Technics 1200GR upgrades?

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superelmar

Newbie
Wammer
Jun 14, 2022
22
5
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HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
Sadly I had to sell my Kuzma Stabi R wood with 4point 9” tonearm and Devore O/93, in order to rise funds for an ATC SCM 50ASLT and SPL preamp and phono stages (well not extremely sad LoL).

What I remember, listening to a 1200GR in a friend’s place sound it wasn’t 10% of my Kuzma but 85-90% maybe! at least really fun!

I just order a 1200GR, and wonder if I can achieve or even go further to “G” levels upgrading the tonearm, headshell, mat and feets.

I thought in a Jelco 550S, SME 3009 II, SME M2-9R (differences with M2-9?), tonearms.

My cartridge is a Benz Micro Ace SL, would I benefit from a replacement like Cadenzas, Hana, or AT?

And last but not less, can I use the “golden platter” I’m seeing in the G series?

https://i.postimg.cc/Jhb9gVHm/0-B7-EC30-F-3521-437-D-976-F-5735-D2-C58-B20.webp

Budget 2.000€ (Paid 1.200€ for my unit)

This is an interesting place which shows how this little gems can be improved:

https://ammonite-audio.co.uk/is-it-worth-upgrading-the-new-technics-sl-1200gr-turntable/
 
Last edited:

popol_vuh

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Nov 24, 2007
545
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Croatia
AKA
Zvonimir
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
So you listened these two tables in different systems and different rooms and that's how you "compared" them?

More on topic - a GR will never get to a G level.
 

antonio66

Well-Known Wammer
Wammer
Aug 12, 2018
1,124
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133
Grimsby/Phnom Penh
AKA
David
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Keep things simple, from what I've read previously one of those arm dampers (name escapes me) is a vfm upgrade as is a different mat. If you want to go to all the trouble of changing the arm you may as well have purchased a 2nd hand SP10 and you would have had the pick of arms to use. Cartridges are an unavoidable expense, keep your Benz and when that comes to the end of it's life look around for other options if you so wish. I should think the post above hits the nail on the head, you will never get to G level without purchasing a G :)
 
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WolvesWill

Wammer
Wammer
Nov 4, 2010
37
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23
Wolverhampton
AKA
William Lee
I have the Kabusa tonearm damper for my 1210GR (originally with Ortofon 2M Bronze and now 2M Black), simple install and good fit. Looks like it came from the factory. In terms of sound, it seemed to improve detail and clarity. Tonearm descends onto the record more smoothly, no 'pop' as the needle touches down now. Worth the money IMO, easy to remove if you don't like what it does, unlike some of the more 'involved' upgrades like power supplies, tonearms and the like.

I did buy a Funk Firm Achromat to try on it, but the one I was sent was extremely warped, so I'm stuck with the stock mat for now having sent it back for a refund. I also felt that the Achromat seemed like a lot of money for what it was, its just a piece of fibreboard essentially, the perceived quality did not match the price IMO.

I also got hold of an Oyaide BR-12 mat, but didn't seem any improvement over the stock mat IMO, it never seemed to sit quite right (they tell you its not perfectly flat I suppose), and I hated the way it showed every last little mark (it's a very rubbery 'soft touch' surface that marks every time you touch it, and doesn't 'wipe clean' easily). Also didn't like how it was grey rather than black, pedantic and shallow I know, but it didn't suit the 1210 in my view..

So still using the stock rubber mat here. Tempted to try the Soundeck PM285 platter mat next but again, over a hundred quid for a platter mat makes me wonder if its worth the outlay...
 

culturecrammer

Wammer
Wammer
Oct 14, 2010
853
515
123
Folkestone, Kent
AKA
Steve
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Former GR owner and now have the G. The Achromat didn’t do much for my GR and in fact hollowed out the sound, making it somewhat lifeless. However I can strongly recommend the Funk Firm Houdini which functions effectively as an arm upgrade. I was initially sceptical but was persuaded to try one on my 1200G after hearing the difference it made to Lostwin of this forum’s Gyrodec. Wouldn’t be without one now. Using with a heavier Nagoaka headshell, which seems to work well with the added mass from fitting the auxiliary counterweight, which was required to balance the added weight of the Houdini.

Given your upgrade budget though, why not just sell the GR and get the G secondhand as I did?
 
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Motortown review

Newbie
Wammer
Nov 9, 2020
110
78
33
When I got my GR I swapped out the headshell For an Audio Technica one to suit the AT cartridge and cartridge tags, got the soundek mat as the stock mat doesn’t allow for correct VTA on my cartridge. Last week a I purchased an Ammonite SME armboard an fitted a SME 309, the stock arm isn’t too bad as some say, but with the 309 it’s no contest. If I were you I’d put an M2 on your GR, the Ammonite mirrors the Technics arm base perfectly and is milled from metal, not cheap but worth it. 4C14430E-4D64-43FD-B2F7-B025BD045D98.jpeg
 

superelmar

Newbie
Wammer
Jun 14, 2022
22
5
3
HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
thanks fellas!

At the end got a 1200G, with ammonite armboard, sme m2-9r and zavino exh leather mat.

Now thinking upgrade benz micro ace low output for ebony h, emt 006, or some AT or Ortofon.