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mulane
10-06-2009, 10:19
I'm new to the world of DD turntables and I'm currently fitting a self-made aluminium armboard to my Mk2 techy and have had to take off the rubber base and the hard intermediate damping layer (IDL?:)) which I had to drill to make room for the armboard screws.

While the IDL was still on the deck I prodded it all over and was very surprised to find that it actually rattled in some spots against the aluminium top casting! The screws were all tight. It did not seem to be a very good application of "constrained layer damping" as I understand it. It also seems to be quite thin in many places-often just 3mm.

I've read on Audiogon that someone covered the aluminium top casting with plastic cling wrap and then applied a layer of liquid silicon on the IDL before screwing it back on. He stated that this seemed to bring about an improvement in sound.

Has anyone tried this? I would be intersted in a discussion about the Technics plinth and how effective it really is.

(yes I have seen Frogspits laminated DIY plinth and cannot wait to hear how it sounds.)

mulane
10-06-2009, 14:23
I thought, as I reattached the rubber base, that maybe the rubber squeezes the IDL tightly to the aluminium top, and that I had been too hasty, but when I tap the rubber base it still rattles in places, mmm...

Anyway, here are a couple of pics of the JH Formula IV (with glued-on Denon magnesium headshell and AT33PTG) on the deck.

scoobs
10-06-2009, 16:31
I did the very same thing with my old 1210, I bought a used one off ebay to play about with. I used silicone sealant, and also large amounts of arboseal compound (blacktac) and to be honest neither worked very well, the underside of the chassis is too contoured to allow for a proper coupling between the two layers, some areas have several mm of clearance and others have maybe 1mm or less clearance as you have alluded too. I think the only way to sucessfully do it would be to pipe a large amount of silicone between the two, compress them and trim the excess from the edges, but you are left with the problem of not enveloping the pcb for the start button, pop-up light and pitch slider etc. It is a challenging project and I gave up on it and bought a self contained motor unit tt.

Mike
10-06-2009, 16:45
It is a challenging project and I gave up on it and bought a self contained motor unit tt.

What would that be then? :eyebrows:

scoobs
10-06-2009, 17:29
What would that be then? :eyebrows:

;)
http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee15/indypepa/dp6.jpg

oops, sorry for hijacking.

Mike
10-06-2009, 17:36
Looking veeerrrryyyy nice too! :)

scoobs
10-06-2009, 17:44
Cheers Mike. Have you had the 3000 back yet?

Mike
10-06-2009, 21:03
:(

Marco
10-06-2009, 22:29
Bloody Vantage take forever to get their arse in gear - a bit like Expert Stylus ;)

You've got far more patience with these things than I have, matey!

Marco.

P.S Scoobs, looking cool mate - verryyy cool :smoking:

Mike
10-06-2009, 22:38
Bloody Vantage take forever to get their arse in gear - a bit like Expert Stylus ;)

You've got far more patience with these things than I have, matey!



All will be well young grasshopper! ;)

Some things are worth waiting for.

mulane
11-06-2009, 08:33
Very nice deck scoobs. Sorry to hear you gave up on the Technics though. Anyone else have any thoughts on this? If the layers are all rattling together then surely they would be INDUCING resonance rather than supressing it as intended! What about the "super" SL 1200s with copper mats and SME arms etc - are they just rattling away like ours?

Cant remember where I saw this but here's one person's solution:

Tony G
11-06-2009, 13:52
From the look of that stand and the points under the deck I have a feeling that I have seen that "mod" here somewhere in the last 6 months.
My own recent experiments with my 1200 indicated that the two under layers act more as ballast and shock absorbing mounting cradle rather than CLD.
My experiments with this table are proceeding at a rather leisurely pace enforced by a severe bout of fiscal depression preventing me from throwing money at it like I might otherwise.
You mentioned using a dampening layer in your armboard or considering it - doing what I can afford ATM and having a "non-recommended" spare RB250 lying around I gave it a spin on the 1200. Having already ascertained that, to me, even with extra ballast and modded counterweight, the stock arm was not up to running either a DL-103 or the AT-Mono cartridges that I wanted to run, and knowing that they perform well on my Tecnoarm on my other deck.
That particular experiment indicated several things, one was that most of the limitations of the stock RB250 (it does have a counterweight mod) demonstrated themselves and showed why Michell did what they did to it to produce the Tecnoarm.
Another was that, particularly when clamped firmly to the armboard, the 1200 was particularly affected by what was used in the way of feet, foculpods were the worst, then the stock feet and the best were points threaded into the mounts for the stock feet.
Best result with the Rega arm was to place a suitable sized 2mm thick "O" ring between the base and the armboard and barely tighten the nut by finger to only just prevent rotation of the armbase.
This indicated to me, that the arm was transmitting too much energy into the alloy casting and it was not being properly dissipated before making mischief.
Not that I particularly wanted to use a Rega arm on the 1200 anyway, for me it obviates most of the reason for owning one, which is the ease of swapping cartridges.
The stock arm really does offer the best of everything WRT easy cartridge swap and adjustment of VTA and VTF - shame it cannot handle pushy MCs as well.
Even the Jelco does not offer the same facility either for VTF or VTA.
I digress, I do feel the alloy plinth, being part of the motor system, requires the arm decoupled or an arm capable of dissipating the excess energy from an overenthusiastic cartridge.
Dependent on that, it may also benefit from different feet; the benefits of different types may not be as I found, as I suspect that may also depend on the substructure (stand or support).
Still haven't given up on it, but it is on the back burner for now while I catch up with listening to some music rather than the gear.
Have fun.

mulane
12-06-2009, 12:55
Interesting re the O-ring under the arm base-I have been using a lead washer under the arm on my other deck for years. Sounds like you also think there is room for improvement in the plinth.

I wonder what the material they use in the IDL actually is. It feels and rings like a fibreglass composite, maybe with carbon added. I also wonder if this material is ideal as a damping layer and whether rubber is the best material for a base, although you would think Technics did extensive research into the subject.

I think using a silicon layer between the top plate and the IDL could work well and the best thing is that its reversible. The other more permanemt idea that springs to mind is cutting the IDL into smaller seperate blocks or sections and permanently gluing them where possible to the aluminium top plate, maybe with hot glue. What could be a better material to damp the top plate with-acrylic? Panzerholz a la Clearaudio?

twelvebears
12-06-2009, 15:39
One slightly bonkers option I'm considering with the assistance of John from Slateage, is to find an old knackered 1210, take it apart and see whether it possible to remount the essentials in/on a machined slate plinth....

mulane
12-06-2009, 23:12
Doesn't sound bonkers to me but then.... :mental:Do you think therefore that slate is closest to the ideal plinth material?

mulane
13-06-2009, 01:18
Clearaudio aluminium and Panzerholz plinth-candy?

scoobs
13-06-2009, 09:47
Doesn't sound bonkers to me but then.... :mental:Do you think therefore that slate is closest to the ideal plinth material?

I know mad Marco has previously threatened to go after a bespoke slate plinth for his 1210. No doubt there would be a great deal of effort needed to work one, and the final cost would be pretty high. Slate doesn't ring like granite and it's density and weight will damp out most resonance, but some feel that it isn't the last word in resonance damping.

Regarding your 1210, as I mentioned earlier, I attached the the single middle solid resin layer to the underside of the chassis (top plate) with silicone sealant, which didn't really achieve what I was hoping for, but whilst removing the resin layer, I ended up breaking it into 3 pieces :doh: :steam: :mental: and inadvertantly found that this improved the situation when I re-attached the pieces with sealant as there was no rattle, and 3 separtate pieces are easier to fix down securely than the one large piece. In addition I filled the voids in the resin block with Arboseal compound which is what Michell use under their Orbe chassis. This final iteration of scoobs style reverse engineering :lol: was the most succesful at removing the rattle and adding additional mass and damping. Once I replaced the stock feet with threaded RDC cones things improved further.

Marco
13-06-2009, 10:06
Interesting reading this, but what pray tell is this "rattling" that you speak of? :scratch:

I can detect no such thing on my 1210 - perhaps the 17 layers of Mana underneath zap it into non-existence! :eyebrows:

Marco.

scoobs
13-06-2009, 10:53
Yes fair point Marco. It is not something you can detect when the 1210 is fully assembled. If the rubber base is removed the resin block is exposed, whereby when tapped with the finger the block will not so much rattle, but will not sound securely coupled to the underside of the chassis, one gets the feeling of it ringing or rattling...however when the rubber base is replaced and is secured to the block by another approx 5 screws then things begin to solidiy a bit more as the block is now secured from above and below. But having looked under the bonnet one is left with the impression that the resin block is not really doing much other than adding mass, and I felt that if it the block could be bonded or coupled to the chassis by more than 5 or so piddly screws then it would impart greater damping qualities on the deck as a whole.

Tony G
13-06-2009, 10:56
Mana from heaven ? :violin:

Marco
13-06-2009, 11:13
LOL, Tony!

Nick (and others), with respect, I think some of you guys have too much of a penchant for fiddling instead of just sitting back and enjoying music! :eyebrows: ;)

I don't doubt what you say is right, but the fact is I simply never have the inclination to 'look under the bonnet' because it sounds so bloody good as it is...

Having said that, I'm sure there is indeed plenty of mileage in providing a better plinth for the 1210, and that the sonic rewards are not inconsiderable. However, realistically, it's probably a bridge too far and one is simply better buying a separate motor unit and tonearm in a dedicated plinth, a la SP10, or your rather lovely Denon :)

Later in the year, with that in mind, I'll be going for one of Dave Cawley's fully refurbished SP10s, fitting a 12" Jelco to it, and putting the lot into a nice slate plinth - then it'll finally be 'job done' :cool:

Marco.

scoobs
13-06-2009, 11:26
LOL, Tony!

Nick (and others), with respect, I think some of you guys have too much of a penchant for fiddling instead of just sitting back and enjoying music! :eyebrows: ;)

I don't doubt what you say is right, but the fact is I simply never have the inclination to 'look under the bonnet' because it sounds so bloody good as it is...

Having said that, I'm sure there is indeed plenty of mileage in providing a better plinth for the 1210, and that the sonic rewards are not inconsiderable. However, realistically, it's probably a bridge too far and one is simply better buying a separate motor unit and tonearm in a dedicated plinth, a la SP10, or your rather lovely Denon :)

Later in the year, with that in mind, I'll be going for one of Dave Cawley's fully refurbished SP10s, fitting a 12" Jelco to it, and putting the lot into a nice slate plinth - then it'll finally be 'job done' :cool:

Marco.


:) Amen to that. I am done with fiddling now, there's no way I'm messing about with my Denon. The whole project has dragged out longer than expected and I've missed out on the music for too long as I cant stop my grubby little mits from twitching along the way.

It's feet up and :cool: from here on in.....well, once I've replaced the tonearm it will be :eyebrows:

DSJR
13-06-2009, 12:19
Surely the best way to economically deal with any possible mass issues with older direct drives is to carefully site them on a specialised turntable support/wall shelf, away from bass nodes in the room and as far away from the speakers as reasonably possible, thereby avoiding the problem in the first place? I only suggest this as I remember my SL110 being VERY sensitive to feedback issues and supporting it properly, together with better feet perhaps, must improve the sound this gorgeous looking deck would give.

Audiotech used to do a great and neat wall shelf which works for all sorts of turntables and CD players, not just the LP12 it was designed to go with originally (much better than the Sound Org wall thingy and better in the bass than the Target TTW1 [with original supplied boards obviously]).




P.P.P.P.S. Thorens apparently supplied rubber "mushrooms" to replace the springs in the TD125 once upon a time for certain purposes (some were used in night-clubs I understand). has anyone here got any experience of these?

mulane
13-06-2009, 12:44
Marco, fair enough but as I was already under the bonnet fitting my new armboard I could not help but notice the poorly fitted layers. And I love experimenting and tinkering with what I already have rather than lashing out on new stuff :). And if your Mana'd SL came within 95% of the slated SP10 then I have to wonder if an SL with an "optimised" plinth might get to 98% which would probably do me fine.

Thanks for the tip re the Arboseal Scoobs-I will see if this stuff is available here.

mulane
13-06-2009, 12:53
DSJR, yes a good support and feet are important but its really locking the gate after the horse has bolted if the plinth is inadequate, as the plinth is the first "support" really. I think a cure could be very simply done and should bring significant improvements for those of us who plan to keep our decks.

Tony G
13-06-2009, 15:19
Further points following on from the above -
The resin block would appear to be likely to be a polyester bulk moulding compound, possibly glass reinforced and probably mineral powder filled for bulk and mass.
Yes, technics no doubt did their homework, however I imagine their intended (and actual) market saw their priority as reducing or eliminating the ingress of vibration to the turntable from external influences (DJ decks work in an unfriendly environment in that respect) rather than controlling resonances emanating from the cartridge/disc interaction.
I see the design as utilising a rubber cradle and flex feet to isolate the playing gear from its support surface and the mass block as being intended to firm up the resilience of that rubber, much as vibrapods and foculpods function most effectively at their designed loading.
The issues I have described arise from generating greater reactive forces during playback than would have been intended or envisioned in the specifications of the arm, which, after all, is of medium mass and intended for medium compliance cartridges.

The main issue to be addressed is the breaking of the mechanical feedback from stylus to record, since this interface is where the reactive forces are generated a mechanical feedback loop exists which passes from the cartridge to the arm to the arm mount to the plinth and hence back to the platter where its effect is magnified.

The means of doing this require the dissipation of this energy at at least one stage of the transmission chain, preferably more.
A heavier arm will absorb more energy without resonating, an overdriven lighter but rigid arm like the RB250 will transmit this energy (the tube will also resonate), fluid damping will help with resonance control, decoupling of the arm from the armboard will also help.

Bonding the mass layer to the plinth seems only likely to be effective if done permanently with something like a flexible polyurethane adhesive sealant (Sikaflex or similar) - since this would preclude access to the electronics it seems impracticable.
Without close coupling of the surfaces either by adhesive bonding or mechanical constraint there will be no CLD effect of energy absorbtion.

The only practical ways of breaking the mechanical feedback loop that I can see are careful arm selection (the Terminator obviously has the ability to isolate cartridge generated forces by its air cushion), the Jelco 750 has fluid damping and greater effective mass, and/or decoupling the arm at the armboard/armboard fixings.
Someone here made a rather nice looking armboard from an old technics armbase and a turned wooden block, I would imagine that to be effective as might various other approaches to decoupling.



Summarising, my conclusions are that replinthing or seriously tinkering with the base other than trying different feet are as Marco suggests and Scoobs found also, "a bridge too far".
Better to find a more suitable deck for those sort of things which could also provide the ability to use 12" arms, the new 12" Jelco looks rather tasty and affordable and as I think Marco has indicated elsewhere some more obscure broadcast arms still not fetching silly money secondhand that will even run an SPU.

My own trials will be confined to trying another arm on the Technics and possibly arm decoupling in one form or another. I have a Jelco very similar to the Sumiko MMT that will mount on a Rega armboard for the 1200 to try when I get around to it.

It is, of course, possible and most sensible to find a cartridge that will work happily with the stock arm, tweak the wiring and PSU and live happily ever after :p - but where is the fun in that. :stupid:

X more posts while I was typing all this blather :mental:

Clive
13-06-2009, 15:54
A heavier arm will absorb more energy without resonating,
It's complicated, a heavier arm may absorb more energy or it may simply resonate at a different (lower?) frequency.

I did a huge amount or messing around with arm decoupling when building wooden CLD plinths for my idler. It certainly makes a huge difference to the sound, too much or too little destroys dynamics. The Terminator does indeed solve all this at a stroke.

Tony G
13-06-2009, 16:47
You are right Clive, my intention was not to imply that it would not resonate but rather that it would take more to excite that resonance. (or so I believe)
Would fully agree that arm decoupling is a fine balancing act as you describe.
It is interesting to note that after Gert Pedersen (sp?) did a deal in this area on Michell decks that Michell themselves took up the idea and produced their own version.
That was on a table where I would have imagined the arm to be fairly well isolated from the motor and platter bearing.
Perhaps the effects there are more due to helping the arm to dissipate the excess energy than to removing a transmission interface, perhaps this was also more the case with your wooden plinths ?

Clive
13-06-2009, 19:10
Hi Tony,

I think you're definitely on the right tack, your explanation of the issues is very well reasoned. We have bi-directional sources of vibration in our hi-fi (non-DJ) systems; motor to arm to stylus and stylus to arm. Some cartridges put a lot of energy into arms, idler and DD decks push energy into the arm (akin to DJ use) and then the stylus. Belt drive is probably kinder but has other issues. So finding the optimal decoupling requires a very experimental process. Isolation via an air cushion seems easiest and consistent but is not the only way.

mulane
13-06-2009, 22:20
I did a huge amount or messing around with arm decoupling when building wooden CLD plinths for my idler. It certainly makes a huge difference to the sound, too much or too little destroys dynamics.

What did you find was the best way to decouple the arm in your case then-a different type of wood in the armboard to the plinth? Would be intersted in your findings.

So you think silicone would not be an effective material to use to bond the damping layer to the top plate Tony G. I guess it is a very lossy material and so this may insulate the damping layer too much and not connect it to the top plate solidly enough. I'll have to have another look underneath to see how much of the damping layer can be permanently glued without denying access to the workings. If this is not feasible then it may be better to remove the damping layers altogether and have a "skeletal" lightweight aluminium plinth and place it on springs. Avid and Gyrodeck use this arrangement I believe. I do not see many high end decks using huge chunks of rubber in their plinths. Perhaps smaller pieces of different thickness aluminium could also be glued to the bare aluminium top plate to create a SDS-type sandwich, or even small pieces of SDS itself as I believe small squares of this material are now available for sale. Anyone know what the glue is that SDS use between their plates?

I also think your idea that the Technics damping layers are more about isolation from the environment than internal resonnances sounds probable.

I am in a good position to do a bit of experimenting in this area as I have two newly aquired used Technics decks and can easily compare the tweaked deck to a std one, so I'll have to get cracking on this. I had excellent results with my old belt drive deck using a particle board--MDF--particle board sandwich plinth and placing this on springs.

Marco
13-06-2009, 23:00
Marco, fair enough but as I was already under the bonnet fitting my new armboard I could not help but notice the poorly fitted layers. And I love experimenting and tinkering with what I already have rather than lashing out on new stuff :). And if your Mana'd SL came within 95% of the slated SP10 then I have to wonder if an SL with an "optimised" plinth might get to 98% which would probably do me fine.


Hi Mulane,

Tinkering is cool, if you're so inclined. What prevents me from doing so with the 1210, in terms of the plinth, is that on the supports I use what’s being described here doesn't seem to be an issue.

Perhaps the combination of the Isonoes and 17 levels of isolation from Mana remove so much vibration from the equation that by the time whatever is left reaches the 1210 it’s as insignificant as to be almost irrelevant? I also get zero mechanical feedback from stylus to record as I can turn my preamp up to max, rap the top-plate of the deck with my knuckles, and hear zippo, nowt, niento, through the speakers.

Honestly, my deck sounds absolutely amazing as is without any ‘fancy’ plinth tweaking, and can easily compete with an SP10 in a high quality slate plinth. I’ve done the comparison, oh and that was without all the Mana supports I have at home!

Did you read my write-up of the 1210 versus a Slatedeck SP10 in Strokes of Genius? If not, you should have a read - and that was before I bought the Time Step and Jelco SA-750D!! ;)

Marco.

mulane
14-06-2009, 03:39
Yes I did read it - pretty impressive. That was before the timestep? Love to see another "shootout" now then. Any chance? Why the move to the SP10 in that case?

Tony G
14-06-2009, 03:46
Marco, with all due respect, I have read most of your writings on the subject.
I have not tried your "knuckle test".
What I can say, in respect of the plain vanilla DL-103 on my stock 1200 Mk II with a Sumiko (or near as from lpgear) even with additional mass and thruno counterweight, SRM silicone mat topped with 3mm Achromat and various feet is that I have yet to hear the treble definition on symphonic works that I obtain from the same cartridge on a severely modded P2 with Michell Tecnoarm and extra mass loading.
Changing from the Denon AU300-LC SUT to the GSP Elevator Exp active stage with that cartridge on that deck removed most of the limitations in treble definition that originally led me to the DL-301.
At the time I made that upgrade, I was trialling the DL-103 on the Technics and had almost come to the conclusion that it did not work as I wished and was ready to go back to the Rega, the improvement with the Exp was sufficient to keep me listening to the 1200 for another month before returning to the P2.
Symphonic crescendos are the main shortcoming to me, since I understand you do not listen to much classical music our variance is, to me, understandable.
I have subsequently given the 1200 lengthy audition (a couple of months) with both the DL-103 and the AT-Mono 3/LP before drawing the conclusions outlined above.
I do believe that both my cartridge choices and musical preferences have a great bearing on my findings.

Clive
14-06-2009, 09:26
What did you find was the best way to decouple the arm in your case then-a different type of wood in the armboard to the plinth? Would be intersted in your findings.
I started out with an aluminum armboard (from ebay), directly attached to the plinth the sound was totally dead. So I placed rubber grommets under the screw holes and fairly loosely secured the armboard with screws. Huge improvement, you'd have to have deaf not to hear the difference. I then made 4 wooden arm boards, 3 of these from guitar fretboard tonewood. Chestnut, Oak, 1 I can't remember and an African black hardwood, again I can't recall the name but is was VERY hard, cutting the holes was not easy.

Differences I heard were in dynamics, bass quality and treble extension. These were all best with the wooden boards, aluminum was not as good. In the end it was quite close between all the wooden boards. The rubber decoupling and relative looseness of the screws attaching the armboards was the main determining factor. It would be interesting to also try a Delrin armboard.

How this translates with a 1200 could only be ascertained by trying it.

Added comments:
The African wood was mpingo.

Also, when I went to a slate plinth I had a similar experience in that my slate armboard sucked all the life out of the music when it was tightly attached, just being slightly loose changed things dramatically. I wonder if Neal's SP10 issues could be related to this.

Marco
14-06-2009, 11:11
Hi Tony,

There’s a lot in your post that, in terms of clarification, requires breaking down into some detail.


What I can say, in respect of the plain vanilla DL-103 on my stock 1200 Mk II with a Sumiko (or near as from lpgear) even with additional mass and thruno counterweight, SRM silicone mat topped with 3mm Achromat and various feet is that I have yet to hear the treble definition on symphonic works that I obtain from the same cartridge on a severely modded P2 with Michell Tecnoarm and extra mass loading.


First of all, what must be remembered is that any comments I’ve made about what my 1210 achieves sonically and musically is in the context of its current level of modification. I don’t have a stock 1210 (or arm), nor do I use a plain vanilla DL-103 as my main cartridge of choice, or the mat or SUT that you use. Therefore all of this, not to mention the difference in the rest of our systems, is responsible for why you’re hearing different things with your Techy than I am with mine.

Like I’ve said elsewhere, the stock tonearm, short of a complete rewire and fluid damping, is not really suitable for use with MC cartridges, so this is one of the reasons why your heavily-modded P2 and Tecnoarm are giving better results in certain areas. If you want the Techy to catch up (and overtake) in that respect you’ll need to invest in the likes of a Jelco or an SME, not to mention a KAB or Time Step PSU.


Changing from the Denon AU300-LC SUT to the GSP Elevator Exp active stage with that cartridge on that deck removed most of the limitations in treble definition that originally led me to the DL-301.


I know the limitations of the AU300-LC only too well, as I used one for years with a bog standard 103, and it most definitely lends a 'softness' to the presentation. It’s a budget device, after all; only by upgrading to an A23, AU-S1 or an HA-500 will you truly hear the full potential of any 103. With the latter in use, the high frequency response of the 103 is much more extended, and conveyed with greater resolution and clarity.

The other thing is that the performance of the bog standard 103 is severely limited by its plastic body shell and poor quality internal wiring, which is why it performs as you’ve described even when mass-loaded, etc. The quite frankly huge difference gained by eradicating those issues, when the likes of a DL-103SA is used, only becomes obvious when you’ve heard the comparison first-hand.


Symphonic crescendos are the main shortcoming to me, since I understand you do not listen to much classical music our variance is, to me, understandable.
I have subsequently given the 1200 lengthy audition (a couple of months) with both the DL-103 and the AT-Mono 3/LP before drawing the conclusions outlined above.

I do believe that both my cartridge choices and musical preferences have a great bearing on my findings.


I absolutely agree with your last point – that is a very significant factor.

The thing is though, and I really must stress this for anyone reading who’s considering buying a 103 and optimising its performance the way I’m on record as saying, it is definitely *not* a cartridge I would recommend for people who are predominantly into classical music and who 'get off' on such things as "symphonic crescendos" and "treble definition". That’s not what the bog standard 103 (or any 103) is about. In fact, if treble definition is a big thing then you need a cartridge with a fine-line stylus, not a spherical one such as is used on the 103.

The DL-103 is about funky bass lines, 'groove' and 'flow', syncopating foot-tapping rhythms; and a joie de vivre with beat-driven music (and jazz) that makes you want to get up and dance. It’s a cartridge which will always appeal to the heart more than the head. If you want to bask in the rendition of "symphonic crescendos", then the 103 is not for you. Your interests are better served by other cartridges on the market, namely the AT-33PTG, OC-9, or perhaps a Transfiguration or Lyra. Another viable option would be the Denon DL-S1, which I think would be an ideal choice for your needs, and right up your street.

I think, Tony, if you really want to maximise the performance of your SL-1200 with the type of music you listen to, then my advice would be to abandon the 103 and stock tonearm, and fit and SME or Jelco, along with one of the cartridges above, together with the Time Step or KAB PSU. It’s only way you’ll find what you’re looking for - or you’ll end up giving up on the SL-1200 and going back to an inferior lightweight belt-drive turntable (such as your P2 is, no matter how seriously modified) simply because you’ve taken the wrong path for the music you enjoy, and how you like it presented.

Marco.

Tony G
15-06-2009, 00:06
Marco,
it may have seemed so, but it is not my intention to contradict you, rather to augment your observations with my own from a differing usage perspective.

You made reference to your "shootout" prior to fitting the Jelco 750 which was the point of my comments on the stock arm, the limitations of which I mentioned.

I am also aware of the shortcomings of the basic DL-103 that you draw attention to and also of the basic Denon SUT - my point in that reference was to draw attention to the significant improvement to be had from quality active step-up amplification, I have seen reference elsewhere to the idea that this is a cartridge that is better with active amplification than with a transformer, I cannot absolutely state that this is so, having not used a quality transformer.

I do not "get off" on symphonic crescendos, I love the body, weight, timbre and tone of the 103, its apparent power and enthusiasm - BUT - I do listen to a deal of classical music as the mood strikes and do not like to have my ears assaulted by climaxes turning to screeching caused by a lack of resolution, it rather spoils the choral finale of Beethovens 9th for example.

Classical is far from the only genre to which I listen, but is the one that gives me the best indication of tonal colour and resolution.

Most of the rest of your reply only reinforces my own conclusions as to the direction in which to take any further modification to the 1200.

As I said in opening, my intention was to augment what you have said previously, by outlining exactly the circumstances under which I was observing the things to which I have referred, particularly in the context of this thread on damping of the plinth.

Tony G
15-06-2009, 00:21
Clive,
thanks for that extra info on your arm decoupling trials, sounds rather along the lines I would have expected and echoes what I found with the RB250 and the "O" ring.

Marco
15-06-2009, 07:42
Hi Tony,


it may have seemed so, but it is not my intention to contradict you, rather to augment your observations with my own from a differing usage perspective.


No worries mate. AOS is about exchanging information and experiences, and then expressing our valid opinions based on that, not necessarily agreeing with me, so feel free to contradict at will (even though you weren't)! ;)


I am also aware of the shortcomings of the basic DL-103 that you draw attention to and also of the basic Denon SUT - my point in that reference was to draw attention to the significant improvement to be had from quality active step-up amplification, I have seen reference elsewhere to the idea that this is a cartridge that is better with active amplification than with a transformer, I cannot absolutely state that this is so, having not used a quality transformer.


Mmmm... I would tend to dispute that, unless you're talking about Denon's own head amplifiers, such as the HA-500 that I use, which has been specifically matched for the 103. I'm not saying that there aren't any other active devices out there which suit the 103, but as yet I haven't heard any.

Experience suggests that transformers are the way to go with the 103, and here I'm talking about specifically the A23 or Denon AU-S1. Low-output MCs and SUTs must be designed in unison so that the specific transformer in question 100% matches the electrical requirements of the partnering cartridge. So far I haven't heard anything to touch the Haufe units used inside the A23, but I'm sure there's something out there that's as good if you look hard enough!


I do not "get off" on symphonic crescendos, I love the body, weight, timbre and tone of the 103, its apparent power and enthusiasm - BUT - I do listen to a deal of classical music as the mood strikes and do not like to have my ears assaulted by climaxes turning to screeching caused by a lack of resolution, it rather spoils the choral finale of Beethovens 9th for example.


The reasons for the above occurring are mostly threefold:

1) The limitations of the stock Technics arm.

2) The resonant effect of the 103's plastic body shell and poor quality of the internal wiring.

3) Spherical tips aren't best for tracking 'difficult' passages in music, such as you describe.

This is why in order for the classical music you enjoy to be reproduced properly, you should upgrade your tonearm, change your cartridge to something along the lines of what I recommended earlier - or if you want to stick with the 103, go for a 'nuded' DL-103 Pro or a DL-103SA, both of which, stylus aside, address the issues of the bog standard 103. Furthermore, with the 103 Pro you have the added benefit of a more extended high frequency response, which would work well with the music you like.

However, that aside, the 103 is still not a cartridge that I would recommend for classical music listening. It was designed to play rock and pop music on heavyweight turntables in commercial radio stations, and that's what it does best. It just so happens that its qualities with tone and timbre also lends itself well to jazz and vocal/acoustic material. This, along with rock and pop, is the music I mostly listen to, so the 103's balance of sonic virtues suit me perfectly.

In your position though, I'd be going for a cartridge with a fine-line stylus. If you want to retain a proportion of the 103's 'magic' but obtain more delicacy and finesse at the top end (and better treble definition), then the DL-S1 is the one to go for:

http://www.audiocubes2.com/brand/Denon/product/Denon_DL-S1_Moving_Coil_Cartridge.html

Use that with the AU-S1 SUT:

http://www.audiocubes2.com/brand/Denon/product/Denon_AU-S1_Audiophile_MC_Step-up_Transformer.html

then fit, say, an SME IV and Time Step PSU, and you'll be in heaven, and probably sorted for life! :)


Most of the rest of your reply only reinforces my own conclusions as to the direction in which to take any further modification to the 1200.


Trust me, Tony, when it comes to Denon cartridges and the 1200/1210 I know what I'm talking about ;)

Marco.

Tony G
15-06-2009, 08:15
Trust me, Tony, when it comes to Denon cartridges and the 1200/1210 I know what I'm talking about

.................................................. .................................................. ...........


.......my intention was to augment what you have said previously, by outlining exactly the circumstances under which I was observing the things to which I have referred,particularly in the context of this thread on damping of the plinth.

Marco
15-06-2009, 08:23
Ah, I see... You just want to talk about plinth damping? In that case, I shall refer you to others here, as my expertise is not in that area (mainly because so far I have not considered it necessary to experiment there) :)

Marco.

mulane
15-06-2009, 08:58
Clive, your experiences are very interesting - will have to have a play with some o-rings (in the nicest sense). I have just gone to some trouble making an aluminium arm board so was somewhat dismayed to hear the timber ones sounded better to you - oh well. Did you try an o-ring under the arm post mounting 'ring' or flange as well?

Clive
15-06-2009, 09:29
Clive, your experiences are very interesting - will have to have a play with some o-rings (in the nicest sense). I have just gone to some trouble making an aluminium arm board so was somewhat dismayed to hear the timber ones sounded better to you - oh well. Did you try an o-ring under the arm post mounting 'ring' or flange as well?
Don't be dismayed. Results will vary quite significantly according to turntable / plinth. You could find wood is too dead and you need metal. I did try o-rings all over the place, again results will vary by arm/deck. Some arms will need o-rings under the mounting pillar, others will need to be rigid (ie unipiviots). There are no rules about what's optimal for a specific deck.

mulane
19-06-2009, 10:06
I thought I'd post a few pics of the damping layer and the gaps, and the bare aluminium top plate. I think I will damp at least some of the top plate with another material (in the flat corners for example) but may keep some of the original damping layer cut into sections and glued on, perhaps where the shapes are very complex.

Not sure what other material I'll use on the top plate - might be perspex or SDS damping sheets or home made SDS-type sheets. The visco-elastic polymer sheets used in constrained layer damping are available from 3M, and they even have their own aluminium damping sheets. Food for thought.

I am not in a hurry as I have another deck to play actual music, so I dont forget why I am doing this. Will keep you updated with how I go.

mulane
07-07-2009, 12:07
Tonight I removed the two damping layers from the working turntable and placed the turntable on four springs. I did this to see if removing the Technics damping was a step in the right direction sound wise. I played "Bird on a Wire" by Jennifer Warnes and with the first few notes my ears immediately pricked up. Well I am impressed! The sound seems to "breathe" better and I can more easily hear into the mix. I guess this means it seems more three dimensional and the soundstage seems deeper. Dare I say the deck sounds more like my belt drive in a good way. There seems to be a bit of bloom or resonnance in the bass which is not unpleasant and the bass goes deep. Hopefully damping the top plate with Isodamp or SDS will fix this.

I could be imagining all this but I have no desire to put the damping back and this is a good sign. When I find my camera USB cable I will put a few pix up - it looks a bit like a Gyrodeck now!

Ammonite Acoustics
07-07-2009, 12:57
I tried this, placing the naked deck onto three Stillpoints and was initially shocked and impressed by the sheer verve and searing detail; however it soon became apparent that the whole affair lacked sonic weight, so I reluctantly replaced the damping layer and rubber base. I do think that a massy wooden plinth might work, one way or another, but I am not the one to try it (my woodworking skills are not up to that sort of job).

mulane
07-07-2009, 13:05
The spring suspension gives it weight. I have transmission line speakers and there is no lack of weight. It is nicely balanced. I know some people like massy wooden plinths but I'm leaning towards damped aluminium now, at least I'd like to try to stay with the std plinth top and see if I can get that sounding good. If that doesnt work I might try a laminated plinth a la Froggyspit but with aluminium.

mulane
08-07-2009, 11:18
Here are a few pics. It's all very makeshift and done with whatever I had at hand: some coffee jar lids to hold the springs screwed to existing screw holes and the std feet under the springs. I will try fixing the springs to the corners but this will need some dowel cut to give the springs enough height.

mulane
30-07-2009, 11:54
I was looking at the platter the other day in my hand and tapping it to make it ring. I realised that alot of the ringing is actually comming from the magnet assembly screwed to the underside of the platter. This is quite a big chunk of metal hanging there undamped.

So I unscrewed the assembly and put lines of blu-tack all over it, both sides. I also put a thin 3mm chord of blu-tack on the bottom edge of the magnet. I had to flatten it quite a bit so it wouldnt foul anything when I put it back on the turntable.

How did it sound with the magnet damped? Well it was hard to pick and quite subtle but I think the bass was a little clearer and less resonnant-it went as deep but was a bit more lifelike. But it was hard to pick so I'll have to keep listening. Steve Winwood's "The Morning Side" off the "Roll With It" LP sounded absolutely magnificent! Anyone know this track? I would be interested if others can hear a difference with this mod.

I'm really loving my naked Techy-I think it sounds brilliant!

I will try using some 3M damping foil on the magnet instead of the blu-tack and see if that changes anything, and am making (slow) progress with the plinth too. (no I dont think I am going mad and yes I am still seeing people and getting out a bit :ner:).

mulane
02-08-2009, 01:15
I've been busy applying 3M damping foil 2552 to the top of the platter and offcuts to the magnet assembly and underside of the platter under the magnet. The foil is a layer of 5mil viscoelastic polymer constrained by a thin layer of al foil. Havent had time yet to hear the results or compare it to the std platter but will do so in a day or two. I'm hoping the platter with al foil tape will be a cost-effective alternative to the SDS plattermat.

(the hands in one of the pics dont belong to me but to my gracious assistant)

mulane
02-08-2009, 01:16
and...

mulane
04-08-2009, 13:42
Well I did some listening tonight with the foil-damped platter and compared it to the std platter. I used a single thin rubber mat of unknown origin over the foil as a better surface for the record.

Listening to 'The Morning Side" again and the bass notes seemed a bit cleaner and more defined as if a degree of "bloom" had been removed. I wasnt sure I liked this as "bloom" is one of the things I like about vinyl. So I went back and forth with the std platter and the treated one. There is definitely greater clarity with the new one and a bit more dynamic range. The notes seem to leap out of blackness more rather than be surrounded by hash.

In fact the thought that kept comming to me is that it sounded more like CD! But do I want my vinyl to sound more like CD? I pondered this as I listened to more LPs like "Inner Mounting Flame" by Mahavishnu Orchestra (an old favourite). The track "Dawn" lept out with raw energy and had me transfixed. It still had the huge, wide soundstage of vinyl but more of the precision and clarity of a good CD player. I realised the reduction of bloom let me hear into the recording better and get a better sense of each individual instrument. Mmm I think I could get to like this.:) Then I tried Jennifer Warnes "Bird on a Wire" off the "Famous Blue Raincoat" LP. Again the bass had greater clarity, seperation and slam. I forced myself to focus on the higher notes (I'm a bass junkie). There was less of the harshness that often comes through in her voice on my system so it was easier to listen to but the clarity was still there.

So I think this mod is definitely worth trying especially if you dont have a SDS Plattermat. It cost me nothing as the local 3M people generously sent me a sample which was plenty to cover the platter and magnet. I may at some stage try adding a disc of 1-2mm aluminium to the foil as this would provide a better constraining layer than the thin layer of foil over the polymer layer.

chris@panteg
04-08-2009, 14:35
Very interesting Mulane 'i have the Jennifer warnes LP 180 gm and have always loved it but i find the recording very digital sounding and do wonder if it would be better on CD .

mulane
04-08-2009, 23:56
Thanks for the reply Chris - I was beginning to feel like I was just talking to myself on this thread.

Interesting that your copy sounds digital. Mine sounds anything but that, but I have the origional pressing and not the 180gm. Maybe they added processing of some sort. I also have the CD so I'll try and compare the two. Wish I could find Cohen's "10 new songs" on vinyl - now that would be something. Everyone here is out of stock and seem to be having trouble getting new stock.

chris@panteg
05-08-2009, 10:44
Mulane ' no probs

I am currently messing around with an old Technics DD linear tracker (SLQL1) and i think i am in agreement about the rubber damping ' you see this deck is a pretty decent performer , and it does not have any rubber damping other than a thin ' ish mat.

It does have a TNRC base and sprung feet ' which is surprisingly effective ,
the thing is it does have a very different tonal balance to my 1210 timestep and i am liking it ' it seems also to have excellent PRAT ' all for 25 + 15 for the AT3482.

What is the availability of quality vinyl like in OZ ' i am not sure if Cohen's 10 new songs is now out of print as it seems unavailable here also.

One question for you ' was that your letter to David Price in this months HIFI world ,
the 1200 is worth persevering with ' i will look forward to what you have to say about your new PSU ' i think you will be amazed at how much better it sounds ' .

mulane
06-08-2009, 11:55
That SLQL1 sounds interesting Chris. Is the TNRC similar stuff to the Pocan used on the SL 1200 - ie. a light fibreglass-like material?

You have to go to a specialist vinyl or hifi store here for LPs. Their stock is usually pretty good - I found the Rhino re-issue of Astral Weeks the other day for example after a bit of a ring around.

No the letter wasnt mine - is that the September issue? Its not out here yet. Must try to find some time to finish the PSU. If a bit of damping on the platter makes so much difference I cant wait to hear the improvement from the PSU :) (and the plinth of course).

chris@panteg
06-08-2009, 14:36
I think it must be the same stuff , it does seem to work well 'the QL1 sounds amazing really for peanuts money ' the linear tracking arm can be a bit twitchy if the worm gear grease has hardened up.

When you get your psu going ' you will really start to hear the techy as it should be:)

mulane
08-08-2009, 01:57
Yes I must try to make some time to finish the PSU. If a bit of damping on the platter made as much difference as it did then I cant wait to hear the new PSU (and the modded plinth). Then I'll have to look at a new phono stage as I'm sure the Pioneer A400 stage I'm using just doesnt cut it any more.

Tolstoi
25-09-2009, 16:50
Mulane, your tonearm looks like a Mayware Formula. You say it's a JH Formula.
Are those two identical. I am interested in the Mayware for my SL-1210 and would like to know how that tonearm goes with the Techie and which armbase you use.

Cheers

Joerg

DSJR
25-09-2009, 16:59
I think the "Formula" tonearm was made in several versions for different markets and I reckon the Roksan Nima is very heavily based on this venerable old design. Indeed, the Mk5 Mayware (I sold and set up countless Mk4's) was significantly beefed up over the earlier very-low-mass models.

Tolstoi
26-09-2009, 09:26
I meant mounting plate for the arm of course...

Cheers

Joerg