Seeking advice from the SL1200 fan s

I'm going to do it. I'm really going to buy KAB's modded 1200 very soon. I've been reading all forums I can find on the subject. Most folks don't speak too highly of it. Would the Shure V15xMR be too much for this? I'm not set up for MC. I do require a wide groove (78) stylus as well. Should it be wall mounted or heavy floor stand? I have suspended floors (hardwood). If I get the fluid damper would this take care of the weakness in the arm I keep hearing about? Thanks for any input from the fan(s)! Brad
I would suggest talking to Kevin about cartridges. One of the advantages of having a removable headshell is that you can swap cartridges at the drop of a hat. As such, you can use one for 33's / 45's and another for 78's. The arm would have to be optimized for one cartridge or the other though. Honestly, i can't remember if the 1200 has adjustable VTA or not.

As to fluid damping, it has it's ups and downs. It is a good way of controlling resonance amplitude but supposedly also "slows down" transient response. Can't say as i've never experimented with it first-hand.

The one thing that intrigues me about the 1200 is that Kevin is "kind of" working on a custom phono cartridge that would be optimized just for this table. After talking to him on the phone about it, i was more than interested as to how it would work IF he is able to get it into production. Sean
SL1200's have easily adjustable and repeatable VTA control. Overhead is set at the headshell, so cart swaps are fairly simple. BTW, in theory, fluid damping should improve transient response in particular, by keeping steep amplitude impulses from being dissapated in exciting the arm, so the energy is directed into moving the cantilever where it belongs. The viscous fluid permits the arm low frequency movement, such as following the record groove or a warped surface, but progressively attenuates higher frequency arm movements, where transients live. (Yes, I have a 1200, and am on the verge of trying the damper for myself, and am considering the 78 rpm mod down the road.)
Thanks for the clarification Zaikesman. As stated, i am not directly familiar with fluid damping. I took that bit of info from George Merrill's TT booklet. Sean
Search the Asylum and read what Thorsten says about the 1200 with a top notch cartridge...

I use an Ortofon X5 high output MC--output is close to the V15's. Cartridge selection depends on your music tastes more than anything else.

The damper is a *major* improvement.
Sorry, second sentence, first word should have been "overhang", of course. Sean, when I get the damper, I'll post my experience. My own theory about Merrill's observation would be that damping may attenuate some tonearm ringing, which might seem (like many resonances do unless you get used to their absence) to in some way add "excitement" to the presentation. But this is only my theory; what do I know yet, since I haven't tried it?
Ok, I'll spring for the damper. I still need some help with cartridge selection. I listen to just about anything, the biggest percentage of my collection falls somewhere between mid-60's to early 80's (oldies, classic rock). I have recently started mellowing out with my purchases-more jazz and acoustic type stuff. I do classical but it is not a staple in my diet. What exactly do I need to take into consideration when choosing a cartridge? This is my first gear purchase in @20 yrs. Thanks Brad
I listen to everything...I was recommended the X5 by Kenny of Needledoctor, who told me owns a 1200 and listens to everything like me. The other choice he said would be a Benz ACE.
Kenny also recommended that I try the X5, but I wound up spending more and getting a B-M Glider M2 from Bob at the Elusive Disk, who I felt was the best to deal with. Various input I got said it was the best in the around $600 range (w/trade), and I haven't had any problems with it in the 1200, but the shopping experience underscored for me how compromised your ability to choose is when you can't actually audition anything in your system beofore committing. No shops in my area (DC) could play me anything I was considering, much less do a comparision. You've almost got to go on faith unless you know someone who owns a cart you're interested in.
Will something like The Lifter work with the 1200? I've gotten used to auto-shut off for years. How about the dust cover. Do you remove it? I want to have a wall shelf built before it gets here so I can start playing more quickly! I'm going to do more research on cartridges. Way too many choices! I've posted ?? on other forums, but, since the 1200 is treated like a red-headed stepchild, I've NOT gotten any kind of useful info. You folks have helped alot. Many thanks. Brad
I asked the people that make the lifter about my modded 1200 w/the fluid damper assembly and they never replied my email.

The Ortofon X5 I got for $110 from member 2Juki in Hong Kong. Sesarch the classifieds. It is unbeatable for the money. Break in is nasty--be warned.

The 1200 *needs* to be properly isolated. Wall mounting sounds very good.

People who bash the 1200 only reveal their prejudices and lack of knowledge about what makes a good turntable. First of all, although the 1200 is direct drive, there is NO physical contact of a motor with the platter--end of vibration transmition by the motor argument. The 1200 has a magnetically driven motor. These same people would buy a feeble glass and particle board turntable in a heartbeat because it is an European "audiophile" product--yeah, right.

I am glad you're joining the 1200 club. It is a very neutral sounding deck, extremely reliable and FUN to use...
Just to clarify for Brad, the platters on ANY direct drive are mechanically fastened directly to or are a part of the motor, hence the term "direct drive". In many cases, the platter is an integral part of the motor, forming either part of the stator or part of the rotor. In order for the platter to turn, the motor must contact the platter either indirectly (belt or wheel drive) or directly by being mechanically fastened or being an integral part of the motor (direct drive).

Also, ALL electric motors are electro-magnetically driven and ALL electric motors make noise. The trick is to minimize the noise as much as possible. Glass, acrylic or MDF dampen noise far more effectively than a thin piece of aluminum.

Quote: "Glass, acrylic or MDF dampen noise far more effectively than a thin piece of aluminum." True.

The 1200 platter is damped on the underside and comes with a thic mat. Rumble is a mere -78 dB.

I have placed a Bob Regal Foot next to the tonearm gimbal ind it has *really* improved performance. One of the trick to the 1200 mods is to control internal resonances. Kevin of KABUSA is working on an outboard power supply for the same reason.

Overall, the suspension of the 1200 is made like those of the best turntables--people actually dance while the 1200s work!!!
Jimbo, how could a platter form part of the stator? The platter must rotate by definition. BTW, Rockport 'tables are direct drive, and are said to be the world's best. Obviously, this doesn't imply anything about the Technics machine, but it does show that DD need not be considered inherently inferior to belt drive. (Although at the prices Rockport asks, it *may* show how tough it is to engineer out some side-effects of DD. Then again, as many folks have posited, the scale on which Technics has produced quality DD 'tables may hide the cost such machines would require if produced by a high-end co. As you may have noticed, the HE TT co's all buy their outboard motors from contractor suppliers rather than make their own.)
Zaikesman- We're getting a little off-topic here. My initial post was only to clarify a previous post by another member. But, to briefly answer your question on a platter being part of a stator, the outer part of the motor which is typically the stationary (stator) becomes the rotating part and what we typically think of as the part rotating on a shaft (rotor) is stationary. (Look at a typical ceiling fan motor- the outer "stator" part is rotating, not the shaft.) Sometimes this is called an "inside out" motor. Technically, the outer (rotating) part is no longer a stator, but is often called that. The "stator" coils can be placed directly underneath, and be part of, the platter.

At the very pinnacle of design and for certain applications, DD can be excellent, but at a very high cost. In the real world, DD is generally very inexpensive to produce while belt drive generally is more cost-effective for higher end audio use. Since I don't have $50,000 to get a top notch one of each, I can't really say which one is better at that level. At $500 to $3000, I can tell you with certaintee which I would prefer for a strictly audio application.

If somone would like to explore these topics further, please let's start another thread as we're already pretty far off topic on this one.

Thank you so much folks! I feel I've got a better idea about what I'm looking for (and more importantly, how to ask for it). Hopefully I won't run into setup issues. Thanks again. Brad