Gramophone Dreams #11 Contacts

Sidebar: Contacts

Technics, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Corporation, Two Riverfront Plaza, Newark, NJ 07102. Web:

Hana by Excel, Excel Sound Corporation, Toyo Building 5f-a, No.8-5 1-Chome, Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan. Tel: (81) (03)444-8634. Web: US distributor: Musical Surroundings, 5662 Shattuck Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609. Tel: (510) 547-5006. Fax: (510) 547-5009. Web:


Anton's picture

I am happy to see an old hobby horse start rocking again!

Next up....(Requests, I have a hunch there is a Class A turntable lurking in there.)

Comparison with the Achromat platter.

Upgraded phono cables.

Perhaps cartridge 'upgrades' to see how they compare!

Maybe a trial with a record weight, as well.

This table seems to cry out for doing fun things with it and seeing who does what to who!

Thanks again!

Is that speed chart good, or not good? Would an outboard speed control device change the data? (VPI, Clearaudio, Music Hall, etc...)

Herb Reichert's picture

is better than good, it has a very nice green line :-) compare it to others published in this magazine

Anton's picture


volvic's picture

For most of us this will be all the turntable we will ever need.

I would try the Oyaide BR-12 rubber platter mat, loved the changes it brought to my 1200, the MJ-12 would be overkill as the new Technics platter is heavier and has enough of that flywheel effect from the added mass. The other weakness of the older 1200 was the bearing, I am pretty sure Technics have improved on that so as to hold the heavier platter but they make no mention of it.

Dave Cawley of Sound Hi-Fi in the UK now offers the Technics GAE with an SME IV and external power supply. Probably does improve it, but why would you buy an anniversary model of a limited run and transform it?

I am almost certain that at some point Technics will offer the option of purchasing the 1200G without an arm, then I believe with a Graham or SME arm this table will be a Class A contender. It does so many things right that I immediately sold my TD-124.

Saint0's picture

I'm using the good old Shure V15 Type IV.

A. Hourst's picture

There’s only one way to know if Art Dudley really heard what he heard: do an ABX on both power cord.
But it’s probably too conclusive for the kind of cultists that buy 1000$/m audio cables. Many insecure audiophiles share the same fear of empirical science than alternative medicine sellers. C’mon Art, does this thousand dollar cable performs better than the placebo?

Anton's picture

What I would love to see: Do the speed measurements with each AC cord and compare the data.

Easy to do, would be very interesting.

30 minute project!

Herb Reichert's picture

Dear Anton, I do platter speed measurements on every table that passes through the bunker. Power cords and power conditioners can absolutely change the sound of electronics (therefore, I never use power conditioners or special cords on equipment I am reviewing) . . . . But, so far, neither has ever changed a speed measurement.

zimmer74's picture

As Herb mentioned, upgrading the headshell is worthwhile. I have the deck, and have replaced the stock headshell with the Ortofon LH-9000. With two different cartridges so far, there is much improved solidity of image and more sophisticated tonality and musical nuance.

vinylguy's picture

Mr. Reichert, you wrote:
"No matter which cartridge or phono stage I tried, my No.1 complaint about the new Technics was its tendency toward lowered viscosity. I wouldn't quite call it stiff, but no one could characterize the 'GAE as sounding liquid or licentious."

I agree with you, I own this table along with a highly modified Technics SP10 Mk3 and I have compared them extensively. The GAE is an awesome table and can be made much better by using a better mat and non-springy feet such as Track Audio's turntable feet.

I understand that when reviewing a product one usually reviews it stock so here is my point :) place the GAE in M (manual mode) for the Torque setting instead of Auto. Then set the potentiometer to about 1/5 maximum. You will lose nada as it relates to dynamics, slam and bass but you will gain the world in sustain, decay and if I took your meaning correctly "elasticity"..,etc.

I was quite shocked as it makes the Auto mode sound quite tight in direct comparison. Hope you try this, I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how the table is transformed to be even better than out of the box.

Happy Listening.

Herb Reichert's picture

and I was foolish and remiss not to think of Manual Mode!!! The GAE is gone now, but perhaps I will get the new SL-1200G to do a follow up on. I beg forgiveness.

peace and Fall cheer,

vinylguy's picture

Mr. Reichert, I was happy to see your response. Hopefully you will get to do a follow up with the G model. I'd love to read your thoughts after placing the unit in manual mode and lowering the torque setting.

Best regards,


Herb Reichert's picture

"You will lose nada as it relates to dynamics, slam and bass but you will gain the world in sustain, decay and if I took your meaning correctly "elasticity"..,etc." nice !

vinylguy's picture

I''m flattered, thank you!!!

Best regards,


Marc210's picture

" I love alnico because I feel that the material yields a uniquely relaxed, colorful, and naturally textured sound."

Doctor Fine's picture

Good review with wealth of information. However---
You can't compare the new model to an ancient model MK2. By the time of its demise the table was in its SIXTH iteration. MK6.
I have the Fifth iteration---the model SL1210M5G which has audiophile grade low capacitance wiring included. What wires does the new, very expensive unit have?
You didn't like the light weight aluminum arms on the older units? There is an easy fix for the older tables.
I added an extra head shell weight PLUS extra heavy counter weights to compensate on the counter weight end and VOILA!---my old aluminum arm now is HEAVY and LOVES low compliance carts like the super stiff DL103.
The same 103 which by the way would not even WORK using various super high end crazy expensive belt drive tables because it DRAGGED a belt drive table pitch speed crazy by biting into the vinyl of the record and SLOWING down the speed! The DL103 tracks at THREE grams!
THIS is one of the big reasons to go with high torque Direct Drive in the first place!
It, much like the ancient idler drive Thorens that Art Dudley is such a fan of---it has enough sheer POWER to drag a low compliance antique cart through the grooves with ease. BELT DRIVES DO NOT LIKE THESE CARTS and people should be warned how flimsy belt drive tables are by comparison to direct drive.
Meanwhile thanks again for the information you provided. The new model is on my list for my next project and if I think of it I will probably race the two tables to see what the new one does that a MK5 can't do. I'm not sure I asked for an upgrade at a higher price but even an old curmudgeon like myself can not deny audible progress when it happens.

Doctor Fine's picture

It occurs to me that what this table (the Technics SL1200 line) represents is Direct Drive technology in an advanced format which can be used by an audiophile without paying over $30,000 for the VPI Classic Direct which came out recently.
Even at the new price of $4,200 the Technics still seems reasonably priced.
But is there ANY competition for the new Technics Direct Drive table from ANY of the other major manufacturers, like in the old days?
Hmmmm. Currently it seems there are a lot of cheap Chinese CLONES of the OLD 1200 on the market from Numark, Pioneer and others.
These all cost under $600.
These clones are styled very much like a Technics SL1200 and are Direct Drive BUT they are cheaply made and the arms etc etc are typically made with cheap bearings and assembled in a shoddy manner.
And then there is the brand new DENON VL12 Prime.
It is coming out next month!
This ALL NEW SL1200 lookalike from Denon is actually made in house by Denon, not China. It looks pretty well made.
It MAY replace the OLD Technics MK5 at a price CLOSE to the old price!
It will be $900 which is close to the OLD price for a Technics table.
Stay tuned.