I can't see why you'd bother replacing the tonearm, stripping out the guts and even replacing the
platter. Just buy a different turntable!
Here's a more reasonable alternative to the built-in power system:
By the way, with Technics knockoffs like are sold by Pioneer, Music Hall and others ... First of
all, I strongly believe that they are all made by a single Chinese knock-off house. The parts and
operation controls just look too similar. There seems to be an El Cheapo version with flimsy
counterweight and really cheap tonearm knockoff and then there's a more Technics-like version, as
sold by Pioneer and recently reviewed in Stereophile. I have an older "Stanton" knockoff that is
relatively Technics-like but the tonearm is definitely of lower quality. With these turntables, if
you can acquire a real-deal Technics heavy-rubber platter mat (the one that came standard on the
1200mkV), you will enjoy listening to high-quality records better, especially if you have a good
cartridge. I also recommend a spindle clamp. KAB's is very reasonably priced and works very well on
both real-deal 1200's and the knockoffs.
If you don't believe in S-shaped tonearms, easily-interchangeable headshells and direct drive, then
don't buy a Technics. There are many other options. That British mod goes way too far in trying to
make a Technics 1200 something it isn't and isn't designed to be.
BTW, I know three different veteran LP cutting engineers who still use a Technics, SP-10 for two of
them and 1200mkIV for the other, with a Stanton 681 cartridge as their reference. And, a veteran
recording engineer who is now doing projects with younger bands that go to vinyl still has a
Technics turntable (I think his isn't even a 1200, maybe a SL-D3) and a Shure M-44 cartridge. This
is all nose-hair-curling stuff for people who buy house-priced turntables, but apparently these
veterans with decades of hits under their belts find these mainstream circa 1980 setups more than
adequate. I personally don't like either of those cartridges, or Grados for that matter (my ears
prefer Denon and Ortofon cartridges, and some Audio-Technica; I also think the Shure M97 is a killer
value for someone with a starter turntable rig -- saving enough money to make sure and buy a good
record-cleaning rig of some sort), but definitely remain happy with my KAB-modded SL-1200mkV. I
haven't seen one in person, but that Pioneer knockoff of the 1200 seems like one of the
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Carl Pultz" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, March 29, 2015 8:25 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] SL-1200 mods, was Phono pre-amps for 78 rpm and transcription discs
> This is tangential to the topic, but I thought Technics users would be
> interested in this info. Short of the very costly restorations of SP-10s,
> this is the most adventurous mod of Technics DD tables I've seen. Removing
> the power transformer from the unit makes sense, especially if using Grado
> cartridges, though this particular design doesn't allow for variable speed.
> The new bearing and feet are cool. All makes sense to me for LP, though how
> much some of this noise reduction would matter with shellac, I dunno.
> I also hadn't been aware of an Audio-Technica 2.5 mil mono cartridge, but
> there is one:
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Paul Stamler
> Sent: Friday, March 27, 2015 2:21 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Phono pre-amps for 78 rpm and transcription discs
> On 3/27/2015 8:56 AM, David Day wrote:
>> Here at BYU we are looking to purchase two phono pre-amps, one for a
>> turntable dedicated to playing 78 rpm discs and a second dedicated to
>> playing 16-inch transcription discs. Do any of you have
>> recommendations for phono pre-amps that would be ideal for each
>> format? Both turntables are modified Technics SL-1200MK2 built by
>> Diapason Archive Turntable. We have a set of Grado cartridges in
>> various sizes made for 78 rpm playback as well as some Stanton 680EE
>> The turntables are in carrels provided for students to listen to
>> recordings in our Music Recordings Archive. The pre-amp signal will be
>> sent to Tascam SS-CDR200s for headphone monitoring and to give the
>> students the ability to capture to various formats.
>> Anyone have experience with the Technolink TC-778 RIAA Phono Preamp
>> with 78rpm Equalization? Is there anything out there that might give
>> more flexibility in selecting multiple EQs? We have an Esoteric Sound
>> turnover-rolloff device that is not working. Is it worth getting
>> repaired? Is there a pre-amp that would work well with it?
>> My budget is about $1,250 for each pre-amp. Would the money be better
>> spend on better cartridges?
>> Eager to learn from your experience and advise,
> The first question is: how much will the students know in advance about
> 78 rpm curves? Having a selection of curves available is very useful for
> someone who knows what's going on, and utterly bewildering for someone who
> That said, the KAB VAP Mk2 might be a useful possibility, though its
> controls seem less than intuitive.
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