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Thread: Technics 1210 Gr vs Modded old skool 1210

  1. #11
    Join Date: Jan 2012

    Location: Oxon.

    Posts: 42
    I'm Ant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SiT4 View Post
    Hi All,

    I've not really posted here before but been following threads on here for some time and noticed that since the new generation of decks came out -1210Gr and 1200G - that there is much less talk or excitement for people on Technics DD.
    Maybe the boat has sailed for many a while back ? In any case thats why i thought i would post my findings here on my moderately modded 1210 vs the newer GR for any newcomers to this area. Its also posted on PFM but was interested on peoples views over here.

    I've been wondering for a while if the latest incarnations of Technics decks are as good as people say they are and after devoting way too much time on the subject I decided that it wasn't enough to read forums or reviews to make a decision and so i finally decided to pit my slightly modded Technics 1210 against a new 1210GR directly in my system.

    The system was based around the following elements:

    My deck is an Original 1210 with Audio origami rewired arm (internal and external and foam filled), 5mm Achromat and Isonue footers. Cartridges were Ortofon 2M Bronze, Linn Adikt 2 and Linn Troika - recently rebuilt by Goldring. All with stock Technics headshells.
    Amps are Avondale Grad1, Avondale 130Z monos with Shahinan Arcs, wired with Black link cable. Phono stages TE microgroove plus set up for MC and Pro-ject Tube Box DS for MM.

    The Technics 1210GR for comparison was pretty much brand new with only a little bit of running in, so this may have some impact on the results but not sure how much ? So all elements in the dem were identical in terms of carts - i could just switch the headshells over - and all amps and phonostages were the same.

    Artists/Tunes listened to included stuff which gave me enough variety to evaluate the deck properly:
    Fatima - 'Yellow memories', Erykah Badu - Worldwide underground,
    Sleaford mods- 'Kebab spider', Candi Staton - 'You are', Lankum - "The old man from over the sea',
    Planxty - 'True love knows no season', Pere Ubu - 'Humour me', Joni Mitchell - 'Little Green',
    Mr Bungle - 'Egg', Dead Can Dance - 'Song of the stars', Frank Zappa - The Grand Wazoo, Keith Jarrett- The Koln Concert, Wagner - Tristan and Isolde.

    I should say before i start that with the LP12/Lingo/Aro as my reference for many years that until a couple of years ago i would have written off the Technics pretty quickly for 'serious listening'. i've since thankfully done a complete 180 degree turn on that and for good reason ! Sure, the Technics doesn't do everything as well, but it does a damn good stab at most and some elements of playback are much better - pitch stability and solidity of the sound to name one. You might argue that the LP12 has a very different presentation to make comparisons with the Technics a bit pointless, but i found that once listened side by side over a longer period of time, that i worked out that musically speaking i could enjoy the Technics in a way i hadn't with the LP12.

    I think that the main point here for me is also that when you weigh up the cost difference and convenience and lack of fuss that the Technics represents for the sound you get it really did make me question why i put so much faith in the Linn for so long? I know this is hardly news for many of you but it doesn't matter how many other 'experts' may tell you their opinion you have to make your own way and listen to your own ears with this journey.

    So onto the dem. First impressions of unboxing the GR is of an excellent overall build quality, as you might expect and as many others have pointed out, the platter is very well machined and maybe better than the original. However there were some parts which seemed much more plasticky and not as well built as my orignal 1210. In particular the VTA mechanism and lift cue had a cheaper and plasticky feel to them, which i didn't expect. The Technics has a much better build quality than the majority of decks but in this context it lacked a little bit against the original. Even the start stop button - which everybody loves pushing - lacked a bit of weight on the GR which i have on my OG deck. These are ultimately small points in real world use, but worth a mention.

    When setting up the GR it was pretty much identical to the original apart from a few differences. One which was that the VTA adjustment didn't go down low enough to accomodate carts with a slim body. This i think is a potential problem and required both a headshell spacer and the 5mm Acromat. Shame that Technics have lost a bit of flexibility in these new decks.

    I apologise for the length of this post but i thought that the details may be useful. So how did the GR actually sound ??

    First impressions where that the deck didn't offer much more than my 1210. And for the first day i found myself switching back and forth a lot wondering what all the fuss was about! But the more i listened differences revealed themselves in a slightly more dynamic sound which had a deeper bass from the GR. With some tracks i felt like the GR had a more driving and rhythmic sound which is some ways i preferred with some of those tunes but with records like Lankum and Keith Jarrett i found myself preferring the presentation of my deck. Solo piano is a real strong point on DD tables and the GR is no exception here. The sound has a solidity to the timing which i really appreciate over belt driven decks.

    Another thing i noticed about my modded deck was that the tonality and timbre of instruments was different and i also did seem to prefer the sound of my original deck in this way, but once again as i listened further on the second day the differences seemed to level out, so maybe the GR needed a bit of 'warming up' before revealing its quality. The soundstage also seemed to open up a little on the GR more than my 1210.
    Listening to different carts the arm on the GR was able to not only make the most of high quality MM carts which i used but also revealed something of the quality of a decent MC through the right phono stage.

    So in conclusion, i found although the 1210GR had a more upfront, and confident sound with deeper bass it wasn't night and day between my older modded 1210 and maybe more crucially i found that musically speaking the GR didn't make me feel like i wanted to listen more than my modded deck and this decided it for me that the differences and improvement, while there,weren't enough to warrant running out and buying a new deck !

    Its worth adding that if i were comparing the GR against a stock 1210 with no arm rewire then theres no doubt that the GR would be a definite step up in performance and if anyone is thinking of moving from a stock 1210 and investing in the new range then the differences would be worth the extra outlay. One of the biggest changes i made to my deck was the arm rewire, which transformed it from a dark and closed in sound to a much more open and tonally richer, which, combined with a half decent cart IMO allows this deck to punch way above its weight and payscale.

    So after what was over a year toying with whether to change the deck this (in my very subjective opinion) gave me a good insight into the differences and improvements which the Technics 1210GR can bring to the party but more importantly revealed that with just a few well placed mods and half decent cart that a stock standard 1210 is a whole lot of turntable for the money ! The only problem now is it started me thinking about the 1200G !! Here we go again !

    Apologies for the length of the post - i hope its of some use ?

    I can certainly empathise with your LP12 and 1210 historical viewpoint - I have only recently bought my first direct drive deck, a nice 1210 mk2 that has had a few sympathetic mods and the comparisons are extremely interesting.

    Quite frankly, the 1210 is a superb deck and I don’t think I will ever go back to belt drive!

    Mine has a Timestep PSU and KAB fluid damping applied to the stock tonearm. I fitted a AT VM95ML cartridge and it just sounds so good.

  2. #12
    Join Date: May 2010

    Location: Worcestershire, UK

    Posts: 903
    I'm Rob.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SiT4 View Post
    just felt it was time for a change.
    You can't argue with that
    Rob.
    Powered by crossed fingers and clenched buttocks

  3. #13
    Join Date: Dec 2019

    Location: Blackburn

    Posts: 13
    I'm Sajid.

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    This was my view the belt drive turntables will suffer from speed errors and will need belts replacing.
    Having the 1200g has been painless easy to setup and solid build quality i believe the g made in japan is hand made. The cheaper gr is made either in singapore or malaysia.

    I had to wait over a month for my g to arrive.

    There also the other thing it can run 3 speeds and have a pitch control to correct speed on 78 rpm
    These 78 rpm records may need tweaking in the speed as originally they have differences in the speed.



    Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk

  4. #14
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Norwich

    Posts: 2,744
    I'm Hugo.

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    The GR is also made in Japan. The SL-1500C and SL1210 Mk7 are both made in Malaysia.

  5. #15
    Join Date: Dec 2019

    Location: Blackburn

    Posts: 13
    I'm Sajid.

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    Thanks for letting me know

    Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk

  6. #16
    Join Date: May 2015

    Location: Sussex By The Sea

    Posts: 236
    I'm Paul.

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    Simon, Very nice and informative write up, Can you tell me did you do the tonearm rewire or have it done by someone?
    Thanks
    Turntable - Pioneer PL-90 Reference. Cartridge - Audio-Technica AT-ART9. CD Player- Pioneer PD-91. Cassette Player- Pioneer CT-91a. Pre-Amp - Pioneer C-73 Ref. Power Amp - Pioneer M-73 Ref. Tuner- Pioneer F-91.
    Speakers - Pioneer S-2EX standmounts.

  7. #17
    Join Date: Feb 2017

    Location: Sussex

    Posts: 36
    I'm Simon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by p147 View Post
    Simon, Very nice and informative write up, Can you tell me did you do the tonearm rewire or have it done by someone?
    Thanks
    Thanks i got the rewire done by Jonnie at Audio Origami. Definitely recommended !

  8. #18
    Join Date: Nov 2008

    Location: North Down /Northern Ireland/ UK

    Posts: 19,487
    I'm Neil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Onion View Post
    I can certainly empathise with your LP12 and 1210 historical viewpoint - I have only recently bought my first direct drive deck, a nice 1210 mk2 that has had a few sympathetic mods and the comparisons are extremely interesting.

    Quite frankly, the 1210 is a superb deck and I don’t think I will ever go back to belt drive!

    Mine has a Timestep PSU and KAB fluid damping applied to the stock tonearm. I fitted a AT VM95ML cartridge and it just sounds so good.
    Talk to Paul Hynes re one of his PSUs.
    Regards Neil

  9. #19
    Join Date: Apr 2009

    Location: Oakengates, Shropshire

    Posts: 632
    I'm Richard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SiT4 View Post
    It sounds very interesting what you did to your deck, was it tricky to strip the rubber and replace it with dynamat ?
    It took a fair bit of elbow grease but it will probably depend on how well the rubber is bonded to your particular platter. I was lucky enough to find a small pocket that I could push a large flat blade screwdriver into and then work it around to dislodge the rest of the glue. Probably took about 20 minutes of forcibly pushing the screwdriver around but I was lucky enough to get it all off in one go, so then I could use the old rubber as a template and cut the dynamat to shape with a Stanley knife. You do need to be feeling strong for it, but all you need is a large flat screwdriver and a bit of perseverance.

    I have since succumbed to a 1200G however. The main driver behind this was that having replaced the headshell on the old 1200 MKII with an Ebony one and shrink wrapped the arm tube - Both of which mods brought appreciable improvements, I was having to add extra weight to the counterweight so it was all starting to feel a bit Heath Robinson and I noticed that the price of the 1200G was going up in some places so I bit the bullet and bought one.. It took less than 20 seconds of playback to be more than satisfied that it was a good move. the 1200G is a joy to use and a completely addictive listen.
    Rich

  10. #20
    Join Date: Feb 2017

    Location: Sussex

    Posts: 36
    I'm Simon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lovejoy View Post
    It took a fair bit of elbow grease but it will probably depend on how well the rubber is bonded to your particular platter. I was lucky enough to find a small pocket that I could push a large flat blade screwdriver into and then work it around to dislodge the rest of the glue. Probably took about 20 minutes of forcibly pushing the screwdriver around but I was lucky enough to get it all off in one go, so then I could use the old rubber as a template and cut the dynamat to shape with a Stanley knife. You do need to be feeling strong for it, but all you need is a large flat screwdriver and a bit of perseverance.

    I have since succumbed to a 1200G however. The main driver behind this was that having replaced the headshell on the old 1200 MKII with an Ebony one and shrink wrapped the arm tube - Both of which mods brought appreciable improvements, I was having to add extra weight to the counterweight so it was all starting to feel a bit Heath Robinson and I noticed that the price of the 1200G was going up in some places so I bit the bullet and bought one.. It took less than 20 seconds of playback to be more than satisfied that it was a good move. the 1200G is a joy to use and a completely addictive listen.
    Thanks for the info Rich. So you went for the 1200G ! By the sounds of it a big move from the modded Techie but can you give a bit more detail on that ? Cheer

    Cheers

    Simon

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