View Full Version : Technics SL5 DD auto

03-06-2009, 11:25
Well Guys i have been thinking about getting a cheap as chips turntable for my other system (family set up) .

I bought this


I have always fancied trying the SL10 but they are rare and around the 200 mark' so an SL5 for 19 ' quite keen to try it out now for basically peanuts.

Any tips ideas about a different P mount cart ' i am aware of the problems that there may occur with this being an auto ' but what the hell should be fun.

The guy has fitted a new std styli which is ok but i think this can be improved upon.

What do you think ' am i turning into a Technics Fanbois ' not really its just so cheap and probably better than one of those USB jobbies for 80.

some more pics

03-06-2009, 21:56
The 5, 7 and 10 were great little decks, although there was something about the 10 which I loved (the mc cartridge I suspect).

The SL7 was the one I had most to do with and the sound was accurate but somehow charmless, possibly due to the cartridge supplied, but rest assured, the other P mount carts shouldn't be too bad as they all track at 1.25.

My favourite P mounts were probably the Ortofons, and Shure's P mount versions were pretty good too. I haven't a clue on what's available today I'm afraid. Some of the AT's may be a good listen and there are plenty of styli available still for these.

03-06-2009, 22:09
Thanks Dave

What appeals to me most is the compact size and plug n play aspect ,
i am not expecting that much sound wise 'but i just fancied a 2nd deck and don't have the funds for anything special ' which considering there may be children and teenagers poking their fingers around it 'would be a waste.

One important question ' can i fit any p mount cart to it ? i know mc's are not suited , but i only want to use MM anyway 'my Yammy has a half decent MM stage.

03-06-2009, 22:11
I think P mounts are pretty much standard. You can get AT cartridges and styli on Ebay. I had to get one for my DD 33. Easy to fit and not very expensive at all. Cheap as chips compared to the 100s and 1000s you could spend! The DD33 sounds ok, nothing special but it does the job.

03-06-2009, 22:24
:) thanks

Its funny and to think once i paid over 700 for a troika:doh: must have been quite literally out of my mind:confused:.

03-06-2009, 22:33
This is what I bought: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=190306265991QQssPageNameZMERC_VIC_RSCC_Pr4_Pc Y_BIN_Stores_IT&refitem=190283523847&itemcount=4&refwidgetloc=closed_view_item&usedrule1=StoreCatToStoreCat&refwidgettype=cross_promot_widget&_trksid=p284.m183&_trkparms=algo%3DDR%26its%3DS%252BI%252BSS%26itu%3 DISS%252BUCI%252BSI%26otn%3D4

04-06-2009, 00:50
Looks a good deal

i already have that one on my ebay watch list ,thanks i will get one i think.

04-06-2009, 07:24
For a neat, "fit and forget" option, you won't go wrong.

A record producer, Rupert Hine (Howard Jones, Chris De Burgh in the eighties), had the LP12 dem and made polite noises about it, but what he actually bought was an SL7 for the studio. Place record on the platter, close the lid and press play - easy for anyone to use!

You can't really tweak it, as there are little sensors which gently poke through the platter mat, but it certainly won't sound bad.

yes, ALL T4P mount pickups should be interchangeable.

04-06-2009, 07:52
Great little deck, Chris! I'm sure that it'll provide lots of fun, you Techy fanboi, you :lolsign:




04-06-2009, 11:00
Oh Marco
the secrets out ' there is no hiding place ;)

I have a soft spot for techy turntables ' maybe because there are so many of em ' i believe the SP10 ' SL1200 ' and the SL10 are all classics as are the 301/LP12/Voyd/Rock/TD124/PL71/P3 ' etc not sure about the NVA Senior though :eyebrows: ' but it was a decent performer as i remember it .

04-06-2009, 16:17
I'd love to have an SL110 again and really sort it out with better feet and possible mass loading internally. They fetch lots of money now, relatively speaking, as they're bought for the styling rather than anything else.

04-06-2009, 21:44
Hi Dave
here is one on ebay right now ' and look at the asking price :(


04-06-2009, 21:59
It can't be because it sounded really good, 'cos at the time it didn't due to severe feedback. This applies to the original SL1200/120 as well.

05-06-2009, 10:22
Hi Dave
here is one on ebay right now ' and look at the asking price :(


*That* is quality! Anyone on the market for a top-notch D/D deck on the cheap should snap it up toute-suite... It's well worth the asking price, IMO :cool:


05-06-2009, 13:23
Marco, it looks fab and mine was flawless, apart from the mains frequency changes making the speed look as if it was drifting (the SL150 is exactly the same, but used with the 300Hz Linn strobe it's rock solid), but you must understand the mentality then.

As I understand it, Technics suspended their decks on cotton threads to get the rumble levels down, as the structures picked up too much outside energy. Unlike your mass-loaded techie, you could beat a fantastic percussion with your finger-tips on the plinth and the four flashy feet looked great but did little in effect, far less than the softer, rubbery half-cylinders on my SL150, which are far more compliant.

An SL110 shouldn't be worth more than a ton these days, but as SME's fetch silly money too (why?) I suspect that 200 at least of the 350 is for the arm...

Having said the above, I'd still like to hear one mounted on a slate or marble slab and fitted with a modern arm, either a heavyweight like the Jelco or a lighter uni-pivot like the Nima (haven't a clue about the Audio Origami arms I'm afraid).

05-06-2009, 21:02
That SL-110 looks superb and I remember lusting after one when I was young. It wouldn't be too difficult to mount another arm with an SME base.

pure sound
05-06-2009, 22:25
I had an SL 110 briefly. Didn't like it. It really did sound grey & flat. I think they got their motor control alot better on later designs.

05-06-2009, 22:36
Could be, Guy... I've not heard an SL-110, so I wouldn't know. It just looks the biz, though, and perhaps also something that Dave Cawley could fix to turn into something quite special.

I guess that if he can refurbish SP10s he can do the same with SL-110s! :)

If I were embarking on a 'Techy project', I'd buy it, flog the SME 3009 and put that towards sorting out any issues it has, then buy a Jelco. You might not need to fit a better PSU if the stock one is 'beefier' than that fitted to the SL-1200/1210.

It could definitely be an interesting little project for someone :cool:


07-06-2009, 12:34
Marco here is a nice pic for you:)

08-06-2009, 08:53
Nice one, Chris. Is that an old Audio Technica arm being used? It looks like an early example of this:


I've always faniced trying one because I rate them highly, as I do the old AT broadcast arms :)

That's a funny looking SPU headshell on the 3009 - normally the front end is enclosed with the cartridge inside... Is it a 'nuded' SPU being used on that one or possibly an SL-15?


08-06-2009, 09:05
Those old AT arms are going for stupid money now - were they really "that" good compared to a brand new Jelco, let alone an SME M2-10? How come the Ortofon arms are silly money too, when Jelco make them? Too many "slurpers" methinks.

By the way, I understand that the SL110 has gone to a good caring collector and I very much look forward to seeing it in the flesh fairly soon and getting himself to plug it in for a spin .....;)

08-06-2009, 09:24
Morning Dave,

They are very good, but I suspect not much better (if any) than the Jelco SA-750D, so definitely not as high in the SPPV stakes.

However, let me put it this way... Audiocubes are charging $1899 for a new 'AT-1503 IIIa' (see here: http://www.audiocubes2.com/brand/Audio-Technica/product/Audio-Technica_AT-1503_IIIa_Transcription_Universal_Tone_Arm.html), which is around 1200, excluding import duty and tax. I can think of plenty of supposed 'high-end' tonearms currently on the market from 'badge snob' manufacturers at many times the price that probably aren't any better, or may even be worse!

Linn Ekos SE at 3k, anyone? ;)

How much do vintage Fidelity Research or Ortofon arms in good condition fetch these days on Ebay? Or a brand-new Ikeda? A bloody fortune!!

So looking at it from that perspective, the AT arm is decent value, particularly if you want something new in which to house an SPU, DL-103 or M3D, all of which need a high-mass arm. Of course there are the various Jelcos costing considerably less, but those are the exception to the rule and are only so competitively priced due to economies of scale and high quality mass-manufacturing in Japan.


08-06-2009, 11:09
Hi Marco

I am not sure about the cart ' i found some great pics on the Vinyl engine site and liked this one.

An update on my little SL5 'got it now and its a little charmer i must say and nicely suited to my Yammy combo.

I was worried at 1st as it was mistracking with plenty of distortion but then i found the tracking force screw (very quirky) and it was set to 1.25 so set it to 1.5 (max) and so much better .

The sound ' well its got that typically technics DD sound but somewhat laid back and polite but still enjoyable ' i think its running a tad slow as i am so used to Quartz lock now i notice these things , underneath there are 2 trim pots for 45 1st and 33 2nd so this can be fixed if need be .

Its such a cute little thing ' i rather like it ' i have ordered an AT3482 from the USA which has a 5mv output compared to the techy 2.5 .

08-06-2009, 16:22
T-4P carts are designed to track at 1.25 grammes - part of the specification. If yours needs 1.5 I'd suggest an old or non-original stylus. The pattern Technics styli we tried years ago were nothing like as good as the originals, although Jico and others may now do a superb job if Panasonic don't do the originals any more.

08-06-2009, 21:41
Thanks dave, very usefull info ' will be interesting to see if the AT is much better or just different , as far as i know the styli are not made by panasonic anymore.

04-08-2009, 14:01
I thought i would do an update to this thread '

The little SL5 is now with my father in law and he loves it (country music fan)
so i got myself another one of these funny little techy linear tracker's .

But this time i found an SLQ-L1 which back in 84-85 was very expensive (260) i oiled the main bearing and a little grease on the worm gear'
fitted the AT3482 and had a good listen to it.

Well at 1st it was not that great ' but the little AT was still running in (splashy top end) after about 40 hours or so it started to sound sweeter and fleshed out nicely ' i would say for 15 it is an amazing little cart and a great match for any technics P mount deck.

The SLQ-L1 is a pretty decent sounding deck quite a lot better than the SL5 ,
comparing it to my 1210/timestep ' well it has very different presntation 'lighter in tone with a wider soundstage i would say ' but it does not sound quite so strong and solid ' a bit softer and more polite the important thing is it does not sound too tight or rigid if you know what i mean.

Some people reading this will perhaps think i am mad to mess around with this old Jap Junk from the mid eighty's .

But you see ever since 1985 i have always wanted to try one ' out of curiosity ' and this one cost me 25 and its been fun.

I rather like it and would say its quite musical ' good with all types of music including classical ' these decks have sold for as little as 11 and seem neglected and unloved ' they are complex and if they go wrong are near to impossible to fix ,having said that this one is over 25 years old and still working perfectly.

But if you want a nice old jap DD on the cheap and like me for casual listening in a second system (actually its better than that) why not give one a try.

04-08-2009, 23:22
technics did a good few conventional arm T4-P decks and HiFi Choice recommended them as I remember, accepting that a Rega and above were better for serious music. Having said that, a different mat and careful siting may improve things no end..

05-08-2009, 11:07
Hi Dave

Thanks for taking an interest ' 2 points i need to make here 1st what i am trying to say here is that you can have a half decent vinyl sound for less than the cost of a night out ' well if you look around you can find one of these or similar for less than 20.

Now i could be wrong ? but it seems to me highly unlikely that you could buy a P3 for 25 !

2nd if you already have a quality belt drive like a rega or LP12 and have a 2nd system to play around with ' then something like this is a good way of dipping your toes into the DDark side as it were ' rather than spend a few hundred on good used 1200 .

The SL7 and SL10 tend to go for a lot more money but the QL1 is just as good ' save the cart on the SL10 .

If anyone reading this is thinking of trying an old DD deck then as Richard Dunn said buy by the Kilo anything above 7 kg .