Technics SL-1200 • SL-1210
from an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan!
Is the Technics SL1200/SL1210 a DJ deck or an audiophile turntable? Wikipedia has this to say "The Technics SL-1200 is a series of turntables manufactured since October 1972 by Matsushita under the brand name of Technics. Originally released as a high fidelity consumer record player.... " And indeed we now bring you the bearing upgrade and power supply for the original consumer audio SP-25.
It is a common misconception that direct drive motors hunt, in fact the servo mechanism is entirely analogue and does not hunt or jitter. By contrast an AC motor belt drive deck can suffer from cogging as the motor steps from magnet to magnet. DC motors can easily suffer commutator noise and vibration too. Belt drives often suffer from belt oscillation. However, all Hi Fi decks are designed to minimise these problems, and so is the SL1200! The SL1210 is the black version and the SL1200 is silver. There isn't any significant difference in all the versions, the MK II is the simplest and cheapest. All our mods will fit any version of the SL-1200 or SL-1210.
Our modifications restore it to it's original audiophile birth.
A customers SL-1210
MKII with SME 309, rather tasty?
The Timestep Evo with SME309-TE ready to go out of the box! click here for more details
Arms & Cartridges:
The Standard Arm is not that bad and a lot better than some cheaper audio turntables. The easiest thing to do is to fit an Audio Technica AT120e, an AT440MLa or if you can take moving coil a Denon DL-103.
The SME 309 is very cool indeed. We suggest the Audio Technica AT33EV, or Transfiguration Axia . You will sleep at night knowing you have a superb combination.
The original arm plates have been replaced by new anodised plates available in silver or black. The correct VTA will be obtainable whatever thickness of mat is fitted. They are a composite sandwich design that also has better energy dissipation. They have taken a long time to design and represent the ultimate Technics arm plate, expensive, yes! but you only get what you pay for!
The standard SL-1200 SL1210 feet are designed for a hostile DJ environment, and made to a cost. Our feet make a huge difference in sound and we give you a choice!
The SL-1200 has three problems with its power supply a) the transformer mechanically hums and this is audible through the cartridge, b) the transformer has an electromagnetic field also audible though the cartridge, and c) the existing power supply dips on some motor demands giving variable and poor dynamics to the feedback system. This low noise power supply eliminates all these problems. If you can solder, you can easily fit it yourself. We supply fully colour illustrated step by step instructions, if you can solder one joint, you can fit this easily yourself. For more much details on how we designed this PSU click here.
We now use special order 3 pin high current gold plated Neutrik XLR connectors. Other power supplies are not created equal, click on the link to find out why? 5 year guarantee. A lot of customers have asked if ours is better than the KAB. Well they are nice guys, but ours is a) a better power supply, and b) ours eliminates the internal regulator ripple. So is it better? yes it is significantly better, so much so that if you have a KAB, you really ought to upgrade, you won't know what you are missing!! Click here to find out why? For high end applications we will always use linier power supplies, just like this one! We will never use a switched mode power supply (SMPS) to drive the SL-1200 series! 90/100 - 110/120 & 220/240V versions available. The HE III is only available in in black is now.
And for the ultimate we have the new Timestep T-01PSU Shunt PSU click here to see it.
Strobe disable mod:
Some customers say they can tell the difference if the strobe light is disabled. With our External PSU this is very unlikely as it has proper regulation and the strobe current pulses are not a problem. However, we are always ready to help and if the External PSU is fitted by us then we can make it so!
The standard bearing on the left cannot keep the oil in place. Instead a high viscosity "anti-fling" oil must be used. The Timestep bearing has the spindle as a solid single piece of polished 303 Stainless Steel with a much larger base diameter and the bearing is polished PB102 Phosphor Bronze. A silicon nitride ball and PTFE thrust pad are fitted. The whole assembly is in a captive oil bath so that you can use more suitable thin oil, or any oil of your choice.
The far right image
shows the Timestep bearing shaft on the left and the Technics on the
right. The Technics bearing shaft has a cut out just below the brass
part, resulting in a diameter of just 5.9 mm, the Timestep bearing
shaft at this point is 10.4mm. This gives the Technics a critical
bending moment around the reduced diameter.
Timestep Evo Turntable : ready to go out of the box !
Complete turntables ready to go. You can chose the options and we simply make it for you. The best choice for an out of the box solution. Click here for more details.
▪ Thank you for the service provided by Sound HiFi. Rita and I are very happy with the SME V tonearm; we had a lot of fun mounting it in our "old Technics 1210" and now the improvement is so audible in both ends that we are really aware of the GIGO (garbage in garbage out) role in our LPs. Thank you again and we'll surely consider your shop first before buying anything "analogical" ;-).
▪ Got everything installed and set up on Saturday. Spent the rest of the weekend blown away by the transformation of my turntable. It's pretty incredible.
▪ Received my PSU today, my wife managed to catch the postman today. I must say the hardest part of fitting it was refitting the new cable in the rascally strain relief bush! Initial listening is very promising a lot more detail and much more open. Now all i have to do is save up some more pennies, sell my Garrard 401 and technoarm and put the cash toward a SME 309! Looks cracking in black too, very impressed! Many Thanks and Good Luck with Timestep
▪ I received the adapter plate from you earlier this week for mounting my Jelco 750D tonearm onto the Technics SL1210mk2 turntable. The adapter plate is very nice and much higher quality than I was expecting.
▪ Received my PSU today. I must say the hardest part of fitting it was refitting the new cable in the rascally strain relief bush! Initial listening is very promising a lot more detail and much more open. Now all I have to do is save up some more pennies, sell my Garrard 401 and technoarm and put the cash toward a SME 309 and my Technics will be nicely Timestep'ed Looks cracking in black too, very impressed! Steve
▪ Hi Dave, Just to say how bowled over I am by the Technics sl1200 you modded for me last week. The deck sounds excellent with hitherto unheard detail, bass notes so much clearer, mid sweet and top airy. Images rock solid. Thank you very much.. Also I will be ordering the sorbothane boots for feet from you shortly. Regards John
• Hi Fi World review of a SL-1210 with most of our options, click here to read it.
• Tone Audio review of the SL-1200 with some options click here to read it.
• Hi Fi World review of the Timestep EVO SL-1210 click here to read it.
Notes from the web, latest one is at the bottom of this list
Note: 16 February 2010: There are new mats out there! Instead of trying hard and getting it to fit inside the platter, they have taken the easy route and made it a stock size. This means it drapes offer the platter only supported at the very edge. Instead of making it properly they hid the fact with some mumo jumbo. It costs more to do things properly and we believe in that. We will never take short cuts, our power supply is a testament to that!
Mail order & Prices
03 February 2015
Sound Hi Fi
PO Box 2001 Dartmouth Devon TQ6 9QN Great Britain
Telephone 01803 833366 Fax 01803 839498 e-mail sales@SoundHiFi.com