Nagaoka MP-200 with Technics SL-1200GR - Auxiliary weight question

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rlwings
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Nagaoka MP-200 with Technics SL-1200GR - Auxiliary weight question

Post by rlwings » 15 Jun 2019 15:21

Hey guys... So I have a new SL-1200GR and a Nagaoka MP-200 cart with the heavier Jelco HS-25 headshell. I've noticed that I can balance the arm with OR without the use of the auxiliary weight. Are there any sonic benefits to using this weight? I've read the the weight can reduce arm ringing by closing up the end. I also heard that it forces the main weight closer to the pivot point which increases stability. Are these things true? Should I use the auxiliary weight?

Also, does anybody have any experience using the Sl1200GR with a Nagaoka MP-200 cart? (And Schiit Mani preamp)? - Do these items work well together in terms of the whole resonance\compliance issues? - I'm terrible with the math. Kinda looking for yes\no answers, lol.

Thanks for any input. :)

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Re: Nagaoka MP-200 with Technics SL-1200GR - Auxiliary weight question

Post by P4t1n3tt3 » 15 Jun 2019 18:00

From what I read on this forum (and others), there are quite a few people who have Technics SL-1200 mk2, M3D, mk5 ... and the new G, GAE and GR who have them happily married to the MP-200 but I let them come and tell you about it.

I also have an MP-200 that I tried to run with Technics EPA-100 and EPA-250 but I did not get good results. My MP-200 has only 21H of use while it takes 30H. Can be go after the break in ...

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Re: Nagaoka MP-200 with Technics SL-1200GR - Auxiliary weight question

Post by rlwings » 15 Jun 2019 18:11

P4t1n3tt3 wrote:
15 Jun 2019 18:00
From what I read on this forum (and others), there are quite a few people who have Technics SL-1200 mk2, M3D, mk5 ... and the new G, GAE and GR who have them happily married to the MP-200 but I let them come and tell you about it.

I also have an MP-200 that I tried to run with Technics EPA-100 and EPA-250 but I did not get good results. My MP-200 has only 21H of use while it takes 30H. Can be go after the break in ...
Thank you, yes, this combo seems to sound excellent, but like everything audio I don't always trust myself. :)

-Anybody have experience with the auxiliary weight on the 1200(GR)? - Pros\cons sound quality?

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Re: Nagaoka MP-200 with Technics SL-1200GR - Auxiliary weight question

Post by P4t1n3tt3 » 15 Jun 2019 18:32

This is only my opinion (unscientific) but I think that if you can do without auxiliary counterweight, it's better. Adding a mass to the back of the arm could give the stylus less freedom during playback, just my opinion. :wink:

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Re: Nagaoka MP-200 with Technics SL-1200GR - Auxiliary weight question

Post by chiz » 15 Jun 2019 19:44

Not used the Nagaokas myself but looking at the real world compliance figures here would suggest that in theory you would be better off with the stock headshell:

https://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_f ... 9&t=107555

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Re: Nagaoka MP-200 with Technics SL-1200GR - Auxiliary weight question

Post by Sunwire » 15 Jun 2019 20:12

The main reason to use heavier/lighter headshells and heavier/lighter counterweights is to adjust the frequency at which the tonearm and cartridge resonate.

It is fairly easy to test this directly rather than trusting calculators that rely on data that is probably not very accurate.

I don't trust the online calculators to figure out the resonant frequency of cartridge/arm combinations.

I don't think the figures for effective mass of tonearms and compliance of cartridges are dependable since every manufacturer may be calculating them differently and actual products may not meet the specifications, anyway. The position of the tonearm counterweight and the amount of play time on the cartridge may affect these figures, too.

I recently have been playing around with measuring tonearm resonance directly using Audacity.
https://www.audacityteam.org/download/

If you can record from your preamp to your computer, you can download Audacity for free from the web and use it to make the recording. If you then look at the resulting recording using the "Plot Spectrum" tool on the "Analyze" menu, you can see exactly where YOUR tonearm and cartridge are resonating.

Here's a screen shot of a recording I made using a Technics EPC-p22 cartridge with Jico SAS stylus on a Technics SL-D93 turntable. You can clearly see the tonearm/cartridge resonance is between 8 and 9 Hz. Most people recommend trying to achieve a resonant frequency between 8 and 15 Hz, with 10-12 Hz the "ideal" (but there is dispute about this).


I have a lot more testing to do, but one thing I've noticed is that it seems to help to sample a large amount of the recording (about 2 minutes) in order to get a good reading of the tonearm resonance. If you sample a section that is too small, you will notice the resonant frequency is different for different sections of music. The difference is relatively small, however. I don't think I've seen a range of more than 1 Hz either way when I take several measurements from different sections of a record. So, if most samples show 10 Hz, it's very rare that any other measurement using the same cartridge and arm would be less than 9 Hz or more than 11 Hz.

I haven't figured out if there is a particular record that is best for this test. But I theorize that it's better to use a record of real music you listen to, rather than use a test record of pink noise or some other test signal. After all, you want to find out how the tonearm/cartridge behave when you're playing your music, not some test tone, right? So far, the resonance frequency doesn't seem to change when I try the same cartridge/arm combination with different records, so it may not make much difference. Sampling a "too small" amount of music does make a difference, however.

Despite my theory that using records of real music is best, this screen shot shows the result when playing the frequency sweep on the HiFi News Analog Test LP #2 (not real music). I'm using it as an illustration because the resonant frequency stands out so clearly on this shot.

Adding the auxiliary weight may raise or lower the resonant frequency. If you use the auxiliary weight, the counterweight will end up closer to the tonearm pivot. If you don't use it the counterweight will be farther from the tonearm pivot.
The effective mass of the counterweight increases by the square of its distance from the pivot, so a heavier counterweight that's closer to the pivot may have a lower effective mass than a lighter counterweight that's farther from the pivot.

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Re: Nagaoka MP-200 with Technics SL-1200GR - Auxiliary weight question

Post by rlwings » 15 Jun 2019 21:13

Thank you Sunwire and Chiz... Very interesting points to consider.

Sunwire, I think I will use Audacity to find my actual resonance... By the way, I use Jriver Media Center because I run all my audio through a Dirac room correction filter... Jriver has an EQ graph showing the bouncing frequencies live in real time... I did notice a low end 'spike' in the graph while playing my music on the 1200... Is this type of graph essentially give me the same information as your Audacity suggestion? ... I think my peak was around 25 or so..oh, oh ... But if my speakers only go down to 30-35 does it really matter as any bass jumbling at lower freqs won't be loud enough to be audible?

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Re: Nagaoka MP-200 with Technics SL-1200GR - Auxiliary weight question

Post by Sunwire » 15 Jun 2019 23:58

Audacity give far more precise information.
Lower frequency "jumbling" can interfere with tracking and cause intermodulation distortion (two or more tones combining to create additional tones that were not part of the original music).
The result is muddy bass sound.

Also, it can waste amplifier power and damage speakers.
Even speakers that claim to have response down to 30-35 Hz will still produce lower frequency waves. And this takes a lot of amplifier power. If you notice your speaker's woofers moving in and out by large amounts, you may have a problem.

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Re: Nagaoka MP-200 with Technics SL-1200GR - Auxiliary weight question

Post by rlwings » 16 Jun 2019 00:22

Ok, I'll look out for larger woofer movement, thanks... Are there any little settings I should know about in Audacity or just choose the menu options you've already mentioned? ... What did you do, record an entire song and find the average peak or something?

P.S. Thank you very much for your very detailed responses! I really appreciate it... I'm learning and it's guys like you that really help me along the path of discovery. :)

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Re: Nagaoka MP-200 with Technics SL-1200GR - Auxiliary weight question

Post by Sunwire » 16 Jun 2019 01:15

Record a few minutes of music.
Choose a track that has a wide frequency response, especially good bass.
Set the recording level so the loudest peaks of the music are at about -3 dB. Make sure the peaks don't clip (go all the way to 0 dB).
After you finish recording, click and drag to select a portion of the recording that is good and loud and about 2 minutes long. If you try to analyze much more than that, Audacity will give you an error message when you use the Plot Spectrum tool. It can only handle a certain amount of data.

If not sure how to set up Audacity, do a web search for "How to use Audacity to record an LP". There are a bunch of tutorial videos and web pages.
And there is the official Audacity help here:
https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/how ... _help.html

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Re: Nagaoka MP-200 with Technics SL-1200GR - Auxiliary weight question

Post by rlwings » 23 Aug 2019 06:04

Sunwire wrote:
16 Jun 2019 01:15
Record a few minutes of music.
Choose a track that has a wide frequency response, especially good bass.
Set the recording level so the loudest peaks of the music are at about -3 dB. Make sure the peaks don't clip (go all the way to 0 dB).
After you finish recording, click and drag to select a portion of the recording that is good and loud and about 2 minutes long. If you try to analyze much more than that, Audacity will give you an error message when you use the Plot Spectrum tool. It can only handle a certain amount of data.

If not sure how to set up Audacity, do a web search for "How to use Audacity to record an LP". There are a bunch of tutorial videos and web pages.
And there is the official Audacity help here:
https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/how ... _help.html
I know I am very late coming back to thank you, sorry...But thank you! ... I've just returned to this problem and am now serious about downloading Audacity and recording some music to find the resonant frequency of my cart\arm combo. Enough with the inaccurate manufacturer specs, charts, graphs and calculators!! Sorry I missed your very informative post. I have bookmarked it and will return tomorrow to follow your instructions. :) ... Just noticed major woofer movement... It's time!

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Re: Nagaoka MP-200 with Technics SL-1200GR - Auxiliary weight question

Post by rlwings » 24 Aug 2019 23:34

Ok,mission accomplished! I measured the resonance frequency coming from the new Technics 1200GR and the Nagaoka MP-200 cart using two different heashells.

Process:

Recorded 2 minutes of bass heavy music in Audacity in a Windows computer then viewed the plot spectrum chart.

Results:

Using the Jelco HS-25 headshell the resonance was in the low 6hz range. (Not great).
Using the Technics stock headshell the resonance was in the high 7hz range. (Better, and almost in the green by a hair).

Conclusion:

Since I quickly realized that I needed to loose weight from the Jelco headshell, I switched headshells, wires, nuts and screws to lighter versions of themselves to achieve the 'near green zone' on the resonance chart.

It would appear that the Nagaoka MP-200 and the new Technics arm works best with light headshells and still barely makes it into the green zone. Acceptable but not ideal.

Hope my efforts help somebody who can't wait to switch their headshell (like me) to a higher quality but heavier headshell. With the Nagaoka MP-200 cart... it may not be the best idea... I compromised and used the better (and lighter) wires that came with the Jelco headshell with the stock Technics headshell to achieve a possible sonic improvement.

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Re: Nagaoka MP-200 with Technics SL-1200GR - Auxiliary weight question

Post by DeepEnd » 25 Aug 2019 07:35

Can I say thank for providing these figures.

I believe that the standard Technic arm/headshell has a similar effective mass as my Rega arms and I get similar figures for resonance point.

I was beginning to doubt my results as no one else has shown/been aware that:-

It would appear that the compliance of Nagaoka styli at 10Hz is much higher than the 100 Hz figure in their specs would indicate and I would not use them in higher mass arms.

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Re: Nagaoka MP-200 with Technics SL-1200GR - Auxiliary weight question

Post by rlwings » 25 Aug 2019 10:24

DeepEnd wrote:
25 Aug 2019 07:35
Can I say thank for providing these figures.

I believe that the standard Technic arm/headshell has a similar effective mass as my Rega arms and I get similar figures for resonance point.

I was beginning to doubt my results as no one else has shown/been aware that:-

It would appear that the compliance of Nagaoka styli at 10Hz is much higher than the 100 Hz figure in their specs would indicate and I would not use them in higher mass arms.
Yes it is because of your posts about Nagaoka carts (and my pumping woofers) that I began to question their published compliance figures... So I decided to use my computer to measure for myself.... And yes it appears that you are right! ... Stay away from higher mass arms (Heaver headshells) etc when using triple digit Nagaoka models!... It was so easy to measure, I'm surprised that nobody else has done it. I guess people don't really run their turntables through computers. But I do because I use (love) Dirac room correction software. It's a must for me to eliminate the awful room modes in my apartment. - It's like magic.

Thanks for all your work!

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Re: Nagaoka MP-200 with Technics SL-1200GR - Auxiliary weight question

Post by hedgehog35 » 25 Aug 2019 16:27

rlwings wrote:
15 Jun 2019 15:21
Hey guys... So I have a new SL-1200GR and a Nagaoka MP-200 cart with the heavier Jelco HS-25 headshell. I've noticed that I can balance the arm with OR without the use of the auxiliary weight. Are there any sonic benefits to using this weight? I've read the the weight can reduce arm ringing by closing up the end. I also heard that it forces the main weight closer to the pivot point which increases stability. Are these things true? Should I use the auxiliary weight?

Also, does anybody have any experience using the Sl1200GR with a Nagaoka MP-200 cart? (And Schiit Mani preamp)? - Do these items work well together in terms of the whole resonance\compliance issues? - I'm terrible with the math. Kinda looking for yes\no answers, lol.

Thanks for any input. :)
I am using the MP200 with a Technics 1200GR and Ortofon LH4000 headshell, which at 14.3g is considerably heavier than the stock headshell. The reason I swopped headshells was so I could easily adjust azimuth - something I have always found to be quite important. I am also using the extra weight so that the arm counterweight is as close as possible to the pivot point.
I have not tested the resonance with my HiFi News test record, but I will try it soon.
I don't have a direct comparison of using the MP200 with the Technics headshell, but it sounds pretty good to my old ears. I do have a Goldring 1042 in the headshell that came with the turntable, but difficult to compare as they are quite different sounding cartridges with their own strengths and weaknesses.
The only possible downside I have found with the MP200 is that I occasionally suffer a little sibilance on some lp's - but not enough to put me off using the Nagaoka.
One effect of using a different headshell is that the arm cannot be lowered sufficiently to get it parallel with the record surface. I have got round that by using an Oyaide mat which at 5mm, is 2mm thicker than the Technics mat.
If you are happy with how your set up sounds then that is all that matters - unless you are suffering obvious mistracking, then I would continue to enjoy the music and not worry too much what the technical measurements tell you!
I have also recently added a KAB fluid damper which is sounding very promising, but the paddle will add even more mass to the arm. Hoping to write a short review on this soon.

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