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The Technics SL-1200 GAE/G/GR general questions thread

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Halloween_Jack, Aug 1, 2018.

  1. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage

    Location:
    Belgium
    So, they actually confirmed that they are not able to make straight platters 100% of the time ?! That's great.....
     
  2. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    So you are asserting that 90% of G's out there have wobble or warped platters????:wtf:
     
  3. MusicNBeer

    MusicNBeer Forum Resident

    Location:
    Florida
    I just checked my 9 month old GR again. No wobble. I wonder if this is a newer issue relating to the big demand. Maybe Technics tried to speed up the process.
     
  4. Slick Willie

    Slick Willie Decisively Indecisive

    Location:
    sweet VA.
    If I keep staring at mine...I'm gonna' see a wobble!o_O
    Methinks I'll just check every few weeks.....
     
  5. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    Watchin' the clothes go 'round....... LOL

    In manufacturing, there is an expected failure rate for products and components, and typically that number is very small. It happens. It then comes down to how well the company stands behind their product.

    But on internet forums where the two or three people with a problem post, the problem suddenly seems much bigger than it really is as the feeding frenzy begins and becomes the focus and it's magnified.

    Those that shell out $4k for a TT will notice a wobbly platter (case in point is the last couple of pages). I can assure most anyone reading that it is most likely a small problem that Technics will stand behind and fix.
     
  6. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    That wobble is pretty slight, and is about typical of what I remember seeing out of Japanese turntables in the 70s and 80s. Frankly that much wobble probably would not bother me in the case of a GR. But it would from a G. However my GR definitely has less wobble than this video.

    I wonder if perhaps quality has dropped a bit now that these have become so popular? Or perhaps when these TTs get shipped half way around the world, and are subject to tremendous variations of hot and cold climates along the way, they may tend to warp a bit? IDK.
     
  7. HankM

    HankM Forum Resident

    Location:
    Upstate NY
    Robert and his wife are fantastic to deal with. My Dad and I took a ride down last week and stopped in the store. My Dad ended up leaving with a 1200GR from Robert. If anyone is down in the NYC area the store is super nice and he has plenty of stock. Also a great stop if your a videophile as he carries all the flagship tv's.
     
    5-String likes this.
  8. I sent my SL-1200G to Technics last week for them to check the tolerances. One of their engineers tested the platter planarity with a run-out gauge in his lab, as they do in the factory, like this:
    [​IMG]

    Here's mine being tested, though unlike in the photo above it's tested with the platter installed:

    [​IMG]

    The deviance was measured at 0.28mm, which Technics claims is within their specifications. He would not disclose the limit of what would be acceptable, which was not surprising to me. He also provided a statement from Technics:

    The factory has also provided the statement below in order to alleviate customer concerns regarding this mechanical system.

    “Considering the high precision motor control and rotational accuracy developed by the new coreless direct drive systems in our turntable models 1200GR/1210GR/1200GAE/1200G, any slight platter deviation does not significantly affect the overall sound quality. Mainly because of our new tonearms high initial-motion sensitivity specification which has been engineered to be as sensitive as the legendary Technics EPA100 which is well known to be one of the best tonearms ever made. The tonearm sensitivity can adjust to the imperfections in the vinyl record itself, like warpage, eccentricity or variations in vinyl thickness which all contribute far more to the sound presentation than the slight deviation of the platter."

    While I have not independently confirmed the measurement, I consulted with a third-party with a great deal of Technics experience, and he indicated that he would've accepted that measurement, assuming it was accurate.

    So, in the end they sent me back my turntable without doing anything further, as it did not require any repair. I cannot detect any sonic issue -- and I was able to hear pitch deviation in my prior belt-drive 'table -- so I am satisfied at this point and will just get back to playing records. Life's too short.

    The take-away: If you're buying a G or GR (or just recently purchased one) immediately check to see if the platter wobbles. If it's unacceptable to you, my advice -- for what it's worth -- is to try to exchange it through your dealer without involving Technics and perhaps you will get one with a tighter tolerance.

    If, as in my case, you've owned the 'table for a while (and with a 3-year warranty I think all of them sold at this point are still covered) and you notice a significant wobble in the platter, start by contacting your dealer, but you're most likely going to have to deal with Technics. However, before going down the road I did and sending it back to them (which in my case was at their expense at least), you might want to check with a run-out gauge, because we now know that a deviation of 0.28mm is within specification.
     
  9. punkmusick

    punkmusick Formerly 4011021

    Location:
    Brazil
    I'm a bit puzzled. 0.28mm seems acceptable but your video seemed to show a bigger wobble. I'm not sure we would even notice it in the video if it was only 0.28mm.

    Anyway I would trust them and if it is really only 0.28mm I guess I wouldn't be concerned. As they said, the records themselves should have irregularities bigger than that.
     
    Gabe Walters likes this.
  10. 5-String

    5-String μηδὲν ἄγαν

    Location:
    Sunshine State
    My question @snorker is this. Do you hear any wow on the long notes played by acoustic instruments like piano, classical guitar, etc?
    If so, this would make me concerned. If not, I wouldn't worry.

    Also, I believe them when they say that "The tonearm sensitivity can adjust to the imperfections in the vinyl record itself, like warpage, eccentricity or variations in vinyl thickness which all contribute far more to the sound presentation than the slight deviation of the platter."
    I have verified how a high-end arm can mostly eliminate the effects of warpage and eccentricity with the two other arms that I own, the Clearaudio Magnify and the Dynavector 507 MkII, which both cost more than the 1200G itself. And I have observed the same with the Technics arm, which, although not at the same level, it is a good arm.
     
  11. Absolutely not. And I am sensitive to that...I noticed pitch issues with my former Clearaudio Concept, which is what lead me to the SL-1200G in the first place. Even records that are less than perfectly centered played better on this turntable, perhaps because of the tonearm...not really sure. I also use the KAB fluid damper, which takes the ‘arm up another significant notch, and really eliminates any issues with warps, etc.
     
  12. Right. It’s really not possible to tell from my video. It looks more pronounced from that angle, and you can’t really see how much the top surface of the platter is off. I’d really have to measure it myself, but I don’t feel like buying a run-out gauge just to verify their measurement.
     
    punkmusick likes this.
  13. 5-String

    5-String μηδὲν ἄγαν

    Location:
    Sunshine State
    There you go :edthumbs:
     
    snorker likes this.
  14. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    Just curious, when you sent yours in, did you send the whole table or just the platter? I see in the pic above the platter is installed on a table, assuming that is your complete table with platter....?

    I went back to look at the vids you posted - and the wobble you have is definitely subtle, but it is there. I am not sure what to say about Technics tolerance levels, but it now makes me wonder how many are out there with a slight warp like yours. (@4011021 - are you sure you were looking at Snorker's vid and not Timbo21's when you mentioned the wobble?)

    Now I am really interested at how they view the warp @Timbo21 is experiencing - it seems to be a lot worse than yours. So if ..28mm is in play, what is his number and is that acceptable?
     
  15. Yeah, from the video @Timbo21 posted it looks like it may be more than 0.28mm, but it's hard to tell without measuring. If he just purchased his turntable I would ask the dealer about an exchange. Because @Timbo21 is in the UK he'd be dealing with different folks at Panasonic, though it seems from the correspondence I received they will likely take the same position on the tolerances.

    I sent them my entire turntable to test, so that is my unit in the bottom photo.
     
  16. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    It'll be interesting to see how that plays out with Timbo's platter.... especially if the good folks at Panasonic are cued into this thread! :) (sometimes these forums can be a double edged sword). For my eyes Timbo's was much worse of a warp.

    Good you sent the entire TT in --- I was wondering but not any more! That is the only way to test it in case there was another issue contributing......

    In the end I must say I am "luke warm" that Panasonic has put a number on "acceptable" visual warps but won't share it. Again, I'd be curious to how future numbers stack up and where the "action required" line kicks in.

    As far as your stance of acceptance and moving on -- I understand completely. When I see your vid it leaves me to think what I would do personally --- and given that it is subtle (but still present) it makes me think if I caught it in the return window I would have addressed or sent it back perhaps. But if I were in a situation where it was a warranty thing and Panasonic didn't address, I honestly couldn't say what I would do after spending $4K on a TT and already owning three vintage SL-1200''s without the slightest hint of a wobble........ it would bother me a little.
     
    bever70 likes this.
  17. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans
    Minor question, and probably already answered....Is there anything special about the headshells on the G/GR series compared to my MkII, or are the old trusty Ortofon, Technics, and even generic shells fine?
     
  18. classicrocker

    classicrocker Life is good!

    Location:
    Worcester, MA, USA
    I believe I read the headshells on the G/GR are lighter than the old Technics SL headshells but don't have time to track down where I saw that. Also, don't the new headshells have gold plated contacts? I am not at home to compare my old to new headshells.
     
    BayouTiger likes this.
  19. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage

    Location:
    Belgium
    Whether or not this is within their tolerances, it would not be within mine. I mean, you spent that much money just to look at a wobble, however slight it may be. Lots of cheap 'toy' tables come without a visible wobble, yet the 'masters of dd's' can't produce a perfectly level platter? That would bug me big time, no matter what they say. It's like.....yeah sorry the wheels on your car are not perfectly round but we have state of the art suspension on our car so it doesn't matter how 'off' your wheels are :crazy:.
     
  20. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    The old ones work fine. But the new ones are not identical. The new ones are lighter, and they also feature a screw azimuth adjustment. The are gold plated too, but you can find old ones which are gold plated too.

    My understanding is that the Ortofons don't have the same VTA though.
     
    BayouTiger likes this.
  21. Gabe Walters

    Gabe Walters Forum Resident

    The Ortofon SH-4 adds height, probably about a millimeter, which might affect your ability to get accurate VTA, depending on your cartridge height.
     
    BayouTiger likes this.
  22. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans
    Thanks, IIRC, my Ortofons are a bit thinner than my original Technics. I also ave some generic ones that I have dremelled to use with some carts I have that are not exactly standard.

    Edit: It's possible that they are thicker, but It's been awhile since I've looked at them. Of course I whip out the ole 3x5 card any time I ever changed a cart on the 1200, so it's simple enough!
     
  23. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I really can't help but wonder if the new brass-on-top, aluminum underneath construction for the G might be the root of the problem which some people have been having with warped platters. Remember, different metals expand and contract at different rates. And when these units spend weeks, or months crossing freezing cold oceans, and followed sometimes by warm waters too, perhaps the bonded bi-metal construction causes these to warp a bit? If so, then this wouldn't actually be a QC problem, but rather a design issue.

    Working for a company which ships lots of equipment overseas, I can tell you for a fact that unexpected things can and do happen at times when you ship stuff across oceans.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2019
    classicrocker, recstar24 and bever70 like this.
  24. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    You summed up what I was trying to say in a nicer way above.
     
    bever70 likes this.
  25. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    This is definitely a consideration from my past experience working with metals that are laminated like that.....

    The first thing that struck me and wondered if my eye caught it or not - when I watched Snorker's vid, I initially thought I saw a hint of the brass delaminating from the platter, where the gap fluctuated as it spun. But it could have been an artifact of the vid.
     
    TarnishedEars and snorker like this.

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