Sys-hop – My Visit to Larry’s, by Dan Rubin
If you want to understand a key benefit to SFAS membership, read on. Larry Deniston recently posted his Technics SL-1200G turntable for sale in the Buy and Sell Locally forum at the SFAS website forums. This is a table I’ve been curious about since its release a couple of years ago. While I know that it offers a lot that I am looking for, what I’ve been unsure about is whether I’d like the way it sounds. Larry’s main table and arm is the identically priced VPI Prime with 3D Printed arm. My question to Larry: how does the Technics sound compared to the VPI? He purchased the Technics to use for 78 RPM and for mounting a mono cartridge. Therefore, he hadn’t compared the two apples-to-apples. But he would do so, and would I like to come over to listen. You bet I would!
Larry did a comparison for himself before we arranged for me to come over, but kept quiet about his findings. For my visit, he mounted his Ortofon A90 on the Technics, which was all setup when I arrived. We listened for about 45 minutes to several LPs I brought with me and to some of his. I operated the table some of time to get a feel for the hands-on experience. He then went through the mildly painstaking process of un-mounting the Ortofon, mounting it in the VPI arm and tweaking the setup. He was very meticulous throughout. Then we listened to the VPI for another 45 minutes or so. The differences were both obvious and consistent.
This session alone had value to me well in excess of the annual fee for SFAS membership. How else could I have gained this understanding of the sound of the Technics? Perhaps with a dealer, but I’d rather not. This was ideal, or as close to it as I could get without running the comparison in my own system. Thank you, SFAS, and thank you, Larry.