Brand new Technics SL-1210GR platter wobble ... disappointed!


Got a brand new Technics SL-1210 GR. Tonearm bearing feels good, no other issues, but it has a wobbly platter. Not as bad as I have seen in Hanpins, but should a $1700 table made in Japan have this amount of wobble? My Project belt driven TT has no wobble that I can see with naked eye.


I have uploaded 3 videos on YT. Can you guys take a look and tell me if this is acceptable for a $1700 TT w/ no cart?

Debating whether I should accept this or return it. I do not want to send a brand new TT for service. FYI, I did reseat the platter at various angles to see if the wobble went away, but no such luck.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Du8rBwvrhVM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQsdpmKrXhc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vm7ghWgcqFo


P.S. Apologies for a bit of camera shake, but I think it is clear to see the platter move up/down


Aa6e670e 797a 412e ae27 215967ef3acbdandaroy
That's not right, send it back. 
Remove the platter and check the spindle, are you sure you have mounted the platter correctly? 
As he already tried 3 times to seat the platter-----send it back for refund or replacement.  Totally unacceptable.  Let us know how it turns out.  
That turntable is damaged, probably in shipment.  You should have zero visible platter wobble in any new turntable, let alone a quality product like that.
Thanks for confirming. I did not think that was normal for a player of this class. I did try to reseat the platter several times each time rotating a bit. The spindle seems to be fine through naked eye.

With sadness, I am going to have to return. These units are hard to come by and out of stock so I am not going to be able to ask for replacement right away. 

Thanks nonetheless.
Not sure how a shipper can damage it, platter is separated from the turntable in the box, well protected in special foam blocks. There is a sticker on each platter that it was tested at the factory. 

Anyone opened the package before you get it? You did not damage spindle when you opened the box yourself?

Anyway, you have to return for full refund (or just get another sample with different serial number from the dealer).



@chakster , no this was NIB. Bought from Crutchfield. There is no way to damage the spindle when opening the box. Also I was careful to lower the platter on the spindle.
Crutch Field prides themselves in satisfied customers. Call 'em.
Ask your dealer to replace your turbtable under warranty. Get another sample from them. 
I agree, that does not look right.  needs to be replaced.
Not the first time I see that 
Bad casting. Send it back ASAP. That is bad enough that if you play a test tone you will hear it wow.
So much for a quality product. The box would have to have significant visible damage for shipping to have done that. Just poor quality control.
Just happens, many reasons, though platter has strengthening ribs somehow a good amount of force deformed it.
Under warranty, ask for replacement.

G
mijostyn
... Just poor quality control.
Yup, it should never have left the factory. They should be grateful for the OP to return it.
The deformation is also in two spots,  not one, so it's impossible for it to be a side impact, as that would be one wobble for the spindle, not two unequal length ones per single rotation.

So it appears to be a platter wobble.

the way to check that is to lift the patter and turn the spindle a third of a rotation or half a rotation and then drop the platter back down onto it again, with the platter having done no rotations at all.

and check the wobble again to see if it changes it's character.

Wait... there IS a way to have two wobbles per rotation, now that I think about it. 

Where the spindle is bent and the spindle hole on the platter is stretched and/or the platter body itself is bent. That would be two separate wobbles if not aligned or one big one, if they are lined up. A single sharp hard impact would create the single big one that could be moved about to be two smaller wobbles.
@chakster and others,  I returned it because it is out of stock with no date when it will be in stock again. This table is always out of stock.

The crutchfield resident tt expert I talked to said this amount of wobble is "normal" with these tables. Which means if I exchange it, there is no guarantee of receiving a table with no visible wobble. Or if I send it to the factory, they will send it back saying this is within normal tolerances. He said most do not complain.

So I know most of us think it should have no visible wobble, but many do. Unless some SL-1200/1210GR owners can tell me they have a table with no visible wobble.
I don’t have GR, but owned 3 samples of the SP-20, one SP-10 mkII and still got a pair of upgraded SL1210mkII since 1995. The platter is spot on, never seen a problem like in your videos on any sample of my Technics turntables.

Dealers nowadays are know nothing amateurs.
I would not find that amount of wobble to be acceptable on even a used plasticy 40 year old $50 turntable.

In my mind there is no way that technics/panasonic would find it to be acceptable, either.

I just don’t see it.

I’ve probably handled and worked on nearly a thousand turntables.* And I’ve never seen a panasonic product with that much wobble/warp. 

*(I consider myself to be totally 'out' of analog, as I'm down to around 15 turntables. :P )
It is broken. Shot, Kaput
Wow!!!

"The crutchfield resident tt expert I talked to said this amount of wobble is "normal" with these tables. Which means if I exchange it, there is no guarantee of receiving a table with no visible wobble. Or if I send it to the factory, they will send it back saying this is within normal tolerances. He said most do not complain."

Technics really needs to know about this "response" from "their" dealer.

Based upon that response I would not touch any of their current decks with a 10 foot arm.

DeKay

I have had this table for a few months now with no issues. That definitely isn't right.
Just unacceptable. What happened to quality control. Get rid of tt and buy a vpi. 
Like I said poor quality control. It is difficult with a thin aluminum casting to keep it flat. When it is machined it heats up expands then cools contracts and deforms. I guess some people are lucky and get a flat one.

+ 1 @dekay,

Sounds like a lazy customer support person, complete made up BS. Not only should you go as high as you can in the crutchfield command/customer support structure, I think you should document and carbon copy everything to Technics AND Panasonic as well.

Every company worth its salt has a good complaint  department. Sounds as if crutchfield just wants you to go away...

I just can't believe in 21' that in the metal lathe platter cutting department, Japanese cutting specs/tolerances to be so far off with digital/microscopic technology?
@mijostyn,

Like I said poor quality control. It is difficult with a thin aluminum casting to keep it flat. When it is machined it heats up expands then cools contracts and deforms. I guess some people are lucky and get a flat one.

I believe you are right about poor QC. But even in the old analog only days, this aluminum metallurgy technology has been around for decades. The master lathe craftsmen would have never let that platter leave the shop. They have been crafting high quality high tolerance aluminum parts well before NASA in the 60’s!

This is what happens when trying to save money from doing everything in house you outsource all you can to the lowest bidder. Bummer. I’m glad I still have my minty Pioneer PL-630 table, and won’t be selling it. Thanks OP.
My SL1200G has absolutely zero wobble.  Send it back and buy one elsewhere.
@stereo5  Crutchfield's return policies are pretty good. I sent it back for a refund. This table is out of stock almost everywhere and whenever it is in stock it does not stay that way for long. However, I am very hesitant to try it out again to see the same problem show up. Mine cannot be the only wobbly platter out of the factory.
I had never heard of the platter wobble in the SL1210GR before.  This is a new one on me.  
The Crutchfield representative you spoke to is merely making excuses for his company as opposed to Technics. Yes, this is probably a factory defect that escaped quality control, but no, it has to be extremely uncommon. The Technics  1200 G series is one of the most talked about and discussed turntable lines currently available from a commercial source. I am sure that tens of thousands of the various models have been sold to the public by this time. All you have to do is look on this or any other audio forum for evidence to support their popularity. Nowhere, anywhere else have I read that there was a problem with platter wobble. You just got a bad example, and you did right to return it. Don’t let mijostyn frighten you from the idea of buying another one, when one is available..
@lewm, You are probably right about the Crutchfield representative and that platter sneaking by QC. But, it did get by and I would bet there are plenty of warped platters out there that the consumer is not noticing because they are not that critical. Did I tell the OP not to get another one? Did I tell him to get a different turntable? I am not trying to scare anyone.
@tyray, A heavy thick casting is not problem but a light thin one can be.
Also, castings can be unpredictable. I would bet that under normal circumstances quite a few platters do not make it by QC. Forged aluminum is more predictable than cast aluminum but too expensive for a low budget one. 
Mijo, Sorry to pick on you.  But your (belt-drive, suspended) bias was showing. Do you suppose that stuff like this never happens with your favored brand? Probably it does not, I would guess, because they sell way fewer turntables compared to Technics, and they may be able to assemble and run every unit before it leaves California.  So QC is much easier for them.  Still, none of us, not even the OP, knows the prior history of the unit he received, and given the absence of any similar reports, at least that I have ever seen, on internet fora, I think you should be fair and give Technics the benefit of the doubt.  (Now even I am being a bit unfair to Technics; we really don't know what happened with this particular unit, whether it left the factory with this defect or not.)
The wobble is due to the machining on the side of the platter but the speed is consistent it may be within tolerance but it does not look good or right quality control issue i am sure.
I returned an SL-1200G with a platter wobble.  My SL1200MkII wobbled considerably less. 
Can you get a refund? $1,700 is a lot of money.

Why not switch to a turntable from a specialist manufacturer. Project are well known, Rega less so.
Why not switch to a turntable from a specialist manufacturer. Project are well known, Rega less so.

I don't think Rega is less well known than ANY turntable manufacturer out there. They are the Vandersteen of the analog world.

Oz


@mijostyn,

I’m only guessing that Technics uses only billet high grade aluminum for the tables?

Heck, my use to be daily driver is the ’lowly’ 1980 Technic SL-D2 and I love this thing!
Reliable as all get out and every now and again all I have to do is drop some clipper oil down the shaft, that’s it. Not only is it perfectly flat but is a perfect circle also.

I'm with lewn too. You maybe able to get an uber inspected/gone through table, at a discount - for all your trouble. Doesn't hurt to ask.
Why not switch to a turntable from a specialist manufacturer. Project are well known, Rega less so.

The situation described in this post in unique while we have tons of post about many problems with cheap junk belt-dive like Rega and Pro-Ject every week.

Unless there will be clear evidence that it’s a factory defect we can even talk about it, because no one else have such problem with Technics platter.

watch this video:
Mastering the Craftsmanship — Making of New SL-1200




"because no one else have such problem with Technics platter."

Did my post from above disappear (reproduced below)?  Or it didn't count for some reason?

"I returned an SL-1200G with a platter wobble.  My SL1200MkII wobbled considerably less."
Larry, I am empathetic with you regarding your wobble.  The G series have been on sale now for about 4-5 years, in their various versions.  If Yogiboy's reference to Youtube is to your turntable, then we have two reports of this same problem occurring.  (If Yogi's cited video refers to someone else, then we have three.)  Still, I would venture that Technics sells many times more turntables than do Rega et al, probably tens of thousands total around the world.  End users tend to be audiophiles who are pretty fussy as a group and would tend to notice such an obvious problem.  Given the relative paucity of complaints about wobble, I therefore assume that the problem is very rare.  Maybe less rare than a Rega turntable that runs too fast and has no speed adjustment. (I realize that higher end Rega's do employ a motor controller that eliminates this problem.)
Wondering what this group makes of my 1200GR wobble. The height and roundness of the top of my platter seems mostly ok, but the machining of the strobe area is a mess.

If Technics had any stock these days I would pursue an exchange for sure, but they don’t, and I’m not sure I can even get a replacement platter. It took me two months to get this table and it was like pulling teeth. It’s either keep it or probably kiss the 1200GR goodbye for another 2-4 months. 

Any feedback or perspectives appreciated! Thanks.

https://vimeo.com/519684444
https://vimeo.com/519684532
That's not normal. I'd requested an exchange/return. Rather than live with defective turntable (and being pissed off every time while  putting record on the platter) I'd wait for 2 months.
I have heard about this issue from three different people now that backed up their claims with video. It must be an issue.

I was lucky. Mine was flawless and sounds amazing. But damn, would be flaming mad if they made me wait for a fix.
That dude at Cruchfield is full of it. Return it. I’ve had 5 or 6 1200s, never had this problem. Even after dragging them to gigs repeatedly for 20+ years. Get your money back.
Chakster, Rega and pro-ject are not junk! I really wish you would stop! Just because you seemingly favor a direct drive, in particular "technics" (which by the way was developed for dj- ing) does not mean a belt drive is junk. You seem hell bent at every turn to call them junk. Some of the highest priced turntable in the world are of a belt driven design, not direct drive. Pro-ject in particular produces turntables any where from 299 to well over 6, 7, or 8 grand! All belt driven....my pro-ject the classic sb with hana el will give your technics a good run for the money. So would my mmf-7.3 music hall. I’ve owned direct drives in the 80’s. One was a denon dp37f, little brother to the dp47f, as well as an older direct drive technics. Neither were as good as what I currently own. Heck, even my fully automatic Thorens td-240-2 belt drive with floating sub chassis and beautiful walnut wood bass is better than any dj looking technics. It is just as heavy, with better isolation, better tonearm,  and better looking.
To be honest with the op, I do not see that much of a wobble in any of those videos. I’ve seen a lot worse! It seemingly is mostly/hardly noticeable on the bottom portion of that platter. When looking at the top, I do not notice much if any wobble. The top is what id be concerned about. I am tempted to say that it is within tolerance and I doubt there would be too much improvement in a replacement. I've been through this with another brand....went through 3 of them and all three had similar issue, to a lesser degree. 
@tyray, Technics 1980 is a different company than Technics 2021. Technics 1980 would never have considered moving to Malaysia. They obviously do not care about their Japanese employees. 
@lewm , now with just a small group we have three examples. 
Yes, I am a Sota fan. I just bought one of their top units. But, when I mention what I believe are the best turntables I am careful to include others that I believe perform at the same or higher level, SME, Basis, Avid, Dohmann, Oracle and so forth. If I discount the Technics for anything it is not having a suspension and being adequately isolated. Next would be that fact that it is direct drive which from my experience years ago runs against my grain. They were so bad back then that I have not bothered to look at them since. Maybe they are better now. But, I would never buy a turntable without an adequate suspension. I do not know of a direct drive with an adequate suspension. As far as QC is concerned I think that depends more on the philosophy of the company than on their size. QC is expensive and you would think a large company could afford more of it. On the other hand large companies have investors who only care about profits. Privately owned small companies are usually more concerned about their reputation. I have never seen a bad comment about Sota.
Somebody mentioned the Technics platter being machined from billet aluminum. While that may be true of the SP 10 the others are machined from inferior castings. With a heavy casting that can be fine but with thinner ones you can run into trouble like this. 
Quite correct Audioguy.

DD turntables are forever cogging, trying without success to turn the platter at exactly 33.333333333333333333 rpm.

There is continuous wow and flutter

If the speed is checked 100 times a second (or whatever silly frequency), the platter revolves at constant speed only for 1/100th of a second and then changes speed.  This iterates 100 times a second.

Another example of where digital can't compete with analogue.
@audioguy85 there is wobble of the top surface. I could not capture it with the phone. Whether it is going to be audible is another matter of debate.