Technics SP-10 Tonearm Pod instead of Plinth/Base

Trawling through the Audiogon forums for information on a suitable Plinth for a Technics SP-10, I came across a post by Raul.
Instead of putting the SP-10 in a plinth, he just put the TT on three feet and then had constructed a separate base that only housed the tonearm. (I haven't seen a pic of this BTW)
Following on from Raul's 'Thinking outside the square' approach, I thought I might be able to buy, or have made, a stand-alone 'pod' or rectangular tonearm plinth that could sit along side the SP-10. Has anyone seen something like this that I could buy 'off-the-shelf'?
The advantage of this is that the tonearm is decoupled from the TT and therefore distanced from any vibrations generated by the TT.
A down side is getting the right geometry for the tonearm in relation to the distance from the spindle; and then keeping the pod in the right spot.
If this is all too hard, I might still go with a plinth. I notice an E-Bay seller in Taiwan is offering a Teak plinth cut for the SP-10. Anyone bought one of those?
All comments welcomed!
I am not sure that your description of Raul's set-up is correct. I thought he had mounted the tonearm on a short skirt of plywood that is also fastened around the tt chassis. In any case, that would be my preference, if I were to go with the ultra-light approach. If you isolate the tonearm from the vibrations of the chassis, then the chassis/platter/LP will vibrate while the tonearm/cartridge stands still. This in theory could maximize badness. Don't you want the tonearm/cartridge to be on the same roller coaster with the bearing/platter? The problems of maintaining geometry only add to the mess, IMO. I saw a nice plinth on eBay for a bit less than $500 from somewhere in the US or Europe. I saw a cheaper one from somewhere else in the world that I did not like nearly as much.
The plinth Albert Porter had a hand in developing for the SP10 is gorgeous. He may have sold through all of them, but you can always give him a try. I'm not sure if he's having more made. They ain't cheap, as you can guess from the pics....but, up close and personal, they do look and feel very much like you get what your pay for.
Hi DSA, Jim Campbell makes a plinth, I have only seen pictures however he is making one for me. He can be contacted at I think I saw his ad on Audiogon
You might do a search a see.
Thanks All!
Lewn- I'm pretty sure from reading the blogs that Raul's armboard is separate from the turntable- ie not touching. However, I do see your point of keeping an even playing field by having the tonearm and the platter sharing the same plane. That being said... some brands of TT have a separate pod for the motor when the platter is driven by a belt. I had this idea in mind as I wondered of a pod for the tonearm. Maintaining geometry is still a vexing question.

Jax2- The Porter plinth is beautiful, yes. It also looks one step away from being gilded with gold... ie very expensive as you suggest.

Rnadelman- I've googled Mr Campbell and found a couple of pics of what looks like a very nice plinth. I'll drop him a line.

The other plinth option is a layered plywood plinth with the odd layer of lead or aluminum. A better option than solid/heavy/dense wood plinth?
Hi Dsa, I am very reluctant to contradict Lewm but the so
called 'theoretical arguments'(aka 'scientific') are regulary used in our forum as long as they don't contradict
with our preferences. Well I have an 'armbase' next to my Kuzma S.R. and I prefer this combo (Reed L2A+Reed base+ Phase Tech P3) above Triplanar VII+ Benz Ruby 3 'on' the Kuzma.

Dsa, Jim is making the layered plywood plinth with aluminum for me at this time.
Guys, If I am wrong about Raul's rig, I stand corrected. It means that I have been under the wrong impression for several months. In fact I thought Raul agreed with me when in other places I had stated my case against having separate arm pods. Nandric, I know Kuzma does do it that way in their top line product, so evidently Mr Kuzma does not agree with me that it is a bad idea. He is probably smarter than me, too. But there is a difference between a minimum plinth SP10 and the Kuzma table you own in that your table AND your outboard arm pod have enormous high mass. Also your table does not potentially suffer from being spun on its own axis by its motor (due to Newton's 3rd Law of Motion), as could happen with an SP10 chassis that is just sitting on a set of Audio Technica feet, a la Raul. (I have seen this happen with my own SP10; it does not actually spin around of course, but it twists at start up, if you just sit the chassis on a table. Eventually after several start-ups, it will move across the table top. This would tend to screw up geometry.) I also would point out that there are other smart guys (turntable designers and builders) who agree with my opinion on this matter. Eventually, Raul will see this thread and trash me. In fact, if he likes his SP10 set-up, it probably sounds good. This is all meant in good fun.
I have such a setup, I got an Sp10, I took out the plinth, given a cheap one, but it was like taking the bell out and leaving only the little metal ball inside it.
I made a pod for the tone arm with 3 different metals and it is pretty heavy, trust me it wont move. The Sp10 is sitting on its own with no plinth at all, I have cones holding it from the original chassis, we actually discussed even taking the chassis off.
The improvement was impressive, in micro-level detail and air around the instruments.
Isolation is very important and the cones that support the SP10 can change the tone of the setup, for a tubed Phono preamp I like solid steel cones, for SS I use the famous Audio Technica Support Isolators with metal cones. Actually my favorite sound came from a combination of cones.

The Pod base stands on cones also, that improved the sound a lot also.

I dont want to rub the people with plinths the wrong way, this is my private setup and I like it, my system consists of triamplified 5 way horns.

Check out setup, he uses a Garrard with a Pod also.
Dear Dsa: The plinth or not plinth subject is so controversial because no one of those plinth advocates guys never test/try the SP-10 non plinth alternative ( at least I never read that any one of them tested. ), so they don't know for sure which approach achieve better quality performance.

Well, I did and that's why I support the non plinth in the SP-10 and with a tonearm separate tonearm pod.
How anyone can talk on the subject if never has the opportunity to hear it?

Dsa, if you care mainly about quality performance more than how it looks my advise is that you try it ( it is inexpensive to do it. ) before pay a lot of money for the plinth solution and then decide about.

I'm not against any SP-10 alternative on the subject, my clear and precise position here is: how to achieve the best quality performance, that's all.

Regards and enjoy the music,
Raul has a point; I have never heard an SP10 sans plinth. Really, there are two issues here: (1) plinth vs no plinth, and (2) outboard arm pod vs mechanical linkage of the tonearm mount to the tt chassis. I feel more strongly on the latter subject (pro-linkage) than on the former. It would be simple to take a piece of plywood to form a skirt fastened to the underside of an SP10, with enough area beyond the boundary of the chassis to allow for mounting of a tonearm. Then you could put the chassis on feet like Raul has done, and you would have no-plinth but with linkage. I may try that. But you guys can keep your outboard arm pod. One other issue that comes up whenever Raul gets into this subject; who else has a set of those Audio Technica feet? Since they are rare, what else would do as well? I could imagine that the no-plinth SP10 might have a nice open sound quality, or it might not.
About the Theory of Mechanical Linkage of the TT chassis against the tonearm, in my point of view, less vibrations are better than "joint" vibrations. Now to theorize here seems a bit ridiculous but any way I will give it a go: To have a synchronized vibration could work in order to lets say minimize the sum of vibrations, but this would mean that both the Tonearm and the TT are at the crest of the vibration at a given moment and at the valley, in complete synchronization, if one is at the valley and the other at the crest then it is better to have them Isolated, in a separate Pod. Now, in music we know vibrations are in a lot of frequencies, not only at one, so to have a synchronized movement that would annul the vibrations in all frequencies seems a bit complicated.

This would be theorizing on a result I found in practice, I dont know how valid that could be since we could also theorize on the contrary.

Practically I like it better.
Thanks everyone. For me, a lack of funds is the mother of invention, so that's why, at least in part, I'm thinking of Raul's clever approach.

I've always been a little circumspect when it comes to wood and turntables. I believe that its use transforms the turntable into a musical instrument (I also consider that sprung suspensions add to the euphonic mix). While all plinth designs have this effect, the goal (for me) should be neutrality. The more 'stuff' attached to the device that is extracting the micro signal from the groove, the more chance for colouration.

Lewm: Good points to consider. In place of the AT pneumatic feet of Raul's set-up, I was thinking of some of those fantastic feet from Herbie's Audio Lab. They would perform the isolation task very well and secure the TT to prevent dancing across the room... The company also make a great matt that is perfect for the SP-10. As for the pod, checkout this pod with adjustable feet, layering, damping and (brass?) weight:

Rnadelman: Ah, the layered approach. If I had to go with a plinth, I think the plywood/aluminum woud be the best sonically. There is someone here (In OZ) who makes them. Do you think that they do a better job than wood of draining unwanted resonances?

Jsadurni: See the link above- is that the kind of 'pod' you made? Would you say that your setup keeps the speed and bass reproduction while extracting the upper mid and treble with air/space/soundstage depth?

Raul: It seems that Jsadurni is getting great results from the non-plinth + tonearm pod approach. I agree- I can always try the setup first. The feet I can use later with a plinth if the pod idea doesn't work.

Keep the idea coming, thanks everyone!
DSA, as for the layered plinth I made that my first choice of options that are out there. I think solving a problem seems to always create another one. With that said I have thus far made audio choices based on what someone had to say about the particular component and how it would work with the rest of my system. Now I have made a choice to test and see how it works and if I like it I will continue to use it or if I don't like it then I will take a look at other options. I urge you to do it your way just to see if it works for you.
This is yet another of those "to each his own" audio discussions. We can be comfortable knowing we are all in the right. Have fun. If any one of us besides Raul tries it both ways, please report back on your preference.
I forgot to mention my third option for a plinth- Marble. The Japanese seem to think that this is the best material for a direct-drive TT plinth. Slate is another, but marble is easier to come by and preferred by many.
Has anyone tried a marble plinth?
Dear Dsa: I try and I have two heavy ( 40-50 kg ) lovely Marble ( green. ) and Onyx ( beige. ) plinths that I used with my Denon's ( DP-80/75. ).

Looks great but I can't say in this precise moment how good against my no plinth approach.

Regards and enjoy the music,
I don't have any idea why it might be so, but I have had negative reports on marble as a material for plinths. You can say it rings when you tap it, as does granite, but I have never understood how/why that should be the determining factor. I would stick with slate or wood. The Japanese have virtually no access to slate, which is why some of them may use marble, but I must say also that I have never seen a marble plinth in any of my several trips to Japan, during which I haunt audio stores.
OK, I'm going out-of-the-square.
What about a thick slab of concrete with holes cut-out for the SP-10 and a tonearm? Terrazo? Other aggregates? Does anyone know the sonic properties of the afore mentioned options?
What about three of four cement tiles, with holes cut, and then bonded together?
Concrete might be excellent. I recently saw a Kenwood L07D. It's plinth is made in part of a very dense particulate material, much like concrete. (The plinth is further damped by metal and wood layers.) By all accounts, the L07D is VERY quiet, so I assume the plinth "works". But this makes shipping of an L07D a nightmare, because that concrete-like stuff may crumble if it receives a blunt force blow. I would think also it might be difficult to make a precision fit with concrete, because does it not shrink while drying? But in principle, concrete would be an interesting choice and would probably work well. I see that you propose to start with pre-formed slabs of concrete. Can it be "worked" to accept the SP10 without crumbling? Anyway, it's a cheap experiment.
Hi Lewm,
That is interesting info on the L07D. As for my budget concrete plinth- I suppose I would have to make sure that the 'slab' I buy is able to be cut without crumbling. I regularly see workmen cutting driveways and the like with a water protected circular saw arrangement. The tonearm hole would be easy, the space for the SP10 could be tricky.
What about a material like they use in kitchen benchtops? Nice colours too!
You mean Corian? The scuttlebutt on Corian is that it does not sound so good as a plinth. This is only word of mouth information. I think Jean Nantais is one person who tried Corian as did some others with Lenco tts. Don't give up on concrete, IMO. Maybe you can make a mold and cast a piece with a square opening for the SP10 chassis.
Hi Lewm,
No, Corian. I read up on that- it's really some sort of polymer (Ie plastic). I also saw that people had tried it and it made a poor plinth- plastic is very unsuitable.
Think terrazzo. That's a sort of fancy concrete with pieces of marble through it- looks great! Other aggregates might be good too.
Someone has suggested perspex with a layer of another material, like aluminum or wood. Not sure about perspex- reviews of turntables plinthed with the material don't read well.
I make slate plinths, under the OMA name, so obviously I am not unbiased. And I HAVE listened to an SP10 with no plinth. Which is why it strikes me as rather absurd to go that route. Same with people who like a skeletal or box plinth with decks like the Garrards. I started making slate plinths first for my own SP10, and at that time you virtually could not mention that you used that deck, as it was so out of fashion.

In any event, I found the difference between using slate, and the wooden plinths I had made, or one of the Obsidian stock plinths which I also own, was so impressive that I began making slate plinths for other decks as well.

Running an SP10 without a proper plinth, and with a separate armboard, is a very bad idea.
Fehhhh on perspex. Bad idea, IMO. I know that Clearaudio uses perspex for everything, but they are making belt drive tables. That's a different kettle of fish.
Hi Weisselk,
Well, your comments are borne from experience that I do not have- they are very welcomed- thanks. Did you ever try cement or a conglomerate for a plinth? It's heavy. It's cheap. But, would it be any good?
Lewm- I had good laugh at the "Fehhh" in your comment. I had to say it out aloud to get it. Fantastic, I had always wondered how that was written!
I suspected as much regarding the use of perspex. I think you are also being kind in regard to it's use with belt drive- still a bad idea methinks. It does, however, LOOK good....
Does anyone have a link for the dimensions of the SP-10 showing the unit graphically and the same for a suitable plinth?
Another challenge is the use of an arm with limited or non-existent VTA. I imagine that I would have to use a small block mounted on the plinth to bring the arm to the correct height.
Another person suggested that "a 12" tonearm is best because of the SP-10's large platter". Does anyone know what this means?
You can get an exact 1:1 template for the SP10 chassis cut-out from Soundfountain. It even shows exactly where to put the screw holes. It costs only a few bucks.

What that person may have meant re the 12-inch tonearm is that the square shape of the SP10 chassis makes mounting of many 9-inch arms awkward at best, if not impossible in some cases, because you cannot attain the needed pivot to spindle distance without some real gymnastics. Mounting a 12-incher would be much easier, OR you can consider removing the motor from the chassis. For one example, I really could not properly mount my Triplanar next to my SP10, can't get it close enough because of the way that the Triplanar pivot point is offset to the outside with respect to its mount and because of the square shape of the SP10. Admittedly, this is an extreme case.
Dear Weisselk: +++++ " This is yet another of those "to each his own" audio discussions " +++++

No, it is not absurd or " bad idea " ( it is only a different " road " and you don't have to like it. ) to run the Sp-10 with out plinth if you have the right " tools " ( including know-how ) to do it.

Certainly your bad experiences about means you don't have those right tools.

Anyway, if what function to you is a different " road " good for you this is the important issue: that you be satisfied.

Like Jsadurni I'm satisfied using no plinth.

Regards and enjoy the music,
Dsa, I think there may be some confusion over the meaning of "pod" in this discussion, but I'll come back to that.

A couple of years ago when I got an SP-10 Mk2A, I started researching plinth design. Initially I cut out a 20" X 18" sheet of 3/4" particle board (not even MDF) so I could mount an arm to enjoy the table while designing and building a proper plinth. I experimented with different mountings, from the Technics bottom pan directly on a shelf to various absorptive materials either under the pan or supporting the particle board frame. I have not liked any springy support and the differences between stiffer support and no support are minimal. But unlike Lew I've not had any problem with the table moving from start-up torque.

Researching plinth design was initially disappointing since there is little info on SP-10s compared to all the rim-drive sites for their Garrards, Thorens, Lencos, etc. One good source for information is the DirectDrive site (see review of plinth materials) but I can't access them now to provide a link. Another is Soundfountain which has already been mentioned. Many great ideas are available from Albert Porter, even if you choose not to buy one of his plinths. I'm sure the OMA slate plinths are excellent but they are costly (at least for my retiree budget).

One other thought for plinth material comes from Townsand Audio, make a mold of the proper plinth and use plaster of paris, possibly including lead shot. Still messy but easier than concrete.

Since I had met Raul and had several discussions with him, I ask for his opinion. Here is where I think there may be some misunderstanding. When Raul says he favors a non-plinth design, my understanding is that he is saying it is not a standard box frame or solid wood plinth. Rather it is similar to what I'm using except even smaller in dimension - just enough wood attached to the platter base to mount the tone arm. Then he places his AT suspension feet underneath the bottom pan of the motor unit.

Many commercial turntables include what is called an arm pod but they are attached to the base mounting the platter/spindle housing in some fashion. I believe this is what Lew is addressing when he talks about the mechanical integrity of the platter/arm mounting. Very few offer an isolated pod for the arm which could simply be picked up by itself because of the lack of a mechanical connection, other than weight. While I'm not an engineer, much of my reading discussed the importance of stability between platter mounting and arm mounting. Given the microscopic undulations of the record groove, the need for such stability makes sense to me if we want to insure the only vibrations picked up come from the stylus in the groove. And even with a very massive separate pod to stabilize the arm, imagine moving it for the small increments required for proper alignment overhang and offset!

Anyway, for a long list of reasons, my proper plinth has not been built yet, but I must say my SP-10 sounds pretty good bolted up to the single 3/4" board.
Pryso, You got the same idea I had re Raul's non-plinth. When I described it here pretty much as you did, Raul posted that I was incorrect, that his tonearm IS on a discrete outboard mount of its own. While Raul is not alone in preferring that type of set-up, it does go against the prevailing philosophy that there needs to be some rigid physical connection between bearing and tonearm. I personally am not going to say that Raul's SP10 can't sound good. I have just made my own decisions in the other direction, in favor of mounting any tonearm in or on the same physical structure that houses the turntable mechanism. The analogy that is vivid for me is that of a race car driver who gets in an accident with or without his safety harness buckled up. The link between bearing and tonearm assures that both elements of the playback system remain coupled during those rough moments.
LEWM: thanks for the tip on the cutout. Thanks also for the explanation of the arm length issue. Weisselk has also suggested that removing the base of the SP-10 could be a good idea, especially sonically.

Raul and others seem to have had success with a plinthless setup. It's looking like slate for a plinth or semi-nothing. Reports coming in on the cement option are poor. I imagine that resonance is the problem (like granite).

Hello Pyrso: Yes, there is a plethora of info on plinths for the rim drives, and much less for DD crowd. The OMA plinths are expensive...but I starting to believe that a finely made slate plinth is the best (plinth) option. The OMA models look exceptionally well made.
Yes (and Lewn said this earlier too and details it again above)- I think Raul's no-plinth setup is more correctly a semi-detached armboard setup. However, dibs to Raul for the application of his clever thinking.
Plaster of Paris, eh? Any other takers on that idea? Making the mold could be a pain though. I have trouble laying carpet tiles to fit a room let alone making a mold!
Yes- there is a strong valid argument for keeping the tonearm connected to the turntable proper
I'm thinking it's like when there a two cars drive next to each other, trying match speed, and a passenger attempts to pass a egg out the window to the other car while both cars negotiate pot holes and speed bumps!
It might be good 'ol 3/4 chipboard for a standby plinth after-all.

Oh, but those OMA slate plinths...
I have an SL-1000 MK II. That's an SP-10 MK II in the original Technics obsidian base. What is wrong with it and what improvements would I be seeking by changing to slate or some other material? I have read threads like this often but have never yet been prompted to try something different. Part of this is a respect for the integrity of the original design and part is skepticism. If Technics was able to build one of the finest turntables ever made available, would they not have provided a very suitable base? Would they not have experimented with many materials and different masses? When this turntable was offered it was extremely well funded and very capably engineered from a cost no object perspective. What did Technics do wrong?
Dear Macrojack: Maybe nothing but today there are a different way to think or different solutions to the same " subject ".

IMHO there are no perfect products out there, vintage or today ones, and the original SP-10 is no exception.
Maybe your original unit performs better or maybe a little different than any other " solution " that you read through several SP-10 threads.

The only way to be sure if what we have is the right " road " is to test/try a different " road " and decide.

Regards and enjoy the music,
I dont think it is a question of who is right and wrong, This is a wonderful Turntable exceptionally well engineered, it was designed for professional use mainly in a radio station, what you need there is precision and reliability, for a High End Turntable you need only good sound, In High end we dont care if your power supply is ready to explode or your cables can catch fire at any moment, or if your speakers barely fit in your room, we just care for sound. I dont think a separate Pod could be fit for a radio station.

Audi uses the same engine for a station wagon and for a sports car, the difference is on the application and what you need it for, you want to carry 3 kids or you want to go fast!

A lot of High end TT do have a separate Pod for the tonearm, and on the SP10 in my experience the comparison is not even close, plus it is very easy to implement, try it out and let us know your opinion.
Macrojack, which Technics plinth came with your table? Technics made four different plinths for the SP-10 series.

First was a standard box frame for the original SP-10. It was all wood and weighed 5.2 kg.

Next was the SH-10B3 introduced with the SP-10 Mk2. This was a combination of Obsidian and wood and weighed 12 kg.

The third plinth was the SH-10B5 that came out at the time of the SP-10 Mk3. It was all Obsidian and weighed 19 kg.

Their last model was the SH-10B7 and sold with both the Mk2(A) and 3. It too was all Obsidian and the listed weight was 17.3 kg.

So other than the slight mass reduction with the 10B7, each plinth was made heavier than it's predecessor. Trusting that Technics engineers knew something of what they were doing, I took all this as a clue that mass is important to performance. But as Raul reminds us, we may never know until someone tests a minimal mass structure against a 40-60 pound plinth.

I will say that I do not see or feel movement with start up, running, or stopping my table. But then my sense of touch is not quite equal to a stylus in the groove!
Mine just says SL-1000 MK II on the back but I think it must be an SH-10B3 according to your description. If mass is the key, perhaps I should just remove the feet and bolt it to the credenza on which it sits. That would add at least a couple of hundred pounds.
Macrojack, Nothing "wrong" with your plinth. I did not get a plinth with my SP10, so had to improvise my own. The question is whether your plinth or my plinth could be "better", This is the hobby aspect. Pure music lovers need not pay any attention to it. There are days when I don't give a rat's arse about plinths and just want to listen to jazz. In fact, any time I am actually listening to my system, that is the case.
Thanks, Lewm. It really is that simple, isn't it? This whole audio thing seems to be fueled by a self-conscious dissatisfaction. Why are we never happy for long? Why the drive for more, more, more always?
Lately I've come to believe that we are treating the wrong end of the equation. Instead of constantly trying to modify our systems to please us, wouldn't it be easier, less expensive and less frustrating to simply change ourselves and our expectations. Perhaps the glass really is half full.

I'm currently using 1973 issue JBL speakers, a Kenwood KT 917 tuner and this Technics table with a Denon DL 103 cartridge. My horns could have been built in the 1930s. All of these items stand very tall in comparison to this months review items. So why the push to modernize? Why the belief in the latest and greatest? Why not just settle in and enjoy what we have? You know as well as I do that it's pretty damn great. There will never be a last nth.
Hi Macrojack. I think the original Obsidian plinths from Technics are fine, and I own two of the SH- B3 and one full Obsidian SH-B5. As stated above by Pryso, these all weigh under 20 kilos.

The OMA slate plinths weigh about 100 pounds for the two layer versions, and half that for the single layer, so we are talking about very different mass from what Technics put out as a product- I doubt plinths of pure stone like slate weighing that much would have gone over well with their marketing people.

Not to mention the fact that without a waterjet, making complex and precise cutouts through slate 2 inches thick would have been difficult if not impossible. It certainly would have been too expensive at the time to offer as a product.
Lew, you offer one of the best comments ever on an audio site -

"There are days when I don't give a rat's arse about plinths and just want to listen"

I started out in this hobby as a music lover but hoped to increase my enjoyment with better equipment. Had I only known what a slipper slope that can be!

Like any addiction step program, getting off the equipment merry-go-round is not easy. And that m-g-r can be a great hobby in itself if that's what you want. But I found I've actually gotten further away from the music so am taking steps (my own program) to settle on a good basic system and just listen to the music.
Thanks, Weisselk, but it's too expensive for me even with the waterjet technology. By the way, are you related to Black Elk?
Nope, I'm married to a Van Elk.

People modify cars all the time, get them to run faster, to handle better. But there is nothing wrong with driving a factory stock Ferrari.

I hope that analogy is of some use.

Enjoy your SP10.
Thank you, Jonathan. Any idea when Ferrari will be introducing their Direct Drive?
Hey everyone. Read this blog (which what I should have done earlier)

'SP10 Mk II vs Mk III'

BTW Has anyone tried the afore mention cement or plaster plinth?

I hope someone at Panasonic is reading this blog. They might get the idea to reissue the SP-10 with updates for the 21st century. Think about it: They probably have all the manufacturing equipment still and the design start-up costs have paid for themselves years ago.

SP-10 MK4 or 5? **BRING IT ON!**
The SP-10 MK 4 would have to sell for $20,000 or much more and would therefore only sell a couple thousand units at best. Companies like Panasonic are not interested in offering products with such limited appeal.

The original high end tables were statement pieces inspired and funded by a burgeoning turntable business that was selling millions of low end units. Those days will never return.
Good points, Macrojack. Then, rather than re-inventing the wheel, follow the example done many including Origin Live. Buy the parts from the manufacturer and 'build' a 'new' DD turntable. Geez, they put Ford engines into exotic cars (Aston Martin- yeah, yeah Ford owned it at the time), and Toyota engines are tweaked and used by Lotus.

Even the standard SL1200 Mk2 can be made to sing (Dave at Sound Hi-Fi UK, KAB in the USA). Then why not either (a) buy the bits from Panasonic and 'make' a deluxe version (decent plinth, external PSU etc) or (b) Bulk buy the SL1200, use the parts and do the same. In this economic climate, Panasonic just might be all ears....
Business is all about returns and there is simply too little upside to justify the necessary outlay.

Kevin at KAB told me that the motor is what keeps the SP-10 performance beyond the reach of anything that could be done to improve the 1200.

You have to understand that all of the high end audio sales worldwide in the last ten years wouldn't add up to a good month at Panasonic. We are a small niche market. When the classic, direct drive statement pieces were manufactured, stereo was a growth market and every family in America was buying a sound system. These were comprised of two speakers, a receiver, a turntable, and sometimes, a cassette deck. Variations on this standard existed but they were statistically insignificant until the 1980s when high end audio began to erupt. As this was happening, CD was being introduced. After just a few years, the L.P. had been pushed aside by the recording industry and turntables went with it. The small resurgence we are seeing now will never grow too much but I like its chances better than what CD is looking at.
Downloads are killing it.

So your best bet is to offer me an unconscionable amount of money for my SP-10 and modify it as you see fit. I'm not presently planning to sell but my head can be turned by figures.

Just trying to maintain useful perspective.
Macrojack, I don't know about you, but I have been able to determine that most of us are old farts. What happens when we go to the happy LP hunting grounds, as far as the value of these turntables? I wonder how many of us are under 50 years old, for example. I worry about the resurgence of vinyl in the long run, if there is a long run. Well, I actually have more important things to worry about, come to think of it.
Lewm - You raise an important question. Supply and demand will certainly dictate the value of these devices. Right now interest is fairly high because the tables are sorta scarce relative to the number of us who think we want one. As we leave the scene, will we be followed by younger people who want these? I tend to doubt that there will be anything approaching one to one replacement in the U.S. Possibly a lot of our stuff will be bought up by aficianados in other parts of the world.
Or maybe Google will manage to have non-digital media outlawed worldwide.

For now, I'll keep spinning a few discs a week and let the gray get white and whiter until it all falls out.
Macrojack- I still say that the resurgence of interest in direct drive TT, in spite of the belt-drive flat Earthers, may deliver a spark in the mind of a smart hi-fi business person.
I'm sure that somewhere in the UK/USA/Oz or elsewhere there is a set of busy hands dismantling a SL1200 for parts.
Like Origin Live and so many other 'cottage' companies, this person's little industry will produce a sparkling gem hewn from a MK2!
Perhaps Sound HiFi has some piece of equipment about to emerge from behind a shop front in the UK.
Yes- the CD is dying faster than the LP (and the LP is shipping more units each month in spite of its death)
However, I always considered the CD a replacement for the cassette. Portable and all that. We didn't get a replacement for the LP. And this point, I believe, addresses the last two posts- there will be a demand fore the LP and LP playback equipment as long as it remains the superior source for the playback of music. (DVD-A and the like are are dead as the dodo, so don't even go there!)
As for your offer on an SP-10. I have one! Besides, I would need 240V. Or may be I do need two... you have planted a seed.
I still, however, am in the market for a nice tonearm. 12", methinks.
As for the age argument, I refuse to be associated with the likes you bunch of 50 year olds! Indeed, I am only 49 and 3/4 years young.
BTW- these postings have wandered just a tad from the centre of the topic...