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I still have the stock arm on my SL1210 M5G, but that model has upgraded tonearm wire from the standard SL12x0's. I also added KAB's fluid damper.
There are several inexpensive tricks that enable your SL1200 to keep its slam and pace and improve its musicality and inner detail:
1. LPGear ZuPreme (or Sumiko) headshell. Very rigid, non-resonant, and has built-in azimuth adjustment.
2. KAB fluid damper: A little fluid will do ya. Too much and you kill the liveliness and detail. The damper reduces the tonearm/cartridge resonant peak and enables the tonearm to use a wider variety of cartridge weights and compliances.
3. Turntable mat: I use a discontinued Oracle Groove Isolator sorbothane mat. If I didn't have that I'd probably get a Herbies Way Excellent Mat. With the right mat, flicking the platter with your finger changes from a "ping" to a non-resonant thunk.
4. Wrap the tonearm with lightweight Teflon plumber's pipe thread tape. It weighs next to nothing and will kill that upper midrange glare in the Technics. After all these years, it was just that hollow aluminum tonearm ringing.
5. Get a record grip or weight. I use a KAB rubber grip. Another low-cost solution is the Clearaudio acrylic clamp.
6. Replace the stock feet with something else, depending on your budget. There are the Isonoe Footers available from KAB. I use the threaded brass cones available from PartsExpress for about $25. I take the points off these cones and sit the concave depressions on top of some Vibrapod Cones, which then sit on Vibrapod Isolators. If you don't want to go to all that trouble, just get four Vibrapod Cones, take off the stock feet, and place the threaded sockets in the turntable base directly on the Vibrapod Cones.
7. Platform your turntable. I situate my turntable with the brass cones and/or Vibrapods onto a thick butcher block cutting board. I place the cutting board on a pair of 18" wide silicon gel keyboard wrist pads. This isolation platform drains extraneous mechanical energy out of the turntable base and prevents most room vibrations from getting picked up by the stylus.
Out of the box, the Technics' big weakness is inner detail. With the tweaks I've outlined above, the musicality and overall smoothness are excellent and the inner detail is a noticeable strength. Yet the original good things--bass extension, tightness, rhythm, pace, thump and slam--are all still there.
All those tweaks come to a couple hundred bucks, but if I wanted, I could still get a Jelco, SME, or Rega-style armboard and take its performance up to a higher plane. With the Rega armboard, you can also install the hotrodded JA Michell tonearm or just about any tonearm offered by Origin Live.
Johnnyb53 (Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)
I've changed out the arm on my 1210mkii. i used a step by s ... Vegasears
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I'm too indecisive...i'm just going to keep them both and ke ... Hyperreal