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Michael Fremer Slaps Down The Technics Sl-1200

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Michael Fremer Slaps Down The Technics Sl-1200

Postby shhh...listen » 30 May 2011 17:38

Michael Fremer in the May 2011 issue of Stereophile reviews the Brinkman Audio "Bardo" direct drive tt. The Brado uses a low torque motor (which is of course is better :roll: ) and so Mikey starts talking in general about motor cogging which leads him to high torque direct drive turntables of the 1970s and1980s.
Michael says that the more (magnet) poles a motor has, the more cogging. And then:
With nothing to counteract the motor cogging that inevitably occurs directly within the platter of a high-torque, low mass, direct-drive turntable, large amounts of wow and flutter are also inevitable.
Regulating a direct-drive motor's speed with a phase-locked loop produces tight speed control and measuralby low levels of wow and flutter , but the motor's constant, ultra-high-speed huntinging and pecking as it over and under compensates in the attempt to produce a consistent speed can create a jitter effect in the mid treble to which the human ear is particularly sensitive, adding a hard brittle texture to music. That describes the sound of Technics' now discontinued sl1200 series of direct-drive turntables, and explains why, despite their high build quality and relatively low price, few are used in serious audio systems, though some listeners claim that these tables can be modified to improve their sonic performance."


I've never heard the "Technics sound" described the way he says. More of a muted/veiled sound which I attributed to undamped plinth and its tonearm. Is his analysis this "jitter effect" correct? I know that the Technics motor is 16 pole & 12 coils and I believe it is 3 phase certainly that would diminish greatly any cogging though I'm no expert.
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Postby Guest » 30 May 2011 18:06

sl-1200 is a professional table that does its job very well in clubs around the world... That's not an hi-fi table ! I've wondered why people like too much that table as an hi-fi separate . There are people who say that a playstation is an audiophile machine... Strange world this one we live !
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Postby KentT » 30 May 2011 18:21

If the Technics motor jitters, then many of the records he plays jitters since they're cut on lathes with direct drive motors (many of them are SP-10 motor variants). Does not add up. Some DD motors did hunt but the Technics motor does not. The SL-1200 was originally designed as a audiophile turntable for home use which was medium priced. It performed so well that discos and some radio stations began using them and it was also well isolated against footfalls and reliable. The SL-1200 Mk II onwards did add professional features to the mix.
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Postby Guest » 30 May 2011 18:54

"originaly" doesn't mean anything ! In fact they are professional tables with professional features ! For that boom boom boom we listen in the clubs they perform great ! Now for a serious listening i've had my doubts ! If i asked : is a phono pre-amp better than a dj mixer ? I bet that 99% of the answeres would be : yes it is ! So why is a professional table suitable for hi-fi use ?
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Postby shhh...listen » 30 May 2011 19:41

Granted the SL-1200 isn't overbuilt and can't compete with $5,000 - $12,000 turntables that MF reviews. It is built to a price point whereas most "audiophile" 'tables are not. The SL-1200 simply is not built to todays' Nth degree. I believe it is lacking in the areas I mentioned.

Are there any owners of an SP15 who have compared theirs to the SL-1200?
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Postby chartz » 30 May 2011 20:12

Hi,

That man doesn't know what he's talking about. Just read the latest Hi-Fi world issue, where Noel Keywood actually measures the thing and finds out it doesn't wow or flutter at all.
I've always found those hifi journos very pretentious. Are they engineers themselves? Have they designed anything at all?
At least, Mr Keywood knows what he's talking about...
The Matsushita motor works very well, period. And it was cheap too.
Nice argument, KentT. Even Mr Alastair Robertson-Aikman, the late SME chairman, used SL10 decks once, before designing his own, overpriced decks.
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Postby Doug G. » 30 May 2011 21:48

covalongacurta wrote:"originaly" doesn't mean anything ! In fact they are professional tables with professional features ! For that boom boom boom we listen in the clubs they perform great ! Now for a serious listening i've had my doubts ! If i asked : is a phono pre-amp better than a dj mixer ? I bet that 99% of the answeres would be : yes it is ! So why is a professional table suitable for hi-fi use ?


Originally certainly does mean something.

As Kent said, these tables were originally (see?) designed for home use so they were meant to be used in home stereos. Verstehen Sie?

It is just an artifact of history that they became "professional" turntables.

I remember the progression well.

I don't own a 1200 so I am not arguing defensively.

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Postby Guest » 30 May 2011 21:56

Doug G. wrote:
covalongacurta wrote:"originaly" doesn't mean anything ! In fact they are professional tables with professional features ! For that boom boom boom we listen in the clubs they perform great ! Now for a serious listening i've had my doubts ! If i asked : is a phono pre-amp better than a dj mixer ? I bet that 99% of the answeres would be : yes it is ! So why is a professional table suitable for hi-fi use ?


Originally certainly does mean something.

As Kent said, these tables were originally (see?) designed for home use so they were meant to be used in home stereos. Verstehen Sie?

It is just an artifact of history that they became "professional" turntables.

I remember the progression well.

I don't own a 1200 so I am not arguing defensively.

Doug
are you saying that technics doesn't know what customers it's aiming at ? Next we will see dj's performing on a goldmund reference...
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Postby avole » 30 May 2011 22:42

covalongacurta wrote:
Doug G. wrote:
covalongacurta wrote:"originaly" doesn't mean anything ! In fact they are professional tables with professional features ! For that boom boom boom we listen in the clubs they perform great ! Now for a serious listening i've had my doubts ! If i asked : is a phono pre-amp better than a dj mixer ? I bet that 99% of the answeres would be : yes it is ! So why is a professional table suitable for hi-fi use ?


Originally certainly does mean something.

As Kent said, these tables were originally (see?) designed for home use so they were meant to be used in home stereos. Verstehen Sie?

It is just an artifact of history that they became "professional" turntables.

I remember the progression well.

I don't own a 1200 so I am not arguing defensively.

Doug
are you saying that technics doesn't know what customers it's aiming at ? Next we will see dj's performing on a goldmund reference...
No, Technics aimed at the audiophile and professional market. The DJ bit came when people recognised just how flexible these decks are.

Fremer isn't comparing like with like. Cogging is largely a myth, and there's no correlation between jitter and any form of analog distortion.
The primary sin he commits is not comparing like with like. My car has a steering wheel, motor, transmission and gears. This may be a wild guess, but I'd think the cars which race round the formula 1 circuits handle better. Brinkmanns are not cheap, if memory serves, and are designed for a specialist market, just like those formula 1 cars.
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Postby Guest » 31 May 2011 00:07

i don't like audio magazines too ! Comparing turntables with cars can be silly too... From what i've read you're saying that technics sl-1200 is like a porsche cayenne ( very good off road and fast as a roadster ) what about the price ? Is the porsche overpriced or is the thecnics a bargain ? Silly isn't it ? I'm not convinced . IMHO the technics sl-1200 will always be a table for professionals even if wow and flutter specs are very low . But a good table isn't only "made" of "wows and flutters" or the most of us better throw away our tables !
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Postby Lauri3000 » 31 May 2011 00:28

This thing with self-proclaimed experts hating on the SL-1200 is getting really old. I use them both at home and for work (with different pick-ups, obviously) and you only hear these wows and jitters if you want to.

What I really think: The Technics SL-1200 Mk II is so good that professionals adopted it for their uses.

What 'they' really think (even if they don't say it): Because professionals use it, it must be bad.

P.S. I live in an old house and the SL-1200 is the only record player I can use without worrying about skipping and vibrations when I walk around. And the sound is good. What options do I have, really, but to like it?
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Postby smeg68 » 31 May 2011 00:31

Sanity check time. All it has to do is go round at the right speed, which it does with no perceptible error, nor (as Noel Keywood found out), significant measurable error. This little fact is brushed over because it's a Technics and simply doesn't have the snob factor required. Far too many audiophiles are shamefully image concious and simply wont give rack space to the same turntable that DJ Jazzy Jayson uses on Friday night down at the local pub.

This is the hard truth of the negative comments aimed at the Technics and we all know it.

Conversely, the Rega line of turntables gain praise from all quarters, brushing over the fact that many are poorly constructed, hideously overpriced and are only saved by their halfway decent arm. Many of these turntables (not all) rotate with large speed errors, warped subplatters and grinding motor bearings. We all know this but somehow it's forgotten because Rega is a brand with the proper audiophile credentials.

I'm not saying that all Rega's are bad and all Technics are good, but there is a large bias in both directions and a willingness to overlook the truth that makes argument somewhat futile.
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Postby Lauri3000 » 31 May 2011 00:41

smeg68 wrote:Far too many audiophiles are shamefully image concious and simply wont give rack space to the same turntable that DJ Jazzy Jayson uses on Friday night down at the local pub.


It's not just audiophiles. I've actually spoken with (or rather listened to) several audio equipment dealers who took immense pride in not selling Technics record players. It almost seemed like a religious thing.

Of course, there's also a huge - and hugely annoying - NO IT'S THE ONLY REAL TURNTABLE crowd but that's mainly just younger folk who haven't actually used any other players.
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Postby LeeS » 31 May 2011 00:44

Well said Smeg. I agree.
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Postby Guest » 31 May 2011 02:05

i told somebody who was looking for a technics-1200 that i have a kenwood and he asked me : "what the hell would i do with a kenwood" ? I wonder who are the snobs !
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