Technics 1200G / GR
£70.00 – £2,260.00
Upgrades for the Audiophile Technics SL1200G and GR
The launch of the limited edition 1200GAE and production 1200G high end 1200G audiophile turntable heralded a return of the Technics brand in 2016. This was followed by a lower cost GR model the following year. The coreless motor and Blu-ray derived control electronics make it one of the best direct drive systems ever made.
With this low vibration and high torque motor as a base, the turntables have great potential for upgrade. All aspects of the 1200G are already an improvement on the original 1200MK series turntables as the price and target market reflect. Inevitably compromises have been made, however and significant improvements are possible to elevate the performance to a truly high end deck.
Improvements can be made in the following 4 areas
- Acoustic Feedback The Technics is not a sprung turntable design, so resistance to acoustic feedback is achieved solely from the four rubber and aluminium feet which are too stiff to achieve isolation across a broad range of frequencies.
- Internal vibration– resonances in the arm and platter amplify vibration from the stylus as it traverses the groove, causing distortion.
- Platter resonance– if you tap the platter, it rings! What is happening during playback is that vibration from the stylus itself passes downward through the mat, hits the hard surface of metal and is immediately reflected back up again, to distort the movement of the stylus. The standard heavy rubber mat, which is the same as has been fitted to Technics decks for decades, does little to alleviate this problem.
- Arm resonances– a tonearm is like a see-saw, a weight at one end (headshell and cartridge) and a counterweight at the other end with a pivot between. Vibrations pass back from the stylus at a whole range of frequencies into the arm, reflected back by the counterweight, causing the arm to bend and twist variably at different frequencies. This colours the sound as the bending of the arm moves the stylus relative to the record. The S-shaped tubular arm with removable head shell is great for DJ’s but not the best solution for audiophile quality sound.
Bo!ng Suspension Feet
The Bo!ng isolators have been specifically designed around the foot size of the 1200, to provide much improved isolation, with adjustable stiffness and damping. Note that in the picture below the Bo!ngs can be screwed in and out easily to level the table on uneven surfaces, without impact to the effectiveness of the suspension.
The Achromat is our patented solution to absorbing vibration energy from the critical interface between stylus, record and platter.
The Achromat is made of acrylic containing thousands of randomly sized bubbles. These absorb energy and turn it into heat, significantly reducing the back reflection from the platter to the stylus, and thus reducing distortion. This results in a more 3D soundstage and better delineation between notes. The Achromat also helps to dampen the ringing of metal and glass platters as it is stuck to the platter when fitted. The Achromat is also anti-static.
The 1200G and GR have adjustable vertical tracking angle (VTA) – via the knurled ring under the tonearm, enabling the higher performance 5mm Achromat to be used. Some customers even use a 5mm AND 8mm with some cartridges!
Note that the GR version requires the Funk Firm 1200 mat with the cutout for the raised rim.
Standard tonearms “ring” within the range of listening frequencies, which imparts a brightness to the sound. The 1200 turntables, even the high end 1200G deserve better arms. For many years audiophiles have used Rega and SME arms to improve Technics models. The Funk Firm now offers a significant upgrade on these arms.
The performance of the Firm Funk arms exceeds that of any of the typical replacement arms such as the SME 309 and Rega RB1000:
“There’s no question the FX•R extracts more music from grooves than the SME 309 or Rega RB1000.”Tone Audio Magazine
For the 1200G and GR model we would recommend either the award winning FXR-2 or FX3. These turntables are best able to exploit the “Crossbeam” technology in these arms which offers a significant upgrade over tubular arms. The sound becomes more natural as resonances are controlled.
Crossbeam technology stiffens the arm tube significantly minimising resonance within the listening frequencies, reducing movement of the tube and thus distortion. The resulting sound is less clinical, more natural and without coloration.