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Technics - suggested KAB mods (Read 3556 times)
Geno
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Technics - suggested KAB mods
01/17/19 at 13:13:17
 
I have just purchased a Technics SL-1210MK5 turntable. I致e seen mentioned on this forum about KAB mods done to these for best performance. Can anyone provide a list of what I should have done if I send it to them?  Thanks, Geno
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Rivieraranch
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Re: Technics - suggested KAB mods
Reply #1 - 01/17/19 at 15:00:22
 
Everything.

You can call Uncle Kev and speak to him about it.

Outboard Power, strobe defeater, tonearm rewire, viscous arm damper, plug for the back of the tonearm, plate on back to allow you to use interconnects of your choice.  If I left anything out it will be on the website.

I bought a unit that was already modified and never looked back.
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MINI TORII ANNIVERSARY MODIFIED; SE84UFO; ZSTAGE; MONOLITH SPEAKERS; TECHNICS SL1200MK2 KAB MODDED TT; ONKYO 6 DISC CD; MARANTZ 2226B; SCHIIT MULTIBIT DAC; SENNHEISER HD-580 headphones
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Archie
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Re: Technics - suggested KAB mods
Reply #2 - 01/17/19 at 16:43:06
 
I agree, get it all.  I had a fully modified Mk2 since 2007 but a year ago I bought the new G.  If that's an option for you at all, I highly recommend it over the modified Mk2 even.
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Geno
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Re: Technics - suggested KAB mods
Reply #3 - 01/17/19 at 17:06:09
 
Archie, are you using the G stock?
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Archie
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Re: Technics - suggested KAB mods
Reply #4 - 01/17/19 at 21:54:59
 
I changed out the stock mat with a Herbie's mat, installed KAB's fluid damper and I use a Michell Rega Clamp. Non-stock power cord and interconnects, of course. I also put the whole thing on an isolation platform. Oh, and I installed latex tubing over the tonearm. One defect with the new G arm is that it seems to have a resonance around 300Hz. I could only pick this up by doing extreme testing but I got rid of it with the tube. KAB uses an internal arm tube but that would require rewiring the arm.
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Geno
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Re: Technics - suggested KAB mods
Reply #5 - 01/21/19 at 18:01:41
 
I致e been looking into mods that I can do myself. Looks like the fluid damper and new feet I can do. But I have a question about the fluid damper - $165 for what amounts to a plastic tray with fluid in it? Somebody is making a killing off of that!  Are the changes in sound significant with this change?
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Archie
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Re: Technics - suggested KAB mods
Reply #6 - 01/21/19 at 19:55:46
 
It's actually a machined and anodized aluminum tray. Very high quality. It's $150 for the older models. Kevin had to design a slightly new geometry for the GAE/G series which is the $169 model.

I put Isonoe feet on my Mk2 which were a big improvement (in build and function, anyway) over the stock feet.

If you do get the fluid dampener from KAB, email him for a better shipping rate. His automatic checkout goes way high for small parts.

If you trust Steve, then you can trust Kevin. They are similar in their own field.

Some of the electrical stuff is also DIY. I installed something that he came up with after my 2007 mods. I don't think the outboard power is DIY but the tonearm rewiring can be depending on skills. I am very fond of the rubber tubing on the arm. If you read his development of this it makes a whole lot of sense.

Quote:
If you drop the arm wand onto a table it will bounce several times. I tried cotton, then PVC lining, and yes even outer heatshrink tubing, and none would stop the arm from bouncing. Then I tried this unique 0.032"thin wall super soft rubber tubing. It weighs only 3 grams, and changes the the arm force setting by only one half gram. It slips easily into the arm wand and fits like a glove. And now, when you drop the arm on a table, it just stops dead, no bouncing. It really is quite remarkable.
If you are planning to rewire your arm, this is a must.
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Geno
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Re: Technics - suggested KAB mods
Reply #7 - 01/21/19 at 20:13:49
 
Thanks so much, Archie. Exactly how is the damper installed? I値l order one soon. And the new feet, mat and tonearm tube as well. The rest I値l leave to KAB whenever I send it to them. The power and interconnect cables are hardwired stock, so that will definitely be included.

Best,

Geno
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Archie
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Re: Technics - suggested KAB mods
Reply #8 - 01/21/19 at 22:33:13
 
The tray and damping "finger" just clamp on with a set screw each. The only downside to having the damper installed is that it blocks the view of the vertical adjusting ring zero. I made a mark in a different place and just do the math when moving the ring.

Are you getting the Herbies mat? One thing I like about the Herbies is that it is slightly sticky and it helps pull dust off of the LP. When the mat gets too dirty, you just take packing tape and pick off the dust.

Rewiring the tonearm so you can use better ICs is nice and worthwhile. I also have the strobe cancellation on my Mk2. I mostly liked not having the big red light on all the time (it's blue on the G).

The KAB tube will only work for you if you rewire the arm since it fits inside the arm tube. I was able to put tubing on the outside of my G arm though. I think it does the same thing but you might not like the look. There is a trick to getting it over the headshell lock nut and onto the arm. If you go that route, PM me your email and I'll send a photo or two to give you an idea of how I managed it. You'd need the right size tubing which can be had cheaply on ebay.
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Geno
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Re: Technics - suggested KAB mods
Reply #9 - 01/21/19 at 23:43:32
 
I noticed on the KAB website that the tubing was placed on the inside as part of the rewiring process. Since I知 having that done with the upgrades, I値l not try to put it on the outside, but thank you for the offer to help.
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Archie
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Re: Technics - suggested KAB mods
Reply #10 - 01/22/19 at 01:13:43
 
Exactly, but it can be put outside. I don't mind the aesthetics and one of the problems with TT tonearms is their inherent resonances. Getting rid of them will help sound and detail a lot. I also experimented with silicone tape. It also worked but it was bulky and weighed more. The latex tubing fits like a glove and is 1/32" thick if memory serves.

The tubing eliminated a resonance in the G tonearm (which is really pretty good). In my test configuration, there was constructive feedback that went off the chart. While in any normal playback it wouldn't be anywhere near that bad, if it's there at all, it's coloring and damaging sound. There is at least one review of the GR that shows a wide frequency resonance for that tonearm. I think the GR arm is much closer to the Mk5 arm. Once you start chasing down the weak links in your table you might want to get them all. The potential of those tables is amazing.

Kevin gives a simple test for resonance.  Place the needle on a stationary LP, turn up your volume and lightly tap the arm with a straightened paper clip.  You'll more than likely hear it ring.  In my case, I got more of a tone around 300Hz that fed-back constructively.  Now with the tubing it just goes "thunk."
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Geno
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Re: Technics - suggested KAB mods
Reply #11 - 01/22/19 at 02:33:35
 
Your insight going forward with this project will be very helpful, Archie. Maybe I should go ahead and get some tubing to put on the outside until I can get it sent to KAB. What type, size and weight do I need? Also, where did you locate it on the arm?
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Geno
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Re: Technics - suggested KAB mods
Reply #12 - 01/22/19 at 02:56:47
 
Archie, I just sent a PM.
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Archie
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Re: Technics - suggested KAB mods
Reply #13 - 01/22/19 at 18:59:17
 
Geno, here is a description of the tubing I bought on ebay:  3/8" I.D x 1/32" wall <<<< Latex Rubber Tubing Amber Thin Wall.  In fact, this is the guy I bought from.  I think I bought 2 feet to have some extra to burn.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/3-8-I-D-x-1-32-wall-Latex-Rubber-Tubing-Amber-Thin-Wall...
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Donnie
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Re: Technics - suggested KAB mods
Reply #14 - 01/22/19 at 21:59:11
 
Wouldn't heat shrink tubing be a little easier to manipulate?
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Archie
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Re: Technics - suggested KAB mods
Reply #15 - 01/22/19 at 23:10:34
 
The heat shrink is slick but it just doesn't damp well enough.  
The latex is a PITA to install but it completely damps the arm.
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Donnie
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Re: Technics - suggested KAB mods
Reply #16 - 01/22/19 at 23:23:43
 
Hmmm. How about a constrained layer between 2 pieces of shrink wrap?
Or perhaps slitting the surgical rubber and then using a layer of heat shrink over it?
I'm all about simple and easy(read lazy).
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Archie
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Re: Technics - suggested KAB mods
Reply #17 - 01/23/19 at 00:46:20
 
And also about adding weight.

I tried silicone tape.  Worked but was was heavy and ugly.  
But it was easier to install.  The best option is to use the tube inside the arm as part of a tonearm rewire.

The shrink over a slit latex tube might be worth trying though.  Shrink doesn't weigh much.  Although, with the Technics' S shaped arm tube, the latex might bunch up.
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Archie
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Re: Technics - suggested KAB mods
Reply #18 - 01/24/19 at 17:06:56
 
I thought this place was as good as any to post this link to a description of the newest Technics TT, their SP-10R and Sl-1000R. I'd sure get one if I had the dough! Smiley

https://www.osirisstudio.com/home/2018/1/12/technics-sp-10



And this is pretty cool too. This one I have. Cheesy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYT9y6WqMm8
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Geno
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Re: Technics - suggested KAB mods
Reply #19 - 01/24/19 at 21:43:09
 
I値l bet that the new one sounds incredible, but I壇 rather have yours.
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Geno
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Re: Technics - suggested KAB mods
Reply #20 - 01/24/19 at 21:46:26
 
By the way, I have an album that skips real bad. Is it still acceptable to tape a nickel on top of the cartridge? I hope so, because it skipped so bad, I had to use 2 nickels😝
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Archie
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Re: Technics - suggested KAB mods
Reply #21 - 01/25/19 at 00:22:09
 
Here's a link someone posted over at the Steve Hoffman Forum:

https://www.farfetch.com/shopping/men/technics-grey-sl-1200-g-direct-turntable-i...

With the 10% off for signing up for their newsletter the price for a G is $2750! I got a good deal on mine last year at $3600.

I'm throwing temptation in your way! Grin
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Geno
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Re: Technics - suggested KAB mods
Reply #22 - 01/25/19 at 01:16:40
 
Man. That is no doubt a great deal. I知 afraid that I値l have to be happy with what I have. The extra that I値l soon spend on KAB upgrades will have to suffice in the analog department. Oh, and eventual mods to my ZP3 Smiley
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Geno
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Re: Technics - suggested KAB mods
Reply #23 - 02/03/19 at 16:38:23
 
Adam,

Do you know anything about the KAB Ortofon plug in cartridges? No headshell or wires to connect. The cartridge just plugs straight into the tonearm. They are made specifically for Technics 1200 tables. Just wondering how they compare to a more traditional cart?
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Archie
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Re: Technics - suggested KAB mods
Reply #24 - 02/03/19 at 18:37:02
 
I have his Concord with both the 30 and 40 styluses.  they are outstanding and the only reason I moved away from it was that I went to MC carts.  The Concord is the same as the OM line and according to Kevin, the OM40 is considered equal or superior to the Black, which BTW, can also be got in a fixed configuration.  They, as you point out, just plug in -- no alignment needed.
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Geno
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Re: Technics - suggested KAB mods
Reply #25 - 02/03/19 at 21:46:13
 
Alignment can be such a pain in the ass, I may end up with one of them. Especially now that you tell me how you feel about them. I love simplicity.

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Archie
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Re: Technics - suggested KAB mods
Reply #26 - 02/03/19 at 23:37:09
 
Do you have the plastic alignment tool/gauge that comes with the 1200 TTs?  It's simple and effective.
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Re: Technics - suggested KAB mods
Reply #27 - 02/04/19 at 00:47:27
 
Yes. The one for overhang? That痴 takes care of front to back, but then you have to get it to line up using the protractor. It should be simple, but not for the simple-minded🤓
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Archie
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Re: Technics - suggested KAB mods
Reply #28 - 02/04/19 at 01:09:07
 
It does both.  I just line up with the end of the gage and center the stylus on the front arrow.  I've read a lot of debate about this vs other protractors and methods but most seem to agree that Technics optimised setup for their arms with this jig.
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Re: Technics - suggested KAB mods
Reply #29 - 02/04/19 at 01:19:00
 
Oh. Ok. I値l put the jig back on and check it both ways to see how close I am.

Thanks!

Geno
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Geno
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Re: Technics - suggested KAB mods
Reply #30 - 03/21/19 at 00:53:37
 
Archie,

Got my TT back from KAB today. While it was being modded, I sent my ZP3 back to Steve for the 25th mods also. Gosh does it sound good! I知 a happy boy!!!
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Re: Technics - suggested KAB mods
Reply #31 - 03/30/19 at 00:40:42
 
Archie,

I ended up with the Ortofon Concorde STY30 on my turntable. It has a recommended tracking force range of 1.25 to 1.75.  In your experience, did you find a setting that you preferred?

Also, was the 40 a big step up from the 30?

Thanks,

Geno
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Re: Technics - suggested KAB mods
Reply #32 - 08/11/19 at 13:21:51
 
I would agree with the statement of getting it all.  I would put the rewired tone arm at the top of the list though.
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