a turntable investment of 3k is not unreasonable if you have a a serious record collection. the aries and the better nottinghams are superb,but for 3k, a thorens 160hd with a rega arm may be another worthy alternative. If your house isn't filled with vinyl though(or there are no plans to go on a vinyl binge for a few years), no real reason to leave the technics.
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What Technics do u have if you have the 1210 might be worth going for the KAB mods its a lot cheaper way to get the sound you want The Aeris is a good turntable only heard a Spacedeck once so no opimion I suggest really think about what you doing certainly the most cost effective way will be to go for the Kab mods
I've always felt that jazz is the Technics' strong suit. I like it for pretty much anything, but jazz so often relies on really accurate speed to sound "right." I like my Technics for the way it resolves cymbals, provides bass clarity, great sense of tempo and propulsion, and the way jazz horns--sax, trumpet, trombone--simply sound "right." Not to mention its rock-steady depiction of fixed pitch instruments such as piano and vibaphone.
Maybe you need to work with your 'table a little more to get what you need out of it.
How do you have your Technics platformed? What kind of feet are you using and what are they sitting on? What are you using for a mat?
My total tweaking and platforming cost me $86 plus a $40 headshell, but it's like night and day.
If you are using the stock Technics feet, you haven't begun to hear what this turntable can do.
Not to start off into the wild blue here but there are things that a good TT can do that cannot be represented on CD in addition to your apt observation re: the mastering quality.
Your system is certainly up to the task, and I think you've answered the question of wether it would be worth it to you by starting this thread. There are other options than the ones you asked about that you might want to consider as well.
09-27-08: RadioheadokplayerI have the opposite experience.
I'm a long time jazz nut, and I have an extensive collection of jazz CDs and a few SACDs. But these days, I'm not only hitting the bargain bins to shore up my jazz LP collection, I've been buying LP releases of jazz CDs (and even some SACDs)I already had--Buddy Rich, Count Basie, Don Ellis, Miles Davis, Hank Jones, Pat Metheny, Gary Burton, Ella Fitzgerald--you name it.
Obviously you have about as good a preamp as can be had, so I'm wondering, what are you using for turntable feet, for an isolation platform, for a mat, for a headshell? The DarTzeel is no doubt very low noise and resolving, so you probably have to do some things to the Technics to lower its noise floor.
The measures are simple and cheap:
Threaded brass footers (Dayton speaker cone spikes or Mapleshade Threaded Heavyfeet) to replace the stock Technics feet
Place turntable with brass cones on thick platform of wood, such as 2-4" butcher block or Mapleshade maple slab
Place shock absorbing feet under the wood slab. I was using Vibrapods; others use Mapleshade's Iso-Blocks, but now I use two 20" long silicon gel wrist pads made for computer keyboards.
KAB fluid damper
Each of the above tweaks lowers the noise floor another .5 to 1.5 dB. Cumulatively, they transform the turntable's ability to resolve low-level and inner detail, and also increase the dynamic range at the loud end because they help isolate the stylus from in-room vibration (which causes feedback, muddying up the sound).
Do you have a 1210 M5G or lower level model? If it's not the M5G, did you get a tonearm rewire?
I just checked where your cartridge/arm compatibility on the cartridge database and it looks like a real good match (10Hz resonance). If you have the KAB fluid damper, it drops this resonance by about 5dB, which is significant.
I love the sound of the technic tt and vinyl but its like opening the door to another world and wondering if their are keys to an even greater kingdom through a more refined not dj tt. I love the bass response, the sound of vocals, the large soundstage. I could imagine less surface noise and even more mid-range detail. A higher quality tonearm and platter could make a difference right?
I had the cartridge tonearm setup professionally by a reputable local la dealer.
I have the latest technics tt, I have the kab fluid damper, I used a wood slab, I have vibrapod under the wood slab, I have the turntable mat, I have an appropriate cartridge. The only tweak you mention that I don't have yet is the mapleshade threated heavy feet. Do you recommend that over the kab isonoe? which mapleshade. Above my wood slap at this point I am just using another set of vibrapods.
Apparently, permission is being granted to open the checkbook.
Why not just eliminate the intermediate tables, arms and associated nonsense and buy a Galibier with Artisan tonearm package that is closer to the level of the rest of your components? It's world class, USA built, and can be upgraded all the way up to the top-of-the-line Galibier table.
C'mon bud, you have $50,000 speakers (maybe $100k?...can't recall the specific model of Evolution Acoustics you own), a $25,000 darTZeel amplifier, a $29,000 darTZeel preamp and a $10,000 Playback Design CD/SACD player. Clearly you have the resources to step up to a $4000 turntable.
You're taste is The Four Seasons, and your turntable is Marriot. You know you're never going to be satisfied with Marriot.
Thanks, Tvad, I keep forgetting just how high end his downstream components are. I am getting nicely balanced, detailed sound from my M5G in my rig, but I have no idea what a DarTzeel and his other components would reveal downstream. The Galibier is more commensurate with the rest of his system, and even it is budget conscious relatively speaking.
Although it's a lot more money, the rim drive VPI - SUPER SCOUTMASTER REFERENCE TURNTABLE at $7400 should give him a lot of the bass slam and drive that he enjoys in the Technics, plus all that inner detail stuff.
And Radioheadkplayer, to answer your question, the Mapleshade feet in question are the Threaded Heavyfeet with M6 threads.
The stock feet are what make this 'table sound so "DJ." Swapping them out for brass increases the inner clarity.
Also, a good mat from Herbie's, Funk, or Iron Audio would be in order, and I found KAB's rubber record grip to significantly reduce surface noise.
09-28-08: RadioheadokplayerClearly, by your recent posts, you are not satisfied with the Technics table or your Benz cartridge. There's nothing wrong with that. Several Audiogon members have replied in your threads that you will hear improvements with a different table/arm/cartridge combination.
There is no such thing as a giant killer in my experience having owned several of them. You either own a giant, or you own something less than a giant. The Technics, while excellent with KAB mods is less than a giant in the analog realm.
Tvad, my speakers were below 30k especially with tradein.Which model are they?
9-28-08: AudiofeilAudiofeil, I appreciate your objectivity on this. So much of the audiophile press and discussion pages dismiss the Technics SL12x0 series as DJ trash. It is not. Is is, as you say, "a very nice turntable." At $500-700 it delivers fair value with some strengths (speed consistency) and weaknesses (feedback and vibration control). It is easily competitive with the $400-700 belt drive 'tables from Music Hall, Pro-Ject, and even Rega.
The aftermarket tweaks for the Technics extract more performance at fair value for their cost. The Technics' wow, flutter, and rumble figures are in the ballpark of a $4K turntable, but that doesn't mean the entire package is competitive at that price point, especially with vendors like Galibier who can keep prices lower via internet-based mail order (a la Outlaw, AV123, etc.).
I own the evolution mm2 speakers which are sooo much better than the wilson wp7. The speakers are pretty popular but if you are really interested I could try to persuade Jonathan Tinn one of the evolution guys to give you a much better price than msrp
Maplethread m6 better than the Kab isonoe? What does the kab grip do?
No way wife will greenlight pricey vpi but could buy used scoutmaster or Aries and upgrade over time....just not sure if vpi without upgraded tonearm and platter will sound much better than technics in which case may prefer to hold on to technics until next year or yearafter and buy the vpi with the better arm platter ads blah blah blah
Johnnyb,Unfortunately, none of the Technics enthusiasts here
have come up with a comparison test of the Threaded Heavyfeet vs. the
Isonoe footers. Based on my experience with hard cones and soft isolators, I
get the sense that the Isonoes are for keeping room vibration and feedback
out of the turntable, whereas the cones are for draining the turntable's
inherent vibrations into the platform block. OTOH, I suspect that the Isonoes
would also drain off and dissipate vibration from the turntable as well.
A look at Isonoe's website indicates that their primary market for their footers
appears to be for the dance club market to help keep vibrations from a
thumping, bumping room from feeding back through the cartridge. Their
own tests seem to indicate that the footers alone attenuate feedback by
1.5dB, but the footers plus the sorbothane boots increase the attenuation to
3dB. They point out that while that may not sound like much, it enables you
to double your power output into the room before getting the same level of
feedback you had before without them.
There is one A-goner who uses the Isonoes and is really happy with them
over the stock feet. Others of us use either the Mapleshades or the threaded
Dayton brass speaker cones from PartsExpress for a lot less money ($21), and
presumably, a lower level of performance compared to the Mapleshades.
I use the butcher block supported by silicon gel to isolate the turntable from
I'm guessing here, but I suspect the brass cones give sharper note-by-note
delineation, a more forward midrange, and clear assertive bass. I *think* the
Isonoes would add a softer sort of clarity and a more relaxed presentation.
Here's a thought: I think both vendors offer a 30-day evaluation period, and
return shipping would be very cheap. You could try both and decide which
does it better for you--or isn't worth it. The Isonoes may need a little break-
in for the elastomer to settle into place; the Mapleshades shouldn't need
break-in at all.
Here's a very short evaluation
of the Isonoes in a post on Vinyl Asylum:
I think there are other reviews and testimonies at kabusa.com.
I've found that the KAB record grip seems to lower surface noise a bit, and
makes records of different weights sound more similar by damping whatever
mass-related resonance there might be.
ROP, have you heard other analog systems to compare to yours? Maybe even taken a couple of LPs to Elliot Mitwood's place to hear if what he has differs substantially from what you hear at home?
Maybe there's a smaller difference than you imagine.
For some reason, I get the impression you're operating in a vacuum. Perhaps I'm mistaken.
Go here. It's the first version listed--Heavyfeet v.3. You'd order four with the M6 thread at $40 each. They're a direct screw-in replacement for the Technics feet.
Before you buy, you might want to (if you haven't already) surf Audiogon for reports from various A-goners who have bought either Heavyfeet or Isonoes. Although you can be pretty sure Kevin Barrett (KABUSA) would come down strongly in favor of Isonoe footers instead, you might call him to get his take on what Isonoes do for the sound of the Technics. There are some posts out there of what both Heavyfeet and Isonoe owners like about their purchases.