You mean SL1200GAE? If so you should include the 1200G it is basically the same table.
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Ah, "blows it away"..... A favorite summation of comparison. I prefer my SL1200G to the SOTA Cosmos IV it replaced, but the SOTA has its strengths, too. I hear more clarity and tonal certainty with the Technics table (piano notes and organ tones are clearly more stable), and there is less of a subtle, yet pervasive "dark" tonal character laid over the music; and I am hearing more information out of the grooves. But the presentation does come off a bit brighter, and that might be a move in the wrong direction for some. I like the difference in my system, to my ears, etc., but nothing got "blown away".
My SL1200G is vastly superior to both the VPI Prime and Scout which I had before the Technics table. I find I spin more records with the Technics rig.
Could it be that the Vpi tables are way over rated at least the ones youve had?
The Technics is excellent, so is the new Rega P8 which is just extraordinary as well.
Just food for thought.
Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
LP12 owner for 28 years. Recently had Tom O'keefe, the best Linn tech left in the country go over every piece and torque every screw. Sounds as new when purchased in 1988. The Technics betters the LP12.
As far as over the top summations (blown away), I am really not into those. For 4k with tonearm. It is very hard to better the Technics.
You can improve the Technics; start with a better platter mat. Try with and without a record weight or clamp. After market power cords are a hard one, but I was able to get one plugged in, I do not detect any real difference. You can improve the tonearm by rewiring. I choose to mod it with a Triplanar tonearm with excellent results.
At this point, I think that the Technics w/ Triplanar competes with all but the Super Expensive TTs refered to in the title of this thread.
The Technics stock, w/very good tonearm at $4 K is very hard to better at its price. Used as a base for an even better tonearm, well IMHO you need to start saving your "nickles" for an, Invictus, Walker, TW Acoustic Black Knight or similar. Perhaps a AMG Viella, (my dealer has one to demo), I will keep my Technics w/ Triplanar.
The Technics is Quiet, Speed control and stability. Modded with the Triplanar, the sound is of the cartridge of your choosing. It will be my last TT unless I win a big lottery. My LP12 is for sale.
Most of my displeasure with both VPI turntables had to do with the unipivot arm. It was way too fiddly. It was constantly having to be readjusted and it wore me down. My wife was very intimidated by the Prime and wouldn’t play any of her records. I bought the Technics after reading reviews and based on my experience of owning one which I bought new from Tech Hi Fi in the 70’s. This time around I was more concerned with the ease of use than anything else.
I was was very surprised that the new Technics beat my VPI on sound quality! I have since added the Oracle hard mat and a HRS record weight, both on the recommendation of fellow Audiogoner nkonor. As for the Rega, I had a Rega Planer 3 which was purchased from Natural Sound and never liked it. At the time of ownership, I felt my digital sounded better. I believe I had a Linn K9 Cartridge On it and later a Blue Point Special. The build quality was poor compared to the VPI HW19 MK III that I bought to replace it The Technics table I have now is the last table I will own. Actually, the current configuration of my main system is done as well. After 50 years of buying and selling, I am satisfied.
I have a 1200 GR I love it! It replaced an aging P3-2000w/ Dynavector10x5. Running the 1200GR with a Yamamoto HS4 carbonfiber headshell and Dynavector 20xl 2 and Mobile Fidelity superweight. I don't have the G, the GR is fine with me. I originally was interested in the Oracle Origine, but I realized my tweaking days are over. Too much fiddling,By the way, stereo5 I also bought from Adirondack Audio, they are nice folks!
We were treated very well, the owner and salesman thanked us over and over and gave us some excellent recommendations on where to have lunch. As we were leaving, the owner and salesman plus the bookkeeper and another associate all came outside to thank us again and wish us a safe trip home. Audio Classics in Vestal, NY is the only other store I will deal with. They treat you just as well as Adirondack Audio, and it is worth my time to travel there.
I sold mine pretty damn quick. Very inferior to my Linn LP12 + similar arm and cartridgeTatyana's emphatic preference could be the old debate of Direct vs Belt Drive. I was using a Linn/Valhalla/Ittok/VDH when I got my first good DD, a Micro Seiki. For me it was no contest, I sold the Linn "pretty damn quick". (Both had an Ittok arm and the same cartridge, so the comparison was valid.)
Tatyana hasn't replied since that brief "very inferior" comment, but many who prefer BD say it's "more expressive"; DD is more "clinical". BD is more "expressive" but it's distortion: the rubber belt adds "rubato": very subtle pitch variations used by musicians to increase expressiveness. But the penalty is pitch variation where it isn't wanted, eg "wobble" on sustained notes such as piano, organ, etc, which drives some people nuts.
I don't want to reignite the debate, just pointing out a difference, which for many is decisive — a difference due to the different technologies, not the quality of the turntables.
@tatyana69 i dont beleive you have either table or anything audio period.
Then you are mistaken. Why do you make such a stupid comment?
I don't have anything audio? Again crass. Why bother posting eh?
The Technics was far drier, lack of musicality or presence. Maybe YOU don't have either table - which is actually MORE LIKELY and you are just being a troll
Have YOU compared the two? If not just get off this site as you contribute zero
I think belt drive is flawed design solution.
I had Nottingham Spacedeck for many years, and when I compared it to my friend Lenco L75 on piano music It became for me very clear how much Nottinham ruins rhythm and pace of music interpretation.
Since that time I became belt drive hater.
Belt drive transforms Classical piano music or other music with very fine sense of rhythm like Modern Jazz Quartet to unconnected set of sounds.
I know many audiophile people don’t care about it. But for me fine rhythm nuances are important.
I will keep my ZU cartridge mounted on the Technics headshell as a spare.
Your low compliance ZU Denon 103 must be on the heaviest possible headshell ever. Technics headshell designed for mid and high compliance cartridges, it's a lighweight headshell (not the best match for low compliance cartridge on mid mass tonearm like Technics).
I want to get a better headshell than what comes with the Technics and want to keep it under 100.00. Suggestions? Worth it?
It depends which cartridhe are you gonna use with the shell, there are any headshells from lighweight to heavyweight. You can have a shell with overhand and azimuth adjustment, but i really doubt you can get a better shell for under $100 if we compare it to Technics stock headshell. But you can definitely find a bit heavier shells from 13g and higher, something like Dam Entre, Kenwood, Yamaha, many Ortofon headshells etc.
@vinny55 There are many Fidelity-Research headshells, but if you mean that one with a huge bolt in the middle i would not even use it on FR tonearms :)
Probably like Audio Craft AS-3PL which i’m using with my Argent low compliance MC
But in many posts i told that DL-103 cartridge must be on superveavy tonearms (not on 9 inch Technics stock arm for sure), the compliance of this cartridge is extremely low. Modern arm designed for this particular cart (and SPU) is long Thomas Schick "12, that was my second arm after Technics EPA-100 "10.5 when i’ve been trying low compliance cartridges like SPU.
The SL-1200G is truly a reference-level turntable in a consumer-friendly and consumer-familiar form factor. I was not prepared for the level of sound quality, stability of pitch, and total absence of environmental and drive-related artifacts the G is capable of. The difference between the sound quality of my upgraded SL-1210M5G was instantly and obviously apparent. No A/B listening test was required to be able to hear it. Piano notes are reproduced completely natural sounding and rock steady in pitch. It is such a solid drive system, that it is quite easy to hear mistakes in the mastering of records and even the wow and flutter of mastering decks in need of maintenance. It is in fact comparable in performance to my SL-1000mkII - even favorably so in some instances. I was so impressed, I purchased a second one for secondary cartridges (mono/78). It really is amazing that this level of performance is available for around $4k.
But - and there is always a but, the SL-1200G (and the GR from other reports) is not perfect. First of all, I don't think the accessability of the power and inconnect cable connections could be ANY more difficult if they tried. These are heavy turntables. The fact that you have to reach underneath the chassis to change connections rather than having a rear panel connection is difficult to the extreme. Make sure you have your cartridge secured and the dust cover installed before you attempt any connecition changes. Otherwise, disaster could strike if you dislodge the tonearm from it's rest.
One other issue that concerns me. Technics must view the strobe dots on the platter as a mostly cosmetic feature. Why would I say that? Well it seems that every single 1200G and GR I have seen has strobe dot untiformity issues. Surely Technics engineers are aware of this. Some have even had platter uniformity issues, but I believe those are rare occurences. As the platter spins around, the dots do not move in a straight line. At the completion of a rotation the dots jump slightly as it starts another rotation. This is strictly a visual issue as the platter RPM is rock steady. Some are worse than others, but all I have seen have the issue to some degree. None of my other turntables, Technics or otherwise, have had this issue. Technics should fix this, even though it does not impact sound quality. A high quality product should not have an issue with visual appeal like this.
Overall, it is a very fine instrument which I enjoy using immensely, I have owned many different turntables over my lifetime and the 1200G is as good or better than any I have used. In most cases, far and away, much, better. I have experience with Rega, VPI, Luxman, and others. There are things I liked about all of them, but the G just does everything better. I am considering replacing my SP-10mkII with a new SP-10R, but I am not sure I would hear the difference. Maybe soon.... (all of this IMHO of course)
I have the GAE. LOVE IT!
One of of my all time favorite pieces of gear. I think of upgrading other parts of my chain but never the turntable. I would need to hear a remarkable difference in order to justify doing so.
I run an AudioTechnics ART9, which is about $1k, into a Manley Chinook phono stage and I can’t imagine how much I need to spend to do better.
So true is the the comment above about the power and RCA jacks being tough to access. But I acknowledge I do not access those often.
This is is my fourth real table. I loved prior Roksan, Rega, and Origin Live tables I owned. The Technics is better all around.
Like someone above said, there’s functionality and approachability in its ease of use and unflappable design. It’s a rock. Just try to get a footfall to shake it. I’m so done with delicate tables or fussy ones.
The comments about PRAT and especially piano are spot on. The table sounds like it’s out in front of what’s coming in the groove. It’s like being perfectly sober and slightly caffeinated in focus. Just where it should be.
Disclaimer— I have never heard super pricey tables. At $4k in my system this is where it’s at and where I’ll stay!
does anybody have any replacement styluses for the Pickering XSV 3000 cartridge for sale? lol
In 2019 I sold one NOS here, but instead of XSV/3000 you can buy XSV/4000 (still sealed cartridge) or something else from Stanton/Pickering family (better than XSV/3000). Send me a message if you need help with it.
Mine is a GAE, modified with GAIA feet, a KAB viscous damper for the arm, and a Stillpoints centerweight. It is a terrific turntable and is used daily. It sits side by side with a VPI HW-40, which also is a terrific turntable. The latter does sound better, of course it does, but the GAE is easier to set up and with the changeable headshell gets configured with different cartridges as the mood and need strike. I love them both.
The GAE, which weighs approximately 40 lbs., has Isoacoustic GAIA III feet, rated for up to 70 lbs. The HW-40, which weighs approximately 70 lbs., has Isoacoustic GAIA II feet, rated for up to 120 lbs. FWIW, I asked Isoacoustic Technical Support for their recommendation in choosing these feet for both TT's. I also use their feet under my speakers.
The feet improved the clarity of the sound, both turntables are quieter and bass is noticeably better controlled.
Yes the Gimble Tone Arm is available for other VPI turntables as well. This is a very nice sounding tonearm and is the main reason why the HW-40 sounds as good as it does. In other respects including speed accuracy, quietness and so on, the two turntables are very similar.