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Technics SL1200mkII upgrade.

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I've been reading on the upgrade potentials of the sl1200, and found quite a few comments on the Rega tonearms and the custom armboard from Origin Live.

Is the Rega tonearm mod the known best upgrade for sl1200 ?

Please recommend a vendor(s) for these tonearms and armboard (Ship to CONUS) if there's nothing better.

Also, please comment on the above mod versus just simply cartridge/stylus upgrade.

TIA.
post #2 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3x331m View Post
I've been reading on the upgrade potentials of the sl1200, and found quite a few comments on the Rega tonearms and the custom armboard from Origin Live.

Is the Rega tonearm mod the known best upgrade for sl1200 ?

Please recommend a vendor(s) for these tonearms and armboard (Ship to CONUS) if there's nothing better.

Also, please comment on the above mod versus just simply cartridge/stylus upgrade.

TIA.
while I can'r comment on the OL stuff on a sl1200, it rocks on the Linn. Steve S from Ayre during a phone call recommended the sl1200 with new rega type arm and plinth vibration dampening as a great TT for the $$.

If you have the $$ go higher end but the 12oo is a great solution for an indestructable good sounding deck.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jp11801 View Post
while I can'r comment on the OL stuff on a sl1200, it rocks on the Linn. Steve S from Ayre during a phone call recommended the sl1200 with new rega type arm and plinth vibration dampening as a great TT for the $$.

If you have the $$ go higher end but the 12oo is a great solution for an indestructable good sounding deck.
When you mention "Linn", you meant the tonearm by Linn ? Any recommended model ? Anyone has the pre-fab armboard made for sl1200 ?

I read that OL uses modified OEM Rega arms, and they claim to be equivalent or better than the new Rega's (RB-250/300).

Any idea about comparision of cartridge vs. tonearm upgrade ?
post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3x331m View Post
When you mention "Linn", you meant the tonearm by Linn ? Any recommended model ? Anyone has the pre-fab armboard made for sl1200 ?

I read that OL uses modified OEM Rega arms, and they claim to be equivalent or better than the new Rega's (RB-250/300).

Any idea about comparision of cartridge vs. tonearm upgrade ?
sorry what tha meant was I realy like the Linn lp12 turntable

with the 1200 you can buy an armboard mod and install one of the many interations of the rega arm, I would scour audiogon for a used arm to start

here is a decent write up of the 1200 as well as 2 links for improvements

http://www.tnt-audio.com/sorgenti/te..._sl1200_e.html
post #5 of 17
Upgrading the tonearm is the best upgrade you can make to the SL1200, or most vintage deck's for that matter. Tonearm design moved on a bit from the time of the Technics SL1200's inception and Matsu****a never saw fit to upgrade the stock arm from it's original '70s design. The most popular modern design budget tonearm is undoubtedly the Rega RB250/300 and Origin Live and Michell amongst others have further refined this with a series of upgrades which can be retrofitted.

Many people do also rate older classic tonearms like the SME 3009 II which you often find mounted on the Technics SL120, the version of the SL1200 which was sold without a tonearm.

Personally I found the SME 3009 II charming for classical music but a bit too coloured for more modern stuff so I chose an Origin Live modded Rega RB250 for my Thorens TD125 deck.

You can order direct here http://www.tonearm.co.uk/dj-technics-arm.htm or else email and ask them about US dealers I suppose.

Soundsupports, a smaller UK firm also do armboards for the Technics which can be ordered on ebay.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/SME-MOUNTING-P...QQcmdZViewItem


A few headfiers like Blueworm and Ssportclay have done the Origin live mod to the Technics and have been very happy with the results by all accounts.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by memepool View Post
Upgrading the tonearm is the best upgrade you can make to the SL1200, or most vintage deck's for that matter. Tonearm design moved on a bit from the time of the Technics SL1200's inception and Matsu****a never saw fit to upgrade the stock arm from it's original '70s design. The most popular modern design budget tonearm is undoubtedly the Rega RB250/300 and Origin Live and Michell amongst others have further refined this with a series of upgrades which can be retrofitted.

Many people do also rate older classic tonearms like the SME 3009 II which you often find mounted on the Technics SL120, the version of the SL1200 which was sold without a tonearm.

Personally I found the SME 3009 II charming for classical music but a bit too coloured for more modern stuff so I chose an Origin Live modded Rega RB250 for my Thorens TD125 deck.

You can order direct here http://www.tonearm.co.uk/dj-technics-arm.htm or else email and ask them about US dealers I suppose.

Soundsupports, a smaller UK firm also do armboards for the Technics which can be ordered on ebay.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/SME-MOUNTING-P...QQcmdZViewItem


A few headfiers like Blueworm and Ssportclay have done the Origin live mod to the Technics and have been very happy with the results by all accounts.
Thanks for all the good info.

I'm glad that you reply to this thread. I thought about sending a PM to you yesterday.
post #7 of 17




Technics SL-1210 MK2
Audio tecnica 440MLA cartridge.
Origin Live arm-board
Origin live OL-1 tonearm(Rega250)
Origin Live VTA adjuster
Mitchell technoweight
Mitchell clamp
KAB USA strobe disabler
Blue light kit.
post #8 of 17
Obligatory counter-argument. Note that I do not own nor have listened to a 1200 (yet).

Kevin Barnes of KABUSA is very, very fond of the stock arm. He, and a few others, appear quite convinced that the stock 1200 arm is the equal or better of most audiophile tonearms, in that:
  • The bearing friction is extremely low and may be superior to most low-end audiophile tables. Technics publishes their bearing friction numbers; nobody else does.
  • The effective mass (13-14g including headshell IIRC) is not significantly worse (or better for that matter) than other tonearms. It's actually pretty low mass compared to some arms.
  • It includes a built-in VTA adjuster that is not bad at all. This costs $$$ to add for every other tonearm, or doesn't even exist.
  • Its acoustic properties are fine.

Take Kevin's comments with a grain of salt, but also take comments about the Origin Live upgrades with one too.
post #9 of 17
Yeah but KAB also sells a silicone dampening add on
to the tone-arm so it not like he thinks its without
fault.
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JadeEast View Post
Yeah but KAB also sells a silicone dampening add on
to the tone-arm so it not like he thinks its without
fault.
Anyone had a chance to compare the OEM Rega arm mod vs. the damped OEM Technics arm ?

I assume that both use the same cartridge.
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Publius View Post
Kevin Barnes of KABUSA is very, very fond of the stock arm. He, and a few others, appear quite convinced that the stock 1200 arm is the equal or better of most audiophile tonearms, in that:
  • The bearing friction is extremely low and may be superior to most low-end audiophile tables. Technics publishes their bearing friction numbers; nobody else does.
  • The effective mass (13-14g including headshell IIRC) is not significantly worse (or better for that matter) than other tonearms. It's actually pretty low mass compared to some arms.
  • It includes a built-in VTA adjuster that is not bad at all. This costs $$$ to add for every other tonearm, or doesn't even exist.
  • Its acoustic properties are fine.
Well there is nothing wrong with liking vintage tonearms per se. A lot of people really rate the SME 3009 and having had a Series II improved myself I agree that it has a lot of strengths. It's beautifully made and looks very cool and sounds amazing with certain types of music but a lot less so with others.

The Technics arm is also very well made but it has a very definite sonic signature, as does the SME, which is down to the way it's been constructed. All the various joints and bits of rubber used to damp it have certain resonant modes which give it a certain sound.

When Rega and SME came along with tonearms of a single casting in the 1980's it revolutionised tonearm design. The humble Rega simply outperformed all the competition from the likes of Linn and Audio Technica, and has set the standard ever since.
The usual criticism of it is that it's a bit characterless, but this just means it doesn't stamp it's own signature on everything which is a good thing if you have varied tastes.

A tonearm has a very big influence on how a deck sounds, perhaps even the single biggest. It doesn't matter how much you spend on a cart if the tonearm isn't allowing it to perform to it's full potential.

I am not saying the Rega RB250 is the be all and end all but it's head and shoulders above most tonearms at this price level, not that there are that many these days.

I have a fully upgraded Origin Live Rega RB250 and this is a big improvement again on the stock version, although I am still not really satisfied with the way it sounds. It still has rough edges and probably these can only be solved by upgrading to something like an SME IV.

Or perhaps gimbal bearing designs arn't the way to go. I have been toying with the idea of checking out a unipivot Soundsupports will supply a blank Technics mounting plate or one cut to any pattern you want so long as you can send them a mounting template, I imagine.
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3x331m View Post
Anyone had a chance to compare the OEM Rega arm mod vs. the damped OEM Technics arm ?

I assume that both use the same cartridge.
I have not heard the damped Technics arm myself.KABUSA is basically taking a 70s vintage tonearm and removing some of its negatives with the modification.This is not as good nor will it ever be as good as installing a modern tonearm of superior design.Detail lost from a vintage tonearm design can never be recovered downstream.In the end,which way to go really depends on how far you want to take the Technics 1200 turntable.Beyond tonearm replacement,the next best upgrade would be to install a KAB PS-1200 power supply.This removes noise from the platter and takes the Technics 1200 to a level beyond which very few tables can match.
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jp11801 View Post
while I can'r comment on the OL stuff on a sl1200, it rocks on the Linn. Steve S from Ayre during a phone call recommended the sl1200 with new rega type arm and plinth vibration dampening as a great TT for the $$.

If you have the $$ go higher end but the 12oo is a great solution for an indestructable good sounding deck.
One of the reasons for choosing the Technics 1200 turntable is for its solid heavy duty build quality.No dampening is required because it is designed to deal with very loud envirnments.Install a good tonearm and a KAB power supply instead.The turntable will take care of the rest.
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssportclay View Post
One of the reasons for choosing the Technics 1200 turntable is for its solid heavy duty build quality.No dampening is required because it is designed to deal with very loud envirnments.Install a good tonearm and a KAB power supply instead.The turntable will take care of the rest.
I have the same thought.

The 1200 is built like a main battle M1. We might just give it the Sabre to become the real killer.

... and only if I can find my wallet.
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by memepool View Post
I am not saying the Rega RB250 is the be all and end all but it's head and shoulders above most tonearms at this price level, not that there are that many these days.

I have a fully upgraded Origin Live Rega RB250 and this is a big improvement again on the stock version, although I am still not really satisfied with the way it sounds. It still has rough edges and probably these can only be solved by upgrading to something like an SME IV.
Would you please share your thought on how SME IV can be considered better than a fully upgraded OL1 ?
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