Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › Better turntable deal: AR-XA($200) or Technics SL-1200mk5($250)(both in great cond.)?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Better turntable deal: AR-XA($200) or Technics SL-1200mk5($250)(both in great cond.)? - Page 2

post #16 of 26
I had an AR (forgot the model) in the 80's, and a Technics SL Q-2 that I purchased in 1981. The Q2 was a very nice TT, and worked flawlessly, but the base was very resonant. When you cranked it up, the bass would become muddy. I've never heard a Technics 1200, so maybe they’ve resolved that problem -- after all it is a much more expensive 'table. The AR was rock solid -- a great TT. You could thump the base at high volume levels, and not hear any resonance. That was a long time ago however, and maybe my opinion would be different if I heard them today.

There is a lot of debate in the audiophile community over the merits of the 1200. Some denigrate the tonearm, and the fact that it is direct drive when almost all other audiophile TT's are belt drive. SL 1200 owners are just as vehement in their devotion to a classic design. I suggest that the OP go to Steve Hoffman Forums and check some of discussions.
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by sean3089 View Post
I had an AR (forgot the model) in the 80's, and a Technics SL Q-2 that I purchased in 1981. The Q2 was a very nice TT, and worked flawlessly, but the base was very resonant. When you cranked it up, the bass would become muddy. I've never heard a Technics 1200, so maybe they’ve resolved that problem --

There is a lot of debate in the audiophile community over the merits of the 1200. Some denigrate the tonearm, and the fact that it is direct drive when almost all other audiophile TT's are belt drive.
The Q2 and 1200 only share a common part, which is the name badge Technics. There is nothing to be solved in the 1200 that is present in the Q2.

The arm is replaceable. It is not as good as a Dynavector DV505 or Micro Seiki MA505. It works fine with the Technics EPA-100 and the Technics EPA-500 though.

The technology to make outstanding DD turntables has been an exclusive Japanese engineering science. The fact that you don't find it in non-Japanese audiophile decks is due to lack of engineering skills by the other turntable manufacturers in the art of making a high-end DD turntable.
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by sean3089 View Post
I had an AR (forgot the model) in the 80's, and a Technics SL Q-2 that I purchased in 1981. The Q2 was a very nice TT, and worked flawlessly, but the base was very resonant. When you cranked it up, the bass would become muddy. I've never heard a Technics 1200, so maybe they’ve resolved that problem -- after all it is a much more expensive 'table. The AR was rock solid -- a great TT. You could thump the base at high volume levels, and not hear any resonance. That was a long time ago however, and maybe my opinion would be different if I heard them today.

There is a lot of debate in the audiophile community over the merits of the 1200. Some denigrate the tonearm, and the fact that it is direct drive when almost all other audiophile TT's are belt drive. SL 1200 owners are just as vehement in their devotion to a classic design. I suggest that the OP go to Steve Hoffman Forums and check some of discussions.
Stanley is right - the 1200 has NOTHING in common except the name plate. The chassis of the 1200, to even suggest it's resonant, is way off base. The chassis on the 1200 is made from heavy cast aluminum with hard rubber layered to created a constrained layer system that is incredibly stiff and highly dampened. The platter shares a similar construction. This is is a heavy, essentially all metal construction unit.

The rumble from the DD of the 1200 is well below audibility, and the superb DD system used in the 1200 has incredible speed stability that most hi-fi decks can not match.

The tone arm might not be the best, but it's perfectly serviceable/good quality unit that can be upgraded/replaced later on with a higher quality arm by use of a simple adapter plate that is readily available online.

-Chris
post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 
I'm set to meet the guy that has the Technics again tomorrow.

I stopped into a hi-fi store today, and the guy behind the desk scoffed at the suggestion that the Technics 1200 was better than the Pro-Ject or a Rega P1. He said (and I quote): "the Technics 1200 is like the best mountain bike you can buy, but you don't take a mountain bike to the Tour de France."

He said that in his opinion, the Rega P1 and the Pro-Ject provide vastly superior sound quality to a Technics 1200.
post #20 of 26

I do not think I would agree with that salesman!

Quote:
Originally Posted by steelglam View Post
I'm set to meet the guy that has the Technics again tomorrow.

I stopped into a hi-fi store today, and the guy behind the desk scoffed at the suggestion that the Technics 1200 was better than the Pro-Ject or a Rega P1. He said (and I quote): "the Technics 1200 is like the best mountain bike you can buy, but you don't take a mountain bike to the Tour de France."

He said that in his opinion, the Rega P1 and the Pro-Ject provide vastly superior sound quality to a Technics 1200.
While I do believe there are many TT's out there better than the 1200, the Rega P1 and Project are not. An intro model of the Project or the Rega P1 may have some advantages sound wise , but as a whole, I would say no. I think the 1200 is a bit better as a whole than those 2. Now, if he/she had said the Rega P3/24 , or a middle model in the Project line,I would agree with them there. The 1200 is a very nice solid, and very rugged table, but I would not say it is a giant killer.
post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by timb5881 View Post
While I do believe there are many TT's out there better than the 1200, the Rega P1 and Project are not. An intro model of the Project or the Rega P1 may have some advantages sound wise , but as a whole, I would say no. I think the 1200 is a bit better as a whole than those 2. Now, if he/she had said the Rega P3/24 , or a middle model in the Project line,I would agree with them there. The 1200 is a very nice solid, and very rugged table, but I would not say it is a giant killer.
The entry Project and Rega models actually come with better tonearms than the Technics 1200 MK2. Tonearms are very important in extracting sound from vinyl but shouldn't turntables weigh more than the average notepad. Even the overpriced P3/24 is no Technics 1200. Its a pretty sad situation but you just don't get very much turntable for $2000 these days. Turntables just aren't very popular any more and the few that do sell demand a very high price.
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssportclay View Post
**** a pretty sad situation but you just don't get very much turntable for $2000 these days. Turntables just aren't very popular any more and the few that due sell demand a very high price.
If you shop carefully, for just under $2000, you should be able to get a turn table and tone arm package that should never need upgrading for true sonic improvement (imagined/psychological improvement is another matter). The Marantz TT-15S1 and VPI Scout appear to fall in this group, both being composed of superb components. Both have excellent inert/platter assemblies with completely isolated motors. The VPI's base/chassis will be more resonant than the Marantz, however, since it' made of common thin MDF vs. the solid GS Acrylic chassis of the Marantz. The VPI is more popular, but the tone arm on the Marantz may be a tie breaker; it's a ridiculously good unit, and it's what won out the Marantz as my choice over the VPI, but both are still very close. Another option, though less conventional, would be the Technics SL1200 combined with an extremely high quality arm; this would easily let you acquire a superb table/arm combo for under $2000 that should never need upgrading for true audible improvement(s).

-Chris
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanleyB1 View Post
The technology to make outstanding DD turntables has been an exclusive Japanese engineering science. The fact that you don't find it in non-Japanese audiophile decks is due to lack of engineering skills by the other turntable manufacturers in the art of making a high-end DD turntable.
Not entirely true. There were loads of DD turntables equally as good or better than the Technics ones back in the day from non Japanese manufacturers like Bang and Olufsen, Revox, Goldmund, EMT and dozens of lesser marques. The are also modern ones from Rockport and Teres.

The reason audiophiles usually denigrate direct drives is that there were too many cheap crappy ones rolled out by Japan inc. in the '80s where the potentially excellent rumble and wow and flutter figures you get with a direct drive were used as a cynical marketing tool at the expense of proper engineering elsewhere in the decks.

The result was that too many direct drives which had excellent specs on paper sounded rubbish compared to simple well engineered belt drives, which lets not forget the Japanese were also masters of.

What makes the Technics SL1200 a bargain is the superlative build quality you get at the price that makes most decks under 2000USD look like toys. This is a result of mass production and the fact they have sold millions of the things without changing the design at all in 30 years. They are actually cheaper today than they ever have been.

The tonearm is definitely not upto modern standards though and the deck does require a decent surface. Realistically unless you have concrete or stone floors it needs to be on a wall mounted shelf otherwise you will get acoustic feedback. This is also true though to a lesser degree with the cheaper modern turntables like the Rega P3 and Pro-jects.

The AR comes from a time when hi-fi equipment had to be more domestically acceptable and fit in with the furniture and the suspended subchassis is an excellent design which will make it much more immune to feedback. It is still used today by manfacturers like Michell, Linn and Thorens for this reason.
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssportclay View Post
Its a pretty sad situation but you just don't get very much turntable for $2000 these days. Turntables just aren't very popular any more and the few that due sell demand a very high price.
I suspect that yours is very much a minority opinion. Vinyl will never reclaim the dominance it once had thanks to the digital era. But make no mistake about it, more and more labels are issuing music on vinyl. And it doesn't take any more than a few seconds scanning sites like Needledoctor.com and Music Direct to know that there are plently of new turntables for the would-be vinylphile to choose from. You can get a lot of turntable for $2K, and if you are willing to buy used that same money can bring you any one of several best-of-breed decks.

I don't know how people got it in their heads that you must throw a ton of money at a turntable to get satisfying sound - but they are wrong.

--Jerome
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by steelglam View Post
I'm set to meet the guy that has the Technics again tomorrow.

I stopped into a hi-fi store today, and the guy behind the desk scoffed at the suggestion that the Technics 1200 was better than the Pro-Ject or a Rega P1. He said (and I quote): "the Technics 1200 is like the best mountain bike you can buy, but you don't take a mountain bike to the Tour de France."

He said that in his opinion, the Rega P1 and the Pro-Ject provide vastly superior sound quality to a Technics 1200.
he is just trying to sell you a turntable. Good Japanese DD tables are tough to beat with a sub $2000 new table.
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsaliga View Post
I suspect that yours is very much a minority opinion. Vinyl will never reclaim the dominance it once had thanks to the digital era. But make no mistake about it, more and more labels are issuing music on vinyl. And it doesn't take any more than a few seconds scanning sites like Needledoctor.com and Music Direct to know that there are plently of new turntables for the would-be vinylphile to choose from. You can get a lot of turntable for $2K, and if you are willing to buy used that same money can bring you any one of several best-of-breed decks.

I don't know how people got it in their heads that you must throw a ton of money at a turntable to get satisfying sound - but they are wrong.

--Jerome
I suppose if I were forced to buy a new turntable for less than $2000, I would look real hard at a TecnoDec. The thing is even uglier than my homely Technics but I understand they sound very nice. For about the same money I would rather get a large frame Thorens and stick a better tonearm on it but I doubt that either option is really any better than my kicked-up 1200. They will all sound different of course.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Dedicated Source Components
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › Better turntable deal: AR-XA($200) or Technics SL-1200mk5($250)(both in great cond.)?