While I would make the same judgement, perhaps, it's all good clean fun. The
DDs are said to have something special and there aren't many options for a
fully tricked-out audiophile version. I have an SP-10 and a matching tonearm
discarded by a radio station (two, actually, one with a ruined bearing), but
no plinth to put it in. I'd like to set it up as a second table, but it
isn't easy or cheap to properly do.

What got me looking was the Jelco 750DB tonearm.
Reasonable cost, interchangeable shells. The same design, almost, used to be
sold in the US - I had one in the 1980s - can't remember the brand. Sound
HiFi offers a mounting plate for it to fit the SL-1200.

As far as what mastering guys use, there's no surprise those components are
adequate to their needs, and good on their own terms. That's not to say
there isn't better, if you want it.

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
Sent: Sunday, March 29, 2015 8:50 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] SL-1200 mods, was Phono pre-amps for 78 rpm and
transcription discs

Hi Carl:

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 higher-quality versions.

-- 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
> The new bearing and feet are cool. All makes sense to me for LP, though
> 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
>> cartridges.
>> 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
> doesn't.
> That said, the KAB VAP Mk2 might be a useful possibility, though its
> controls seem less than intuitive.
> Peace,
> Paul
> ---
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