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View Full Version : Steve's SL-1210 new journey - long but stick with it



Magna Audio
14-09-2009, 19:34
It's had been a while now since the PL-71 displaced the SL-1210.
It sat on the dining room sideboard table looking at me from time to time, at one time with the Parallel air arm on it but most of the time with no arm at all.
My SL-1210 has a DIY off deck custom made mains transformer and DIY PSU. I use Foculpod feet resting on a sheet of 22mm MDF that is coupled to a 20mm sheet of granite again on Foculpod feet. I had tried the Funk Achromat on it too.

The Sl-1210 got displaced partly due the PL-71 being a new toy and partly due to a session I had with my hifi pal Steve C we listened to the SL-1210 first with the air arm and then switched the 33PTG to the PL-71 (in standard trim).
The SL-1210 presented a very detailed full range sound with good bass and accuracy. However we both exclaimed the PL-71 just seemed to boogie better.

(For reference Steve C built the same amp (KT88 class A push pull project build) as I have, has auditioned all my recent speakers and we tested his speakers at my place, have tried dacs and shared upgrades, DIY tweaks & tube swaps)

Firstly I had tried the SL-1210 with a fully loaded Origin Live modded Rega RB250 arm and the 33PTG.
Others have noted that there are better arms for the SL-1210. The air arm was a considerable step up over the Rega, finesse and subtleties being coming to the fore.

After using the PL-71 for a while and trying Mat changes (Funk Achromat) and others I found I liked the PL-71 original compound construction mat.

I got to thinking, I wonder what the SL-1210 would sound like with that mat and also was the Sl-1210 even more pitch stable than the aging PL-71 (albeit with new caps throughout, switches and speed adjust pots).

On Saturday I dusted off the SL-1210 and fitted the air arm and a Ortofon MC25E. Similar spec to the 33PTG in V output and phono stage settings so easy to swap. I put the PL-71 mat on and spun her up.
It sounded ok. Pitch stability was the prime area for test here remember.
Test it on all the clanging out piano stuff I have from Oscar P, to Jan Johansson to some slow stuff on Melody Gardot's latest.
All sounded stable and reasonable. Perhaps a little more stable than the PL-71 but not by much to be honest.

This wet my appetite for more fiddling and on Sunday I was thinking - I wonder what the 33PTG on the PL-71 arm would sound like on the SL-1210 - just about the only combo of my preferred existing kit I had not tried.

DIY part.
Firstly, remove the arm on the PL-71 - easy. Remove the air arm on the SL-1210 - easy.
Measure up the arm hole position for the PL-71 arm (not the same as the Rega board) and make a jig.
Then I made an inner arm board out of 13mm ply to fit in the outer Origin Line mooting.
Measuring up this inner board would need to be about 15mm lower to get the
VTA the same. Two sections of aluminum tubing were used to drop / space the inner arm board.
I covered the plywood section with black Fablon - excellent stuff I have used for Motorsport racing numbers and go faster bonnet stripes in the past.
With the board in place and secure I mounted the arm and made up a phono plug plate out of some angle aluminium.

http://inlinethumb17.webshots.com/42064/2543433900071997495S600x600Q85.jpg (http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2543433900071997495PvVKzG)

The PL-71 tonearm wire solders straight onto a bridging board that goes to phono sockets. A similar arrangement was constructed, sig and ground connections made.
Anyway this was not really about DIY so please don't move this to the DIY section Marco!

VTA sorted and cartridge alignment checked (using several of the Vinyl Engines finest protractors) all was ready.

Needle drops... wait for it...
http://inlinethumb64.webshots.com/45439/2741420910071997495S600x600Q85.jpg (http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2741420910071997495AYsFpp)
It was not long before I realised something good was going on here.
The 33 PTG is clearly ahead of the MC25E in every dept but what of the deck comparison then?
Ok you'll have to wait a little longer for that it.
The PL-71 arm is a good um that's for sure. The mat plays it part in giving the notes
that fleet of finger and delicacy I have come to expect.

Most notably; gone was the SL-1210's slightly over solid 2d sounding reproduction - perhaps the mat?

Firstly I started off with the same piano pieces as mentioned above.
Then I wanted to check other things out. Willie Nelson's Stardust. Carol King's Tapestry, Happiness is easy (had to try that one too!),
were all thrown at the 1210. Then Nick Drake, Chris Rea's Road to hell and finally PF's Wish you were here.

OK deck wise - What got me was not the bass control or what I will call grip of the basic rhythm (I would expect that) but the clarity and togetherness of the music - what I call boogie factor. My daughter came in and without having knowledge of the arm swap or looking at the deck said "that sounds clear"!
I know the PL-71 mat boogied better than the Funk mat on the PL-71 - I did not know what to expect of it on the Technics deck.
Arm wise the PL-71 arm kicks the Rega in to touch and it seems to find a better synergy than the Air arm in the Technics.

Itís too early to say more at this stage. I am impressed beyond what I heard before. I admit I did offer the deck up for sale to a forum member a while back). Won't be doing that again.

I do like a change so both these decks are keepers.
Lastly & trivially I do love the sl-1210's fast stop / start: :-)

DSJR
14-09-2009, 20:17
I wonder how the R200 Rega arm compares with its obvious Pioneer relative?

I have a big problem with the SL150 - it's far too slim for the R200, which has a very deep pillar which fouls the bottom cover. i can't butcher the bottom covers I have as the cracked one is crumbling and any cutout would foul one of the feet anyway. The R200 will have to go on the TD125 instead..............

Marco
14-09-2009, 20:39
It was not long before I realised something good was going on here.
The 33 PTG is clearly ahead of the MC25E in every dept but what of the deck comparison then?
Ok you'll have to wait a little longer for that it.
The PL-71 arm is a good um that's for sure. The mat plays it part in giving the notes
that fleet of finger and delicacy I have come to expect.

Most notably; gone was the SL-1210's slightly over solid 2d sounding reproduction - perhaps the mat?


Hi Steve,

You're some boy for experimenting and all I can say is well done!! :cool:

This is a *very* significant discovery in terms of both showing how fundamentally a change of tonearm affects the performance of the Techie - *and* that, as I've always said (;)), the Acos-based PL-71 arm is bloody good (much better than a Rega), and a significant reason why some people prefer the PL-71 to the Techy - and indeed have sold the latter to buy the former. I'm thinking here of Gromit in particular...

Shuggie should also take note! :)

The mat could also be playing a part, but I suspect that it's the arm which is making the most difference. Have you got a Sound Hi-fi/Herbie's mat to try? If not, I'd suggest you get one, as I suspect that it would work very well in conjunction with the new combination including the PL-71 arm.

What I'd be interested to find out now (in due course), is if you prefer the Techie/PL-71 arm combo to the PL-71 as standard... I'm still convinced that the Techie is intrinsically the better deck - *BUT* it just needs the right arm and PSU for this to be realised. Here think Jelco SA-750D, SME309/IV, etc, or of course your PL-71 arm.

Anyway, I'm glad that you're pleased with results. Please keep us posted how you get on from here!

Marco.

NRG
14-09-2009, 20:53
Interesting report Steve. I've been enjoying my PL71 for a while now but have picked up on a bit of an issue with sibilance on a few tracks. This was highlighted when I re-bodied my DL103R, I've also noticed some slight end of side mis-tracking on a few loud tracks. I've eliminated some of it by careful alignment, VTA and upping the tracking force but its still there sometimes...I was starting to think I've reached the limits of what the PL-71 arm can achieve with the now much heavier cartridge.. :confused:

Ammonite Acoustics
15-09-2009, 07:07
Shuggie should also take note! :)

Marco.

Damned cheek!;)

Actually, I have been playing around with arms again, including your favourite, with mixed results. Having acquired a different Rega armboard, I am going to try the Tecnoarm with that on the Technics, then repeat the whole series of experiments with my Kenwood (I've been listening to the Technics for long enough now so that the differences between the decks will be clear). I have to make an armboard to fit the Jelco on the Kenwood and rout out the plinth hole to get the mounting distance correct, but these are not huge jobs.

What I have learnt so far is that arms and mats make a big difference to the Technics' performance, but it's a minefield, and someone else's taste is probably not mine. The most satisfying overall performer for me so far is the AO'd Technics arm, which is far from perfect in terms of grip (it loses the plot when the music gets challenging) but compensates with a lovely elastic musical flow and warm, even euphonic presentation (very 'analogue'). The Tecnoarm mounted using the Origin Live board slaughters it in terms of definition, but often I find it to be just too analytical for relaxed listening. When I can get off my arrse, I shall send the Tecnoarm to Audio Origami for a wiring transplant, which will cure its badly microphonic cable.

So, I'm unsurprised to read that the PL-71 arm does well for Steve on the Technics, but whether Marco would like it is quite another matter!

Dave Cawley
15-09-2009, 07:10
Maybe the SME 309 then?

Regards

Dave

Ammonite Acoustics
15-09-2009, 07:14
Maybe the SME 309 then?

Regards

Dave

Actually, in an ideal world, I would love to try one, but the new dining room floor must take priority!

Dave Cawley
15-09-2009, 07:23
Just add another £895 to your credit card bill and live happliy ever after?

Dave

Marco
15-09-2009, 08:15
LOL, Dave!

Hi Shuggs,

The 309 could well be the answer, but you can't keep on changing arms...


Damned cheek!


Arf! I couldn't resist :eyebrows:


Actually, I have been playing around with arms again, including your favourite, with mixed results.


Is it still not quite there yet, then? That's puzzling. Could you go into more detail as to what the mixed results are so I can try to understand what you perceive as negatives?

Maybe the Jelco is just not to your taste, but I strongly suspect it's either a set-up issue, or more likely a compatibility issue between it and the cartridge you're using... As far as I know, you're the only one using a Jelco on a Techie who's less than delighted with it, and for me, there has to be a good reason for that which I suspect is down to more than just taste.

Are you sure you've got the geometry right with the Jelco - what alignment protractor and type of arm plate have you used? For best results, you really need one of Dave's new ones that he had made in Germany, as those make quite a difference. Have you used the damping fluid? If not, I suggest that you do.

Also, when you're assessing the Jelco, were you using the Paul Hynes or the Timestep PSU? If it was the former, I'd suggest that you fit the Timestep and have another listen, as there's a 'holistic' relationship/synergy between the Timestep and the Jelco. I'd also try listening to some other cartridges with the Jelco and see if that improves things, rather than laying the blame solely at the door of the arm.

Do you have a MM phono stage?

If you like, I'll send you my spare stock 103 fitted to a high-mass headshell (which you can just plug into your Jelco), and Denon HA-500 MC head amp (to ensure that the 103 is loaded optimally). This will enable you to assess things using different ancillaries. Just PM me if you're interested :)


Having acquired a different Rega armboard, I am going to try the Tecnoarm with that on the Technics, then repeat the whole series of experiments with my Kenwood (I've been listening to the Technics for long enough now so that the differences between the decks will be clear).


Your thoughts after doing that would be most interesting. I'm not a fan of the Tecnoarm, either, incidentally, but that should come as no surprise to you!

I admire your persistence, Shuggs, but the bottom line is of course you don't *have* to like the Techie or the Jelco. You might just prefer the Kenwood or the PL-71, or even the Techie with a Tecnoarm... In short, you like what you like. Your particular journey has certainly been a fascinating one, though.


What I have learnt so far is that arms and mats make a big difference to the Technics' performance, but it's a minefield, and someone else's taste is probably not mine.


For me, once all the tricks have been tried, this could be the key. You do seem to have slightly different tastes from the majority of us. You're absolutely right though, arms and mats do make a big difference - there are definitely certain combinations which should be seen as a 'pair'. Synergy is all-important.


The most satisfying overall performer for me so far is the AO'd Technics arm, which is far from perfect in terms of grip (it loses the plot when the music gets challenging) but compensates with a lovely elastic musical flow and warm, even euphonic presentation (very 'analogue'). The Tecnoarm mounted using the Origin Live board slaughters it in terms of definition, but often I find it to be just too analytical for relaxed listening.


I completely agree with you about the Technics arm losing the plot when the music gets challenging, as I also noticed this - even when it had been rewired and fluid-damped by KAB, hence why I sold it and upgraded to the Jelco, so we do agree on something! I'm not sure about the "lovely elastic musical flow and warm euphonic presentation", though. I always found it a bit 'zingy', slightly bright and a bit 'shouty', mainly because the armtube is thin and quite resonant.

"Too analytical" is precisely why I don't like the Tecnoarm or OL-modded Rega, on almost any turntable. For me, they give a rather cool, 'Hi-fi-like' presentation, which lack the rhythmic flow and fluidity of the Jelcos or SMEs, and in turn their beguiling way with music.


So, I'm unsurprised to read that the PL-71 arm does well for Steve on the Technics, but whether Marco would like it is quite another matter!

I suspect that I would because I used to love the old Acos Lustre, which the Pioneer arm is based on. Hopefully someone will have a PL-71 with them at the Owston bake-off on Saturday/Sunday, where I should then be able to get to grips with what this deck has to offer. It's a pity you can't make it up :smoking:

Marco.

NRG
15-09-2009, 10:13
Mine will be there Marco...

Marco
15-09-2009, 10:16
Nice one, Neal. That's what I was hoping for :)

Will you be able to stay for longer this time so we can do some proper comparisons in the evening?

Marco.

NRG
15-09-2009, 10:38
Yes staying until Sunday.

Marco
15-09-2009, 10:45
Cool :smoking:

Are you also bringing your SP10? It would be good to hear both.

Marco.

NRG
15-09-2009, 11:28
Yep SP10 and maybe the GL99...might be one TT too far!

Marco
15-09-2009, 11:35
Show off! ;)

:eyebrows:

Marco.

Ammonite Acoustics
15-09-2009, 11:57
Is it still not quite there yet, then? That's puzzling. Could you go into more detail as to what the mixed results are so I can try to understand what you perceive as negatives?

At present, the overall sound is shut-in and hard. Not nice, but I am not admitting defeat at all!


Are you sure you've got the geometry right with the Jelco - what alignment protractor and type of arm plate have you used? For best results, you really need one of Dave's new ones that he had made in Germany, as those make quite a difference. Have you used the damping fluid? If not, I suggest that you do.

The arm plate is one of Dave's. The alignment protractor is the Clearaudio jig, set to IEC standard, and I have used the damping fluid. I'm also using Dave's Audiophile Mat1.


Also, when you're assessing the Jelco, were you using the Paul Hynes or the Timestep PSU?

I no longer have the Timestep, having sold it to another AoS member. Since the character of the two PSUs was so clearly distinguished using both the Technics arm and the Tecnoarm, I am happy with the one that I have now.


Do you have a MM phono stage?

If you like, I'll send you my spare stock 103 fitted to a high-mass headshell (which you can just plug into your Jelco), and Denon HA-500 MC head amp (to ensure that the 103 is loaded optimally). This will enable you to assess things using different ancillaries. Just PM me if you're interested :)

That's very kind. I am sort of curious to know what all the DL103 fuss is about, but will it need a new thorn at all;)?. My GCPH phono stage will do either MM or MC, as will the (valve) one that Paul Hynes is building me. What is the optimal DL103 loading, BTW?


I completely agree with you about the Technics arm losing the plot when the music gets challenging, as I also noticed this - even when it had been rewired and fluid-damped by KAB, hence why I sold it and upgraded to the Jelco, so we do agree on something! I'm not sure about the "lovely elastic musical flow and warm euphonic presentation", though. I always found it a bit 'zingy', slightly bright and a bit 'shouty', mainly because the armtube is thin and quite resonant.

With the old OC5 hung out in front, there is nothing bright or shouty about my AO'd Technics arm. Things are rather more etched with the 2M Black, but the OC5 has me hooked with its easygoing sound. I know that I should try an OC9 or 33PTG, but the dining room floor ............................... :(

Back to the Jelco, it is notably happier with the Kontrapunkt B, than with the OC5 or 2M Black, but still not 'there'. I am not regretting buying it, and will seek to get it working properly, one way or another. It may find a natural home on the Kenwood!

The Jelco arm cable connector is incredibly tight in the pillar, and maybe Dave could say if this is normal?

Marco
15-09-2009, 12:32
Hi Shuggs,


At present, the overall sound is shut-in and hard. Not nice, but I am not admitting defeat at all!


Gosh, something is terribly wrong there!! :scratch:

When everything is right, the Jelco is one of the smoothest, refined and expansive sounding tonearms I've heard, without a hint of grain or edge, short of an SME IV or V. If the Jelco sounded as you describe in my system then I wouldn't use one.

If you'd said that it sounded a bit 'understated' or 'polite', I'd have understood. "Shut-in and hard" is definitely not how it should be. As to what's causing that type of presentation - well, without looking at the deck I'm really not sure, but it seems likely to be set-up related :confused:


I no longer have the Timestep, having sold it to another AoS member. Since the character of the two PSUs was so clearly distinguished using both the Technics arm and the Tecnoarm, I am happy with the one that I have now.


Even though you've not used the Jelco with the Timestep, that would not explain the "shut-in and hard" sound you're experiencing. It would affect your deck's overall musical presentation, though. However, that's not to say that to your ears you'd have preferred the presentation more and/or the sonic signature of the Jelco even when using the Timestep.

Definitely stick with what you've got, but it's worth pointing out that to do the job properly, PSUs, arms and mats should be chosen in unison, in order that everything synergises together and the end result, sonically, is cohesive. This is after all what a manufacturer would do when designing a turntable from scratch, so one must apply the same method when making aftermarket changes to an existing design. However, this is sometimes easier said than done.


That's very kind. I am sort of curious to know what all the DL103 fuss is about, but will it need a new thorn at all;)?.


Thorn? Do you mean stylus? If so, no, as my spare 103 has had just enough use to run it in.


My GCPH phono stage will do either MM or MC, as will the (valve) one that Paul Hynes is building me. What is the optimal DL103 loading, BTW?


Around 100 Ohms - just over in fact, which is what the A23 and HA-500 provide. In my experience though, the 103 much prefers valves.


With the old OC5 hung out in front, there is nothing bright or shouty about my AO'd Technics arm. Things are rather more etched with the 2M Black, but the OC5 has me hooked with its easygoing sound. I know that I should try an OC9 or 33PTG, but the dining room floor ............................... :(


LOL. I know what it's like - I've just spent mucho denaro on a new bathroom, and the kitchen is next!

Dave won't thank me for saying this, but in my experience the 33PTG is the better cartridge, unless you're looking for a more 'up-front' kind of sound and value explicit high frequency detail over weight and 'texture'. Sorry, I'm not a fan of budget Ortofon cartridges either (way too forward sounding).


Back to the Jelco, it is notably happier with the Kontrapunkt B, than with the OC5 or 2M Black, but still not 'there'. I am not regretting buying it, and will seek to get it working properly, one way or another. It may find a natural home on the Kenwood!


Well, who knows? I certainly hope that you get it working properly and when you do that you like how it sounds. I can't help thinking though that a trip at some point to Dave's, just for him to check over everything, would pay dividends.


The Jelco arm cable connector is incredibly tight in the pillar, and maybe Dave could say if this is normal?

Yep, mine is the same.

Let me know what you want to do about the 103. I may even tie it in with a visit ;)

It would be good to get to the bottom of your Jelco conundrum, and compare our Techies with their respective PSUs.

Marco.

Ammonite Acoustics
15-09-2009, 17:47
Let me know what you want to do about the 103. I may even tie it in with a visit ;)

It would be good to get to the bottom of your Jelco conundrum, and compare our Techies with their respective PSUs.

Marco.

We need to continue this discussion on my SL-1210 thread, rather than clog up Steve's. That said, I would like to take up your offer of the DL103, and if you do find yourself in these parts, a mini DD TT bakeoff would be just the thing.

Magna Audio
15-09-2009, 20:43
We need to continue this discussion on my SL-1210 thread, rather than clog up Steve's. That said, I would like to take up your offer of the DL103, and if you do find yourself in these parts, a mini DD TT bakeoff would be just the thing.

:) I'm learning lots from the clogging.

On a business trip so no TT play until Thurs evening earliest :( Absence and all that...

Magna Audio
18-09-2009, 06:33
It's that track again. The one we used at the LP-12 and other TT's bake off.
Flatpopely sent me the record.

There's one of the PL-71 and the SL-1210 with PL-71 arm.
Same AT 33 PTG cart and phono stage used.

I have not had time to compare these two = burn a CD with them on and listen back to back on the proper hifi yet. I know there has been some debate elsewhere about the value of digitizing vinyl for evaluation, others have said you can hear the character of the decks come through - should be easier with only the deck being changed... Bit of fun anyway.

http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=4e5c27740920b3998d78a0e555291609e04e75f6 e8ebb871

Interesting to see what you guys think?

Marco
18-09-2009, 07:36
Hi Steve,

Very interesting! Maybe it's just me, but for some reason the PL-71 recording seemed subjectively slightly louder (I stress slightly)... I presume that you kept the levels the same for both recordings, and also everything else in the recording chain was identical on both occasions?

If so, then on that evidence with that recording, I prefer the PL-71. Apart from perceived loudness, there seems to be more drive and energy with the PL-71. The 1210, to my ears, seemed to be slightly 'soft', a little shut-in and lacking in focus in comparison.

The opening bass line in particular through the PL-71 had more rhythm and impetus, and when the sticks on drums kicked in these appeared to have more dynamic impact, and consequently more of a realistic sensation of 'sticks on skin'. The whole track also seemed to 'groove' and flow in a more entertaining way.

The more I listen though, the PL-71 track does definitely sound louder on my laptop (with the volume set the same both times). I would venture that the levels used with the PL-71 were correct, and with the 1210 a little low, so prior to your confirmation that the levels were in fact identical and everything else used in the recording was the same, this may explain some of the differences I outlined.

As usual I'm always honest, even if it's not necessarily in my own best interests! :)

Marco.

NRG
18-09-2009, 08:41
I agree Marco, the PL-71 is louder, just checked with Audacity....however, even with the volume adjusted I also prefer the PL-71 for the same reasons.

Marco
18-09-2009, 08:51
I thought it was louder. I wonder why Steve did that? Perhaps he hadn't realised? :scratch:

Yep, from that evidence (and of course for a number of reasons it's hardly conclusive) I prefer Steve's PL-71 to his 1210, which makes me look even more forward to hearing yours tomorrow! :cool:

Marco.

NRG
18-09-2009, 10:56
Yep, hopefully mines up to scratch, all packed and ready to go.... :)

Marco
18-09-2009, 12:22
Nice one. You're well organised. Chances are, I won't get to do that until the last minute! :respect:

Marco.

MartinT
18-09-2009, 12:33
If you'd said that it sounded a bit 'understated' or 'polite', I'd have understood. "Shut-in and hard" is definitely not how it should be.

I too am struggling with this description of Shugg's sound. Assuming the two Jelco arms at least have a family sound, my SA250ST with AT33PTG is wide open, has width and depth and is tight and detailed. With the DL-160 it is somewhat more euphonic and beautiful while losing out on detail. I am also using a GCPH so the finger of blame cannot be there.

I wonder whether the hardness is more to do with the situation/mounting of the turntable? I find the Isonoe feet are quite remarkable in isolating the SL-1210 from the outside world (where the Technics feet are useless). Worth some experimentation? Try an inner tube under the deck, not pumped too hard.

Marco
18-09-2009, 12:47
Hi Martin,

Good suggestion; problem is, there are any number of variables that could explain why Shuggs find the Jelco as he has described.


Marco.

Ammonite Acoustics
18-09-2009, 13:40
I too am struggling with this description of Shugg's sound. Assuming the two Jelco arms at least have a family sound, my SA250ST with AT33PTG is wide open, has width and depth and is tight and detailed. With the DL-160 it is somewhat more euphonic and beautiful while losing out on detail. I am also using a GCPH so the finger of blame cannot be there.

I wonder whether the hardness is more to do with the situation/mounting of the turntable? I find the Isonoe feet are quite remarkable in isolating the SL-1210 from the outside world (where the Technics feet are useless). Worth some experimentation? Try an inner tube under the deck, not pumped too hard.

I do wonder if something is amiss with my Jelco, because it does sound so horrid, but a bit more experimentation and exposure to someone else's ears (Marco?) should nail it down. My SL-1210 sings very nicely (up to a point) with the standard Technics arm, powered by the Paul Hynes PSU, and sitting on Stillpoints, so the stark difference between that and the Jelco is puzzling. Isolation is not an issue for me. I honestly expected the same sort of presentation with both arms, but with added weight, control and detail from the Jelco. That's what everyone else seems to be getting.

Time will tell. In the meantime, the Tecnoarm is winging towards Glasgow for a rewire and general health check. I reckon that will work very nicely once shorn shorn of its fancy (and microphonic) silver cable. A good 3-way tonearm battle in my listening room is looming!

Just a thought - does dressing of the Jelco arm cable make a difference? I may try a p-clip screwed into the Technics' base.

MartinT
18-09-2009, 14:54
Just a thought - does dressing of the Jelco arm cable make a difference? I may try a p-clip screwed into the Technics' base.

It may do, although I moved my arm cable around to minimise hum rather than avoid mechanical transmission. I'll play around with it a bit and may try a p-clip too.

Did you buy the Jelco from Dave C? It may be worth having him check it out for faulty bearings. Is the headshell connection tight? That's not a worry with the 250, but worth a look on your 750.

Ammonite Acoustics
18-09-2009, 15:44
Did you buy the Jelco from Dave C? It may be worth having him check it out for faulty bearings. Is the headshell connection tight? That's not a worry with the 250, but worth a look on your 750.

I did, but I haven't troubled him yet, preferring to make sure that I have attended to every reasonable possibility first. He actually advised me to get the 250, until he realised that I wanted a removable headshell, which then meant the 750. I'd be surprised is anything was amiss with the bearings, as it moves very freely with no discernible play. The headshell locking collar does feel very coarse in comparison to the Technics' one, so maybe that's a factor. We shall see (or rather, hear)!

One interesting point about my Jelco SA-750D - the counterweight's indication of tracking force is woefully inaccurate, yet the Technics is so spot on in this respect that it's a waste of time and effort getting the fancy VTF gauge out. Not so with the Jelco, but it's hardly a chore.

MartinT
18-09-2009, 16:31
One interesting point about my Jelco SA-750D - the counterweight's indication of tracking force is woefully inaccurate, yet the Technics is so spot on in this respect that it's a waste of time and effort getting the fancy VTF gauge out. Not so with the Jelco, but it's hardly a chore.

Since I use a 750 counterweight on my 250 (to adequately balance out the quite heavy 33PTG), my Jelco dial is useless anyway. I have a rather nifty digital tracking force gauge I bought on e-Bay recently and it's a joy to use.

DSJR
18-09-2009, 16:41
Aren't Stillpoints solid cones?

If so, the deck has no isolation at all and may allow feedback from the surroundings/music playing to cloud fine info... I'm beginning to think that I should buy some Isonoe's and use them with the SL150, screwed into the bottom cover (can't screw into the top plate as the 1200 allows...)

I don't mean to start another spat, but the Jelco may just work better with the Timestep as a "system."

Ammonite Acoustics
18-09-2009, 17:13
Aren't Stillpoints solid cones?

No. See www.stillpoints.us


If so, the deck has no isolation at all and may allow feedback from the surroundings/music playing to cloud fine info... I'm beginning to think that I should buy some Isonoe's and use them with the SL150, screwed into the bottom cover (can't screw into the top plate as the 1200 allows...)

Isolation, or management of vibration energy? It depends wholly on the situation to hand, as to which works best. I've tried Isonoes (admittedly not with recent Technics mods) and found them to work very well as isolators, but not in the sense of adding anything to the musical experience. I sold them on. The Stillpoints are by far the best support devices that I have tried to date. Not cheap, but as far as I am concerned, worth it. My listening room is pretty solid, so transmitted vibration is not a problem.


I don't mean to start another spat, but the Jelco may just work better with the Timestep as a "system."

Neither do I, but it's an irrelevant point as I have sold my Timestep on to another AoS member, so it's no longer available for a comparison. The difference between the two PSUs was, in my system, using Technics and Tecnoarm tonearms and all my available cartridges, so identically marked that I am happy with my present choice and have no wish whatsoever to experiment further in that respect.

DSJR
18-09-2009, 17:41
I've looked briefly at their site (thanks for link) but still have a nagging doubt that the Technics is massy enough for this kind of isolation - all merely guesswork though, so don't take it too seriously :)

Ammonite Acoustics
18-09-2009, 18:12
Sorry - this is home ground for me, so here goes!

Isolation is the wrong term to use here. Stillpoints do not isolate, rather the arrangement of ceramic balls and petals channel vibration energy and then absorb it. Things like Isonoes do isolate, like a classic mass-spring system, and like all such systems they have a characteristic resonance. Not necessarily a bad thing if well-designed (as I believe the Isonoes are, even though I did not like them), but the Stillpoints don't resonate in the same way, if at all in an audio context. In my experience, mass does not really come into the Stillpoints equation - they do not need a heavy weight on top to work, even though they can cope with very heavy equipment. They do work very well for me under my SL-1210.

When you look at the SL-1200/1210, the feet attach to the rubber base, not to the chassis, so that is already one mass-spring system, albeit a heavily damped one with a fair degree of transmissibility (inverse of isolation). Whether it's the standard feet or Isonoes, adding a second mass-spring system does complicate matters, because the fundamental resonances will be at different frequencies, and the overall isolation and resonant characteristics of the combined system will be complicated. I am considering how to bypass that rubber base without ruining the alloy chassis by passing bolts etc through it. I wonder if anyone has already done this, and can report whether it's worth the effort?

DSJR
18-09-2009, 19:56
Thanks for the explanation :)

I thought the feet on the SL1200 screwed into the main chassis casting like the original 1200 and 1100 decks did, but obviously, my SL150 isn't so different in this particular respect - the plastic base having one flexure and the air-filled slightly conical feet screwed to this adding another. Does the 1200 rubber-esque filling damp the base-board by contact, or is there a gap between damping compound and base?

Magna Audio
18-09-2009, 21:08
Right guys.
Well spotted. I too think / hear the PL-71 as louder. Not done with intention.
There's more to this recording lark than meets the eye/ear.
The PL-71 was done a couple of weeks ago the SL-1210 yesterday. Forgot where the slider was and first time round. I was getting clipping on the first SL-1210 (not audible but visible in Audacity post recording viewing) and backed off a bit too much.
I have heard that too low a recording level gives an unfair picture.
Back to the laptop to squeeze another 3dB - 6dB or so out for the Techi.

Back soon...

Try the 3rd one.
No matter what I do I can seem to get it exactly the same as the PL-71 plus the shape looks a bit different in Audacity - odd.
http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=4e5c27740920b3998d78a0e555291609e04e75f6 e8ebb871

Magna Audio
22-09-2009, 11:47
Love to hear what you think about the louder SL-1210 with PL-71 arm .wav...

Marco
22-09-2009, 12:28
Hi Steve,

I've listened to both again, and the Techie recording sounds much better now with more volume.

However, I still prefer your PL-71 for the same reasons as before. I'd say that it's the more synergistically matched of the two - more 'complete as a whole', if you like, with all its constituent parts pulling successfully in the one direction.

That doesn't necessarily mean though that your PL-71 is intrinsically 'superior'; merely that your Techie (how you've modded it, etc) isn't quite yet as well sorted as the PL-71. There's a difference, so keep working on it! ;)

If I get a chance later I'll post my thoughts on my Techie vs. Neal's PL-71 from the Owston fest. That was very interesting!

Marco.

P.S I've posted this on the other thread, too.

Magna Audio
22-09-2009, 15:46
Thanks Marco. Very interesting.
I need to make time and burn a CD for both.

Live on lots of diff material I was impressed with the SL-1210.
Time to go back to the PL-71 and see what's what.

Also need to assess if any other mods would be a good idea - bearing or what?
As you say it's at the level it's been modded to, not representative of what can be achieved.

leo
25-09-2009, 14:25
Just downloaded these for interests sake and played them back using the Sabre dac

Mostly prefered the PL-71, to me the 1210 sounded like it was recorded in a bog when it gets to about 40 seconds into the song when things kicks in, sounds more compressed

The difference in bass was quite interesting though, more bouncy with the PL-71 , a little more punchy but I think there was more detail in it with the 1210:scratch:


Great track btw

Magna Audio
25-09-2009, 14:49
Thanks for the feedback.
It's weird. I am not hearing anything like that handicap through the Tannoys. The Techi is pretty darn good.

I think there are more issues with the recording than the decks themselves.
I need to investigate.

Magna Audio
25-09-2009, 22:43
Right.
I found out that Audacity had for some reason started using another setting on sound card so the SL-1210 and PL-71 arm recording did sound weird / echoy.
I had not noticed this just playing it on the PC!

So sorted out and another go.

I can hear some things more clearly on the Techi - the wood block at the start for example.

Love to see / hear what you think...

All PL-71
http://www.mediafire.com/?yu1vhmzq4ez

Techi with PL-71 arm
http://www.mediafire.com/?mnwkgyzhziy

Both done with AT33 PTG cart and Dyna P75 phonostage

Marco
02-10-2009, 08:47
Hi Steve,

I'm getting a "Webpage cannot be found" with the Techie link...

Marco.

Magna Audio
03-10-2009, 17:59
Bu66er - will look into that later - off for guitar jam at neighbours place / semi studio now - should I take the 12string or the 6? Hell it's only next door - both

Marco
03-10-2009, 18:25
No worries, mate - enjoy your evening! :guitar:

Marco.

Magna Audio
04-10-2009, 18:15
Thanks - was good. Some new stuff to learn which is always good.

Right hopefully these will work.

http://www.mediafire.com/file/tnmuhoyn1mz/Technics SL-121- PL-71 arm PTG33 4_10_09.wav

http://www.mediafire.com/?tnmuhoyn1mz

Very interested to see what you think.
On my PC sound system I have a hard time hearing the differences. On CD main system it is better but does not sound as good as the TT - of course this is how it should be;)

If you can what the difference is between the above one and this one

http://www.mediafire.com/file/mnwkgyzhziy/Happiness is easy - Technics SL-1210 PL-71 arm AT33PTG.wav
You get a medal