Technics - How important is the Quartz?

turning japanese
TexMadrone
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Technics - How important is the Quartz?

Post by TexMadrone » 11 Nov 2019 20:16

I am narrowing down choices for my next turntable. I would like to get a 1300 - 1600 fully automatic model. My question is this, how important is the Quartz lock?

Thanks

lenjack
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Re: Technics - How important is the Quartz?

Post by lenjack » 11 Nov 2019 21:00

I would prefer it, all things being equal. It means your unit pretty much cannot run off speed. Some quartz locked units don't even have a speed adjustment. However, it's not a must.

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Re: Technics - How important is the Quartz?

Post by jmcwha » 11 Nov 2019 23:31

I have no direct experience, however I have heard that some of the pre-quartz Mk1 models keep pretty good time anyway. Plus they are probably cheaper\easier to repair.
Having said that the quartz locked Mk2's are a pretty looking deck (IMO) and probably have the edge sound wise.

TexMadrone
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Re: Technics - How important is the Quartz?

Post by TexMadrone » 12 Nov 2019 00:19

lenjack wrote:
11 Nov 2019 21:00
I would prefer it, all things being equal. It means your unit pretty much cannot run off speed. Some quartz locked units don't even have a speed adjustment. However, it's not a must.
jmcwha wrote:
11 Nov 2019 23:31
I have no direct experience, however I have heard that some of the pre-quartz Mk1 models keep pretty good time anyway. Plus they are probably cheaper\easier to repair.
Having said that the quartz locked Mk2's are a pretty looking deck (IMO) and probably have the edge sound wise.
Thank you both. I will keep on searching for a nice Mk 2 at the right price.

lenjack
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Re: Technics - How important is the Quartz?

Post by lenjack » 12 Nov 2019 01:37

Agreed that the pre-quartz models are excellent.

georgesgiralt
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Re: Technics - How important is the Quartz?

Post by georgesgiralt » 12 Nov 2019 07:27

Hello,
Some mechanical watches are better than some quartz one and sell for much higher price.
So the speed on turntable is set by a regulator where one compare a reference signal to an error signal coming from the motor itself.On a quartz device, the motor is forced to follow the speed set by the quartz system. So it is a on/off situation. It either work or fail. On an MK1 it will drift from the setting, but will work.
Looking at the maintainability of 30~40 years old equipment, it is easier to substitute a failed transistor by a suitable equivalent than to find a replacement for a failed proprietary IC which is not made anymore...
All this said, I would buy an MK1, clean it, grease it with plastic compatible grease and enjoy the music. Frankly, the difference in specs is not worth the risk and is not audible, IMHO

spensar
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Re: Technics - How important is the Quartz?

Post by spensar » 12 Nov 2019 12:15

Quartz is nice, but not required to have a great working Technics direct drive turntable.

TexMadrone
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Re: Technics - How important is the Quartz?

Post by TexMadrone » 12 Nov 2019 13:42

georgesgiralt wrote:
12 Nov 2019 07:27
Looking at the maintainability of 30~40 years old equipment, it is easier to substitute a failed transistor by a suitable equivalent than to find a replacement for a failed proprietary IC which is not made anymore...
All this said, I would buy an MK1, clean it, grease it with plastic compatible grease and enjoy the music. Frankly, the difference in specs is not worth the risk and is not audible, IMHO
That's very helpful. If the IC fails on a 'Quartz' table it's the end, no replacement parts available. Thanks for that insight!

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Re: Technics - How important is the Quartz?

Post by phonomac » 12 Nov 2019 17:02

Just to be clear, if the IC fails on some quartz tables it is seriously expensive to obtain a modern replacement (fidelisanalog) based on programmable devices. The 13xx/14xx/15xx Mk2, the SP15, and the SP10 Mk3 all use the MN6042 to provide quartz lock and variable pitch.
There are other Technics quartz lock turntables, and other makes, which are just fine.

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Re: Technics - How important is the Quartz?

Post by paddypaws » 14 Nov 2019 17:52

I’ve just repaired a SL-1700 mk2 with quartz lock it’s really excellent. New old stock & second hand chips aren’t that hard to come by these days on eBay, but i’d certainly consider a non quartz locked servo deck as they’re very good too.

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Re: Technics - How important is the Quartz?

Post by Pauw » 14 Nov 2019 18:34

I have a non quartz SLD303 ....it keeps very good speed consistency and is an excellent table . It's speed does wander a little but,it is only around 0.005% ( which I took the time to calculate) which to my mind is no problem at all. :D

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Re: Technics - How important is the Quartz?

Post by BirdsOf-Fire » 14 Nov 2019 18:55

My reading of the Matsushita Electronics (Technics) factory web presence says there are many differences between the older non-quartz lock 1200 Series turntables and the newer Technics direct drive TT. Among the most important differences I noticed was the platter. Older non-quartz Technics direct drives had injection molded plastic platters, while the newer quartz lock 1200 has an aluminum reinforced platter, or a diecast aluminum-magnesium alloy platter that is CNC machined to be as scientifically flat as anyone can measure. I would go to the Technics online history of their turntables and check to see when they made the switch to the diecast metal platters. I believe it parallels the quartz-lock system.

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Re: Technics - How important is the Quartz?

Post by georgesgiralt » 15 Nov 2019 07:15

Hello,
THe SL-150 I own is a non quartz lock table and, guess what ? Aluminum platter, machined to spec. The aluminum platter make sense with the introduction of the direct drive. You need to machine "something" to put the magnet on it. And it was easier for a big factory to work on aluminum given they already process such material on other parts of their products.

Japi Roelofs
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Re: Technics - How important is the Quartz?

Post by Japi Roelofs » 15 Nov 2019 11:38

BirdsOf-Fire wrote:
14 Nov 2019 18:55
Older non-quartz Technics direct drives had injection molded plastic platters
I have never seen a Technics turntable with a plastic platter. You must have misread this somehow.

chiz
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Re: Technics - How important is the Quartz?

Post by chiz » 15 Nov 2019 11:59

BirdsOf-Fire wrote:
14 Nov 2019 18:55
My reading of the Matsushita Electronics (Technics) factory web presence says ... Older non-quartz Technics direct drives had injection molded plastic platters
This doesn't sound right to me either. Can you provide a link to this source please?

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