Agree with you about archival playback of 78's! I also love the fluid damping system that Kevin at
KAB came up with. You can track lighter and still track some pretty badly warped shellac.
But for everyday playback, those cheap direct-drive 1200 clones are a lot better than what was
previously available in that price range.
Also agree about 16" playback, but that's a whole other level of equipment.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Milan P Milovanovic" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, March 11, 2011 9:37 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Possibly another reason why Technics is exiting the turntable business
>I think that one of the main difference between legendary Technics 1200 and all the others cloned
>turntables based on this design is in lack of good motor/speed control. One can compare i.e. wow
>and flutter values for Technics and all Stanton, Audiotechnica, JBSystems, Numark etc. tables and
>find that these values are up to 10 times better in case of original table. Also, I can only think
>that all the others details such as main bearing, tonearm tolerances and final finished surfaces,
>as well as all other parts are incomparable for theirs ruggedness, longevity and building quality.
> It was terrible day when I first heard Technics stopped their turntable production, and it is
> still unclear if such decision happened or we are in some kind of vacuum until next step.
> To my mind Technics 1200 MK4 with 78rpm included and also with special RCA connectors (instead of
> cable attached) was the best thing for everyday archival work on heavy 78rpm records (the only
> lack of usage is, of course, as this turntable is not being suitable for 16" transcription
> discs) - lots of torque and speed stability, fine tonearm, excellent quality in general. But, for
> everything else it was - killer model, far better than some el-cheapo ProJect, than to some so
> called "Thorens" (made in Austrian ProJect facilities, no single connection to the old brand),
> Rega 78 and so on.
> Best wishes,
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Tom Fine" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Saturday, March 12, 2011 1:49 AM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Possibly another reason why Technics is exiting the turntable business
>> Quick update on this ...
>> I had a chance to check out a Stanton ST150, which is a step up from the T92USB.
>> This shares some of the same stuff as the T92, including SPDIF (but no USB) output. To my ears,
>> the built-in preamp sounded identical, so my bet is it's the same circuit board and SPDIF driver.
>> The tonearm itself looked similar but the counterweight was an upgrade, felt and acted more like
>> a Technics part, and there's an arm-lifter mechanism not present on the T92USB. Also present on
>> the ST150 is an arm-height adjustment, which is useful if you're using a taller- or
>> shorter-than-average cartridge. The whole arm pivot/gimble and lifter mechanism was much more
>> Technics-clone and than Technics-like. Apparently this turntable is so close to a real-deal
>> Technics 1200 that a couple of high-end places have started offering souped-up versions as
>> low-end "super-tables." Such things as a wooden box and disconnecting the digital circuitry and
>> replacing the feet, which may or may not actually effect sound quality. In the case of the
>> T92USB, the two most audible improvements I made were first and foremost swapping in a better
>> cartridge than the stock Stanton 500 (but keep the 500 to play 78's, swapping in a 78 needle of
>> course), and junking the cheap fabric "slip-mat" for a Technics heavy rubber mat. This killed off
>> a metallic resonance that was audible on all records, but more so on thinner records. The mat,
>> combined with a KAB push-on spindle clamp, really quieted down any "wiggly vinyl" noises and also
>> made the turntable more impervious to tapping on the surrounding surface.
>> I concluded that the ST150 is a really close clone to a Technics, but may not be as mechanically
>> rugged. It supposedly has a more powerful motor than the T92USB, but its overall build, while
>> good, did not seem as bulletproof as a 1200. But it costs half as much as 1200's were going for
>> before they were discontinued, and requires not modifications to play 78's.
>> Given that very similar units are sold under other brands, I suspect one Chinese company is
>> behind all of this, and they caused mighty Pansonic to surrender by driving prices too far down
>> for a Japan-made product to compete. One final point -- build-wise and ruggedness-wise, that
>> ST150 ran rings around comparably-priced belt-driven models from Eastern Europe, sold under the
>> Pro-Ject, Rega and MusicHall brands. The Euro-tables usually come with better-grade cartridges,
>> -- Tom Fine