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What is the audible difference between SP10 MK2 and SP15 ?

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What is the audible difference between SP10 MK2 and SP15 ?

Postby lynnot » 01 May 2008 10:55

Hi,

with the introduction of the SP10mk3 in the early 80ties Technics also released the SP15. With specs that resembled the former SP10mk2 and similar heavy platter. (although the SP10's torque is higher)

Has someone been able to compare both SP10mk2 and SP15 on their sonical merrits? Where are the differences?

Thanks & regards,

L.
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Postby Gerard » 01 May 2008 19:48

L

From what I understand they are similar, but the SP10 has the edge.
Where the real difference lies is in the electronics. The SP10 is much higher spec'd in this area, and as it was really for studio/broadcasting use, some what built-proof.
There are lots of stories of SP15s & SP25s having speed issues as they get older. The SP15/25 were really designed for the domestic market, not the rigors of the professional environment.
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Postby lynnot » 02 May 2008 19:54

Hi Gerard, thanks for the feedback.

Consumer does not have to be bad, your Kenwood f.i. is a "Consumer" turntable as well, nevertheless it is very high quality and does sound very good.

Appart from the "Professional" vs. "Consumer" issue, is there an obvious difference in sound between SP-10/2 and SP-15 ?

Rgds, L.
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Postby kcc123 » 17 May 2008 01:01

According to the review by Martin Colloms published in Hi-Fi Choice years ago, a similar sound quality was attained for both, due to the closely related nature of the mat, plinth, feet, and lid; in fact, the superior quality of the EPA 500 tonearm actually provided a marginally superior rating overall for the SP15 compared with the SP10 mk2 fitted with the older EPA 100 tonearm.
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Postby Pryso » 23 May 2008 00:39

L.

I would caution you regarding older reviews. Since buying my SP-10 Mk 2A and researching plinths, it is apparent to me that sonic qualities for these tables may exceed their performance as realized at the time they were sold new. For one thing, apparently there are benefits from even higher mass plinths than the Obsidian. Other isolation and noise filtering tricks may improve things still further.

Regarding the comparison between any SP-10 series and a 15, I've never seen a review or even comment. However, in my own research on the SP-10 Mk 2 series, I have seen remarks from very satisfied 15 owners.
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Postby Trajic » 09 Jun 2008 08:05

I have an SL-1000, SL-1025 and an SL-1015. All are complete with the factory plinths and arms with the exception of the 25 which had the EPA-100 arm removed in favor of an EPA-500 which has the "S" shaped wand with the detachable headshell. I listen to the 25 the most, almost daily. The SL-1000 is a little tighter on the bass and does indeed have more torque than either of it's baby brothers. I prefer the EPA-100 arm that's on the SL-1000 and account a lot of my impression of the table to the arm. I can't imagine somebody saying the EPA-500 is a better arm than the EPA-100 but we all have different ears and mine obviously prefer the 100. As for the SP15 (SL-1015 in my case) I don't think the prices really justify what you get. People like them because they have a digital pitch adjustment but the SP25 has a manual adjustment which works just fine. The only real benefit to the 15 would be if you were transcribing 78's, which I don't do. My 1015 has the EPA-500 arm with the "H" arm tube. I've been messing around with different M/M carts trying to match the compliance to the arm. When I swap the "S" shaped arm from the 1025 onto it, it sounds remarkably like the 1025. Internally the 25 and 15 have just about nothing in common. However, sonically they are very similiar. The 15 is a little better (tighter bass again) but you'd have to twist my arm to get me to say it and I'm not sure I could pick it out in a blind test.

On a side note, the SP15/SL-1015 have an IC which when it goes bad will make the speed erratic. The part is NLA from Panasonic. I've had two tables go crazy on me. The SP25/SL-1025 has the motor from the venerable SL-1200 and I've never seen one go bad.

So, there you have it. If you can afford it and want a very nice deck I'd buy the SP10/SL-1000. If you don't play 78's I'd say go for the SP25/SL-1025. In the SL-1025 version it really is a nice deck. The SP15/SL-1015 is just too problematic for me to recommend. Prices on any of these tables have been climbing in the last few years. The best values currently lie in the SL-XXXX versions which have a plinth and (EPA) arm. Often these factory versions sell for as much as the arm would fetch.

On another side not, the SP15 and SP25 can often be found with a "Pro Base" that I think (I'm not sure) was marketed by Audio Technica. It's just black painted MDF. They usually have an Audio Technica ATP-12T arm with this combo. Not a bad set up. Not as nice as the factory plinth/arm combos but a good introduction and value for the money and easier to find as radio stations used them.

Well that's my take on it. I hope I didn't offend anybody. I really like these decks, obviously, and have put a lot of time into them. When people come over and see all four of my 'tables sitting there (there's an SL-110 with an SME arm as well) I always say my choice in 'tables was akin to not knowing which model of Mercedes to buy...and then just buying one of each.
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Postby dotfret » 10 Jun 2008 02:59

I spent a lot of time looking for one of those chips to repair an SP15 for a friend a while back. The number is MN6042, and when it dies the deck may just lose pitch control, or just sit there and twitch instead of rotating - depends on the extent of the damage. Because the chip is unobtainable, you have to look for a wrecked SL1200/1300/1400 mk II to get another chip, for an economic repair. Having gone through the experience of fixing an SP15, replacing all the bits that died along with the chip, etc, if you bring me another dead one I will show you where I keep the dumpster. Nice deck if it is working ...
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Postby Trajic » 10 Jun 2008 12:03

Yeah, the 15 is a real PITA. I didn't want to offend anybody as that deck has some very, very loyal fans (hardcore Djs- if you look close in one of the Matrix movies the DJ is spinning a 15!). I rarely play mine (one good one and two dead ones) as I'm afraid to F it up. I've seen some DIY pitch controls on SP10 mkIIs which would be a 15 killer any day of the week...probably cheaper in the long run as well. I know the BBC modded MKIIs for speed controls and would be curious to know if anybody knew how?
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Postby JaS » 10 Jun 2008 14:30

Trajic wrote:I know the BBC modded MKIIs for speed controls and would be curious to know if anybody knew how?

If you take a look in the library you'll find the first ever manual to be hosted on VE - the service manual for the Technics SP-10mkIIP (RP-2/9), otherwise known as the 'BBC' model. There are flow diagrams as well as schematics so you can see how they implemented the pitch control. The board is located in the external power supply box.

FWIW all the BBC pitch controls I've seen are the same as that shown in the manual (and on my deck!) and feature a rotary, stepped controller for +-5% variation.

Regards,
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Postby Trajic » 12 Jun 2008 06:30

Wow, that's actually a little over my head. Interesting, but over my head. I guess I'll have to save up for a MK3.
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Postby Trajic » 12 Jun 2008 07:27

Dave,

Every now and then I spin a 78 that's not really a 78. It's not a big deal as I don't listen to too many 78s. Anyway, in that case I just fire up the 15 and pray the IC doesn't give out on me. Ultimately, if I had a MK2 with pitch control I would only need three main 'tables.
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Postby Trajic » 12 Jun 2008 08:12

Dave,

Well, I really like the SP15s which are 0.1% increments up to 9.9% above or below any given speed. If I had a MK2 that would do that it would sweet. Very sweet indeed. Is that your kind of challenge?
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Postby Trajic » 12 Jun 2008 08:34

Very well, you've got twelve months. If you can do it and make it look good I will offer some handsome vintage Technics gear in trade to do the same for me. I suppose we're getting off track of the original post. PM me for details.
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Re: What is the audible difference between SP10 MK2 and SP15

Postby KentT » 10 Jan 2012 02:01

The SP-10 Mk II has a more powerful motor in torque. It has a heavier platter, and a separate power supply. It cost $2800 US new for the motor unit. The SP-15 and SP-25 give the same performance, but have motors closer to the SL-1200 type. They were less expensive, but still broadcast grade quality all the way and sold to that market mostly. The SP-15 has 3 speeds, the SP-25 has two speeds. All 3 in nice condition are superb turntables.
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