates to very accurate pitch control when compared to belt-driven tables I am familiar with? Whatever the reason, I have absolutely no regrets about the purchase & it will easily outlast me!
     
  10. Giacomo Belbo

    Giacomo Belbo Journalist for Rolling Stone 1976-1979 Thread Starter

    I’ve read somewhere that the Technics has a more digital/CD kind of sound while the belt-drives are more round and musical, would there be any truth on it? I currently have a vintage Denon DD and sometimes I have that feeling, can it be that DD are a bit more aggressive and convey that feeling?
     
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  11. drumandguitar

    drumandguitar Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Birkenhead UK
    Could you explain the term 'round' in terms of music replication? I'm genuinely interested, not being sarcastic. I have a Technics 1200GR and Rega P24 btw, so want to put what you are describing in to some sort of context.
     
  12. Giacomo Belbo

    Giacomo Belbo Journalist for Rolling Stone 1976-1979 Thread Starter

    It’s not my phrase as I said so can’t really!

     
  13. DPM

    DPM Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nevada, USA
    I have lots of CDs, and I have the SL1200 G. None of my LPs sound like CDs--that is, unless they were mastered from a CD. Thankfully, few suffer from that problem. The difference between belt-drive and direct-drive comes down to the speed stability which makes its influence felt in the overall presentation.

    Hence, the speed stability of good direct-drive turntables can give the tempo a preciseness that some may call digital-like, and the resulting sound field is more concise and matter-of-fact. Belt-drive turntables generally offer a more relaxed--some would say warmer--presentation courtesy of the slight/subtle variations in tempo.

    It's akin to how beat is presented in rock/jazz vs. classical music. With rock/jazz the beat is emphatic while with classical it's a bit more understated/implied.

    There's no right or wrong here. Just different flavors. Some folks like both.
     
  14. drumandguitar

    drumandguitar Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Birkenhead UK
    Haha, ok, fair enough.
     
  15. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brazil
    When we talk about tempo, there's right or wrong. Music is all about tempo. A turntable that doesn't play consistently in the right speed, as much as possible, is better (in this aspect) that one that doesn't. To keep consistent speed is right. Not keeping is wrong.
     
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  16. DPM

    DPM Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nevada, USA
    My right or wrong statement was in regards to the overall presentation of direct-drive vs. belt-drive. The concise/matter-of-fact sound field of direct drive vs. the warmer/more relaxed sound field of belt-drive.

    My apologies. I should have been clearer.
     
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  17. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    I demoed a P6 with ania before I bought my GR. The sound was disapointing for a table with such reputation. Dynamic but edgy. The ania is a low quality LOMC and can easily be beaten with any number of sub $1k cartridges. the sound also had slight but noticesble pitch wavering. I found no reason to invest in this combination. My VPI traveler with ART9 cartridge sounded significantly better.
    I listened to the GR and then the G and was sold immediately on the GR. The dealer who carries both Technics and Rega prefers the GR over the RP8 for example.
     
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  18. Giacomo Belbo

    Giacomo Belbo Journalist for Rolling Stone 1976-1979 Thread Starter

    How does the GR compare with the VPI?

     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2018
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  19. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    I really liked the VPI but it was ultimately too thick and warm like a lot of high mass belt drive tables. The GR is still a smooth warm table but with perfect pitch, more neutral, more energetic and dynamic. it is perfect for me.
     
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  20. Minty_fresh

    Minty_fresh Forum Resident

    Location:
    B.
    I think you just sold me on it. The looks don’t turn me on but your description of the sound is what I am looking for ultimately.
     
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  21. reeler

    reeler Forum Resident

    That's true. No sense in jumping to conclusions. Of things I've read about owners of the GR who are also owners of the older 1200, the sound is more similar than different but The GR is better.
    I think its safe to say all the Rega models share similar traits, and the 1200 family have similarities. Each model up the line is going to expand on that. Call one the Technics sound and the other the Rega sound.
    The arm resonances of the 1200 are still there on the GR, but much less so on the G. Anyway the 8 is closer to the G in price. Now that's a comparison I'd like to hear.
    I've heard that Schitt audio is coming out with a skeletal plinth belt drive that will cost less than Technics or Rega, now that should be interesting.
     
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  22. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident

    Location:
    U.S.
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  23. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I've ended up keeping my 1210GR after some initial mis-steps in my comparisons against my prehistoric Linn.

    I had assumed that putting my Sota Reflex clamp on the GR would show its maximum capabilities. But I was wrong. I discovered that this TT either does not like record clamps at all, or it does not like this one. Either way, the result was that putting this record clamp on this table sucked the life out of the music. This was true with every type of matt that I tried it with, although it was least-true with felt.

    Removing the clamp restored an incredible amount of energy to the music. I'm also undecided upon the best mat for this table, but my initial impression is that Cork is better than the stock matt.

    I think that I still prefer the warmth and musicality of my prehistoric Linn overall. But for rock, dang does the GR ever have a lot of drive!

    For me my favorite feature is one that many people seem to be complaining about: The removable headshells. I have always hated that almost all good arms lack removable headshells, so to me this feature is a godsend. Its great to see that it is finally possible to have a good arm and a removable headshell as well.

    And the build-quality of this machine is really top-notch as well. My only regret is that it doesn't feature the super sexy looking brass platter of the G. Although whether that makes the G audibly superior, I have no idea.
     
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  24. Chris Treece

    Chris Treece Forum Resident

    Location:
    Haworth, UK
    My GR knocks the pimped P5 I had before it into a cocked hat. No idea what it is - just excels with everything I throw at it. Gone from 50/50 vinyl/CD listening to almost exclusively vinyl, delving with relish into my collection to hear stuff afresh. Probably overkill, but it's perched on a massive slab of oak kitchen worktop we had left over from a recent refit, and that sitting on four hockey pucks.
     
  25. I’ve done quite a bit of listening now with and without a weight on my SL-1200G, and I prefer it with the weight. The only difference I hear is that it makes the bass deeper and more taut. Of course, the platter is different so maybe that effect is not duplicated on the GR. I’m using the stock mat and the KAB fluid damper.
     
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