technics sl 1200 gae


is there anyone in America who mods this deck to the level of the English timestop evo sl1200? it's great for rock 45's but how do you drag more finesse out of it for lp's
theoriginalthor1
It’s great for all genres, but the cartridge is more important with GAE if you want to improve it. It a brand new High-End turntable why do you want to mod it like people do with an old SL1200? It's already night and day. Which cartridge do you use?

see timestep uk website. they mod that g version.  that version can be upgraded. considering a purchase to replace my linn. I have older collector records

some mono shibata or decca?  . microgroove mono

In my experience, the issue people have with the G is run in. they take a while. Longer than many but you will be rewarded. I would not do it.
Sure, you can upgrade G, GR or even GAE by changing the tonearm (if you want), but why not buy used SP-10mkII or new SP-10R if you’re looking for higher quality turntables? You are limited with a choice of tonearm for SL1200GAE plinth, but you have no limits with SP-10mkII or SP-10R (except for the very short arms), you can use "10.5 or "12 inch tonearm easily.

some mono shibata or decca?  . microgroove mono

So which cartridge do you use ? 
Decca cartridge is definitely not good for Technics tonearm. 
A cartridge with Shibata profile is good, especially the Victor X-1II  
Chakster is right.  if you want a set it and forget it table, the G is great.  if you are interested in different arms as different arms do work better with certain cartridges and can get a deal on an older sp-10, that would be an excellent option.  If you want to just listen to your collection and are not worried about other arms, maybe like MM cartridges and want arguably the  best motor design currently available, the G is great and does sound great with MC carts. as well.

my turntable is out of service. cartridge was a linn archiv

gae, as is : fine can't touch it for 45's.i meant newer orthofon shibata mono .

vpi direct drive :wish I could afford it and it's cheaper than the new technics(. which is also superb.)

I have  entertaining records but they are not typical  audiophile up front mix.

gae, as is : fine can't touch it for 45's.i meant newer orthofon shibata mono .... I have entertaining records but they are not typical  audiophile up front mix.

I don't care about audiophile records, i do collect vintage 45s from the 50s, 60s, 70s and early 80s. GAE is perfect for 45s, Shibata is perfect for vintage 45s, i don't have any mono cartridge, my 45s are stereo, not mono. 

Technics is great turntable, no doubt, stock GAE tonearm is great too. 

Just buy great cartridge if you're looking for improvement and nice phono stage. 

 
vpi make s decent tables, the only thing I do not like is their arms.  They are okay, I think the technics is better.
OP, 

what is is it that you don’t like or want to improve with the GAE?  I own the table.  I would think money would be better spent going after the right cartridge and not trying expensive modifications.  Modding is cool in my book though. 
The man to talk to in the US is Kevin at KAB. He is a real authority on Technics turntables.  I haven't spoken to him in awhile but my guess is that he will suggest a rewire of the arm and the fluid damper.  I think you will find him straightforward about the reasons for these mods.I have looked at the Timestep site and read comments from the owner on chat sites  online.  Let me just say I don't feel 100% confident about what they do.The arm on the 1200G is really good.  If you go with the Timestep arm you will lose the ability to quickly change cartridges.  Since you collect older records (as do I) you won't be able to go between mono and stereo carts very easily.  A fancy steak knife is a wonderful thing but sometimes a Swiss Army knife is of more utility.I agree with tzh21y that the sound of the table will improve after a few hundred hours of run in.

You are limited with a choice of tonearm for SL1200GAE plinth, but you have no limits with SP-10mkII or SP-10R (except for the very short arms), you can use "10.5 or "12 inch tonearm easily.
We've installed 12" arms on that plinth, so not sure what is meant by this comment.
In general though, the new SL1200 would be my choice over any Linn or VPI, price no object, regardless of 33 or 45 RPM. 
@atmasphere Each you promote one particular arm you have to remind our readers that you are a dealer of that arm, i think it’s a good arm, but TriPlanar is not for everyone and construstion of that "12inch arm is unusual, the arm tower and pivot are two different things, only for this reason you can mount "12inch TriPlanar on GAE. But it’s an exception, because even Technics own EPA "10.5 series does not fit into SL1200GAE, not only a normal "12 inch tonearm like this, because spindle to pivot mounting distance is (304,75mm) is way out of the "plinth" of the GAE.

In my opinion one of the best arm for GAE is REED "9 (
205.5mm distance) or "10.5 (236.1mm distance), longer Reed "12 (with 283.8mm mounting distance) can’t be mounted for example. Also i know for sure that many classic "10.5 or "12 inch tonearms are impossible to mount on GAE for the same reason.

GAE is too small turntable for 99% of the "12inch tonearms. 
@chakster
Just so you know, I'm not a dealer for Triplanar. I have two of them- I like them, but I'm not a dealer.

The arm tower allows adjustment of the VTA on the fly. The concept has been copied by VPI, Durand and others so it must work :)

I designed an arm board that allows you to mount longer arms, and while the dust cover can't be used, longer arms like the Reed can.
chakster,

atamasphere has mounted a Triplaner Classic SE on my Technics 1200G TT.  It gives me superb performance. I am happy with it.

At least one member bought a used Triplanar, bought an armboard off ebay, mounted it himself. So the used and DIY route can be taken. Only you limit yourself.

chakster, You are always whinning about the cost of everything. Perhaps if you saved your "nickles" in whatever currency you use, got a 2nd job,and stopped buying 30+ vintage cartridges, multiple TTs, tonearms and phonostages. Just maybe you could join us in the 21st Century.

Please Do Stop whinning  about your poor financial status. Its boring
@nkonor Hey, while "bang for the buck" is indeed my driving factor in audio now, i have modern tonearms at the same price as your TriPlanar (the Reed 3p "12 Cocobolo which is my reference) and paid for expensive modern cartridge too (Zyx Airy III, Zyx Premium 4D etc), so where am i whinning and what do you think am i loosing by trying top vintage cartridges or top vintage turntables? I only share my experience and i’m pretty sure it will help some people (especially those people who are relatively new to high-end) to make the right choice using "bang for the buck" factor and not to be effected by strange philosophy that more expensive is always better! I was effected by this philosophy myself when i started looking for high-end, but prior to this interest in high-end I’ve been using Technics 1200 series for nearly 20 years as a hi-fi.

To get a 2nd job is pretty good idea, i’m up for it
@atmasphere


The arm tower allows adjustment of the VTA on the fly. The concept has been copied by VPI, Durand and others so it must work :)

I like this concept on my Reed, but smooth and precision VTA on the fly available with many nice vintage tonearms like Victor UA-7045/7082, Sony PUA-7, Lustre GST-801, Technics EPA series just to name a few which i like a lot.

I designed an arm board that allows you to mount longer arms, and while the dust cover can’t be used, longer arms like the Reed can.

Everyone can get a ruler to measure pivot to spindle mounting distange and realize how limited is the SL1200 series compared to the SP-10 series which i prefer.

You can always say that everyone can use a custom arm pod near the SL1200 turntable with tonearm of any size (even "16 inch long), but this is not for the people who cares about aesthetics and desing of the equipment.

If your TriPlanar is not covered by the dust cover of the Technics then fluid damper collect dust everyday. I knew it because i’ve been using fluid dampers with my Technics for a long time, this is very bad idea without dust cover (imo).

Honestly i don’t like the idea of having open fluid damper, but it’s just me. I’m pretty sure TriPlanar is a great arm and i was considering one myself along with Kuzma 4 Point, but ended up with Reed 3p "12 Cocobolo with no regret (the most beautiful arm ever in my opinion, and fully adjustable like no other tonearms that i know, even azimuth of the fly).

I must admit that your TriPlanar looks nice on your custom armboard on the SL1200GAE
Honestly i don't like the idea of having open fluid damper, but it's just me.
I don't use it and have removed it on my arm at home. We don't use it at the shop either but its still on the arm.
chakster,

I am happy that you have Both modern (expensive) and tons of vintage. 
You recently chastised one member for not helping the poor and down trodden.  So, you help budding audiophiles ? Is this your contribution ? Until recent health issues, I volunteered at the VA hospital. Being a Combat Veteran, This is where my heart goes out to. You can continue to help budding audiophiles from your keyboard. Who do you Help, with your time and effort,  that Really Needs Help ?
@nkonor

Well, i don’t have a "tons of vintage" as you might think, i only have selected top quality vintage cartridges and i already traded my few expensive modern carts for my belowed vintage carts long time ago when i discovered the quality of the more expensive carts is not as good as the quality of the selected vintage ones. Also i could not live with $5 cartridges for practical reason, but i bought them, tried them to remember what they can do in my system with my records. At that time i was influenced by reviewers, dealers and the common opinion in high-end world. But personal experiecne is much more important, so i changed my mind. I only have two turntables in use in my main system (Luxman PD-444). And the cost of both turntables for me was less than your single new Technics GAE. Band for the buck in action.

You recently chastised one member for not helping the poor and down trodden.


No, My original post about luxury life of the very rich audiophiles was deleted by moderator because of one word, so i’m not sure did you get the message before it was deleted. It was not addressed to one member, it was addressed to luxury life that someone described as normal, but it’s not normal, it’s luxury. In the circle of friends no one can afford $15k cartridge or $30k tonearm and $200k turntable and so on. I’m definitely from another world, i don’t think it’s normal to spend that much on audio. This is an attribute of the luxury life described by one of the member. I only hope that charity is a part of that life too.

You can continue to help budding audiophiles from your keyboard. Who do you Help, with your time and effort, that Really Needs Help ?

In the modern world people of my age searching for information online. Contributors of this forum helped me a lot to expand my knowledge in theory first and then in practice. Basically the famous MM thread with tons of information from the members that no longer active on audiogon and some members that still active too. I want to pay back with my contribution. I see all this as the audiophile’s diary.

We have no probem to find reviews of the modern high-end equipment, but unfortunately we can’t find reviews of the vintage equipment, especially in comparison to the modenr equipment. And yes, bang for the buck is very important factor when normal people looking for an equipment that highly competitive to the overpriced stuff. What is overpriced for me may not be overpriced for people living their luxury life. But even relatively cheap vintage audio gear is overpriced for some people, many people spend more on records than on equipment.
I have never seen these so called deals on vintage tables.  After you factor in the arm and the plinth and so on, you are getting up there.  The thing is, look at a sp10 M2 or the Luxman, add the lets say Low mass technics 10 inch arm, and your way over 4K.  with the 1200GAE, you get the new arm, which is probably not as good as the Boron/titanium arm but you get the new motor and, well a new table with new motor.  Many of them offer no return, so what if something is not right, now lets say you have to put another grand into it, well, you get my idea.  The same thing with these older arms.  unless you can actually see the arm for yourself, make sure the bearing are ok, its a crapshoot.  Your never really sure of what you are getting.
@tzh21y if you post addressed to me then i know that you're happy with GAE, so personally you don't need anything else. I have no idea when you discovered Technics DD for yourself, i did it back in 1995 and bought my first Technics SL1210mkII between 1995-1998 (later upgraded them with some mods). For me this design is not attractive anymore at all, no matter which motor has been installed in the brand new GAE. I don't want to use one design for all my life. I want to move on.  

In the last 5 years i've been with my SP-10 mkII with Reed 3p "12inch in a custom plinth (and with EPA-100 before the upgrade). I paid $1200 for my SP-10mkII in MINT condition and never had any problem with this turntable. I paid another $1200 for EPA-100 and about $700 for custom teak wood plinth, so you can count a total. 

I have more that 7 tonearms now and SP-10 mkII is no longer a good option for me. Luxman PD-444 is way better to swap the arms, the plinth is superb, two arms can be used. Amazing DD turntable. Ask @knollbrent  for how much did he paid for it (with free shipping from Japan on ebay). It was in mint- condition with spare armboards for different tonearms. It was a bargain, about $2k ? 

People from Zu Audio always use PD-444 on High-End shows, so you can check them out.  

Technics tonearm is not a lighweight arm, it's not ideal for very high compliance cartridges. I have Denon DA-401 at the moment as an alternative on my Luxman 444. Beautiful low mass tonearm for high-compliance cartridges. 

As a collector i do not buy damaged garbage, only mint- condition (top class gear). I've never had a problem with vintage tonearms, cartridges, turntables (except for the Victor TT-101 which is notorious for its problems that can be fixed only by professionals for high price). So in general don't know what you're talking about. I can always compare them to the new modern gear to make sure they are fine.    

 
My GAE is fitted with an Ortofon Per Windfeld and it is superb.  It recently was fitted with a KAB fluid damper that does no harm.  The headshell makes a difference too, I have settled on the Yamamoto HS-2S carbon.  I also changed arm wire, but went back to stock believe it or not.  I also have a VPI Prime with two arms a 3D and a Metal both fitted with the dual pivot mod and a Eagle/Roadrunner and triple belts for speed stability.  The two decks are very close performance wise.
I have never seen those kind of deals with plinth and all.  maybe if you purchased a while ago, deals could be had. 
i do not doubt the quality, just the price I have not seen the Luxman for 2k
what about the PD441?  Is it the same as a PD444?  
No, it's not the same.
As you know it's easy to find turntables designed for use with one tonearm on the right side, but it's very difficult to find a nice and good looking turntable designed for two tonearm, especially very long 12 inch tonearms. That's why the PD-444 is unique, also because of its superheavy metal plinth with various armboards on the slide for the arm of any size. This is an old picture of mine, but you can figure out how big is the Shick arm on the left for example.  

I've never tried PD-441 myself, but it's just a lighter and cheaper version of PD-444, you can find comments from another owner of both on audiogon. Even for one arm the PD-444 is much better. 

Not all custom plinth for SP-10 mkII are expensive btw.
As for the prices for Luxman PD-444 i think even $4k is a fair price, but sometimes we can find amazing deal, you never know. 
the PD-444 does look very interesting except it would not fit on many stands.  Its over 26 inches long.  

actually,. I lost the plot 15 years ago.too much $$$ to make up.

from the worker perspective you need less demand and more supply, as in all things!(especially music software)

@tzh21y  the PD-444 does look very interesting except it would not fit on many stands.  Its over 26 inches long.  



I just made custom iron racks for my pair of PD-444 
@chakster Did you melt your lentil iron pots to make those racks? Very well done sir.

@theoriginalthor1 if I were in the market for another table, I’d either get the new Sp10R with the potential of 3 arms or a vintage model that can be modded or just played. As the Russian stated @chakster I’m the proud owner of a minty fresh Luxman PD-444 with two mint condition vintage arms. My table needs nothing except electricity, arm, cart and a great record. Table cost me $2000. Unlike some Luxman owners, I don't advocate for others to buy this table, reason being I'm looking for another :)


one thing that I found that lends to more transparency better bass, and more of ease to the music is to adhere the mat to the platter.  I have used transparent tape to the bottom of my boston audio mat it has made a difference.