Technics 1200 as an upgrade/downgrade over an MMF 5.1? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 05-14-2013, 07:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Would a like new Technics 1200 be considered an upgrade over a stock MMF 5.1 table (with a Goldring 1012GX cart)?

I bought the MMF 5.1 secondhand a couple years ago from the original owner for $500. I am in talks with an owner of a like-new Technics 1200 (that would come without headshell or cartridge) for $500.

There's nothing wrong with the MMF table, but I feel like the Technics table would last me longer as I don't listen to vinyl that often. I like the idea that the Technics has cheap parts widely available in the scenario that something goes wrong, and I can't say the same for the MMF table. Plus, it seems to me that the Technics tables are holding their value extremely well.

Thoughts?
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post #2 of 19 Old 05-14-2013, 09:32 AM
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Technics by a mile.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #3 of 19 Old 05-14-2013, 10:46 AM
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Given a choice between the 2 turntables, i would choose the MMF 5.1. I very much prefer belt drive to direct drive.

They are both very good turntables,but i have had the MMF-7 and the MMF 2.2 for several years and the performance is excellent. Changing from one to the other seems like a lateral move, or even a downgrade.

Other than the drive belt, I can't imagine what the hell anyone would ever need to replace on one. I have a spare belt, but have never even replaced it. I can't imagine why you think the Technics would last longer. That seems silly to me.

I would save my money and stick with what you have.
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post #4 of 19 Old 05-14-2013, 12:12 PM
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The Technics is, imho, a superior table in terms of engineering and buld-quality. ..It's speed accuracy/ stability is better and so too, in all likelihood, is it's rumble (motor noise). But that doesn't mean the Technics will sound better to you. ..It's quite possible that with either table the limiting factor isn't speed stability or rumble, but rather the needle/groove noise.

On your system I suggest listening to an album w/ quiet piano music, particularly a piece w/ sustained notes. ..Better yet, a piece that you have on both CD and LP. ..Do the notes drift on the LP?? ..If you can hear this on your Music Hall, and NOT on the CD, there's a good chance you won't on the Technics either. ..It's speed accuracy is that good!. ..Belt-drive TT's are notorious for this sort of drift, and the excellent direct-drive SL1200 does not. ..Yet, as with so many things related to high-end audio, the companies that make belt-drive table would have you believe that belt-drive in nonetheless a better drive system. ..This is nonsense. There's nothing in the measurements to support this. ...Not that that will stop them from making the claim.

Belt-drive tables predominate because it's far easier for a small company like Music Hall, Pro-Ject, etc.. to design. ..So these companies will then gin up all sorts of nonsensical reasons why belt-drive sounds better, but it's just hollow rationalizing. But again, this doesn't mean the improved speed accuracy and lower rumble of the Technics will be audible to you and worthy of the price to upgrade! You have to hear for yourself.

In terms of durability, there's no comparing. ..To me, the Music Halls, Thorens, Pro-Jects, and Regas all felt very lightweight, and under-engineered to me. By contrast, the mostly-metal, exquisitely crafted Technics has a longggg track record of providing years and years of trouble-free service. ..Parts are still widely available for iterations built in the 70's. ..I bought a new one (though no longer in production, they're still a few left-overs in stock at B&H Photo) a year ago and feel it is more deserving of the $1200 I paid than any other $1200 component I've ever bought. ..It's that well made. Why would this be, you might ask? ..Because Technics made MILLIONS of SL1200's whereas Music Halls has made maybe a few thousand 5.1's hence Technics enjoys volume-driven price advantage that Music Hall (and all the others) couldn't come close to touching.

My hunch is that if Music Hall were to try to design their own SL1200 and stood to sell only a few thousand - which is about all they could given analogs waning popularity - they would have to charge $5-$10K each to recover their engineering/development and tooling costs plus expected profit. ..So instead, they go with a plank and rubber-band design like the 5.1.
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post #5 of 19 Old 05-14-2013, 12:15 PM
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Hi Ssh,

Given an either/or choice, I would go with the Technics. That's partly because I prefer direct-drive over belt-drive.

But you aren't in an either/or position: You already have the MMF. So $500 seems like a lot for what is, as Commsysman says, mostly a lateral move.



EDIT: Syd and I cross posted.
I would second what Syd says about direct-vs-belt, but it needn't be a consideration in your situation. A good direct-drive would beat any belt-drive on specs, but almost any belt drive would beat a bad direct-drive. You don't listen to the specs, however, and both tables would be more than acceptable.
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post #6 of 19 Old 05-15-2013, 01:28 AM
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SL1200.
Quote:
Originally Posted by syd123 View Post

The Technics is, imho, a superior table in terms of engineering and buld-quality. ..It's speed accuracy/ stability is better and so too, in all likelihood, is it's rumble (motor noise).
Agreed.
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Originally Posted by syd123 View Post

Belt-drive tables predominate because it's far easier for a small company like Music Hall, Pro-Ject, etc.. to design. ..So these companies will then gin up all sorts of nonsensical reasons why belt-drive sounds better, but it's just hollow rationalizing. But again, this doesn't mean the improved speed accuracy and lower rumble of the Technics will be audible to you and worthy of the price to upgrade! You have to hear for yourself.

In terms of durability, there's no comparing. ..To me, the Music Halls, Thorens, Pro-Jects, and Regas all felt very lightweight, and under-engineered to me. By contrast, the mostly-metal, exquisitely crafted Technics has a longggg track record of providing years and years of trouble-free service. ..Parts are still widely available for iterations built in the 70's. ..I bought a new one (though no longer in production, they're still a few left-overs in stock at B&H Photo) a year ago and feel it is more deserving of the $1200 I paid than any other $1200 component I've ever bought. ..It's that well made. Why would this be, you might ask? ..Because Technics made MILLIONS of SL1200's whereas Music Halls has made maybe a few thousand 5.1's hence Technics enjoys volume-driven price advantage that Music Hall (and all the others) couldn't come close to touching.

My hunch is that if Music Hall were to try to design their own SL1200 and stood to sell only a few thousand - which is about all they could given analogs waning popularity - they would have to charge $5-$10K each to recover their engineering/development and tooling costs plus expected profit. ..So instead, they go with a plank and rubber-band design like the 5.1.
I've posted much the same myself before.
The two modern small company DD's I know of (apart from te discontinued Rockport Sirius) are the Monaco and the Brinkmann Bardo. I'd have the Sirius in a heatbeat, beacuse I love beautiful engineering, but neither of the other two would get me to give up my SP10's or Denon, but I'd have them over almost and BD.. My Gyrodec sits unloved in a cupboard at the moment.
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post #7 of 19 Old 05-18-2013, 06:03 AM
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If someone had a Technics SL1200 and wanted to upgrade a few things on it, what would you guys recommend for upgrades to the SL1200 for someone wanting to invest say....$500 into their SL1200?
Is the cart the best upgrade to start with?
What about upgrading to a better tonearm or platter?
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post #8 of 19 Old 05-18-2013, 06:11 AM
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The tonearm, platter, and motor are engineered as a system, and it would be a mistake IMO to screw around with them.

You could easily screw things up if you were not very careful.

$500-600 will certainly give you the opportunity to get a cartridge that could be very good.

I have the Micro Benz Ace cartridge on my MMF-7 and like it very much, but tastes vary when it comes to cartridge sound quality, so it's hard to point you in the right direction.

Clearaudio also makes some that I like.
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post #9 of 19 Old 05-18-2013, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

If someone had a Technics SL1200 and wanted to upgrade a few things on it, what would you guys recommend for upgrades to the SL1200 for someone wanting to invest say....$500 into their SL1200?
Is the cart the best upgrade to start with?
What about upgrading to a better tonearm or platter?
KAB seem to be one of the pre-eminent SL1200 modifiers and they do not suggest platter upgrades, which I would think are dubious at best. Unless you are going to go with a substantially better arm like an SME IV or V, I would leave it alone. First upgrade would be the cart, though they have such a variety of tonal signatures, I'm not sure what to suggest, ther than it is of appropriate compliance for the arm mass.

KAB have 2 other mods that I see could have some potential benefit, but as I have not used them I'm not offeing a specific recommendation, just somehing to consider. The first is a tonearm damping mod. These can be effective and worthwhile in some cases. I am a long time fan of damping, but it is better applied closer to the cart than the arm bearings. I have been using this Townshend system for about 2 decades.



The other is the power supply. Geting the mains tranformer out of the chassis is an idea with merit, as is better PSU regulation. My SP10's have the PSU a long way removed and the Denon will when I get around to building a new plinth for it. The KAB regulator is expensive for what it is though, but if you can't DIY, might be wothwhile.

Forget arm wiring mods unless yours is defective.
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post #10 of 19 Old 05-18-2013, 08:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

If someone had a Technics SL1200 and wanted to upgrade a few things on it, what would you guys recommend for upgrades to the SL1200 for someone wanting to invest say....$500 into their SL1200?
Is the cart the best upgrade to start with?
What about upgrading to a better tonearm or platter?

My personal opinion??? ..It's a fool's errand smile.gif

So you already have an SL1200? ..Your $500 would be better spent on buying more software (read: LPs!). The goal of turntable design entails the following: Turn the record at the right speed, which the sl1200 does; hold the cartridge at the proper angle and introduce the least amount of friction possible in the tonearm pivot point, which again the SL1200 does; and lastly, keep electronic and platter friction noise below the noise caused by the stylus and LP interaction which, again , the SL1200 does. ...So my personal feeling is, you'd be better off spending your money on other things like room acoustic treatments, etc..

It's not that the SL1200 is perfect - because it's not. ..But it's good enough to take you to a point where add'l $ spent yields very little improvement. The limiting factor in analog playback is primarily the significant noise caused by the friction b/w the LP and stylus. Which, unfortunately, no one has come up with a way to eliminate.

...As for KAB mods. ..Before spending heavily on things like a tone-arm re-wire or upgraded power-supply, I'd ask KAB for before/after digital samples that demonstrate the improvement they made. ...But don't hold your breath waiting, they're not likely to honor such a request (hmm... I wonder why?) ..I do have a KAB dampener installed on my SL1200mk2 and I have made Analog-to-digital recordings with and without dampener for the purposes of comparing. ..I can't hear one bit of difference.
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post #11 of 19 Old 05-20-2013, 05:11 AM
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Thanks for the repy's A9X-308 and Syd123! I have not purchased a turntable yet. Right now I am doing more
research and want to make sure that I get the absolute best for my $500 dollar budget. I am looking at the SL-1200
as well as the Music Hall, Musical Fidelity, and Rega offerings in that price range. How do you guys feel about those?
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post #12 of 19 Old 05-20-2013, 12:15 PM
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Save for an SL1200 if you need to rather than the others mentioned.
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post #13 of 19 Old 05-20-2013, 02:38 PM
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A few things that I interpreted on here. If you find a 1200 for around $500, it would only be a lateral move from a MMF5.1, but if you buy a new one, it would be miles ahead.
I have a MMF5.1 and I think it's a very nice table. I do want a 1200 mostly because I always wanted one for years, but never saved money to get one.

Where can you buy a new 1200 besides B&H Photo?
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post #14 of 19 Old 05-20-2013, 06:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volta View Post

A few things that I interpreted on here. If you find a 1200 for around $500, it would only be a lateral move from a MMF5.1, but if you buy a new one, it would be miles ahead.
I have a MMF5.1 and I think it's a very nice table. I do want a 1200 mostly because I always wanted one for years, but never saved money to get one.

Where can you buy a new 1200 besides B&H Photo?

You technically can't (unless you find one that was never opened via eBay, Audiogon, etc.) - production ceased in late 2010. That's why they're still valued at such a high price, besides being amazing bang-for-the-buck.
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post #15 of 19 Old 05-20-2013, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh33 View Post

You technically can't (unless you find one that was never opened via eBay, Audiogon, etc.) - production ceased in late 2010. That's why they're still valued at such a high price, besides being amazing bang-for-the-buck.

Not true. .B&H Photo has a few SL12xxMkx left. ..Not sure which variant, but they have a few. ..These are new fresh-in-the-box units, not refurbs. ..Yes, production ceased a few years ago, but B&H bought a whole bunch and still have a few. ..And yes, they are still covered under warranty through Panasonic (Technics parent company).

In my opinion, the table is still a great deal at $1200. ..If the idea of paying $1200 for a table that once sold for $450 upsets you, just take a look at what $1200 gets you elsewhere. ...I think you'll then agree that at $1200, it's still the best deal goin' for a new table.
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post #16 of 19 Old 05-21-2013, 12:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volta View Post

A few things that I interpreted on here. If you find a 1200 for around $500, it would only be a lateral move from a MMF5.1
Not so. These units were sold for 3 decades and there are plenty out there that were never DJ'd.
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post #17 of 19 Old 05-21-2013, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syd123 View Post

Not true. .B&H Photo has a few SL12xxMkx left. ..Not sure which variant, but they have a few. ..These are new fresh-in-the-box units, not refurbs. ..Yes, production ceased a few years ago, but B&H bought a whole bunch and still have a few. ..And yes, they are still covered under warranty through Panasonic (Technics parent company).

In my opinion, the table is still a great deal at $1200. ..If the idea of paying $1200 for a table that once sold for $450 upsets you, just take a look at what $1200 gets you elsewhere. ...I think you'll then agree that at $1200, it's still the best deal goin' for a new table.

I don't know, but at the $1200 dollar range, I would probably look at the VPI's. How do you guys think the stock Technics compares to a VPI Traveler?
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post #18 of 19 Old 07-12-2013, 02:36 PM
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Technics is the better choice by far in my opinion. Technics has been using consistent technology since the 70's and have enhanced and improved on it over the years. The reason DJ's love them so much is that they are built like tanks and can withstand a lot of abuse. If you look at the build quality of a Technics 1200 - 1210 series turntable there is no comparison to the lightweight Regas, VPI's and MMF's. To get into the quality level of the Technics you would have to spend in the multiple thousands of dollars to get the equivalent build quality. Remember that Technics has been able to amortize the development an engineering costs over hundreds of thousand of TT's. With the demand for turntables at much lower levels now companies have to spread the costs of development over a much lower level of production. I bought Technics SL 1100A new in the late seventies and used it up until recently when I found a like new SL1210 M5G. The SL 1100A still plays but doesn't hold speed very well right now. The M5G is awesome with an Ortophon 2M Black cartidge. I am looking for someone to refurb my old SL1100A so I will have a back-up TT or for experimenting with different cartridge combinations. My hope is that with renewed interest in vinyl Technics will reintroduce at least a limited run of new turntables.
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post #19 of 19 Old 12-21-2013, 10:46 AM
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Help
I finally received my technics sl1200mk2 but can't seem to get it working right I calibrated tonearm but very distorted and watched videos on YouTube
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