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-   -   1200 turntable (any good?) (http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/analogue-source/2121-1200-turntable-any-good.html)

R. McAnally 29th January 2002 06:11 AM

1200 turntable (any good?)
 
I have a couple of these guys laying around from back in the day, which are in pretty good shape. They are currently fitted with ortofon MM needles... what is the general consensus among audiophiles regarding the quality of these turntables? I think it is a very solid and good sounding unit but I haven't heard an "audiophile" turntable before.

I know a MC cartridge will probably sound better, but what about the actual 1200? It seems (and sounds) like a very solid unit. The active feedback speed control is uncommon.. it locks into speed lightning quick.

Does anyone use 1200's in audiophile type setups? What types of needles work best with them in this type of arrangement?

Jason 29th January 2002 06:30 AM

Hi Randy,

I'm very sorry to say that I sold my 1200's (with the ortophon concorde needles) and mixer in order to pay for my new amp, so I never got to listen to them through a decent system :(

I have mixed using a few different pitch control turntables (vestax, gemini, old technics SL2?) and I can say without any reservation whatsoever that the 1200 is the cream of the crop. Solid as a rock with a serious grip over the platter and pitch control that stays where you left it.

R. McAnally 29th January 2002 06:36 AM

Thanks for the encouragement... I know they are great turntables for mixing and the likes, but I never hear of anyone using them for regular listening. I doubt there are many TT's that come close to the quality for that price so it is wierd I guess.



Quote:

Originally posted by Jason
Hi Randy,

I'm very sorry to say that I sold my 1200's (with the ortophon concorde needles) and mixer in order to pay for my new amp, so I never got to listen to them through a decent system :(

I have mixed using a few different pitch control turntables (vestax, gemini, old technics SL2?) and I can say without any reservation whatsoever that the 1200 is the cream of the crop. Solid as a rock with a serious grip over the platter and pitch control that stays where you left it.


Sawzall 29th January 2002 01:45 PM

I know from a pro point of view these rock. Heavy handed DJ's don't kill them, and from the engineers perspective, that counts more than just about anything. They last forever, and when they do break, getting parts is easy.

Sound? OK until you get to the edge of insanity about this hobby. Given the amount of records playing that most do now days, it is probably fine.

Brett 29th January 2002 03:24 PM

Hi Randy,

Good TT for what it was designed for: cueing up records for on air replay in radio stations etc. Tough, reliable, and because of it's popularity with the DJ crowd, it is still manufactured and supported, at least in it's current guise. I beleive there have been several revisions over the years, and an older TT may not have the same componentry as the current ones.

As for sound quality, pretty average IMO, but a lot better than the cheap japanese decks of today or yesteryear. A good Thorens, Rega, MMF, Project etc would be sonically superior to it. The 1200's main problem is it's arm is not very good, and vibration from the motor getting into the cartridge. I heard an SP10 which is an armless version of the same mechanism for console mounting (IIRC), and with a FR64 arm. We had a 1200 beside it and the SP10 was a LOT better.

But,.......how many LPs do you own? If you only have a few which you play periodically, you have a great deck, esp as it will cost you zip, except for a new cartridge, maybe. If ever you need some quick $$$ they are easy to sell.
If you want the best performance out of your LPs, you can do better. But it's your call.

Depending on the age of the Ortofon cartridge, even if the stylus is OK, the suspensions can go with age. If you value your Lps a Shure 97E is about $95 from Garage-a-record or the needle doctor. Very nice sounding, reliable, replaceable stylus cartrige that tracks at low weights. And when you install it, align it correctly, with an accurate guage.

There are lots of people out there who have LPs as their primary source: my LP / CD ratio is about 15:1, 3000+:200, and the CDs are usually only stuff I can't get on LP. I buy lots of LPs in collections, and pay about 50c each for them, throw away the duds, keep some and sell off the valuable ones / duplicates. Probably actually costs me nothing to have HEAPS of music to listen to. And the catalogue of music available on LP is so vastly superior to CD/DVD/SACD that it's a joke. Plus often they sound a lot better, but there is more maintenance and effort involved in getting that performance.

Cheers

R. McAnally 29th January 2002 03:52 PM

"But,.......how many LPs do you own? If you only have a few which you play periodically, you have a great deck, esp as it will cost you zip, except for a new cartridge, maybe. If ever you need some quick $$$ they are easy to sell.
If you want the best performance out of your LPs, you can do better. But it's your call. "

I own around 300 wreckerds myself... used to dj back in the day, but since most of my stuff is available on CD (or MP3 =) I haven't used them much for normal listening. The concord cart tracks around 3-5 grams so I'm probably better off getting a new one so I don't unneccesarily wear the vinyl out. Don't plan on selling the decks.. anytime soon for that matter.

Thanks for all the info guys!

Brett 29th January 2002 04:04 PM

<b>The concord cart tracks around 3-5 grams </b>

<b><i>Yikes!!!!!</b></i>

Most modern hifi carts track much lower than that. The Shure I suggested will do it at 1 - 1.25 grams.

Thats a much better recipe for longer record life. An elliptical stylus also rides on a different part of the groove wall to conicals and sphricals, so a new cart with an E or FL (finle line / Van den Hul / microridge) stylus profile will often help even trashy old records sound good.

Enjoy

wuffwaff 29th January 2002 10:02 PM

Hi Brett,

there are even DJ´s who put coins over the cartridge to get more weight on it than the counterweight allows for .:D (It´s not easy scratching with 1.5 gramms)

But seriously, Ortofon´s SPU also needs 4 or 5 gramms and this is not know to wear records quicker as usual. I think this depends very much on the shape of the needle. Most modern MC´s (Lyra, Benz etc.) will play at around 2 grams and I haven´t seen any that go as low as some MM´s.

I´ve got a 1200 here for a repair job, it does a very funny thing:
after playing for a while doing things DJ´s typically do (start, stop, backwards, fast/slow) the platter suddenly starts accelerating and doesn´t stop doing this until you turn of the power. I didn´t wait that long but I suspect the platter would fly if I did.

Any ideas?
William

R. McAnally 29th January 2002 10:55 PM

1200's have an "active feedback" speed control system -- here is a speed sensor that sends a negative feedback signal back to the speed control unit. If this connection is broken (or the sensor is bad/intermittent), the controller thinks the platter is stopped, and proceeds to apply full power to get it movin again =). This can be compared to an op-amp circuit where if you disconnect the feedback loop, the output will most likely swing to one rail or the other. Basic feedback theory applies to both systems.

This feature is invaluable for dj's who need fast and consistant starting -- the platter always spins at the correct speed (even when holding the record still with a slipmat). That way when the record is released it almost instantly returns to exactly the speed you have dialed in.

I would look for the sensor or wiring to to/from it and mess with it to see what happens. Since I have never seen this problem before, so I'm afraid I cannot recommend the best way to fix it.. this gives you an idea at least where to start. I would probably dig up a schematic and see how the feedback loop is formed and probe around from there..

maybe the controller is bad.. just another thought. Maybe it needs a real good cleaning too. I've seen all kinds of nasty stuff under and around that platter (record dust, broken needles, dirt, beer, ect... :D )

good luck!


Quote:

Originally posted by wuffwaff
I´ve got a 1200 here for a repair job, it does a very funny thing:
after playing for a while doing things DJ´s typically do (start, stop, backwards, fast/slow) the platter suddenly starts accelerating and doesn´t stop doing this until you turn of the power. I didn´t wait that long but I suspect the platter would fly if I did.
Any ideas?
William


dice45 30th January 2002 12:20 AM

Hello Brett and all,







until now I was lurking and learning as I have no experiece with DJ TTs like the Technics 1200.







Quote:





Most modern hifi carts track much lower than that. The Shure I suggested will do it at 1 - 1.25 grams.









Thats a much better recipe for longer record life.





Here I have to object. There are MM cartridges with superior tracking abilities and some of them have low tracking force.

And there are low-compliant MC cartridges with terrific tracking. From my times as TT technician I remember 3 cases where an MM cartridge had lousy tracking although it was high-compliant and had low TF.







TME, the most important thing for record life (besides the stylus being intact) is that the stylus never looses touch with the groove; how this is achieved is secondary but the tonearm's effective mass and cartridge compliance have to match for that with certain tolerances.







A buddy never used something else than a classic Ortofon SPU which has a recommended tracking force of 4-0 gr but sonics are better between 4.5 and 5. Ask him about record wear, he'll reply "you are kidding!?". My Rohmann runs at 2.5gr. (stylus 4.5x100µm); I can report no problems.







Quote:

An elliptical stylus also rides on a different part of the groove wall to conicals and sphricals, so a new cart with an E or FL (finle line / Van den Hul / microridge) stylus profile will often help even trashy old records sound good.







Agreed, a record looking like used for plastering walls can play like never used and a pristine looking record can be a concerto for string quartet and open fire :)


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