Technics 1200g vs Rega rp8, VPI aries, avenger, Basis 2000, Linn LP12 etc. Can it compete?


I am thinking of upgrading my Turntable in the next few months.  It has been a long journey as believe it or not, the VPI scout really is a great table and has kept me satisfied for a long time.  However, I am looking for my last table.  Has anyone had experience with the new Technics 1200g? is it really as good as the best from VPI, Basis, SME, Feikert, etc.  It has intrigued my interest and from what I see it looks like it can easily hold its own against some of the best.  What headshells, mats, record clamps work best?  Can you use a clamp with this table?  Looking forward to your replies.
tzh21y
I would pick the Basis if you can get a used one with a Basis Vector tonearm. The Vector tonearm is much better than the stock tonearms on the Technics, VPI, Rega, or Feikert (Jelco)
They are all fine tables....I would choose the VPI because of its great customer service and the belief the company will be there for as long as I would need them.
Tzn21y, you have a loaded question, is the Technics 1200G a great table, the answer is yes. Too many reviewers have stated the table sounds great and it is not the same thing as anyway as the original by any means.

As per being the best or being the last table, that is an entirely different question.

If you are asking in the $4k price range is that the best table I can get now that is a different question.

Personally you have to look at the competition and then weigh the pros and cons. 

For example Rega  RP 8 offers a killer package with the outstanding Alphetta 2 for $4k the Alphetta is a $1,800 cartidge that sounds like a way more expensive one, so you are getting a killer cartridge for $1,000.00 

The Technics has a very clean fast detailed sound that many people like. 

As per mats and clamps that is something you will have to try for yourself if you like the changes that thoese things do.

I would try to audition the Technics vs a great table like the Rega and I would also look at the new EAT tables as well.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ




Stringreen, and Technics or Rega or EAT won't be.

Silly reply, Rega has been in business what 40 years, and EAT is the higher end division of Project, and they aren't going anywhere either.

All of these are good tables with strong followers on both sides. 

The real question is why isn't the Scout doing it? Could a better cartidge or phono stage maybe a better starting point?

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
The scout is a great table as I stated.  I have been looking at tables for a long time and still have it.  The secret with the scout is learning how to set it up.  It can offer a lot if you can set it up. so much so that I do not believe you get that much more with the prime.  I know many will not agree and the prime does certain things differently, not necessarily better.  The RP8 did a lot better than the prime to my ears (it had tremendous immediacy) but had a bit of an edge that just does not have me totally convinced.  It could have been cartridge loading or the cartridge which was a Rega cartridge.  There has been so much good said about the Technics, and what I am seeing is it looks like it would cost a smaller company a lot of money to pay for the engineering that has gone into it.  Maybe its really a 10K table for 4k i guess is what I am saying.
I own the 1200 G with a Hana SL and a Rega P9 with a Dynavector 17-D3. I also have a P-7 with a Dynavector 17-D-2. The P-9 exceeds the P-7 across the board as you would expect. What I did not expect was the 1200G exceeded them both by a good margin. Quieter background, increased dynamics, better imaging, both front to back and a bit in height. I am enjoying my music more with the new table. When I purchased it, I bought it for my theater room, and mostly from a nostalgic view. Then I had a shoot out to see which was best the winner going to the listening room. The 1200G is the best and I am not certain it has the best cartridge on it. I really like VPI tables and get to listen to one frequently. I will say I really enjoy the quick starts and stops for changing records and the high torque when using a brush or Gruve Glide. They are also great tables. You can not go wrong.  Good luck!

Do you have to have a new table as you will get more for your money buying used.

also look at some of the older tables like Thoerns (td 125) and Garrards (301-401). they offer some outstanding sound and so much upgrades to take you to the $30k sound  dollar range with upgrades over time. defiantly a last or forever table.  

nice example for the money:

https://www.audiogon.com/listings/turntables-thorens-td-125-mk-ii-sme-3009-improved-ortofon-gold-ref...

or out side the norm:

https://www.audiogon.com/listings/turntables-oracle-delphi-mark-iv-gold-black-turntable-2017-12-28-a...

or maybe a Sota and many VPI tables on the used market as well.


of course the tables you mentioned are all great tables too.


tables don't really wear out ( if taken care of and serviced) and good ones last decades. My Garrard 301 is 50+ and works wonderfully.


Thumbs up to that beautiful red Thorens/SME/Ortofon listed on this site!
Tzh, we are a Rega dealer, and we would also like to carry the Technics.

When you said immediacy you got the Rega sound vs the VPI sound.

Rega's design philosophy is the exact oppostie of the VPI which have used mass ie weighty acrylic or greater mass in their platters and plinths.

Rega's concept is to make a light weight low mass design, with the philisophy of less mass means less material to  resonate, higher mass turntables and platters do ring, just tap one and you will see,  and to provide flexture to dissapate energy. Light and stiff has many advantages.


The real question is how far do you want to go in terms of an end game turntable?

If I was going to go end game I would look at a Merril Wiliams Real 101.2 which is a $7k table plus arm, pretty much beats any table under $25k.

We tested one vs a $40k reference table that is the talk of the industry,  and couldn't really hear an appreicable difference with the much more expensive table on a $100k reference rig.

The Merrill Williams Real Table is designed to absorb all energy being fed into the table. The plinth is made out of compressed sheets of rubber composites, the clamp uses a ball of rubber and sits on a rubber ring, even the outer clamping ring uses a rubber internal damping ring.

It doesn't look ultra cool but think of how a turntable is supposed to work, you have to isolate the groove and cartidge from the noisy world of the bearing, and the outside world's vibrational energy which is being fed back into the table, if you can use a material known to absorb mechanical energy and turn it into heat you can wick away all the noise which masks the delicate signal being picked up from the cartridge. 

Over the years we have setup Linns, Sotas, Vpi, Well tempereds and many other very expensive turntables the Merrrill sounds better because it is designed systematically to absorb all energy being fed into the table, the result you can hear the cartridge for the first time.

http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/merrill-williams-real-101-turntable/

http://realturntable.com/

Hope this helps.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ


@tzh21y 

I was in your shoes earlier looking deciding on my retirement table although my short list was down to only two tables, namely the Technics and a VPI Prime.  I have the Technics on order currently and hope to have it soon.  I made my decision on the following:

Based on hearing the benefits with my own ears of direct drive, idler wheels, and rim drive I really wanted direct drive the most if possible and if it was done right.  Simple belt driven tables can be good also, but they tend to cost way more money to get the same timing and drive. 

Fate smiled on me when Technics introduced this table last year along with its many improvements, notably the newly designed coreless direct drive.  This motor alone has gotten wonderful market feedback and I really didn't want to deal any more with belts if possible.

A friend of mine has the 1200G (upgraded from a VPI Scout also) and I've heard his with a cartridge we both own (AT ART9).  This really cemented my decision.  I also have a few other carts including a Lyra Delos.  I intend to use both carts attached to separate LP Gear Zupreme head shells.  My friend also has this head shell so I'm leaching off his experience.

As my "last table" I did think hard about reliability and ease of use.  Prior 1200 tables have a wide reputation for reliability and I don't see why this new motor won't add to that legacy.  The usage features on the table also will allow me to use this without fuss or confusion as I get much older.  I should be so lucky when tubes need to be rotated.

Lastly, the Technics as priced seems to be very fair if not impossible to beat.  I haven't seen any other new $4000 tables that can compete.  Some are swayed a lot by looks also, and indeed the Prime really caught my eye.  I just can't ignore what I've heard and what you get for this price.



The VPI prime is not just different than the Scout, its flat out better. You don't need to have great ears or spend several hours to figure this out. I have had them side by side.

Anyway I don't think you will go wrong with any of these tables. I would definitely buy used. I would have the Technics, VPI and the Basis on my list. 

IMO the Technics can certainly compete with all the tables you listed with exception of the latest LP 12.  The LP 12 I heard at RMAF sounded very good but cost $25,000.  For that kind of money, I would buy a Technics SP10R instead.

The presentation of the Technics will be different than the Scout so you should try to hear one if you can.

I am also in the market for a new turntable and will probably buy the Technics 1200G.
darkstar1

To your ears, the prime is better.  If I did not already have a scout, I may look at the prime, but since I have the scout, I do not feel the prime is a significant upgrade to the scout and in fact I like the way the scout presents the music in many ways better than the prime, much closer to an aries which would be a step up and worth considering.  Again, that is just my ears.
@tzh21y , I did own the Scout 1.1 and now have the Technics SL1200GAE. I feel it is a significant upgrade. Love it.
A New Generation of Craftsmanship - Technics

On youtube, there is a video called A New Generation of Craftsmanship-Technics.  Its about 30 minutes long but really goes in depth regarding the new sl-1200g.  Very interesting.
+1 audiotroy,

Rega will be, and has always been there, consistent.


I agree with audiotroy, but would compare it(i.e. Rega RP8) to the new Technics, which shouldn't be hard to find(I'm talking about the Technics here.)  I missed listening to the Merrill, as they were putting it away at the California Audio Show.  I should mention that I'm not a fan of older Technics direct drive tables.
As far as the LP12 goes(which I own), there is no question in my mind that the newest, maxed-out one has a much more silent background than the AC motor ones.  I'm unsure if the tune(Linn's basis for audio equipment judging, which actually means when/if your body starts to move to the music, that's the equipment/or, for me, the volume at which you should play your music.  They claim, and I agree with, this results in long-term satisfaction with your music playing.) is any better(especially because the price is so high to get this).  Of course, it's actually a hope of mine that I can max out my AC version, and be able to live with that, or win the lotto, and upgrade to the DC mod.
Tzh21y

Yeah hearing is subjective and you prefer the Scout. I seriously have to ask you do you not hear a bigger sound stage, more clarity and better dynamics of the Prime? Is it just the presentation you prefer?

I have heard Aires setups and think it sounds way closer to the Prime  than the Scout sounds. Just IMO

I would not hesitate to buy the new Technics. I love the old 1200 and how easy it is to use. I think a used old technics beats quite a bit of tables with huge price tags. I can only image the new one will get that last bit of performance the old 1200 didn't get with the rock solid speed and reliability.
The presentation.  Th prime is more detailed, has better clarity and dynamics.  Closer to aries in those ways for sure.
Actually, I heard a scout with a Denon 103R on it played through a 300,000 system.  I was pretty amazed how it sounded.  Then I heard the prime through a 75000 system.  The scout sounded better.  So, the rest of the system does have a lot to do with it.  I am sure the prime would have sounded fabulous on the reference system.
Technics has a motor like a Ford 250, Rega like a Fiat 500 .
Tzh21y 

totally agree the system as a whole makes such a difference. Its so frustrating trying to compare turntables at any price category really. Its so hard to even find a place with 3 similarly priced turntables with the same cart and system. 

It would be amazing to hear/read a fair shootout at the 3000-4000k range. 

I read a post here on gon with a member who had the old 1200, the new 1200G and the Prime with ring and speed controller. His take away was he liked the Technics 1200G the best but the Prime was close. Then went on to say you would be surprised how close the old 1200 came to the sound of the newer TTs. 

My experience is the old 1200 is in fact a whole lot of performance for sub $500 dollar price. It's not quite as smooth or refined but it is way closer than I ever expected honestly. 

I have not heard the G yet.  I have heard the prime.  Have to hear them agaim.  I did hear the newer luxman and the prime sounded better than that and it was 6,000.00
I have not heard an original 1200 in about 30 years.
This keeps coming up doesn't it?  I own a Prime with Road Runner and Eagle (speed control), Periphery Ring, triple belts, both a 3D and a metal arm, Stillpoints LP1 (which I use on both TTs) and it is a killer turntable.  Right next to it sits my SL1200GAE (which is functionally the same as a G, cosmetically fancied up a bit).  Before I bought the GAE, there was an SL1200 with full KAB mods.  The GAE sounds better than the old SL1200 did, but the comparative difference between the two was not huge.  The GAE is a wee bit brighter, more alive, more open.  This difference is subtle and might not even be discernible on every system.  Both Technics TTs are very easy to use of course.  With all the mods, the Prime sounds really good too, and with the Periphery Ring it can handle occasional warpped records that the Technics tables cannot.  Right now I use the Prime principally for old records, and especially monos.  It is a problem solver.  It took a lot of futzing around to get the VPI to sound as good as it does now and for that reason I would say that it is going to be the first choice of the audiophile who likes to tweak the set up and has a lot of patience.  VPI has a great website and a great forum to help.  This is a big part of the appeal of their products.  The Technics TT is much easier to set up and to use.  There is no similar customer support from the manufacturer, but then it isn't really needed.  With it's practically instantaneous acceleration to speed, spot on speed control, great ergonomics, along with a general lack of fussiness, this is the turntable of choice for serious record collectors.  I will say this, you can't make a bad choice between these two turntables.  I go back and forth between them all the time and am grateful that I am privileged to own both.  I don't know which I would chose if I could only have one.  My advice is for each person to make an honest self assessment of their own personality, their priorities and how they intend to use their TT.  In the end, no matter which way you go, you will have made an excellent choice.
kind of unsettling that the prime requires a speed controller to compete with the G.  
There are not many turntables that compete with the G in speed accuracy.  In fairness, unless you are comparing two TTs with one being super accurate and the other off a tiny bit, this factor is really not very important for all practical purposes for most users.  For years I had a Thorens TD125MKII that had a built in strobe and I thought it was spot on.  It wasn't really, which I learned only by comparing it to much more precise TTs later, but truth to tell it didn't affect my enjoyment of listening to music on that TT over a long period (years and years) of contentment.  In fact I would be happy to listen to it still.  Sometimes we let trivial things get blown out of proportion to their true importance.  Let's admit that vinyl is an imperfect medium, but it offers tremendous rewards for those of us who work with it.  We just have to remember to have fun and not lose perspective.
Bill I was talking about your tables and your comparisons. 

I was bringing it up again on purpose. Why? Basically for the exactly  point in your last post. 

This is suppose to be fun. If you are willing to spend any amount to get the last degree out of your collection go for it. I just think that at some point these differences and "upgrades" hit a point of severe diminishing returns and sometimes that is lost in the discussion. I know before I had heard several turntables I would have never thought the differences would be so small to my ears by reading the forums (yes I understand this is a personnel thing). 

I will just suggest this..... If you are serious about spending $$$$ on a turntable go out and buy a craiglist Technics turntable for 250-550. Put a decent cart on it (nothing crazy). 

Take it and put it directly against a $$$$ turntable in the same system. Then compare. If you hear the clogging or hear something horrible in the 1200 fair enough. It will inform you of what diminishing returns sound like and maybe just give you a jumping off point on how much you are willing to drive in.