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My TT - keep or replace/upgrade?

Posted on November 13, 2020 at 13:07:29
Posts: 121
Location: texas
Joined: April 17, 2006
My current TT (and only since 1974) is a Technics SL1300. I put a new SAS stylus on the cart. recently. Sounds very detailed and hits the highs very well.

Aside from a couple of hiccups once in awhile (occasionally it won't turn itself off at the end of an LP record, or not wanting to turn off at all, so I flip the power switch) it is really satisfactory. I don't notice any hum or other noise or rumble when running. I have a couple of MM carts for it, a Shure and Grado. Again, no complaints about the performance of the carts. I like the sound.

Yet, since it is my only reference point, perhaps I don't know what I'm missing? Or perhaps ignorance is bliss?

Should I consider an upgrade? If so, what?

what about a MC cart? I have no experience in this area. (my phono preamp stage will work for MM & MC.) or would such be a waste of money?

This hobby is a bit like a drug addiction... I'm always looking for the next good hit!!


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RE: My TT - keep or replace/upgrade?, posted on November 13, 2020 at 14:26:06

Posts: 186
Joined: December 29, 2000
I had one back in the mid 70's, and honestly I thought it sounded better than a number of tables I had owned (AR XA, ERA 555). It just sounded more "solid" (yeah, I know, whatever "solid" means :-). I sold it because mine had excessive horizontal friction in the arm bearings - if mine had properly adjusted bearings, I'd have happily kept it. I moved on to a Thorens 160, a Kenwood 500, and ultimately a Linn Sondek, but that SL1300 remains one of my favorites. (In retrospect, I should have worked on adjusting the bearings, but I was too young to know what I was doing.)

Summary - if you're happy with it, keep it, and put your money elsewhere - more records!


You have a really nice system, and seem to like your turntable...., posted on November 13, 2020 at 15:56:12

Posts: 6422
Location: Portland, Oregon
Joined: May 26, 2005
February 1, 2012 why not be happy and enjoy the music?

Now audio is a thousand different religions, and I come from the source first school of thought, meaning the source should be your best component. Looked at that way, you might be due for a new turntable, if for no other reason than you are using a line contact stylus on a tonearm that cannot be adjusted for VTA/SRA, and there is that thing about not working all of the time.

But I wouldn't be in any particular rush. You seem to be navigating the wilderness pretty well.


RE: replace/upgrade?, posted on November 15, 2020 at 08:05:35
M3 lover

Posts: 5904
Location: SW Mich
Joined: May 29, 2005
July 4, 2007
It seems the first question is how much do you listen to vinyl? That may suggest which way to go.

I'm not familiar with the SL 1300 but believe they generally have a good reputation. But it is old enough that some maintenance seems worthwhile. Are you able to disassemble it enough to check the spindle bearing thrust plate? That is most certainly worn by now and I believe replacements are available. Then a thorough cleaning of the spindle and bearing well, followed by fresh oil (available from KAB). I assume the arm also has lubrication so clean and replace that. Next apply a quality contact cleaner to all contacts. Can you find a copy of the service manual? The arm bearings might need adjusting but I'd proceed with caution there. Lastly clean all contacts, including cartridge clips, headshell contacts, and boat ends of the tonearm cable. With that age it would also be advised to replace all the electrolytic caps.

* Intended "both ends", not the bow and stern of the wire!

If these upgrades are more than you feel competent to try then the question is do you have a local reliable service tech?

If you decide on a new table I'd simply look at whichever new Technics fits your budget.

"The only cats worth anything are the cats who take chances. Sometimes I play things I never heard myself." Thelonious Monk


RE: My TT - keep or replace/upgrade?, posted on November 16, 2020 at 22:27:41

Posts: 610
Joined: January 21, 2001
with the right cart/setup that TT sounds mighty fine. Use the funds to buy a lot more vinyl to enjoy.


RE: My TT - keep or replace/upgrade?, posted on November 20, 2020 at 07:11:45

Posts: 1484
Location: Virginia
Joined: December 31, 2002
I'm joining the consensus. Keep the deck and enjoy it while you put your dollars into software (records).



Intuition, posted on November 20, 2020 at 07:22:29

Posts: 13376
Location: No. California
Joined: December 26, 2003
Eventually, you develop intuition on what to upgrade in your system to attain further satisfaction. At least, I did.

Most upgrades are real and not imaginary. I've even upgraded down in cost as it does happen.

Yes, a turntable/cartridge upgrade could be in your future, but is it the right upgrade for now? Maybe not.

Depends upon how many records you have. When I was collecting, my turntable system was modest. After I collected enough, I eventually upgraded, but I don't take in any mediocre records, especially, condition wise.


I would keep it, at least for the forseeable future. I once had the 1300mk2, it only stayed in my system a ..., posted on November 22, 2020 at 16:00:15
J. S. Bach

Posts: 9210
Location: Chester, SC
Joined: November 28, 2001
June 29, 2004
...few months as I got a great deal on a ScottRT-modded SL-1600MK2 (still my system's daily driver 15+ tears later!). As for the 1300, I could have enjoyed with no problem it for all these years. Was the 1600 an upgrade sonically? Marginally maybe.

Later Gator,
Find more about Weather in Chester, SC


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