Technics SL-1200G vs SL-1200GR + suitable MM cartridge for either

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Nubben, Jan 29, 2018.

  1. Nubben

    Nubben Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    London, UK
    Hi All,

    Apologies if this question has been discussed ad nauseam but I could not find this specific topic when searching the forums.

    Long story short I am torn between the G and the GR and due to the magnesium arm (on the G) vs the aluminium arm (on the GR) which MM cartridge should I go for.

    I currently have the Pioneer PLX-1000 fitted with an Ortofon 2m Black. Not being a HUGE audiophile - would I notice a noticeable improvement (worth the extra money) between the G and the GR (asking someone who has experience with both)?

    So, to sum it up - G or GR and what cart to go for. Willing to spend £500-£600 on cartridge.

    Many thanks!

    Nubben
     
    mur likes this.
  2. Davey

    Davey like smoke from a lithium dream

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    I'm pretty sure the new Technics SL1200 tables still have about the same tonearm effective mass as they had in the old days, so any cartridge being used on a SL1200 should be suitable for the new tables. It's a medium mass arm of about 12 grams effective mass with standard headshell and counterweight. There are a ton of choices, but you should probably try to narrow down the field a little with some of your choices that you think may make you happy, then others could help with the final candidates.

    The 'G' does seem a pretty big jump if you're not really sure what you want.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018
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  3. Dubmart

    Dubmart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    For what it's worth Technics used the 2M black to demo the GAE in the UK so I'd say save your £500 and use your existing cart, maybe buy the GR for a grand and use all the money you've saved on the G and new cart to mount an SME IV on the GR, that will be a killer deck.
     
  4. H8SLKC

    H8SLKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    The better question in my mind is whether you're going to hear any improvement going from the PLX-1000 to the Technics machines, particularly the GR model. The PLX-1000 is highly regarded.
     
  5. Agitater

    Agitater Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    I have been delighted with my SL1200-G since picking it up two months ago. The GR version is just a low-cost model to help recapture more market share. The G is the class act, and it’s a genuinely stellar turntable. Dead silent in operation, precise, rock solid, extremely well made, a joy to set up and configure, with an excellent tonearm.

    I tried the Ortofon 2M Black. It was good. The I tried the Clearaudio Maestro V2. It was just as good. I tried the Dynavector Karat 17D3. It was very, very good. Then I tried the Soundsmith Zephyr MIMC (the so-called Zephyr Star) low output. That was the match that did it. I’m feeding the output of the Zephyr to a Bryston step-up transformer which is feeding a Graham Slee Revelation M phono preamp. Match made in heaven.

    Energy, accuracy, detail, bass clarity, no groove noise. Just music. Can’t get enough of the Sl1200G with that Soundsmith cartridge. A home run for Technics and a home run for Soundsmith.
     
  6. Clay B

    Clay B Forum Resident

    Nubben

    As an owner of a GAE (G) Agitatar's description above is right on target. It's a superb deck and a bargain at the price.
     
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  7. displayname

    displayname Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas
    Is the system in your signature current? If so, it might make sense to go with the GR and possibly spend a little to upgrade your phonostage. But on the other hand I don't think anyone has expressed buyers remorse with either table. I think the G is a solid step up from the GR, with an appropriate jump in the price point. You could do the GR, make a couple other upgrades, and then move up to the G later (I'm sure the GR will hold value fairly well) or you could go G now, but knowing that you might need to upgrade other parts of the system to fully appreciate the added value of that table. But a better source never hurts anything.
     
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  8. recstar24

    recstar24 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    I have the GR and really enjoy it. I do think of you have the money and no financial concerns I wouldn't hesitate getting the G, there's enough there in my opinion to warrant the price jump. I think your 2m black is plenty for either.
     
  9. Gabe Walters

    Gabe Walters Forum Resident

    I don’t doubt what you say about the G, but I would describe the GR in these terms, as well. It’s truly excellent, not *just* a low cost model to capture market share. The big differences: the GR doesn’t have as much torque, but it achieves the same start-up time because the platter is lighter. It doesn’t have the brass top plate on the platter. It doesn’t have the plinth top plate milled from a solid billet of aluminum. And it doesn’t have the magnesium tonearm.

    Maybe some of these distinctions amount to audible differences; I can’t say for sure. I just mean to say that the GR is a damn fine turntable.
     
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  10. johnny q

    johnny q Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bergen County, NJ
    My SL1200 freinds tell me that the KAB ProS Cartridge (w/STY40 Stylus) at $369 sounds great on these tables. In fact, preferable to the Ortofon Black. If and when I get the new 1200, this is the direction I will go in.
     
  11. Drewan77

    Drewan77 Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK/USA
    I auditioned both tables (GR & G) and they sound pretty similar but with slightly smoother midrange/treble on the G so that is what I purchased. Both have the tightest, deepest, cleanest bass of any quality turntable I have heard ( or own/owned - Linn LP12, various Regas', Michell + Clearaudio etc).

    I use headshells mounted with a 2M Black*, AT150ANV, Goldring 1042 and Audio Note 1Q3/ IQ2. The IQ3 is the highest quality cartridge of this lot and sounds exceptional but somehow the 2M Black has the best synergy of these on the SL1200G - I really cannot fault this combination (...don't use moving coil cartridges so cannot comment on these).

    If you 'must' buy another cartridge in the price range you specify then I would recommend you get an IQ1 + a spare Goldring 1042 stylus (it fits perfectly as IQs are made under license by Goldring although the body is much higher quality). This is a fantastic combination - quite close sound-wise to the 1Q2, not far off the IQ3.

    The 1200G is a really exceptional table and although the magnesium tonearm is potentially regarded as its weak point, I can find no fault. If you have the funds I strongly recommend you buy the G version.

    (*...even an old Ortofon VMS20E II which I am listening to as I type this tracks and plays faultlessly on the G, regardless of its age & somewhat restricted bass compared to the carts above)
     
  12. Agitater

    Agitater Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Absolutely. Technics started with a great historical design and after many improvements made it even better. Enjoy your GR!
     
  13. Nubben

    Nubben Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    London, UK
    Hi All,

    Thank you VERY much for all your replies. A lot of food for thought here.

    @displayname - yes, my signature is my current set-up. I definitely know some parts need upgrading, but since I'd like to upgrade all parts but without paying a fortune I thought I'd start with the TT. And by the sounds of it I could not go wrong with either table!

    From an aesthetic point of view I really like the G's brushed shiny plinth and brass ring around the platter (but that's looks only.)

    @Drewan77 - if the G has a smoother midrange/treble perhaps that would do my Black good since I find it a tad bright. Love the resolution of that cart however.

    Thanks again all. Decision not made just yet but getting closer! :)

    Nubben
     
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  14. recstar24

    recstar24 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    Are these friends referring to the old 1200's or the new G/GR?
     
  15. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Oh, c'mon, really? I have all the respect in the world for the PLX, it's a great budget table, but it's still a Hanpin, with all the requisite kinks...
     
  16. H8SLKC

    H8SLKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    What matters is how the machine sounds, and according to multiple professional reviews and numerous user reports, it's clear that the PLX-1000 is a fantastic machine. Neither you nor I, nor any other user, should be confident that you could hear the difference, at least between the PLX-1000 and the GR.

     
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  17. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I would not make the mistake of blindly saying something without hearing the tables side by side first, through the same cart, phono, amp, and speakers, or - better yet, cans! That's where all the pitfalls really open up - with headphones!

    But just by brand recognition and history alone, I would buy he 1200GR, even if it sounded similar to PLX.
     
  18. Gabe Walters

    Gabe Walters Forum Resident

    Just on build quality alone, the GR is the better table. Does that make an audible difference? I couldn’t say. Is that reason enough to pay the difference? That’s a personal decision.
     
  19. Agitater

    Agitater Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    I think that better build quality always improves sound. Exceptions are exceedngly rare. Comparing the build and performance of a PLX-1000 to an SL-1200 GR is unsatisfactoryto me. The Technics is noticeably more resistant to external noise and platform resonance. The Technics tonearm adjustments are more precise because the bearings and controls are made of higher grade materials and the tolerances are notably tighter (which also provides a smoother and more precise feel). The Technics motor, spindle bearing and platter assembly all have tighter tolerance. The Technics platter and main bearing are higher quality - the bearing is more precise, the platter is precisely plane and identically dense throughout any radius, all of which provides greater and more accurate rotational stability and less work for the higher quality Technics electronics and crystal oscillator to do. The Technics plunth is more thoroughly and effectively damped.

    The PLX-1000 simply doesn’t meet such a standard, nor is it advertised or marketed or priced to do so. Doesn’t mean the PLX-1000 is a bad turntable, but rather that its clone styling and control similarities were always meant to be a lower cost, lower performance version of the old generation of SL-1200.

    I can personally grump about the higher than expected prices of the 1200GR and the 1200G when they hit the market, but doing so doesn't somehow elevate the less expensive PLX-1000 to a higher quality level.
     
  20. H8SLKC

    H8SLKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    I stand by what I said. Based on fantastic reviews of the PLX-1000, including at least two professionals who compared the machine to SL1200 models head to head, the PLX-1000 held its own effectively. The stereophile review writer took considerable space to debunk the idea that the Pioneer could not be considered an audiophile machine. Slightly tighter specs cannot be said to translate into differences that an actual user will hear. I assume that an expert could set up experiments to demonstrate the superiority of one machine over another, but again, that does not translate into hearable performance for a typical user in a normal listening environment.
     
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  21. Erocka2000

    Erocka2000 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    I do believe the PLX-1000 still has a cored motor, while the 1200G and 1200GR have a coreless motor. That alone is worth the price of admission and is what puts the Technics tables in a different class than the PLX-1000.
     
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  22. bluemooze

    bluemooze Forum Resident

    Location:
    Frenchtown NJ USA
    Yes you do. And then you post about it. What have you actually listened to though?
     
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  23. johnny q

    johnny q Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bergen County, NJ
    Both.
     
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  24. H8SLKC

    H8SLKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Unless you have listened to both of these machines, you engage in speculation just like me, except that I also can point to professional reviews that are relevant in this context. Can you? The reviewers who stack the PLX-1000 against the SL1200 indicate that it holds its own. The tolerances and updated internals matter to the average user only if the sound is noticeably better.

     
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  25. recstar24

    recstar24 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    Is that the older 1200's or newer ones? They are different beasts in my listening experience.
     
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