RecordProd

Has anyone put a Clearaudio tonearm on to a Technics 1200?

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I love my 1200 mk5 but prefer the 'space' my Clearaudio Concept gives so I have been mulling over possibly fitting the Verify arm on to my Technics and getting a posher arm for the Concept when funds allow.  Is this a mad idea?  I have searched and can't find a single example, maybe for a good reason..  I suppose I could sell both and add some cash and get a 1200G.   Over to the experts in here for some thoughts - thanks!  :)

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Clearaudio have had a lot of success with their 'plug 'n play' record players and your Concept is one of them. Had it been what was called a 'transcription' deck back in the day, where there was a separable armboard ready to fit a variety of arms, then there might be a case for the transplant you suggest, but it isnt, so you shouldnt.

In any case the space you attribute to the arm may be due to something else e.g., the deck or cartridge. It would be a gamble to bet on the arm.

I suggest you contact Dave Cawley, I think it is, at Timestep, as they are well known for modifying these Technics 1200s to ask advice. Or check out the chat on the forums to see what success (and failures) there have been with different arms in actual cases.

The SME 309 is a candidate for the 1200 and Timestep fit this so they would have an appropriate armboard they can sell you. Alternatively Speedysteve on Art Of Sound Forum is your man for any bespoke challenges - he specialises in  this sort of thing.

Jack NSM

Added later: I am not against the idea of putting a better arm on  a given deck ( i use to modify AR turntables to take Hadcock, LVV and tabriz arms), including the Technics 1200. What I dont think you should do is separate your Verify to do it. Find another arm to do it if you so choose. (Even another Verify..) Interesting that the Satisfy (a Clearaudio arm that I lust after) didnt work...see later post.

Edited by Non-Smoking Man
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Super Wammer

I  can see why people love the 1210 - it is reliable - eye candy and indestructible .. but if you listen with your ears and not your eyes then whilst it is a good turntable it will not (cannot) match the audio quality of decks made for Hifidelity reproduction.

As one review said "Let's cut to the chase: the £550 turntable was on the end of a three-star review and left languishing behind five-star record players from Clearaudio and Pro-ject.: The Technics loses out on a strictly sound-per-pound basis, but when it comes to solid build and DJ-dependability it wins the battle."

So you have two choices in my book - if you love Technics DDs and want the best sound quality you can get, buy an SP10 and put your arm of choice on it (it was made to put in a plinth and for you to choose the arm) OR use the Clearaudio turntable for your serious listening.   Personal view is faffing putting another arm on the 1210 will give you so little and may even reduce your future sale price when you want to move it on. 

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1 hour ago, uzzy said:

I  can see why people love the 1210 - it is reliable - eye candy and indestructible .. but if you listen with your ears and not your eyes then whilst it is a good turntable it will not (cannot) match the audio quality of decks made for Hifidelity reproduction.

As one review said "Let's cut to the chase: the £550 turntable was on the end of a three-star review and left languishing behind five-star record players from Clearaudio and Pro-ject.: The Technics loses out on a strictly sound-per-pound basis, but when it comes to solid build and DJ-dependability it wins the battle."

So you have two choices in my book - if you love Technics DDs and want the best sound quality you can get, buy an SP10 and put your arm of choice on it (it was made to put in a plinth and for you to choose the arm) OR use the Clearaudio turntable for your serious listening.   Personal view is faffing putting another arm on the 1210 will give you so little and may even reduce your future sale price when you want to move it on. 

Got to disagree about the the arm change. It's not much of a faff and reaps lots of rewards.

Personally I found the original a good starter arm, a RB300(AO'd) better and my Tabriz excellent. I wouldn't put an VERY expensive arm on my SL1210. I, too, would buy something like an SP10 - applying the Linn logic(lol) of t/t, arm, cart.

If the original arm is kept, there's no loss for re-sale.

There is much to be had from an arm change and a few, inexpensive tweaks.

As an aside - when I dem'd to some amps 3 years ago - I was quite disappointed with some well thought of t/t's used in the dem's.

It was a relief to get home to my DJ special.

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Super Wammer

My DJ deck has an upgraded SME 3009 by Sonik Sircle with Ortofon Rondo red. It was an improvement over the stock arm.

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Super Wammer
1 hour ago, greybeard said:

My DJ deck has an upgraded SME 3009 by Sonik Sircle with Ortofon Rondo red. It was an improvement over the stock arm.

I am surprised as the Rondo is a complete mismatch to the SME3009 it should actually perform better in the stock arm.   I am unable to comment other than that all I know is it is not an arm cartridge combination many would consider (although with the fluid damper it might perform OK).   The mismatch suggests that you will not be extracting all that is possible from the Rondo.

I have no wish to argue - we all have our preferences in how something should sound.  I would also add that I doubt many if any have actually compared side by side the different arms with the same cartridge .. it would be an interesting experiment if you have a pal with another 1210 (provided the SME has a removable headshell - if it is a fixed headshell it is even more incompatible).

I am also aware that people love what they love and so will defend it to the ends of the earth (I had a pal who kept telling me his Rotel music center with a pair of Dynatron speakers sounded far better than anything he had heard) so the most important thing is to let your ears decide ... 

 

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i have an acoustic solid wbt-211 on my techy. it was a £1200 arm new. (i bought it 2nd hand from a dealer) Tim (Spider on the wam) made me an armboard from corian for the arm, and it sounds amazing. he did some tests against his sp10 and other turntables and was surprised at how good the 1210 mk5 is.

mine has offboard psu, slightly upgraded bearing and acoustifeet.

give Tim a shout about armboards, he's a good man :)

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Super Wammer
1 hour ago, uzzy said:

I am surprised as the Rondo is a complete mismatch to the SME3009 it should actually perform better in the stock arm.   I am unable to comment other than that all I know is it is not an arm cartridge combination many would consider (although with the fluid damper it might perform OK).   The mismatch suggests that you will not be extracting all that is possible from the Rondo.

Well maybe you should keep your opinions to yourself, unless asked.

As I said the 3009 is upgraded, it now has a straight carbon fibre arm tube fitted to the original base and bearings, and I can assure you it sounds very good to me, and that is all that matters. The 1210 is also a much better deck, than many so called hi-fi turntables I have heard, It replaced a Rock Elite and Mission arm.

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A good value option worth considering is getting the existing arm rewired and maybe fettled.  The stock technics cable is very basic and it is.quite surprising how much difference a decent internal cable can make.

I have been playing around with different arms on a couple of SL-150/1500 and to my ears an internal and external cable rewire of the stock arm offered the best bang for the buck

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Thanks for the feedback.  I've seen many other arms fitted to a Technics and was wondering why no Clearaudio ones.  You can buy their arms from various places so people must be putting them on something?  

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Super Wammer
2 minutes ago, RecordProd said:

Thanks for the feedback.  I've seen many other arms fitted to a Technics and was wondering why no Clearaudio ones.  You can buy their arms from various places so people must be putting them on something?  

I tried a satisfy arm on a 1200 some time ago and it was imo, a bright combination. 
 

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Super Wammer
2 hours ago, greybeard said:

Well maybe you should keep your opinions to yourself, unless asked.

As I said the 3009 is upgraded, it now has a straight carbon fibre arm tube fitted to the original base and bearings, and I can assure you it sounds very good to me, and that is all that matters. The 1210 is also a much better deck, than many so called hi-fi turntables I have heard, It replaced a Rock Elite and Mission arm.

The great thing about a forum is for people to share their opinions - the problems arise when people take umbrage over what is a shared opinion not a declaration of war :D 

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Super Wammer
50 minutes ago, uzzy said:

The great thing about a forum is for people to share their opinions - the problems arise when people take umbrage over what is a shared opinion not a declaration of war :D 

Umbrage was not taken here, i was just pointing out that the upgrade to my arm had changed its form factor, and your point of view was therefore meaningless. 

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Super Wammer
42 minutes ago, greybeard said:

Umbrage was not taken here, i was just pointing out that the upgrade to my arm had changed its form factor, and your point of view was therefore meaningless. 

Well perhaps or perhaps not - you do not state the effective mass of your recreation - in fact the problem (which led to my comment) was nothing in your posting said anything about the arm being "non Standard" .. For what its worth the opinion of quite a few (not just me) is that knife edge bearings and moving coils do not sit well together (unless some type of damping is applied).

Now I do realise that there are combinations which sometimes work that shouldn't on paper - however, in the grand scheme of things my comment was leveled at a bog standard SME 3009 and so was not meaningless.   

All I do know is in my days selling the stuff I got to compare lots of arms and cartridges (the big old Micro Seiki monster that took three arms was invaluable in that respect allowing us to compare all the combination - same cartridge different arms - same arm different cartridges) and I try to offer a valid opinion based on my hearings .. and I suspect you have made many comparisons and you too offer your opinion based on your hearings -  neither are meaningless and in their own way are equally valid .. 

What we have ascertained from this little interchange though is, we each have a fundamentally different standpoint on how things should sound,  as in my comparisons of turntables over the years the Rock is infinitely better than any Technics turntable I have heard other than the SP10, which to my ears is better at resolving detail and provides a better bass solidity (in the right plinth) and both are right up there as being amongst the best turntables I have heard ..

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Super Wammer
10 hours ago, RecordProd said:

Thanks for the feedback.  I've seen many other arms fitted to a Technics and was wondering why no Clearaudio ones.  You can buy their arms from various places so people must be putting them on something?  

Three to four years ago I did lots of t/t research and was really interested in clearaudio decks and arms.   It’s not logical that their arms are not used more but I think that it’s just that many people have fixed ideas about what is ‘good’ and stick to that.

Given that many 1200 lovers say that the standard deck has serious flaws and spend a lot of money with custom parts it’s worth considering buying the new model and trying your Clearaudio arm on it.  Having directly compared my Luxman PD171 with Jelco 250 against an LP12 with Linn arm and an SME with SME arm and preferring the Luxman (and many other experiments) I am firmly in the camp that it’s best to invest in t/t first then arm. But if you are happy with your mk5 as is just go for it and if you don’t like it take it off again.

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