emt 950, technics sp10 - direct drive sound

I write this e-mail on the back of albert proters posts on his technics sp 10 mark 3.

What does an emt 950 sound like - I am fixing one up right now - how does it compare with the technics?

Stefano Pasini (bless him) can find no faults at all - there again he does not say much else other than about the history f the deck.

Also what do the other good DD's sound like?

It would be useful to get feedback of people that have owned new and old decks.

Also if anyone with emt's are interested I'd like to start a thread relating to those decks - the restoration etc - becasue whilst there are sources about the emt - there are no guides on how to restore them - trust me I have searched and everyone says go to Hans Fabritius or Studiotechnik - which defeats the purpose of self-restoration


Pindac, can you define “hydrodynamic conditions”, as you use the term? Are you referring to maintenance of a thin layer of lubricant between spindle and bushing or ball? Thanks.

The condition where parts that able to have a Metal/Metal contact is reduced substantially, even avoided, by the inclusion of a lubrication that is able to function as a separator with a film of Oil suspended in the spacing between the Spindle and Sacrificial Parts.

When a Steel Ball is used and is capable of coming into contact with the Spindle it is desirable to have these separated.

As stated previously Scoring has been discovered on a Ball belonging to various Turntable Designs, I know of one on the TTS 8000, and reports belonging to Idler Drives, and I have also seen VAS NY Inc having shown a scribed ball on a TT overhaul he was undertaking. 

My own observations have also seen gold micro dust deposited within the Spindle Housing belong to a Vintage DD TT. The Sintered Bronze Bush was suspected to have been worn, but the dust believed to be present resulting from the Sacrificial Material being removed through abrasion was more than was expected to be found. I know I am not alone in having this condition, but one of the 'not too many' that have investigated the condition of the internals of a Vintage TT Bearing Housing.

Numerous designs of TT have failed to achieve a method that ensures a long-term lubrication is maintained. There are numerous TT's from a particular period that would be a Better TT, if the basic needs of the Bearing Assembly were shown a special care for the servicing.

As Hydrodynamic Lubrication is very difficult to achieve in the long-term a regular servicing is a measure to keep things in good order.

A Metal/Non-Metal interface is seemingly working in the favour of the Bearing when an ideal lubrication condition cannot be maintained, it appears to be the better experience when compared to the older used design.

Hi @pindac 

I certainly need to look at thee mod given that he deck is now over 40 years old and regardless will need to be carefully looked at. 

When Wilkinsons worked on my QL10 i got a new teflon thrust pad and a ceramic ball bearing. I am minded to use the watch bearing oil that I bought from Reson (they made a deck called the rota and i read the watch oil used is very clever stuff as it is designed to not displace and go into very small gaps and maintain a film) 

The TTS 8000 i may have to wait a bit for as i have seen the bill for my EMT restoration and it ain't cheap - that said its a full overhaul of the electrics and the tonearm which in fairness is not an unreasonable price.

I need to ask if pitch control can be added to the deck.

@dover I have the narrowline version. It was from an Austrian radio station so it had Lemo connectors - i am getting those changed to standard XLR unless i can be persuaded that Lemo connectors are brilliant. As it happens it did not have the MC boards - the transformer prices are a bit juicy too but I do want to hear the whole thing optimised. 

As it happened it didn't come with an arm so i had to source one at a time when the 929's weren't being made. Annoyingly the one i sourced was from someone that put horrible wire in it and had mis-adjusted it.

Likewise the TSD15 I bought was when EMT carts were hard to get in the UK - i bought it with a view to getting it re-tipped - but it had been owned by total idiot (less said the better) The cost of a rebuild may be un-economic and as such i may get a new TSD15. That said Benjamin has a Thorens VDH tip TSD15 which may be worth getting. 

I have asked Benjamin if he'd do an interview to put onto my direct drive page which is on a well known social network site, or I may ask Jason Kennedy at 'the ear' if he'd post it there.

The interesting/sad thing with DD's is that the real brains that devised the Japanese superdecks are a very shy breed and I've never corresponded with one of them - it will be sad if such knowledge died/disappeared. Thankfully Benjamin took the reins from his father and as such EMT's the world over can be restored to original.

@lohanimal We share a crossover in interests, where a few extra TT's, readily available are the option, we also have encountered unwanted outcomes when acquiring the collection.

My second TTS 8000 arrived with a difference to the images I reviewed when I was deciding on the purchase, on arrival the Front Panels Hinge and Fascia had an impact damage. At the time, it was a little frustrating, as the TT was bought aesthetically acceptable, without too much concern for the rest, and the important deal maker was compromised. 

I own a Belt Drive TT, Idler Drive TT's and a Selection of Duplicate Model DD's, being Technics, Sony, Denon and Aurex. 

All the DD's are selected as Models that were seen as the Pro' or Consumer Pro' models from their Heyday.

These are duplicated for one reason only, to keep one in its original condition, albeit a Bearing Clean and Lubrication. The other to be put under the microscope and undergo modifications.

A modification can mean an Electrical Change is made, along with a Bearing Overhaul, as I have had carried out on a SP10 MkII, a Bearing Overhaul as I have had carried out on the TTS 8000.

The Aurex SR-510 has been Stripped Back, and I have seen where I would like to start discussions for this TT, it is a fledgling stage of the overhaul. 

The Denon DP-80 is yet to be fully stripped back, I have seen a proportion of the inners, but not got to the point of have the Bearing housing and parts in hand.

What is known from all the above and remains a Suspicion for the DP-80, is that all Bearing Housings are Arid Dry, with an indication that a Lubricant had been present at some point, this can be seen at a Thrust Pad, or sometimes a Black Tarnishing on a Spindle.

 I like yourself am fortunate to know of or have developed a friendship with individuals who are adept with making improvements to Vintage TT Designs. One friend in particular, who I depend on to assist with my interests, is recognised for their abilities within the UK and further afield. 

I don't go to individuals with a Timescale, I like to propose an idea, and they develop it at their leisure, I am not in a queue. I have even yielded my own work being undertaken as others with a same TT, have requested the Mod's being undertaken are done to their own as a priority. I am not without a means to replay music, so no beef at my end. I am now at a position where a friend I have been encouraging to take on a Kaneta Design is nearly complete, the time between the first seed planting to now, has evolved to a Kaneta with a New Platter Design, and able to incorporate other selection of Platters that are available, original, original modified and one being Phosphor Bronze. ' Ohh Happy Days '.  

I set limits for myself; I have a skillset cut off. I am happy to Log a Dismantle, Clean, Lubricate and Reassemble, but EE undertakings, and Re-engineering a Mechanical Interface is strictly for those with the desired appropriate skills.

When dismantling the assemblies, I witness small differences in interface materials used, usually the same role is required of the parts, but I also can't help surmising, it is these parts that are used to fine tune a sonic signature and further separates the Brands. It is strange how the Sintered Bronze and Thrust Pad interface is almost typical apart the minor dimension variation, but other parts that seem quite important in use are different in form and type. 

If a Hard Rubber Donut that seems to fail in the surmised function for it, was removed from its position and replaced with a material that worked for the surmised function and was a softer material or composition of materials, does this change the Sonic Signature and any colouration to the sonic the original part may/may not have been introducing. This is the area of investigation I may take on myself, as it is within my skillset, once all A/B Duplicate TT's are ready to be compared.   

When Modifications to certain criteria are in place, especially where a Bearing Housing is concerned, the Presentation for the overall Trilogy, TT > Tonearm > Cart' is without any doubts able to be perceived as much improved in performance. The Detail Retrieval from the recording, that is now a unadulterated signal getting through to the Speaker and Noticeably Audible is a very new offering from a familiar equipment and when perceived, has always proved to very attractive and wanted to be maintained.

I have always struggled to understand why there are in various forums, advocates of Vintage TT's, that stand by choices made and promote the idea to be considered with a vehemence. It also is difficult to understand why the subject of a Bearing Service or Bearing Overhaul is from certain forum members met with a counter argument to the idea.

Where the most difficulty comes in understanding is where a Vintage TT Owner can have it mounted on an extremely expensive Support Structure, and in use with a Tonearm > Cart' that can be £5000 ($6000) +. Where with this investment made, leaves them believing this is the method to achieve the best form their selection of Source Material and Downstream Components.       

The benefits to be had from working with a TT support structure is immense when working with a TT in the above condition. TT's without any care for the overall condition are in use with expensive Tonearms, it is not uncommon to see reports that certain methods of support structure have produced a TT that is a Keeper and preferred over other guises. This experience is exponential at surpassing any previous results when carrying out investigation of a Support Structure on a TT that has undergone Modifications to a certain criterion. 

I am not too familiar with what your EMT 950 is undergo as an overhaul, setting that to one side. Finding the ideal ancillaries to be utilised as a method for support of the EMT 950 is my suggestion to be looked into, once the Honeymoon period is over from its return. 


Hi guys 

I have a catch 22.

my options are:

a. Get a brand new tsd SFL with headshell

b. Get. Rebuilt tsd 15sfl

c. Get groove tickler to rebuild a horrible old one with any stylus/cantilever - will need adjustable headshell

What you think?