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In Reply to: RE: 12" arm on the New Technics SL-1200GAE posted by Ralph on April 17, 2017 at 11:14:20
Very professional conversion. You are to be commended. I love my GAE. How do they compare sound wise?
The arm and table together play LPs with imaging like tape machines, if you've ever heard that. Locked in- solid, no shimmer in the soundstage (which you really don't know about until you go this last bit with the 12" arm).
We added a better platter pad as I didn't like the stock one.
The new Technics is IMO/IME impeccable- its damped in five different ways. It has good rigidity between the platter surface and the base of the tone arm- essential if the 'table is going to be neutral in presentation (the arm board was built to take advantage of this fact rather than rob the machine of that which is a common problem with a lot of the arm boards for the earlier SL1200s). The speed stability has a lot more in common with the SP-10 MkIII, making this the most speed-stable turntable in production world-wide-price-no-object- Technics has done their homework on servo control and the machine has plenty of torque which is essential in any good turntable.
Because of the longer arm tube which is also damped of arm resonance, the arm does not editorialize. Because of the new platter pad, the LP is damped yet properly supported so the mechanical noise of the arm tracking in LP is a silent affair (many arms make a bit of tracking noise which is always a bad sign). The Triplanar is not only the most adjustable arm made, it also has the hardest metal bearings of any arm made. These bearings are also tiny so the arm is very free despite having no play in it whatsoever.
The combination is a bit eerie- its very effortless and the soundstage is so locked in- but you get used to it really fast. Its fun to hear two of the best of today's analog products together like this- the project really turned out well!
Sometimes I don't ask clear questions and from your reply think that may be the case here. My question is: Did you AB a stock GAE against the one you modified and if so, did you use two identical cartridges? If so, can you describe the difference in sound?
That stock turntable does extremely well!
There was no practical way to do a direct comparison between the arms, which was really what this was about.
But the stock arm has three problem areas: the bearings are in the plane of the arm tube rather than the LP surface, the arm tube is not damped and the bearings are not hard enough. These issues are all addressed by the Triplanar. Additionally, the 12" arm simply has lower skating forces and less tracking error.
Having recorded and cut my own LPs, I can tell you that the Triplanar really does get things right. IMO it is the state of the art in tone arms.
Thanks very much! I have no experience with the Triplanar and appreciate your taking time to provide your thoughts. The GAE arm performs exceptionally well and of course the package is extremely user friendly. I have set it up and compared it to my Prime with the 3D arm (10.5") and think the GAE is the better arm. I also have an SME series III that has always performed well and here too, the GAE arm beats it. Looking at an O-scope and using a Shure IV test record, the traces show nothing untoward even at the extremes. All things considered I think Technics did a remarkable job with the GAE. I might have to consider the Triplanar. Arm
and table all in is still a comparative bargain.
Nicely done. I suppose I need to think about selling off my SP-10 MKII and emerging from the Pleistocene. But not sure about parting with the L07D or Luxman PD444.
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