New TT or new Cart? Technics content


Signal chain:
Fully upgraded KAB Technics 1200 / AT 440 MLA
Parasound Hint6 (integrated Phono)
DIY Mogami Cables
KEF LS50 (w/ PSA subwoofer)

Options that i'm considering: 
With the full TT upgrades, I likely have the equivalent of the 1200GR (to within an acceptable range).  I guess the first question would be - can I get more performance out of this setup with a new cart?  Thinking AT150MLX, Hana SL, etc. 

1200G?  Most costly, probably need a matching cart.  Probably the biggest exponential jump in terms of performance. 

Dual subwoofers?  KEF / REL?  The hint6 will drive 2 separately.  I'm currently using HT Bypass and running a single sub.

What do you think is the best bang for the buck upgrade?


5a56b072 88de 4c81 9685 0426d6c703b5martinman
Absolutely without a doubt a second subwoofer! Next would be a new cartridge but I would shoot higher. A Grado Ethos or an AT ART9. 
You have to completely rewire your Technics first (internally too), then add Isonoe feet and SAEC SS-300 mat, and try mid or high compliance vintage MM (not MC) cartridges - this is the best for Technics lightweight tonearm. Upper models from Grace, Stanton, Pickering are absolutely amazing on this tonearm. I have the same turntable, look in my system. If you need advice for a killer MM cartridge for this tonearm send me a message, I will be happy to help. I have AT cartridges too, but better models. Tried over 50 different cartridges on this tonearm/turntable, still use this TT when I test cartridges (I have better turntables in my main system). I tried a few $3-5k LOMC on this turntable and ended up with vintage MM. Technics MM cartridges were very nice on this tonearm. 

Actually your fluid damper designed for High Compliance cartridges, your AT is mid compliance.

Try to find superb cartridge first, you can change turntable later.

The weak points of old technics are poor wires and feet.


Both ideas above are very good. But I believe a separate phono preamp should also be a consideration. The question then becomes which suggestions to do first.Id be inclined to do @chakster first if yo plan on keeping this TT. Then it's a toss up. 
The TT has already been upgraded:
Feet, dampening, tonearm rewire, outboard power supply.  I've done it all. 

Really no interested in going back to separates.

So, cart or extra sub it seems?   
@chakster :  SP-10.  wow.  that is impressive!!
The TT has already been upgraded:
Feet, dampening, tonearm rewire, outboard power supply. I’ve done it all.

Great! Another cartridge is always a good idea. Stanton 881s is a killer for the money, especially NOS, great for Technics tonearm (Kevin at KAB will tell you the same).

With two SUBs (if your room is not huge) you can only cause more problems with standing waves, if you want to improve the sound without changing your analog rib then think about proper room treatment.

I’m watching this channel, there are so many information about room treatment, bass is the most serious problem in any room, if you have no room treatment you have to think about it first, because if you feel a lack of bass with one sub it can be a room. You can use this calculator to see your room modes.
@martinman
I have the 1200 mkll w/mikes bearing spindle & a SME 309 & Hana ml.
I also have the GAE w/AT150mlx. Now the AT 150 is a lil more lively. The SME & the AT150 in my eyes wouldn’t be a good match, so I kept the Hana on the SME. The 150 came off my other 1200 with the original arm (sold) recently & played Rock different then the Hana. Now both units sound VERY similar, with the Hana a little darker in sound. Hope this helps.
I'm running an AT33Sa MC on my SL1200 MK2 with stock arm into a Vincent PHO-701 phono pre and it absolutely sings. I would give a MC a go, and get another headshell, so easy to swap carts on Technics.
There are lots of options, and depends on where you want to go. Is this about a lifetime path to a fantastic system. A one and done? 

My first thought would be Phono stage. If you are shooting for a great system. They are simply critical in getting the most out of a turntable. Of course good ones cost a lot of money. I wouldn’t spend less than $1,200 used… so getting into the $ 2,500 new range. 

Then upgrade preamp, then amp.

@ghdprentice 

For me, it's really about upgrading along the way.  I made a pretty big (for me) purchase with the hint6, so I'm going to keep all of the integrated aspects that it has.  I had separates before (prono pre), but the hint6 was way better.    

It's really about identifying the weak links in my current setup and trying to fill the gap with something basically at 150% of what I had (if that makes any sense).  With my setup I'm using the HT Bypass option, so I have the opportunity to run separate subs for 2 channel only.  During home theater, my setup can run 3 subs! 

Room treatment is difficult - I know it's an issue.  I've been banished to the finished basement for my listening.  It's a very large room 15x30x9 (15 across the front).  It's a general purpose space for entertaining so, I can't put up walls or anything.  Not sure if room treatment would be effective?  I'm sure it will help, but I'm not sure how much given the space.  
Actually, there are more "room" issues (not fewer) when trying to get low bass out of only one sub, compared to using two or more subs.  Take a look at the Audiokinesis website.  Duke knows what he is talking about, and he is as nice and honest a guy as you will ever find in this business.  The short answer is that you are better off with two subwoofers than one, if you are dissatisfied with the low bass response you are getting now.
The key is the room size and the right placement of two subs if needed to fight the room modes, just another sub will not solve the problem in a small room.

For a small room even one sub is a big problem. It’s impossible to solve the bass issues in a small room, from what I’ve learned the 8 ft size of the ceiling (typical for North America) is terrible height for a ceiling in a listening room. In a small room it's better to use a bookshelf speakers or near field monitors without sub. 

My room is big with a high ceiling and I don’t use any subs. However, I want to study more about room acoustics, sadly we don’t have an experts on audiogon, room acoustics (and room treatment) it’s very interesting topic.


It’s a very large room 15x30x9 (15 across the front). It’s a general purpose space for entertaining so, I can’t put up walls or anything. Not sure if room treatment would be effective?

Mine is a kind of irregular shape with cut corner on the rear wall, simplified size is about 19 x 19.3 x 10.7 ... Room treatment is a very effective tool to improve the quality.

In your room you have to find the right placement of your sub and the whole setup for optimal playback, especially if you want to improve the bass. So the bass traps is the first thing to start with and it will not cost you much. Also absorbing panels on first reflection points (walls and ceiling). Some companies can offer free room analysis (or for a very modest cost).

If you never did it with one sub and 2 channel playback then don’t add another sub!

If you have a home theater setup in this room then it is even more problematic.

If you want to stick with the integrated. Then add a sub… same brand and model. Two will extend the soundstage. The only trick with them is to not turn them up too much or the pinch the center soundstage. Also carefully integrating them. 
I adore my 1200 Mk5. Unfortunately, I have little experience with its stock arm as I have never used it!

You definitely need to play to the arms strengths and choose a cartridge that allows optimal synergy. Numbers don’t always tell the story and I would give more credit to actual users.

FWIW, you might consider a suitable headshell spacer since the stock arm height adjuster does not always allow the tonearm to go low enough for optimal VTA with many cartridges. https://www.analogueseduction.net/headshell-leads-cartridge-fitting-essentials/oyaide-mcs-cf-head-sh...
In a 15x30x9 room to use only one subwoofer is never going to be optimal, to put it as mildly as I can.  One very good reason for using two or even an array of subwoofers is to cancel standing waves.  You would be well advised to read the information available on the Audiokinesis website and even to talk to Duke, the proprietor.  Assuming you want better low bass definition and extension. 
You have no idea what you’re trying to "cancel" and how if you don’t have a proper measurements and room analysis made by professionals in the actual room!

Low frequency is the problem for ANY room and if you want to see it use this calculator (add your room size).
Yes, ok, but to begin with two or more subwoofers would be better than one. 
Chakster, martinman has a much better room for bass than you have. Equal dimensions are the worse thing you could ever have. No amount of room treatment is going to deal with the long wavelengths. 100 Hz is 10 feet. Room treatment deals with frequencies above 200 Hz at best and it is very important but, for bass it is the room size, dimensions and construction that matter most. The single best way to deal with room nodes is multiple subwoofers. Martinman's integrated has a full 2 channel 2 way subwoofer cross over built in and an excellent phono stage. The Hint 6 may be the absolute best value in audio amplification out there.  

Another thing. If that Technics boat anchor is a light mass tonearm I am a monkey's uncle (no comments please). Mid and low compliance cartridges only need apply. 

Martinman, you have fine dimensions there. The system should be symmetrically set up on a 15 foot wall. Your room is way too large for one sub. Ideally you would want at least two 15" subs or four 12" units in a room that size. The best way to start out with 2 subs is to put them right up against the front wall between the main speakers. Cut some cord the distance between the inside edges of your main speakers. Have your significant other hold one end at the middle of one subwoofer cone while you swing the other end towards the listening position. Your end should end right at your nose in your listening chair. Make it so. Now have your significant other hold his end at the listening position while you swing the cord towards the main speakers. Move them forward so the center of the woofer cones end at the cord. Point them directly at you. The speakers and subwoofers now form a 60 degree arc of a circle and each bass driver is equidistant from your head. You can add more subs down the line and put them anywhere off to the sides. This assumes all bass drivers are at the same phase angle which may or may not be true. It is a simple $300 matter to figure it out, with one of these https://www.parts-express.com/Dayton-Audio-OmniMic-V2-Acoustic-Measurement-System-390-792  I have used one and it a fabulous tool. It will turn your laptop into an acoustic measurement tool. Most people set up their systems trial and error by ear without any reference. It will take you years if ever to get it right that way. It is also a lot of fun taking it over to your friend's to show him how screwed up his system is:-)

If you move back and forth in your room you will hear the bass change. You can move your listening position back or forward a little to adjust it. You will also notice the bass increase at the boundaries of the room up against the walls. This is normal and why you can not put your listening position up against a wall.
Chakster, that calculator is totally worthless. It does not help you do anything. There are other variables that it totally ignores. 

AND Max just won the Austin Grand Prix!!! A real nail biter. 
Chakster, martinman has a much better room for bass than you have. Equal dimensions are the worse thing you could ever have. No amount of room treatment is going to deal with the long wavelengths. 100 Hz is 10 feet. Room treatment deals with frequencies above 200 Hz at best and it is very important but, for bass it is the room size, dimensions and construction that matter most. The single best way to deal with room nodes is multiple subwoofers. Martinman’s integrated has a full 2 channel 2 way subwoofer cross over built in and an excellent phono stage. The Hint 6 may be the absolute best value in audio amplification out there.

Rectangular room is indeed better. But you guys are crazy about subs!

My room is not square, so the given size is simplified, actually it’s irregular shape with cut corners and a door on the back wall that can be opened while I’m listening to the music (behind the door I have more space for low frequency to be vented out of the room to the huge corridor.

Anyway, maybe I will start a separate topic about room acoustics. I have room a treatment and working on it for better results. But it’s always a compromise between interior design and sound. Actually I have a second (rectangular) room in my flat and my old system was there. I prefer my bigger room now and it’s closer to the square shape, but not square.

Actually my room is on the boarder of yellow and green zone HERE>, so I'm good @mijostyn

Chakster, that calculator is totally worthless. It does not help you do anything. There are other variables that it totally ignores.


If your room is standard shape with parallel walls then you will see room models using this calculator, there are other options.
@mijostyn;

Thank you for such a detailed response!  

I have an older PSA S1500 (12" driver) now, and could potentially add another.  However, I'm wondering if there might be something more musical out there.  KEF Kube, or REL always get the recommendation.  The PSA specs are *way* better though..  
Chakster-I don't mean to create thread drift but this thread is as good as any-I would love to know a bit more about you. You live in St. Petersburg but how old are you and what do you do for a living if you don't mind my asking? And even perhaps a bit more personal but do you own your own freestanding home (I ask because of your generously sized listening room). And yet one more-can you comment on the audiophile community in your area of Russia? Is there one?
Dear @martinman : There is no doubt that you should go for the subwoofer. "   something more musical ", the issue is not musical but a true subwoofer with quality level second to none and a true sub must go deeper than 20hz with low distortion levels and obviously quality sound.

There are several alternatives for subs this one is really good and both comes by HSU that maybe in the subs area knowledge is second to none. That its low price don’t distress you, HSU is not a bub-bum unit but a sub with really high quality bass level performance. Probably only Velodyne is at its level ( I own a " little " older pair Velodyne ) but at little higher price. You need two of either model showed here:

https://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-15hmk2.html

https://www.hsuresearch.com/products/uls-15mk2.html

https://www.velodyneacousticssubwoofer.com/en/products/digital-drive-plus/#digital-drive-15-plus


Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
R.


Chakster -I don't mean to create thread drift but this thread is as good as any-I would love to know a bit more about you. You live in St. Petersburg but how old are you and what do you do for a living if you don't mind my asking? And even perhaps a bit more personal but do you own your own freestanding home (I ask because of your generously sized listening room). And yet one more-can you comment on the audiophile community in your area of Russia? Is there one?


@fsonicsmith Hope you're not recruited by KGB. Anyway, in the current situation in my country we do not have to post as much about personal life on an open forum. But I'll tell you that the audiophile community is HUGE, and yes, I own my flat in the building. The rest you can check in my virtual system. 
I will take that to mean you are KGB. I am from Russia. At least, my grandparents were. From a long-gone village named Slutzk. My real last name was Telushkin before it got shortened. 
Are there audio equipment manufacturers/producers in Russia? Why do you own American/European components?