Damping a Technics SL1200 Tonearm

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eldarvanyar
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Damping a Technics SL1200 Tonearm

Post by eldarvanyar » 20 Feb 2018 22:32

Hi all,

I am wondering about Damping a Technics SL1200 Tonearm. I see that KAB have something they sell but I am in the UK and wondering if anyone has tried anything else or know what size tubing etc would be needed to fit inside the Technics Tonearm. Also what difference has it made?

Thanks :D

snfrosten
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Re: Damping a Technics SL1200 Tonearm

Post by snfrosten » 20 Feb 2018 23:25

Kevin at KAB also has a special size tube that fits inside the arm but you need to disassemble the whole arm to install it, price vs labor. The KAB arm damping is well worth the money, will transform the arm especially if your using a MC cartridge.

abs1
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Re: Damping a Technics SL1200 Tonearm

Post by abs1 » 21 Feb 2018 14:53

It's been my experience that arm damping on an SL1200 seems to be most effective when using a cartridge with relatively high compliance. The lower compliance cartridges are not as affected by using a damping system, with the effectiveness diminishing in proportion to how low the compliance measures.

Cheers,
Al

eldarvanyar
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Re: Damping a Technics SL1200 Tonearm

Post by eldarvanyar » 21 Feb 2018 21:50

abs1 wrote:It's been my experience that arm damping on an SL1200 seems to be most effective when using a cartridge with relatively high compliance. The lower compliance cartridges are not as affected by using a damping system, with the effectiveness diminishing in proportion to how low the compliance measures.

Cheers,
Al
Thanks Al, that's very helpful.

Can you list from your experience both high and low compliance cartridges that would work well on the Technics SL1200?

abs1
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Re: Damping a Technics SL1200 Tonearm

Post by abs1 » 21 Feb 2018 22:37

eldarvanyar wrote:
abs1 wrote:It's been my experience that arm damping on an SL1200 seems to be most effective when using a cartridge with relatively high compliance. The lower compliance cartridges are not as affected by using a damping system, with the effectiveness diminishing in proportion to how low the compliance measures.

Cheers,
Al
Thanks Al, that's very helpful.

Can you list from your experience both high and low compliance cartridges that would work well on the Technics SL1200?
The SL1200 has what could be probably called a medium mass tonearm. It'll run most all of the modern cartridges available. Too many cartridges to completely list , but figure that if you're gonna use what might be referred to as a high to medium compliance cartridge use the standard SL1200 head shell without adding additional head shell weight. For a low compliance cartridge you should start with the optional Technics head shell weight that is made to screw into the top of a Technics head shell. Arm damping optional. You just have to try it for yourself and decide what floats your boat. Nothing is carved in stone. Let your ears be the judge!

A few cartridges that I've used with an SL1200:

Low compliance -
Denon DL 103, DL-103r, Zu Audio versions of these 103 variants.
Koetsu Black
Shelter 301 II

Med to high compliance -
Grado Prestige Gold1
Shure M97eX
AT 95E
Dynavector 10x5
Ortofon 2M Blue

These are cartridges that I've either personally tried or heard (in person) on the SL1200. There many others that will do very well on this 'table, but I haven't had any personal experience with the combination.

Hope this helps,
Al

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Re: Damping a Technics SL1200 Tonearm

Post by Rolls-Royce » 16 Mar 2018 04:35

I could add Shure V15 IV and ADC ZLM/ZLM Improved for high-compliance. I do have one of KAB's fluid dampers installed, and have put heatshrink tubing on the outside of the tonearm above and below the bend. I also have one of KAB's internal tube dampers on its way, but may wait to install it.

cafe latte
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Re: Damping a Technics SL1200 Tonearm

Post by cafe latte » 16 Mar 2018 05:22

The oil damper is a great mod it will extend the compliance of the arm as well as improve it greatly, this would be the first thing I would do to a Technics to improve it.
Chris

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Re: Damping a Technics SL1200 Tonearm

Post by eldarvanyar » 04 Apr 2018 10:59

Thanks very much chaps, I am in the process of ordering the Kab damper and rewire kit.

The list of cartridges is really helpful Al thanks for taking the time to list them.
I'm really grateful for vinyl engine and the help and encouragement over the years :D

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Re: Damping a Technics SL1200 Tonearm

Post by analogaudio » 04 Apr 2018 18:59

Originally the subject "tonearm damping" meant only one thing, the addition of a purpose-made damper for modification of the sub-sonic resonance that all arms produce. These mechanisms are commonly two parts, a container for a small amount of viscous fluid and a small "paddle" that is attached to the arm and which dips in the fluid. These arm dampers produce a real and measurable change in the subsonic resonance behavior of the arm. KABUSA sell this item under the name "Tonearm Damping System".

Recently there has been a new variant of the "arm damping" subject which does not address the subsonic resonance. Instead it addresses the subject of vibration of the arm tube which being made of metal and tubular may be able to vibrate. The frequencies at which the vibrations occur, whether they are audible, how they can be measured, are topics that seem to not interest people very much. It seems to be sufficient that the vibrations exist in the imagination of the owner and there follows a strong urge to modify the arm. Methods vary but seem to share the idea of "damping" possible vibrations by attempting to fill the hollow arm tube, or wrap the tube in soft material of some kind, or both. KABUSA also offers an item of this type under the name "Tonearm wand liner".

It is important to be clear when discussing "tonearm damping" which of these subjects is being addressed, subsonic resonance or wand vibration. They are different and dealt with by different methods.

In domestic hifi there are several ways the sound quality can be degraded, among the most common and egregious is the addition by the acoustics of the room of excess bass energy that arises because of the presence of standing waves, also called room modes. Dealing with this makes a big improvement to sound quality that is audible and measurable and should be the first priority. Possible vibrations in the arm tube of a turntable that has existed for decades with a high reputation with the stock arm tube makes no sense. Spend your money and time on room treatment rather than arm wand damping.

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Re: Damping a Technics SL1200 Tonearm

Post by cafe latte » 05 Apr 2018 00:02

analogaudio wrote:Originally the subject "tonearm damping" meant only one thing, the addition of a purpose-made damper for modification of the sub-sonic resonance that all arms produce. These mechanisms are commonly two parts, a container for a small amount of viscous fluid and a small "paddle" that is attached to the arm and which dips in the fluid. These arm dampers produce a real and measurable change in the subsonic resonance behavior of the arm. KABUSA sell this item under the name "Tonearm Damping System".

Recently there has been a new variant of the "arm damping" subject which does not address the subsonic resonance. Instead it addresses the subject of vibration of the arm tube which being made of metal and tubular may be able to vibrate. The frequencies at which the vibrations occur, whether they are audible, how they can be measured, are topics that seem to not interest people very much. It seems to be sufficient that the vibrations exist in the imagination of the owner and there follows a strong urge to modify the arm. Methods vary but seem to share the idea of "damping" possible vibrations by attempting to fill the hollow arm tube, or wrap the tube in soft material of some kind, or both. KABUSA also offers an item of this type under the name "Tonearm wand liner".

It is important to be clear when discussing "tonearm damping" which of these subjects is being addressed, subsonic resonance or wand vibration. They are different and dealt with by different methods.

In domestic hifi there are several ways the sound quality can be degraded, among the most common and egregious is the addition by the acoustics of the room of excess bass energy that arises because of the presence of standing waves, also called room modes. Dealing with this makes a big improvement to sound quality that is audible and measurable and should be the first priority. Possible vibrations in the arm tube of a turntable that has existed for decades with a high reputation with the stock arm tube makes no sense. Spend your money and time on room treatment rather than arm wand damping.
Which is why I only recommend the Kab damper not messing with the wand.
Re your point I did some experiments a while back and I came to the conclusion that any type of shelf under the turntable would pick up the music from the room. It is difficult for the arm alone to pick these vibrations, but a shelf or listening with the lid up will "catch" these music vibrations and feed then into the plinth and then on to the cart. Sorbothane feet will help, but IMO a metal frame bolted to the wall with cups for the turntable feet will eliminate the problem. I have not had time yet to build one myself to test it, but eliminating the turntable shelf can only be a positive.
Chris

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Re: Damping a Technics SL1200 Tonearm

Post by bra10n » 05 Apr 2018 07:33

Although it's a completely different arm Jeff at Audiomods designed a set of 2 bracing discs that are inserted into his arm tubes to eliminate low freq vibrations.

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Re: Damping a Technics SL1200 Tonearm

Post by chamaruco » 02 Dec 2019 22:40

Done this last week in addition to the kab damping oil...in my opinion I can hear a great improvement of details especially in jazz piano acoustic guitar and female voices
https://i.ibb.co/wBCqSLD/5924-DDA1-15-B ... 24-EB7.jpg

Direct rewiring rca socket internal tonearm damping

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Re: Damping a Technics SL1200 Tonearm

Post by golgi » 03 Dec 2019 23:13

In my experience, both the KAB fluid damper as well as wrapping the tonearm in heat shrink had very positive results. However, I felt the heat shrink yielded the greatest result and it only costs $5 or so. I would highly recommend this tweak and it's reversible if you decide that it's not an improvement...although highly doubtful.

cafe latte
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Re: Damping a Technics SL1200 Tonearm

Post by cafe latte » 04 Dec 2019 20:21

golgi wrote:
03 Dec 2019 23:13
In my experience, both the KAB fluid damper as well as wrapping the tonearm in heat shrink had very positive results. However, I felt the heat shrink yielded the greatest result and it only costs $5 or so. I would highly recommend this tweak and it's reversible if you decide that it's not an improvement...although highly doubtful.
If all else is right the Kab damper makes a huge difference. Also the insert for the arm that Kab sells will damp the arm tube way more than heat shrink, Kevin tested this and only managed to make the tube dead when the silicone tube was inserted.
Chris

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Re: Damping a Technics SL1200 Tonearm

Post by chamaruco » 04 Dec 2019 22:31

Direct wiring too especially in well assembled sockets...😎

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