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Future of my Technics SL-D3

Wharfedale Linton Heritage Speakers
Joined
Apr 4, 2019
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Bangalore
I have a Technics SL-D3 (Ortofon 2m Red) (default interconnects) which i brought more than a year ago. Being very close to Vinyl these days, I'm planning to invest more in that field.

Question :
If i'm interested in achieving better sound accuracy and quality,

do I need to change my turntable ? or just change cartridge ?
 

Mayank Shah

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May 22, 2015
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766
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Location
Madras
I have a Technics SL-D3 (Ortofon 2m Red) (default interconnects) which i brought more than a year ago. Being very close to Vinyl these days, I'm planning to invest more in that field.

Question :
If i'm interested in achieving better sound accuracy and quality,

do I need to change my turntable ? or just change cartridge ?
Sir, why change the car because of a flat tyre. Iam no TT expert by any means, you already have a fine setup. Trying out a new cartridge would be my first choice if I could muster the courage for such delicate DIY in the first place. Cheers.
 

hemya

Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2017
Messages
85
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18
Location
Pune, India
I spoke to someone at audiophile goa about my Technics SL-D3 when I was looking for a cart as they deal in Nagaoka catrs They said these SL-D3 are mid range models and quite good but anything more than a Nagoka MP110 or equivalent is an overkill.

If you really want to upgrade then Belt Drive is the way to go vs Direct Drive as the vibrations are at a minimum or then go for a SL1200 if you cna find one in good condition.

I bought the Technics SL-D3 only because I wanted to own a vintage Technics and always wanted to try a direct drive fully automatic turntable while I am still holding onto my Rega RP1 with performance pack.
 

square_wave

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Aug 16, 2006
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Common wisdom is that upgrades on anything turntable related needs to be seen in the light of " what is possible within the context " of the deck. So it is best to talk to people who have experience with that particular deck or hang around in forums where they discuss it.
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2019
Messages
59
Points
8
Location
Bangalore
I spoke to someone at audiophile goa about my Technics SL-D3 when I was looking for a cart as they deal in Nagaoka catrs They said these SL-D3 are mid range models and quite good but anything more than a Nagoka MP110 or equivalent is an overkill.

If you really want to upgrade then Belt Drive is the way to go vs Direct Drive as the vibrations are at a minimum or then go for a SL1200 if you cna find one in good condition.

I bought the Technics SL-D3 only because I wanted to own a vintage Technics and always wanted to try a direct drive fully automatic turntable while I am still holding onto my Rega RP1 with performance pack.
My question is the limitation of a Technics SL-D3 vs other high end turntables other than the direct vs belt drive advantage.

Why did you prefer to do the performance pack on Rega RP1 instead of Technics SL-D3? Is vibration factor of direct drive the only reason ?
 

greenhorn

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Jun 9, 2009
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I disagree with people who say belt drive is the way to go. Technics DD are superior to most Belt drive tables available today in the entry to mid range segment. you will have to go into the 5 digit rupee range to get a belt drive to beat it.
The other thing that is that the plinth on the SL-D3 is TNRC, there is still some cost cutting. you could try some DIY damping.
Also, its an FG servo table, and somewhat more sensitive to ageing than Quartz lock models - you should get it fully serviced - relubed with the correct technics recommended oil with some good caps, and precision resistors in the Drive electronics. It will give you much better returns than trying to upgrade.

on the other hand, i do agree that anything more than an MP110 is somewhat overkill. More in an absolute sense, not in a "because you are TT limited" sense.
 

Hiten

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Oct 17, 2008
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Kalyan
My question is the limitation of a Technics SL-D3 vs other high end turntables other than the direct vs belt drive advantage.
Besides DD and belt drive difference only thing remains will be rumble noise and Cartridge-Tonearm performances. The difference would be small. All depends on the budget. Go for Jelco 12 inch arms and standalone drive system. Because the combined unit's different tonearm performances are more or less same. Unless you have chance to get some unique high end turntables with specially made tonearm.
Regards.
 

reubensm

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May 26, 2010
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Trivandrum, India
my experience can share some insight:

listened to a HMV Calypso idler record player during my first 5 years, then dad graduated to Garrard SP25 MK1 and listened all the way until I grew up, then got my own turntable, a belt drive Teac P988 which I later upgraded to another belt drive Technics SLBD20B. All this happened between 1971 and 2006. That's when I received my first real Technics DD turntable, the SL3200. On checking online, i got to read a lot about it and understood that it was a budget 1978 DD model from Technics without bells and whistles (which was actually nice, its a bare minimum TT with auto-return). Online reviews mentioned that as it has a thick plastic plinth, it is prone to feedback and rumble. Coming back to the story, this was a huge upgrade for me and for the first time in my life, i started to believe that a turntable can produce great sounds with highly accurate speed, unlike the idlers and belt drive turntables which i had listened to previously. The cart used was mostly Shure M44-7 running through a NAD 106 preamp or NAD 1020 preamp (alternately depending on who came to listen :) )

Then I got bitten by the same bug that you've now encountered - can i better what i hear, that led me on a long chase, turntables like the Garrard 301, Garrard 401, Lenco 75, Technics SP25, Technics SP15, Thorens TD135, Technics SP10 MK2 with a whole host of tonearms like Garrard, Jelco, Ortofone, SME, Technics and even Sedco broadcast tonearms. In the process i gained a lot of acceptance and respect on online forums, was the talk of town among like minded friends, hosted listening sessions, heard instruments and sounds from recordings which i never heard before and a lot lot more. While going through this curve, one thing remained constant, my old Technics SL3200. I did notice that it had this unique open soundstage with the M44-7 which the others did not have. Also the humble Technics 3200 would play anything thrown at it, warped, stratched records, records with an off-center hole, pimpled records, what not. My 650 GBP NOS SME 3009 tonearms with Shure V15 carts perform extremely well on new records but when it came to the old stuff, i always had to go back to the old technics DD

My late father once told me, don't go chasing fancy turntables, focus on the cart, phono preamp and amplification. I did not listen to him. He was actually right. I realized this after a lot through the journey and lakhs of rupees later :)

Moral of the story, if you are already on a Technics DD, you are at the top of the mainstream value chain essentially (not the so called very high end though). From this point, a clever thing to do would be to try a better cart or better phonostage. If using a Technics DD turntable with a plastic plinth, building a thick and heavy wooden envelop for it would help. Calibrate the tonearm accurately, upgrade the interconnects and tonearm wiring (also clean all contacts also). Improvements with high end investments that one reads about are all very subjective and listener dependent. You can definitely achieve better results (that sound good to your ears) with your existing Technics DD turntable. If you really must upgrade and want to stop at something and forget the machinery after that, then invest in a good working Technics SL1210 MK2 direct drive deck. It is without doubt and by far the greatest turntable ever built for the common man (yes, it was so good that it even saw the end of the Garrards, the EMTs, the Gates/McCurdy/Byer/Russco/Rek-O-Kut family and even its own grand daddy, the SP10 MK2, in the broadcast world).

Where did my story go? well I still have a couple of Garrards and SMEs on my rig and a few more in storage but my Technics SL1210 and SL3200 are my regular play masters. Very happy with them.
 

hemya

Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2017
Messages
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Location
Pune, India
My question is the limitation of a Technics SL-D3 vs other high end turntables other than the direct vs belt drive advantage.

Why did you prefer to do the performance pack on Rega RP1 instead of Technics SL-D3? Is vibration factor of direct drive the only reason ?
I got both the Technics SL-D3 and the upgraded Rega from a fellow FM based in Pune. I got the Rega first with the performance pack installed when I bought it. I used it for a couple of years and was an still am perfectly happy with it but then I always wanted to own a Technics. I lucked out when the same FM was letting go of his SL-D3. Both these were in great condition and the Technics SL-D3 had also been reconditioned and just needed a cart. Settled for the Audio-Technica AT-VM95E and liking it so far. Have been meaning to do a comparision between the Rega and the Technics but with lockdown and then when things opened up there was the immediate upgrade of my amp haven't really got around to it. I love the Technicas so far because of the auto features. Hope to compare them in the weeks to come.

I do think though that at some point in the future I will upgrade the cart on the Technics as there is still some scope to go up. The VM-95E is kind of mid entry level.
 

antoniodias

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Apr 25, 2017
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Goa and mumbai
Nice to hear you guys giving your true hearts in commenting about Turn Tables. I must mention that my late father left me with HMV SOLID STATE record player with radio MW and SW with inbuilt speaker, all contained like a suitcase.I remember using 78, 45, 33, and 16 rpm records from my age then 7 in the year 1966 till I passed my SSC 1974. My father then sold it for Rs 300 to a good gentleman and bought for me a philips radiogram. I wish I could download the picture someday.
I later took up a job in Kuwait in the year 1981 where I was so taken up with cassette record player, that I totally got carried away, even though I could at times hear the songs dragging and the tape getting caught in between the capstan wheel. I was so engrossed with my work that I lost my interest in both the vinyl player and the cassette player.
If I wanted I could have acquired the best of branded vinyl players of Marantz, Sansui, Nakamichi dragon turntable, but it never occurred to me that I should buy one of those, as I was not a keen audiophile then. I finally purchased my first Technics man CD Player, a complete Sansui Cassette deck, and an Akai VHS Recorder.

I was quite happy with my Technics CD player, as there was hardly no hiss and skips, as it often happens while playing a vinyl record.

Of lately, 4 years before I joined this forum, my wife gave me a box of records belonging to my father that were kept on the loft, and it suddenly dawned on me the memories of my HMV (his master’s voice). I kept on browsing on the internet, and met a gentleman from Goa who sold me a pair of Technics Sl 1210 MK2. This model is like a tank, but I love toys and I went on eBay and bid for Technics Sl 1950 Direct drive totally automatic multi vinyl changer. That was it I loved it as I am now a busy guy in the kitchen as a cook, and don’t need to come to the living room to place a new vinyl every time the previous one gets over. And the sounds, the highs. and the lows, and the mid range all come out distinctly clear.

I must say that the idler drive my father gave me and the technics Direct drive is like comparing the earth and the heavens.

In your case you already own a Direct Drive, so the best you could do is use the best of the best cartridge, and I am sure you will love your Technics more than just the way I do.

I now will attach a few pictures of the collections I have. God bless, and thanks for taking your time to read my reviews.
 

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sachu888

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May 8, 2010
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Gwalior,Nashik
I have used variety of TTs of all kind belt drive, direct drive, idler drive etc. Some of my previous Tts are DD Technics SLD 303,Technics SL D2, Pioneer, Sony,Saba PSP 350
Belt drive Akai, Micro Seiki, Sensui etc
My current TTs are Technics SP12, Akai (belt drive) Lenco L75 and Elac 770 iii Idler drives. I have always moved on for better TTs. I don't regret except Micro Seiki, as It was NOS with beautiful rosewood plinth.
You should definitely upgrade your TT for better one. You won't regret. Phonostage and carts also play a big role. I am here talking about solid TTs like 301,401,sp10, Lenco L 75 with modification, and not the boutique one with exorbitant price.
Here are some pics of my TTs I have owned over the years.










I love to post pics ;)

Regards
Sachin
 

Bhaskar Jyoti Talapatra

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Feb 7, 2018
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Kolkata
I love to see turntable pictures. In olden days of internet browsing I used to drool on this. Nothing uniquely special but loved the aesthetics. :)
. . . Also Teac Magnefloat TN-400, ... also Copy of thorens td-124 which I forgot.

Regards
Don't know what should I tell it or describe I had also the habit of seeing various TT models surfing internet. Years ago I also collected some leaflets just to see the models of various kinds of TTs and cassette players.
Regards
 

peace_sells

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Feb 14, 2013
Messages
530
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Location
Bangalore/Kawasaki
I have a Technics SL-D3 (Ortofon 2m Red) (default interconnects) which i brought more than a year ago. Being very close to Vinyl these days, I'm planning to invest more in that field.

Question :
If i'm interested in achieving better sound accuracy and quality,

do I need to change my turntable ? or just change cartridge ?
How much 'better' is better? I think everyone has a different answer to this question. To me, beyond a certain level of quality, I wouldn't spend much time and effort on improving the equipment. My final objective is to use the turntable, cartridge, phono stage, etc. to enjoy listening to music. But of course, if you feel that you need to keep improving the equipment every 1-2 years; even that's fine too. It's a lot of fun to keep upgrading, and there's a different charm in pursuing that. But then, there is no end to it.

So, in the end it completely depends on your definition of 'better'. :p Just my opinion. I've used a Technics SL 1500 for almost 6-7 years and I upgraded just the cartridge and phono stage a couple of times. I never felt the need to upgrade anything else. Currently I'm using a Denon DP 55L (had to buy another TT since I moved to a new place) which sounds better than the Technics to me. But I can still live with and enjoy the Technics very much!
 
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reubensm

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May 26, 2010
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Trivandrum, India
Also in the quest for nirvana, never forget the records that you'd be playing. Only certain pressings and a threshold of record condition will justify the value of an upgrade.

Another important factor while owning Garrards, Lenco's etc is that you'd also have to learn a little about the mech side of things, how to keep your turntable running. These cannot be trusted with the average mech. Also in most cases these machines in their stock form will not help much. You'd need to mod them for better results which can go from plinth design to top plate cracks, etc.
 
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