Technics Sp10 Mk2 vs SL-1200G - I finally did an A/B

Guys, it is payback time. I have asked so many questions here to improve my knowledge or make a good purchase. I should give back now.

This is a topic that is HOT these days. Are the new generation Technics 1200G/GAE and Sp10-R better than the vintage Sp10 Mk2 and Mk3 ? 

I have myself asked this question multiple times here. The most common reply was a resounding "Yes" in favour of the new 1200G/GAE. The 10R is still too new and not many have a direct opinion. But in general, even those who have commented on the 1200G vs Sp10 mk2, almost no one has compared them side by side. Some have written based on aural memory, some based on specs and design, and some have written based on pure subjective opinion.

In any case, most of us are very happy that Technics has done it. A very few business oriented minds might be disappointed that their business around vintage Technics DDs would take some hit due to these modern machines.

Since I was in the market for a good high resolution TT to replace my modded Loricraft Garrard 301, I took active interest in the Technics DDs. Overall I was convinced that the 1200G is the machine to look out for. It was clearly favored over the smaller sp10 and more or less compared to the bigger sp10 mk3. I got a brand new 1200G and sent it to Time-Step audio for their Evoke PSU mod. It is a very well accepted mod in the UK markets. In general the Switch-Mode PSU of the 1200G is considered its Achilles heel so this mod was a necessity.

I finally had the 1200G at my home. I won't go into the process of setting up as it was a simple and straight forward one. I used its own Technics tonearm to start with. I tried couple of platter mats but its own default mat sounded fine so it remained. I have 2 cartridges to play, the Denon 103r and Ortofon Cadenza blue. None of them are esoteric stuff, but I find them very neutral and musically "right" sounding carts.

Straightaway the 1200G revealed that it was a more transparent and higher resolution player than the Garrard. The noise floor was lower, inner details more easily heard. Soundstage more precise and layered. Great! There was an extra sparkle to the sound which was quite thrilling. More like going from HD to UHD. What felt a bit lacking was overall dynamics and scale. The 1200G sounded "Compact". The Garrard was like a full blown full scale sound. I let the 1200G run at 78rpm for many hours so that the burn-in process is expedited. I also tried both the auto and manual servo settings to vary the torque and balance of the sound. As I listened more I also realized that the 1200G does not have the fluidity that I am used to with the Garrard or other belt drive TTs I have heard. Notes bloom but die out instantly, followed by a silence before the next note. Something that joins the notes so that it all sounds related was missing a bit. In terms of dynamics, the intensity of an "explosion or a shout" was kind of controlled. That takes away a bit of that startle factor which allows us to get awestruck with our systems. Bass on the 1200G sounded a bit chopped. It did not feel very deep and powerful. I rather felt I am listening to mid-upper bass with average impact. But when it came to details it sounded like a super Cd player in a good way.

I decided to play with the tonearm at this point. I have a 47 Labs RS-A1 tonearm which has its own standing mount. One can just lift it and place it at the right distance so that the under-hang is correct and you are good to go. It is a musical tonearm. Once installed, this tonearm gave the Technics a significant jump on the performance. Especially it made the Technics sound less hifi and more musical, more fluid, more jump factor. Just plain more realistic. But then it brought the same kind of improvements to the Garrard too. I did a lot of comparison shifting this tonearm between the 2 TTs. All my above comments about their differences holds true. 

After about 2 weeks and multiple hours of comparison on all kinds of music, I decided that while there are areas where the Garrard lacks and Technics clearly shines, musically Garrard is more realistic whereas Technics is more cerebral. I knew I was going to miss that hi-rez sparkle from Technics but I could only keep one so it has to go. I sold the 1200G. But the curiosity still remained so I bought a Sp10 Mk2.

After there 1200G left my place, the Sp10 Mk2 arrived. I did not have a plinth but I had read on Audiogon that it can be used in the naked form with a suitable isolation like the Audio Technica AT-636 Pneumatic footers. I have those footers so I installed the Sp10 on those footers and used the 47 Labs tonearm with Denon 103r for listening.

In the first 10 secs it was clear the Sp10 Mk2 is a more dynamic player than the 1200G. It sounded more like a Garrard in terms of scale, dynamics and drive. At the same time it was more transparent than Garrard. I had read couple of opinions that the vintage Sp10 DDs has more torquey motor drive. Here I was clearly hearing that. If I enter the room, I would not know which player is playing simply because of the similarity in slam, dynamics and tonality. My Garrard has the audiosilente idler wheel, woodsong audio brake disc and kokomo bearings. It is also driven by a dedicated AC regenerator for a clean AC input. In effect it is a much cleaner and neutral TT than typical Garrards. The Sp10 Mk2 is a less romantic sounding TT overall but it does not feel "compact", "thin" or "bright". It sounds natural, which is a very important trait to enjoy music. It sounds big and punchy without sounding colored or veiled. I have not even installed the plinth yet. My Garrard is still the king in the system but the Sp10 is a good contender with higher resolution and lower noise floor overall.

Guys, I don't know how to put it. I am not here to spoil the party of the 1200G/GAE owners. It is definitely a very complete package. You get warranty, company support, spares and all the peace of mind with the new Technics DDs. But if you are one of those adventurous types deciding between the old school and new gen Technics TT, the old Sp10 mk2/mk3 wins it for me, purely from the sound quality perspective. New technology probably has given the new Technics a bit more refinement but the drive, excitement and immediacy of real instruments still is conveyed best by the grand old boys.

My system:
. Loricraft Garrard 301 (mods: Kokomo mk2 bearing, Audiosilente idler wheel, Woodsong audio brake disc, Funkfirm Achromat, Monarcy Audio AC regenerator)
. 47 Labs RS-A1 tonearm
. Ortofon Cadenza Blue, Denon 103r carts
. Trilogy 907 phonostage
. Berning MicroZOTL 2.0 preamp
. Audio Note Conquest Silver Signature SET monoblock amps
. Tannoy Turnberry SE speakers

P.S: I did not compare the 2 Technics side by side but it was almost back to back as the Sp10 arrived after 3-4 days of the departure of 1200G. Since it was all in my own system, I had a good hang of what they felt like.
Pani, thank you for your detailed report.  The Technics on those AT footers is very different from the very same turntable placed into a massive plinth.  You heard the Mk2 one of the two ways it should be used.  True, the “no-plinth” approach has its staunch advocates, and there are long threads in which the question of how to mount the Mk2 was argued back and forth.  But you might continue to explore the set-up of the Mk2, if you want to go all the way with your comparison.  Also, you’ve done nothing to rank the Mk3 in the mix; it’s a totally different animal from the Mk2, IMO.  I agree with you on the RS Labs RS-A1 tonearm; it’s quite surprisingly good and very “musical”.

As an aside, can you comment on the condition of your Mk2? Was it refurbished and calibrated before you bought it?
@lewm, I haven’t heard the great Mk3 so I did not write about it. Steve Dobbins once told me that a real competitor of a fully done up Garrard is the Mk3, not the Mk2. My Garrard still doesn’t have a Dobbins platter which is a missing link. 

Anyway, my sp10 is in excellent shape. It was nicely refurbished in Switzerland. But it doesn’t have th krebs mod yet. I would love to try the full plinth option but for that I will have to get a plinth. Probably the Mk2 will sound fuller and voluptuous with the plinth which could be interesting. 

My motive was to compare the 2 Technics TTs of similar price. The 1200g and sp10 Mk2 both target similar audiophile tastes and budget.
Good news, Pani
Why not a better cartridge for comparison of such a nice turntables ?

As for the price i don’t agree, about $4000 for SL1200G is much higher that $1400 for a good SP-10mkII. If the old turntable is better than new it is even much cheaper than new. But i’m not sure how much people payin’ for mods. Anyway i sold my SP-10mkII in mint condition for $2600, but with the mega rare Micro Seiki CU-500 (2.7kg, thick copper mat). Still much lower than new $4000 SL1200G.

BTW how much was the Evoke PSU mod for SL1200G?
@chakster the typical market price for a really nice sp10 Mk2 is $2500 and thereof. There are many examples of sp10 with many scratches, paint peeled off and letters worn out. They go for less than $2k. 
if you add a plinth and starter tonearm to this combo, we are looking at $3.5k which is not far off from a 1200g. Where 1200g needs a evoke PSU, the sp10 can be bettered with a krebs mod, both cost similar amounts. 

Regarding carts, I personally feel the fundamentals of music is very well revealed with neutral and straightforward cartridges like the 103r and Cadenza Blue. The phonostage must be a good one else there will be a lot of loss there 
To be honest i’ve never seen stock SP-10 mkII drive for $2500 anywhere for sale (it’s too high), i paid $1200 including express delivery from Hong Kong for my SP-10mkII and there is no single scratch on it. Now they are still $1200-1400 top without any proper mats of course, but this is an average price for this exellent turntable, not the $2500. I’m not counting the mods (not sure if anyone even needs a mod to enjoy SP-10mkII), i’ve read people are sceptical about Krebs mod here on audiogon. I’ve never had any single issues with my SP-10 mkII i’ve bought for $1200 including shipping, cosmetical condition was like new and operation condition also great, absolutely no problem. All i did is adding some oil once a year.

I’m just trying to say that anyone can buy SP-10mkII in perfect condition for $1400 top and the original obsidian plinth SH-10B3 is on ebay for $375 right now (without dust cover). I think most audiophiles already have multiply tonearms, so no need to buy a tonearm.

Even the plinth is questinable if the owner has Audio-Technica pneumatic footers, especially the big ones (i love them). At least your SP-10 mkII impressed you much without the plinth at all. And it was better than SL1200G.

In other words the SP-10mkII (+ SH10B3 for example) for half price of the SL1200G is still a better choice as i can see by reading your review. That’s nice!

Lucky people in Japan can buy SP-10 mkII for $800 in top condition, but the SL1200G will cost them at least $3500.

Sadly you have sold your modded SL1200G few days before the arrival of SP-10mkII, direct A/B would be stronger prove.

But anyway, thank you for this review. I was sceptical about SL1200G from the start and always posted that SP-10mkII has a better price, probably "best buy" DD turntable on the used market. However, still prefer my Luxman PD-444s.

P.S. this is the first review in favor of SP-10mkII (without plinth) over the SL1200G

Not too many of those $1200 to $1400 SP10 Mk2s have already been refurbished, freshened with new electrolytic capacitors where needed, and calibrated by someone who knows what they are doing.  That’s what bugs me when I read that someone compared this or that vintage DD turntable to their favorite belt-drive or whatever, and found the DD to be second best.  Most of the DDs floating around out there for sale are in unknown condition, even if they “work”.

Good idea to do the Krebs mod on the Mk2.  IMO, the Mk2 potentially benefits from the Krebs even more than does the Mk3, and yet the mod is less expensive when applied to the Mk2.  (I had it done to my Mk3 by Bill Thalmann.  I was surprised at the improvement, because I heard no real “problem” related to the issue that Krebs addresses, a priori. Whereas, I think I could hear why the Mk2 would benefit, back when I owned one.)
Right @lewm , none of them were refurbished, but someone already answered earlier to your advice to change all the caps on any turntables. The answer was not to bother if everything works fine, no leakage etc. I have opened power supply of my SP-10 MKII before i sold it and all original caps were fine, looks nice, absolutely no problem. Audiophiles are always trying to see a problem where no problem detected, always trying to upgrade everything, but that’s another story. Everyone can read more about Krebs mod on audiogon in the old posts. Some old SP10 mkII turntables are just in perfect condition, they are from private collections (homes), not from the radiostations, and none of them were hardcore used. I’m not trying to say they are all perfect, but it is not a problem to find SP-10 mkII in mint condition for under $1.5 on ebay or for $800 in Japan. I made a private deal with the seller whom i could trust and i receved what i paid for. Hard to imagine any alternative at this price ($1200 including shipping). If the rotation is stable, no audible noise from the bearings, caps are fine in the power suppy, then why we should worry about it? Unlike the mk III there is nothing to break in the mk II (imo) and the power suppy is so simple that everyone with a little soldering skills can recap it quickly when needed. Some broken SP-10 mkII could be purchased for parts also. Luckily this model is not like the mkIII or tt-101. As i said the best buy amongs DD in my opinion. And that SH-10b3 obsidian plinth on ebay for $375 is a steal too, because the armboards replica available for 70 quids here:

We’re free to mod whatever to infinity, but it is not necessary right from the start.
@pani , did you use the same arm and platter pad on all machines?
If not that would seem like a huge variable to me!
One thing I will say about the new technics 1200g is that it is very neutral.  I have not heard a table that pretty much gives you for good or for bad exactly what is in the grooves, no more no less.  Every record sounds different.  I come from VPI belt drives and after hearing the 1200 G, I have come to realize how the sound is colored by belt drives.  They have a sound that is pleasing to the ear, but not as truthful imho.  The older tables do have a nice sound, sometimes adding more to what is really there and many homogenize the sound that can be very nice to listen to for many recordings.  A good way to describe the sound of the new Technics is accurate, very accurate.  Now whether you like that or not is completely personal.  I really liked the sound of the Michell Gyro SE for the reasons described above and it was a hard decision and I listened to the VPI Prime, The Aries, SME 20, Linns newer fully decked out LP12, Rega RP8 and none had the immediacy and transparency of the 1200g.  The 1200G has a master tape sound that is just whats there, no more no less, simple as that.  If you like that, you will love the 1200G, if you come from belt drives and other turntables with colorations, you may have a hard time getting used to a sound that is as truthful as the 1200G and I am sure the newer Technics reference tables.  My system is fairly modest considering the systems many have and I cannot imagine how the 1200G would sound on a very high end system.  Many think that the soundstage is not as wide as on other tables. Well, if the recording has a narrow soundstage, thats what you will hear, if it has a wide and deep stage, you will hear it just the same.  If there was one complaint I would have is I am used to having colored bloated bass and I kind of liked that sound and this table will not give you that.  I also wish it was quieter but I can only afford what I can afford.
@tzh21y we’re starting debates about many different turntables all over again, but the question is pretty simple:

SL1200G is better than SP-10 MKII ?

The are both made by Technics and considered High-End Direct Drives.

But the SP-10 mkII (a separate drive) supposed to be upper class machine, now we have SP-10R in this regard.

The next question:
Does the SP-10R beats the SP-10 mkIII?
Hope will know soon when someone will make A/B test of both.
True, but to some the 1200G may be better than the sp10 mark II and vice versa.  True, the separate drive could make a difference.
@chakster you might have got lucky or something like that. I have been looking to buy a DD for the last 1.5 years. The main candidates were the Sp10 mk2 and Yamaha GT-2000. You can read my previous posts here, I have asked about these TTs many times. Both of them are similarly priced, between $2500 to $4000 for a "excellent" condition unit and also depends on what accessories you get (plinth and tonearm). I was almost sure of getting of a Yamaha but the voltage available is only 100v so I kind of postpone my purchase. For both these TTs I have been going through all the usual places (ebay, hifishark, audio-markt). I even contacted Bill Thallmann to ask if he has a good unit for sale. He had one unit for sale for $2995, without the krebs mods and in a DIY plinth. Here is the picture, please zoom and see:

Anyway, coming back to the real discussion of which is the better one.
True, but to some the 1200G may be better than the sp10 mark II and vice versa.

@tzh21y , anyone can prefer any TT, as it is a subjective thing. However, I wanted to eliminate the ifs and buts and hence I bought both of them and compared for myself using the same Tonearm, cartridge and LPs on the same system back to back. The fundamental difference remained a very clear and simple. The force and presence of instruments on the SP10 was simply more real. It pressurizes the room with higher dynamics and scale. It is like going from a $2000 to $5000 CDP. In both the players the level of details would be nearly similar but the $5k CDP presents a more dynamic and bigger picture filling up a bigger space and moreover the throw of the instruments and voices more like a direct cut. It is not about the quality of recording or the mat used or cartridge used etc. It is a simple A > B, especially since both comes from the same stable.

Again, it is not to spoil the jubiliance of a 1200G owner. The 1200G has made a dashing entry to the world of TTs. Very rarely do we see such an amazing acceptance of a new kid. Today anyone shopping for a mid-priced TT has or should have a 1200G in the shortlist. But as honest audiophiles we should know where it actually stands. The same goes to Sp10R. Its primary contenders are not so much the older Sp10 but the newer Regas and VPIs. So in that regards it is a new standard that people are comparing everything against. But the old warhorses have not been surpassed IMO. In fact that goes to show the level of understanding those old engineers had about music.
great thread; really interesting info. I've been thinking hard about a new 1200G but I began to feel that it might be comparable to what I already have (modded rim drive VPI). So that puts me where you are  @chakster - thinking about an SP10r but wondering how it compares to an SP10 mkIII.  
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This may sound like a rookie or newbie question cause I can’t even afford the turntables you good folks reference above, but doesn’t the SL-1200G’s hardware, peripherals, even down to the tonearm, headshell wires and interconnects all have to be burned in for at least 50 to 200 hours to get a realistic jugement for a critical listening session since this is a major new piece in the rig?

I had to burn-in 2 NOS Telefunken E88CC/6922’s on my Parks Audio Budgie Tube Phono preamplifier for about 50 to 70 hours before they started to sing. Thanks guys.

PS: I know this is off topic too but I had to beg, borrow, rob and steal just to get my hands on a mint Pioneer PL-630 direct drive turntable!
Pani, why 100v is a problem for you? Powerful step-down trans is not a dig deal. I've never seen 220v versions or even 110 volt version of the SP-10mkII in my life.

The very high price for Sp-10 mkII you're quoting including Bill's margine for refurbishing work he has done, but he's not a manufacturer of Technics, his own source is second hand market and i'm sure he paid similar price i am quoting (or even lower for defective unit to restore it). I'm trying to monitor prices for some classic turntables like Technics on ebay, i've seen many of them for sale under $1.4 from Europe, Russia, Hong Kong, Japan and the USA. Maybe you have extraordinary high demands regarding condition and some kind of phobia to buy original unit. You know, i even sold mine last month for $1400 (100v) + $1200 for Micro Seiki CU-500 (2.7kg copper mat) as a package deal. Before the sale i just checked the regular prices again to make sure it will be impossible to sell for higher price. Japanese sellers are highly competitive on the bay. 

P.S. Yamaha is always twice as much in price than SP-10 mkII. 

There is only one turntable i wish to invest in refurbishing - the Victor TT-101 and i hope it will be much better tha SP-10mkII or even mk III. 
 I don't like using any Step-up or step-down transformers because they impose their own sound to the TT. It will be a coloration. I know some would say it is not a big deal but I am very particular on that front. And yes, I expect very meticulous condition when buying these things. Not that I am afraid or anything, it is just that I don't want to buy something and keep thinking that it could have been better. Moreover, sending these TTs to one of the knowledgeable person and getting it fully up-to-date costs easily $1k including shipping and labour charges. I spent $1.5k to send my Garrard 301 to Loricraft for a full refurbishment and calibration. Then there are many who don't go to those lengths and simply use a Garrard as-is. In fact it is also another reason I have not been able to pull the trigger on a Yamaha GT-2000. Who will check its fitness and get it updated? It is a personal thing I guess.

Anyway discussing street price is not the subject of this thread. It will be interesting to know if someone has actually compared the Sp10 Mk2 to a Yamaha GT-2000.
Hi Pani

Thanks for the comparison and using the same tonearm and cartridges removes any other variables.

  For plinths, Acoustand has been making them for a while now and his new SP10R inspired plinth looks amazing.   Thinking about it for my Mk3.
Chakster, TT101 is not better than mk3. No matter how much you may wish it.

Well ''not better than'' may mean equal. So chakster is allowed

to believe that his TT101 is as good as SP-10, mk 3 as well SP10R.

Anyway ''huge savings''. As everyone knows what we believe is

the most important thing. I believe that my SP-10,mk2 does not

need substitution.

I wish I hadn’t written that, only because I dislike categorical statements as much as you do, Nicola.

on the issue of replacing capacitors, those who scoff remind me of those who deny climate change. Aged electrolytic capacitors eventually WILL leak either electrically or physically. It’s a fact, not an opinion. You’re probably better off with a well worn unit that has seen continuous regular use than with a mint condition unit that sat in a box in someone’s house for 35 years and looks like new, when it comes to the risk of a lytic going bad or already being bad.

My mk3 was NOS, but it had a few bad caps when I bought it. Case in point.

I am not sure if ''there is no such thing as gratitude'' is of

''categorical nature'' but I do remember that ''our Lew''

described all the capacitors (Technics?) needed for the

upgrade some time or long time ago. So instead to be

 thankful and use the (wise) advise  some prefer disputes

 about everything (grin). BTW I am sure that ''some'' does

not apply to categorical whatever.

In all honesty, I have never heard an SP10 II or III so I cannot comment to performance of those tables
Just curious to what headshell you used on the 1200G stock arm because as I have come to learn that the headshell you choose makes a considerable difference on that arm depending on what cartridge you are using and it takes time and listening to figure this stuff out.
"As I listened more I also realized that the 1200G does not have the fluidity that I am used to with the Garrard or other belt drive TTs I have heard. Notes bloom but die out instantly, followed by a silence before the next note. "
I just got my 1200G on Wednesday and haven't had a lot of time to listen to it but I can say that your description  that "notes bloom but die out instantly" is not something I hear.  Maybe the Time-Step power supply is messing with the music?  Something sounds broken.

Your review is quite a contrast to that of Audiofun's which compares his 1200GAE to his fully restored MK III, not unfavorably and with none of your complaints.


Thanks for taking the time to review and write up your results. For the time being I will keep my Loricraft Garrard 301 with Audiosilente idler wheel.

If you end up with a SP 10 MK III or SP 10R I would love to hear how you think that compares to your Garrard 301.

Best Regards,

Jim Perry
For me, I was initially on the fence as it did not sound like what I heard in the brick and mortar shop. It took a while, longer than I would have liked. It seems like all Japanese products I have purchased in the last 10 years take an inordinate amount of time to run in. The Delos, the Marantz, and now this Technics. All I can say is it takes a good 100 hours just to loosen up and then at least 300 hours and it really started to show what it can do. At around 500 hours its sounds very good. Sounds different from belt drive but I can tell you that I am listening to everything these days, Old Jazz records sound just fantastic. I would leave it spinning for at least 2 weeks.
I suspected as much. I have never understood how the ’professional reviewers’ could review an item with no burn/run in time. At least @pani took 2 weeks or more to try and give a proper listen.

I too at one time owned a phono pre that I thought would be neutral and without coloration. It was the Pro-Ject Phono Box RS MM/MC and the companion Pro-Ject battery powered Power Box RS power supply for an even more dead quite sound. But I could never get over the lack of imaging, detail, dynamics, and flat soundstage so I opted for the older technology of tubes for a phono preamp where I can actually notice intimate precision acoustic information and haven’t looked back. As you would say, ’But the old warhorses have not been surpassed IMO. In fact that goes to show the level of understanding those old engineers had about music.’

And in my opinion everything from the stylus tip to the sound that comes out of a particular speaker has it own color or sound. Subjective as it maybe.

So I've always tried to buy audio to dig every piece of the recording session out of the grooves. I took an old $30 'antique shop' Technics SL-D2 direct drive turntable and got the headshell upgraded with Ortofon LW-800S headshell wires and added a Shure V15VxMR cartridge with a JICO SAS (Super Analogue Stylus) VN5xMR stylus, got the tonearm rewired with KAB SuperFlex Tonearm wire just so I could dig out more sound in the grooves with that table.

Now if I can just upgrade that receiver of mine...

So if anyone out there has compared the Technics Sp10 Mk2 vs SL-1200G and has ran them through any rig with tubes, that would be interesting to hear. And guys, again forgive me for not staying on topic and thank you all for your insights.


Did you not read Pani's commentary?

I decided to play with the tonearm at this point. I have a 47 Labs RS-A1 tonearm which has its own standing mount. One can just lift it and place it at the right distance so that the under-hang is correct and you are good to go. It is a musical tonearm. Once installed, this tonearm gave the Technics a significant jump on the performance. Especially it made the Technics sound less hifi and more musical, more fluid, more jump factor. Just plain more realistic. But then it brought the same kind of improvements to the Garrard too. I did a lot of comparison shifting this tonearm between the 2 TTs. All my above comments about their differences holds true. .

I missed part of that.
OK- one of the strengths of the SL1200G is a properly designed plinth!
If you mount the arm separately so that its not coupled to the plinth, a coloration will occur. The only real way to ascertain what is the arm and what is the 'table is to mount it on the 'table.

I would also be concerned about the platter pads. If they are different the machines will sound different, as a platter pad can help reduce resonance in the LP surface if made of the right materials. That can have a pretty big effect on the final result!
What I have learned in this lifelong hobby is that with turntables and analog, it really comes down to that darn cartridge and its synergy with the rest of the system.  Can the arm and table handle it?  That darn cartridge really has a lot to do with the way its going to sound and picking the right one is huge.
The tonearm was placed on the 1200G plinth and not on an external stand. So in that respect it was fine. In fact it significantly improved the 1200G compared to the stock tonearm. 

I have a few mats. I tried them on the 1200G and 301. Finally I chose to use mats which suits each of these TTs best. 

Anyway, the differences were so fundamental that changing mats or cables or even the rack wouldn’t change anything. I don’t use typical audiophile recordings to evaluate gears because I want to finally own them and not just write about them. I use regular music which I have grown up listening. Simple stuff like Cat Stevens or Billy Joel should allow me to be lost in their musicianship. Else I know something is less right. 

seems like you methodology has been completely sound and fair to both tables. Very useful in you sharing, despite the nick picking from some.

Does not surprise me as the SP10 has always been above the SL1200 in the past.

Does not surprise me that the tonearm is the relative weakness in the current SL1200 table.

I am surprised for the SP10R, that is you want a plinth - Technics are forcing you to buy the tonearm as well. Many audiophiles will opt out on that oversight alone.
Downunder, In your above post, are you suggesting that Technics ought to offer the option of SP10R + plinth but no tonearm?  If so, I was thinking the same thing myself.  Perhaps that will come eventually.  Because there might also be a market for the plinth alone, to use with an SP10 Mk3.  I would imagine the new plinth kills the old obsidian plinths that Technics supplied with the Mk2 and 3.  This is assuming that the old tables will bolt right into the new plinth. Well, at least the Mk3, because the Mk2 has a different shape underneath from the Mk3 and 10R.

To belabor the capacitor issue once more, I once replaced all the electrolytic capacitors in an SP10 Mk2.  There are 21 of them, as I recall.  Mk2s are now around 38 years old.  What are the odds that all 21 of those capacitors are still fully up to spec after circa 38 years, if they are still OEM?  (As you might imagine, my opinion is that the odds are slim.) By the way also, the cost of those capacitors was probably less than $25US.  I’d say it was a precaution well worth taking.
The thing I read and again things are subjective to each listener is that the 1200G sounded less real than the other tables. As I have never heard either of those tables that reviewer listened to, I have to say that I personally have not heard a table for 4 grand that sounds more real that the 1200G, that simple.

One thing I listen for in analog that helps me judge a table/cartridge performance is how they handle voices, piano, bass and drums. The piano is just such a difficult instrument to get right and I have not heard many tables in this price bracket or actually much higher price brackets get that piano to sound like it does on this table. The sustain and decay on the most subtle inflections are quite impressive to say the least. If the piano sounds right, most likely everything else will fit into place. This is very obvious on jazz recordings which is just very hard to find at this price point. The timbre and air is very realistic and sounds like real music as this table "gets out of the way" so to speak and lets a listener (this listener) finally really hear his collection. I can easily follow each instrument musical presentation and get to the heart of each musicians performance.

I believe to get this kind of performance, there will be compromises. Certain recordings are not going to sound like they did on lesser designs because this table is very revealing, accurate and neutral. If you want a more euphoric sound a belt drive or older design will in fact present these colorations in a pleasing way, no doubt about it. But then again, there will be compromises as with this piano thing. Through my experiences, tables that add these colorations will not get you there with regards to that beautiful piano. The 1200G is quite impressive for 4000.00 to say the least. If the SP 10 mark 2 can do what the 1200G does and if you can get it less expensive and know it is in good condition and not abused, all I can say is you are in for a treat.

One record that really surprised me is Black Sabbath Master of Reality.  That may not be everybody's favorite however the way the 1200G articulated the bass guitar is in such a way I have not heard from this record.

Right now I am listening to Miles Davis Kind of Blue on the Classic reissue and I have not heard Bill Evans Piano sound this good on this record which I feel does not compete with the original "not in the same ball park" but yet I have not heard this record sound this good ever. I can easily follow Evans I can "hear" that piano better than I have been able to on this record than on most turntables I have listened to and this with the stock "free" arm and stock power supply. I cannot even imagine what this table is capable of with a Triplanar, Reed, and so on. So if the two tables Pani reviewed do a better job than the 1200G all I can say is wow, go for it.

Lew, and others, as I reported elsewhere, the SP-10 R was designed to be a drop in for plinths made for the SP-10 Mk 2 and 3.  When I heard a recent demo of the SL-1000R at a local dealer the Technics rep emphasized that point.  Apparently they want to make upgrades (!) as easy as possible for current owners of the older models.

I've also read where Technics may introduce their own separate plinth this summer.  If true, based on the above information then I assume either of the older models (which do have somewhat different cutouts) should also fit into the new plinth.

In other news, I agree with tzh21y regarding the value of acoustic piano music for evaluating turntables.

SP-10R can not be used with SH-10B3 Obsidian Plinth made for SP-10 mkII simply because the shape of the SP-10r is different.

So i think it can be used ONLY with SH-10B5 Obsidian Plinth made for SP-10 mk III
Pryso, Sorry I apparently missed your previous post regarding cross compatibility of plinths.  However, the information is unlikely to be correct, simply because the Mk2 and Mk3 per se are not cross compatible with regard to plinth, unless Technics leaves a gaping hole that can accommodate both the square shape of the Mk2 chassis and the smaller diameter round shape of the Mk3.  Plus the placement of the threaded inserts for mounting the two tables is slightly different, if I recall correctly.  Most of the best aftermarket Mk2 and Mk3 plinths are custom fitted to either one or the other chassis, but not both.  Now I am writing this, I think perhaps the factory obsidian plinths might be cross compatible by virtue of the use of inserts at the corners, so as to convert the square hole for the Mk2 into a round hole for the Mk3.  I know I saw that somewhere, long ago.  Anyway, I think Chakster has the details above.
In your above post, are you suggesting that Technics ought to offer the option of SP10R + plinth but no tonearm?

HI Lew.  yes, Technics should offer the SP10R, new plinth and tonearm as separate items.
  Many of us have different/better tonearms we would like to use on the plinth, but not be stuck with having to use the back left slot on the outside of the new plinth.

   I would like to try the plinth with my SP10mk3 and Thales tonearm  - then at some stage compare vs putting the SP10R motor into the plinth.

  or I might just buy one of the ACOUSTAND TECHNICS SP-10R PLINTH's that look very similar to the new Technics plinth.

There is, in my opinion, this division among us regarding our

love for our ''components'': essentialist and holistic.

Love has to do with selection and selection with intensity

of our feelings for whatever. I am in love, so to speak, with

speakers, tonearms and carts. I don't care in the same way

for TT's, amps and other components.

I realized this by reading bluewolf post about Acoustical Systems.

His story is actually the story about ''our'' Dertonarm (tonearm in

German). He is obviously a holist. The whole system and all

the parts of the system are equal important and presuppose

love for each separates. That is to say love needed for design

and production of each ''part''. I regard myself as a friend of

Dertonarm and as belonging to the so called ''German group''

or '''German maffia'' depending from personal sympathy.

Buit I had no idea about Dertonarm's amps, speakers , TT's

and other possible designs. To my knowledge only Syntax

would be able to tell the ''whole story'' about Dertonarm holisme

because he is involved in this, say, ''Dertonarm's adventure''

for a long time. Writing about friends is scary business

because of our doubt about our own objectivity.

As an additional argument: Lew was and is my ''orientation

point'' in this forum since I become member. I noticed his

love for, in particular , turntables so he may function as

an  example of an essentialist (grin). 


Actually, I am very much a “whole-ist”, Nandric. I have reached a state of satisfaction with each of two audio systems and feel no real need to radically change either one. This perhaps is one reason why I feel no compulsion to purchase an SP10R, even though I am in the land of Technics for one more week. I have room in my thinking for trying different cartridges and headshells and maybe a few electronic mods to equipment I already own, but that’s about it. I do have a weakness for old things that were beautifully made by craftsmen. So I “love” my Leica M3 as much as I love my L07D and the other DDs. I could be tempted to purchase a Yamaha GT2000X and/or a Pioneer Exclusive P3, but it would take a lot of tempting, and it would really only be to appease my other muse for good old stuff.

The Apolyt must be extraordinary, but at that cost, it may as well not even exist for me. However, I am interested to see how DT will eventuallly create a little brother to the Apolyt which he can sell for perhaps 10% of its cost. THAT would be interesting.


The fastener holes on the MKII, MK2A, and MK3 are in the same location.  A MK3 will fit in a MKII/2A plinth (SH-10B3 or B7), though a MKII/2A will not fit in a MK3 plinth (SH-10B5) as that plinth has a smaller cutout for the round back can of the MK3. 

So, and SP10R will absolutely fit in an SH-10B3, B5, or B7 without issue. 
Thanks for clarifications @jpjones3318 , so this round shape of the bottom of SP10R will fit into square shape of the old plinth like SH-10b3. Good. 
Thanks for the confirmation jp. I’m glad I didn’t misunderstand what the Technics rep told us.

Also, while there should be no doubt, pictures of the three Technics plinths (3, 5, & 7) show the differences.
Another album on which I liked the 1200G was Dave Brubeck "Time Further Out". It is an all acoustic percussion based music. It has a lot of off beat Rhythm sections which if not reproduced with proper transients and timing, won't be musically understandable. The 1200G reproduced it very well. I did not care if it was better or worse than the other TT on this album, it just sounded very good. So, listening percussion which is a lot more dependent on starts and stops and right pitch, direct drives are always very nice to listen.
Thanks for the clarification, JP, as you are one of the few who actually has all the usual suspects in your custody.  This means also that a 10R would drop in to my 90 lb slate and wood plinth that I made and had made for my Mk3.  Still not persuaded to pull the trigger.  Have one or two more shopping days before we depart.

Off topic.  I have been and remain very tempted to purchase a Viv Float tonearm while here.  The price is very attractive compared to US norms.  Have any of you guys sniffed the Viv?  My interest is part experimental and part based on my fondness for my RS Labs RSA1 tonearm, another underhung one. I’ve already stocked up on 4 new headshells and, Nandric, titanium headshell screws marketed by Yamamoto.  I trust that Dertonearm might approve, although these are Japanese by definition, not German.
Have you asked your airline about bringing it back as ‘unaccompanied luggage’?
The rates are usually quite cheap....

Dear Lew, There is or was some saying mentioning details

in connection with the devil but at my age I am glad when

I can remember the name of my mom. So, no wonder, I totally

forget those titanium screws. I see you are still going strong

in this connection or context. Curious but true this is a kind

of ''reward'' for my politeness. Dertonarm promised to me

''some'' of those (for free) but also mentioned that his whole

family  (wife and son) is  involved in production suggesting

''I am very busy''. So I was reluctant to bother him with asking

such questions which we all consider boring . Aka the questions

about our promises. If you deed not mention those titanium

screws I would be still in the beneficial position of not knowing.

But I also see that can order some in Japan and ask for

''unaccompanied delivery''.