Technics SL-1200GR Worth Every Penny

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Re: Technics SL-1200GR Worth Every Penny

Post by audiopile » 09 Jan 2019 17:58

While I have a pile of original technics SL-1200 headshells (all without tiny bolt in bottom of collar) -the headshell that came with my 1200GAE does have the very small bolt in the bottom of the collar. I think/thought? that this also has a separate part number and a somewhat higher price than the "original" headshell. I've used this headshell with about half a dozen cartridges -can't say I think it sounds any different than the original stock -made for decades- Technics SL-1200 headshell.I have never had reason to adjust this small bolt. I have come to the opinion that the Technics headshells represent consistent/excellent quality control and make setting up arms a lot easier/faster because they do not have azimuth errors that their five buck clones often suffer from.

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Re: Technics SL-1200GR Worth Every Penny

Post by oldschool1955 » 09 Jan 2019 22:50

Yeah the small bolt is for setting the cartridge azimuth but I did not need to do this on my GR. The new headshell is lighter than the original SL headshells but not sure that makes a performance difference fo most cartridges. It is also much more expensive as I bought a backup original from KAB for around $25 a few years ago. They don't sell these anymore and the new G/GR headshell is $99!

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Re: Technics SL-1200GR Worth Every Penny

Post by Sterling1 » 10 Jan 2019 01:07

hedgehog35 wrote:
09 Jan 2019 16:47
Sterling1 wrote:
06 Jan 2019 16:43
hedgehog35 wrote:
06 Jan 2019 15:29


Could someone give me a definitive answer to azimuth adjustment on the latest Technics headshell (e.g. supplied with 1200G and 1200GR).
Yes, there is tiny screw on the underside of the headshell near the collar, but there is absolutely no mention of azimuth adjustment in the manual or on the Technics web site. I have also asked my Technics dealer (who have many years of experience with their turntables), and they also have had no information about this.
Could someone direct me to where this information can be found online?

Thanks in anticipation.
There's nothing to find on-line. Just turn the headshell upside down and you will see a small set screw, which, when tightened, holds a rotational relationship between headshell and mounting stem. If azimuth is not correct, loosen screw and rotate headshell while holding stem to the point where azimuth is correct and then re-tighten screw.

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Re: Technics SL-1200GR Worth Every Penny

Post by audiopile » 10 Jan 2019 05:33

The reason I'd not be wild about doing anything with that tiny bolt is very simple - I'd be VERY surprised if it wasn't dead nutz right from Technics factory. So-once you adjust it to suit some semi-mangled cart-are you ever going to be sure it's right when used with any other cartridge ? Got 2 of these new headshells? -better mark the one that's been adjusted.

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Re: Technics SL-1200GR Worth Every Penny

Post by Sterling1 » 10 Jan 2019 08:00

audiopile wrote:
10 Jan 2019 05:33
The reason I'd not be wild about doing anything with that tiny bolt is very simple - I'd be VERY surprised if it wasn't dead nutz right from Technics factory. So-once you adjust it to suit some semi-mangled cart-are you ever going to be sure it's right when used with any other cartridge ? Got 2 of these new headshells? -better mark the one that's been adjusted.
Well, just leave the headshell alone, make no adjustment to it, that way you have the satisfaction that it is perfect. You then can use another means to adjust azimuth, such as shimming the cartridge to realize azimuth perfection.

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Re: Technics SL-1200GR Worth Every Penny

Post by Anorakus » 05 Apr 2019 21:40

hedgehog35 wrote:
09 Jan 2019 16:47
Could someone give me a definitive answer to azimuth adjustment on the latest Technics headshell (e.g. supplied with 1200G and 1200GR).
Yes, there is tiny screw on the underside of the headshell near the collar, but there is absolutely no mention of azimuth adjustment in the manual or on the Technics web site. I have also asked my Technics dealer (who have many years of experience with their turntables), and they also have had no information about this.
Could someone direct me to where this information can be found online?
I don't understand why Technics can't adjust the azimuth of SL1200/SL1210GRs to be spot on before they leave the factory. Judging by the number of threads asking how to adjust azimuth, this is a common problem. I'm surprised that an otherwise precision instrument can be shipped with the headshell azimuth out by several degrees - it does affect channel balance (particularly if you're using a line contact needle) and if you're using DJ cartridges there is no adjustment option, other than messing with the headshell collar screws, which are not intended to adjust azimuth. (The locking screw in the stock headshell appears to allow azimuth adjustment, but it's odd that there is no reference to this in the manual?)

A solution would be to build an azimuth adjustment into the arm, perhaps by means of a second locking collar. This would allow any headshell/cartridge combo to be fine adjusted.

A.

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Re: Technics SL-1200GR Worth Every Penny

Post by Sterling1 » 05 Apr 2019 22:21

Anorakus wrote:
05 Apr 2019 21:40
hedgehog35 wrote:
09 Jan 2019 16:47
Could someone give me a definitive answer to azimuth adjustment on the latest Technics headshell (e.g. supplied with 1200G and 1200GR).
Yes, there is tiny screw on the underside of the headshell near the collar, but there is absolutely no mention of azimuth adjustment in the manual or on the Technics web site. I have also asked my Technics dealer (who have many years of experience with their turntables), and they also have had no information about this.
Could someone direct me to where this information can be found online?
I don't understand why Technics can't adjust the azimuth of SL1200/SL1210GRs to be spot on before they leave the factory. Judging by the number of threads asking how to adjust azimuth, this is a common problem. I'm surprised that an otherwise precision instrument can be shipped with the headshell azimuth out by several degrees - it does affect channel balance (particularly if you're using a line contact needle) and if you're using DJ cartridges there is no adjustment option, other than messing with the headshell collar screws, which are not intended to adjust azimuth. (The locking screw in the stock headshell appears to allow azimuth adjustment, but it's odd that there is no reference to this in the manual?)

A solution would be to build an azimuth adjustment into the arm, perhaps by means of a second locking collar. This would allow any headshell/cartridge combo to be fine adjusted.

A.
The Technics SL 1200G and GR do not have the same headshell, the cue arm is longer on the G model. The azimuth is adjusted at factory in a jig. Unless the headshell is twisted left or right and forcefully held in such position while tightening, the cartridge azimuth will be perfect, since it is self centering. There are indeed no instructions for the azimuth screw on the headshell, I don't have a clue why. If your TT's azimuth is not spot on, send the TT back while in warranty for repair, since to be several degrees off suggests the person jigging your TT was sleeping at the wheel.

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Re: Technics SL-1200GR Worth Every Penny

Post by audiopile » 05 Apr 2019 23:22

Make it easy to adjust and it WILL BE adjusted -way too often by your cousin Charlie who is famous for his mechanical ignorance/ineptitude. THEN he will sell it off on dabay.It will then travel thru the wonders of web reselling -creating a wave of dissatisfied owners. I am a big fan of the classic SME series III -everything is adjustable on this arm -the downside is that everything can be maladjusted on it too. I suspect this is part of why this arm doesn't have a better reputation in the audiophile community ( Thank God for that-keeps the prices down :-) . Bought new -azimuth is off (with Technics factory new headshell -not generic copy). - that Technics under warranty problem. Bought used : we have all had the experience of a used piece that probably wasn't worth what we paid for it because of previous owner's abuse.

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Re: Technics SL-1200GR Worth Every Penny

Post by Anorakus » 06 Apr 2019 01:10

Sterling1 wrote:
05 Apr 2019 22:21
If your TT's azimuth is not spot on, send the TT back while in warranty for repair, since to be several degrees off suggests the person jigging your TT was sleeping at the wheel.
The fact that (1) so many people are asking about adjusting azimuth, and (2) more expensive headshells have azimuth adjustment suggests that Technics treat factory azimuth setting as acceptable to +/- a few degrees. Even if it's visibly off, it won't be audible by most people (certainly not in a nightclub!) - furthermore, with most DJ carts with a pointed tip, you wouldn't be able to see easily that it was off - I only noticed mine wasn't square when I upgraded the bundled Ortofon Blue cart to an AT VM540ML - the former ends in a taper whereas the underside of the latter is flat.

I suspect that Technics regard precise azimuth setting as something that only fussy audiophiles would be concerned with, and which can be achieved with a third party adjustable headshell (or the secret screw in the stock headshell for those in the know).

A.

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Re: Technics SL-1200GR Worth Every Penny

Post by Shadowman82 » 06 Apr 2019 19:48

And I believe they would be right , only fussy audiophiles will worry about azimuth . I'm not saying there isn't merit in getting it spot on but frankly it's also not something I would ever worry about . I think personally that spot on alignment and other standard tone arm adjustments are more important .

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Re: Technics SL-1200GR Worth Every Penny

Post by Alec124c41 » 06 Apr 2019 22:07

Proper azimuth is important, particularly with the more sophisticated stylus shapes, and it is not hard to get right. A small mirror on the platter is sufficient to check it.
When you have spent that much on a turntable, the price of an adjustable headshell is a minor expense.

Cheers,
Alec

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Re: Technics SL-1200GR Worth Every Penny

Post by Shadowman82 » 08 Apr 2019 20:17

You are right there of coarse , it's likely that most people who don't care wouldn't spend as much on a turntable as the GR costs . Ideally if I were to buy any of the new Technics I would have all the set up done by a pro , just too bad so few stores both physical and online carry them . I have no idea what's up with that .

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Re: Technics SL-1200GR Worth Every Penny

Post by lenjack » 08 Apr 2019 23:56

I would think that most, or at least, many of us here, would be more than qualified, to handle the setup without difficulty.

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Re: Technics SL-1200GR Worth Every Penny

Post by Sterling1 » 09 Apr 2019 14:53

Shadowman82 wrote:
06 Apr 2019 19:48
And I believe they would be right , only fussy audiophiles will worry about azimuth . I'm not saying there isn't merit in getting it spot on but frankly it's also not something I would ever worry about . I think personally that spot on alignment and other standard tone arm adjustments are more important .
Why would you think azimuth is not important? All aspects of alignment are important for turntable performance. The Technics tonearm is jigged at the factory to assure correct azimuth and the headshell is adjustable to accomodate imperfect cartridges. What could be better? Plus, the Technics s-shaped tonearm permits the user to get the manufacturer's recommended alignment scheme simply by setting stylus to headshell distance at 52mm and squaring cart to headshell. It's fast, easy, and is ideal for users who have interest in experimentation with multiple cartridges.

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Re: Technics SL-1200GR Worth Every Penny

Post by Sterling1 » 09 Apr 2019 15:00

Anorakus wrote:
06 Apr 2019 01:10
Sterling1 wrote:
05 Apr 2019 22:21
If your TT's azimuth is not spot on, send the TT back while in warranty for repair, since to be several degrees off suggests the person jigging your TT was sleeping at the wheel.
The fact that (1) so many people are asking about adjusting azimuth, and (2) more expensive headshells have azimuth adjustment suggests that Technics treat factory azimuth setting as acceptable to +/- a few degrees. Even if it's visibly off, it won't be audible by most people (certainly not in a nightclub!) - furthermore, with most DJ carts with a pointed tip, you wouldn't be able to see easily that it was off - I only noticed mine wasn't square when I upgraded the bundled Ortofon Blue cart to an AT VM540ML - the former ends in a taper whereas the underside of the latter is flat.

I suspect that Technics regard precise azimuth setting as something that only fussy audiophiles would be concerned with, and which can be achieved with a third party adjustable headshell (or the secret screw in the stock headshell for those in the know).

A.
I suspect that what you suspect is Technics attitude is suspect.