Updates and Corrections to Recent Technics SL-1000R Preview Story

In the recent story about the week I spent with Technics' new SL-1000R turntable, the difference between what's commonly referred to as an arm's "effective length" and how Technics uses the term in its literature led to some confusion and a series of conceptual errors on my part for which I take full responsibility.

As I've always understood and used the term, an arm's actual length is defined by its measured pivot to spindle distance as indicated in the illustration provided me by Wally Malewicz some years ago. The "overhang" is literally the number of millimeters the stylus extends beyond the spindle, usually between 15mm and 18mm. Extending the radius of the stylus arc beyond the spindle's center reduces tracking error as well described by Keith Howard in this 2010 Stereophile article: ".... the radius of the stylus (needle) arc had to be greater than the distance from the arm pivot to the center of the disc, by a distance that today we term the overhang; and the pickup cartridge had to be twisted relative to a line joining stylus to arm pivot by an angle termed the offset."

You have to be careful reading about this subject on line because you can just as easily find this definition of "overhang" written by an ignorant knucklehead on Audiogon: "Overhang is a term used to describe the incorrect tracking path of the stylus for cartridges mounted in a pivoted tonearm. Overhang is not a problem with linear tracking arms, which track in a straight line directly across the record (the same path followed by the cutter head when LP masters are cut)".

In any case, an arm's effective length is defined as its actual length (pivot to spindle distance) plus the overhang, but for some reason Technics uses the term "effective length" to describe the actual length of its arms to which it then adds the overhang. I didn't know or remember that when the SL-1000R was delivered so the "effective length" spec of 239mm did not "add up". It must be a mistake I thought.

So out came the Acoustical Systems SMARTractor to measure the P2S distance and sure enough the arm's P2S distance, not its effective length was 239mm! The arm's true effective length was 254mm not 239mm. I was correct enough about that, but that led me to make some mistakes conceptual and otherwise.

I used my WallyTractor universal overhang gauge, which includes Baerwald and Löfgren arcs for 13 different effective length arms, including one for 254mm, which corresponds to Immedia's RPM-2 and Centroid arms. However, the stylus as set using the Technics overhang device did NOT match either the Baerwald or Löfgren arcs! And that is where my thought process careened off the road.

First, I thought this confirmed that Technics had made a serious error and that if I wanted the Löfgren A alignment I'd have to re-do the overhang using Wally's gauge, which is what i did and that's how I listened. However, had I left the overhang alone, as it was set up using the Technics gauge, that would have been correct, based on Technics' calculations though they don't reveal the source of their geometry. In any case, you can pretty much set up any arm using Baerwald, Löfgren, Stevenson or UNI-DIN and get different but acceptable results. Since the "null" points are based upon never kept standards as to where the lead in and lead out groove areas start and stop, there's definitely room for some "play".

Nonetheless, I apologize for making Technics look like its geometry was in error, when it was not. My conceptual error was not realizing that since the Technics overhang gauge is a head shell holder that duplicates the arm terminating collet, the overhang setting must be correct for whatever is their geometric calculation. Whether or not what I came up with resulted in a gross error or simply another but different solution is something about which I'm not yet certain. I've got an email in to Wally for his explanation.

Other Corrections

Technics' Bill Voss emailed this morning with a few other corrections to the original story:

1) One of Technics' heavier Ortofon head shell options would have easily solved the measured resonant frequency issue noted in the story.
2) I erred writing that the you can swap out the main arm board with another one to mount your choice of arms. That is not true. The only arm useable in the main mount is the Technics arm. The secondary mounts can accommodate a variety of other arms.
3) Technics does not supply a DIN to RCA cable for its arm. That is up to the buyer.
4) There are currently 10 variations of armboards that can be installed in the 2 open positions on the back and left side of the SL-1000R plinth.
5) The SL-1000R plinth is not available as a separate product.

Finally you can download here Technics brochures for the SL-1000R and SP-10R.

I hope that clears it all up! However I hope Technics checks into how the term "effective length" is used throughout the world and considers adopting it too, to avoid future confusion!

silviajulieta's picture

Mr. Fremer: Sorry to disturb your forum again but something is wrong again.

This is what you posted the first time in the Technics review:

""" Next I used the Acoustical Systems SmartTractor to precisely measure the pivot to spindle distance, which not surprisingly was far greater than 222. The measured number plus the 17mm overhang spec produced an effective length of 254mm, similar to that of Immedia's two arms. """

I gave you ( posted there. ) this answer:

""" I can't really be sure that tonearm/cartridge alignment set up was " correctly " as you said.

There are some interesting points to consider: the longer Technics effective length was 250 mm in the EPA 100 design where in the 1200 was 230 mm. Makes " no sense " that suddenly Technics decided to have 254 mm as you said.

Now, the Löfgren alignment solutions, A and B, tell us that using the IEC standard with an effective length ( one of the 3 input parameters in his equations. ) of 254 the overhang ( with either solution. ) is not 17 mm.
In the other side you measured the pivot to spindle distance as 237 mm and this is the only true parameter you have on hand and for this parameter the effective length with Löfgren solutions never is 254 mm as you pointed out...........................................................................................................................................

There is something that makes sense to me in the technics original alignment and I'm not saying it's the way technics did it but:

as I said the long effective length in a Technics tonearm was choosed by them as 250 mm. In the other side normally/many japanese tonearms comes with the Stevenson alignment in their specs and if we take 237 mm P2S distance ( that you measured. ) it is extremely centered at an effective length of 250 mm using Stevenson alignment. """

The key word in all these alignment subject that you did not take in count the first time and neither today is: STEVENSON.

That's the kind of alignment that almost all japanese tonearms manufacturers choosed for its arms and this is what makes the difference.

Technics is not wrong in the brochure specs the real effective length is 239mm. that if you make Stevenson A IEC calculations coincide with the offset angle/overhang in that brochure. I have to say: " almost coincide ", but this is normal in almost all japanese tonearms alignment specs where almost no single japanese tonearm even exactly the alignment calculations but nearer it.

Rigth now I'm not to sure what you measured because you said that adding the overhang of 17mm yo have 254mm, then you must measured 237mm P"S distance from the smart protractor. The problem here is from where you took those 17mm on Technics overhang ( you said: specs. ). Even here with your measured P2S value Stevenson alignment is the key not Löfgren A or B. Technics is a japanese design with a japanese audio culture.

There in Japan and with tonearms Stevenson is the name of the game.

Either way that Technics tonearm effective length is not 254mm, it can't be. Is shorter than that number.

In the other side you can be sure that Technics knows very well what means effective length and its difference with P2S distance. As I said they can't be wrong about. Certainly I can't put my " hands on fire " because Technics.


Michael Fremer's picture
"Either way that Technics tonearm effective length is not 254mm, it can't be. Is shorter than that number." THE EFFECTIVE LENGTH OF THE ARM MEASURES 254MM PERIOD. THE P2S DISTANCE MEASURED 239. THE OVERHANG IS SPEC'D AT 15MM. THAT ADDS UP TO 254MM. IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE ME BELIEVE TECHNICS: "the specifications given that day for effective length of 239mm (9-7/16”) and overhang of 15mm (19/32”) = 254mm combined were accurate and indeed correct for the new longer tonearm."
annalog's picture

I would recommend to Technics acquiring a licence of the tonearm from ELP’s laser turntable or to implement the deck into an LT thus combining leading edge technologies for both vinyl transport and tonearm-cartridge combo. No fuss anymore about tracking errors.

silviajulieta's picture

For your comment/post you are truly an expert on tonearm/cartridge Löfgren alignment mathemathics and obviously an expert on TT/tonearm design but several other gentlemans including me are far away from you very high knowledge levels about. Good for you and what you will read here is for the other gentlemans not for you:

In 2016 in this same M.Fremer forum and through one of his threads I posted something specific on the overall alignment subject, even in the Technics last week thread I gave the link about but here you can read the main subject. Btw, I don't care about wallytractor or any other tractor in the market or alignment manipulations by any one:

""" IMHO and for every one first we have to understand the whole theory/subject in tonearm/cartridge alignment or kind of alignments:

- Baerwald, Stevenson, Bauer, Pisha and many more kind of alignments were based/foundation in the work made it in 1938 by LÖFGREN and his solutions through his calculations/equations where the object was and is to calculate the overhang and offset angle in any tonearm/cartridge combination. These are the main outputs in those equations that between other things gives both null points in any kind of alignment choosed and distortion levels.

The input variables need it to make the calculations are:

1- most outer groove record distance 2- most inner groove record distance and 3- tonearm effective length.

Does not exist null points for Löfgren B ( example. ) as a one and only solution: NO.

Null points depends directly not the kind of alignment but which outer/inner most groove distances we choosed as inputs in the equations/calculations. If we change these inputs null points will change it does not matters which kind of alignment we are using.

For years those two inputs were specified by the IEC and latter exist other standard DIN and exist JIS too ( any one of us can have our self standard too. ).
The IEC values are: 146.05/60.325 mm where the DIN: 146.3/57.5 mm

Through the calculations we achieve too the distortion levels that depends on where " are " the calculated null points. The calculations tell us the distortion levels in between the null points and outer both null points. The P2S distance is calculated by a difference between one of the input parameter/value and one of the output values/overhang."""

When we understand in deep those information everything is solved to any one e inclusive any one of you can manipulate the input/output result for other calculations but the foundation is there.


stereomike's picture

Michael Fremer - always! enjoy your discussion and evaluations, no matter the discussion - good to see enthusiasts contribute in a positive manner - I believe so many turntable owners benefit from these discussions - analog is so much more complex than plug and play -- Thanks!

silviajulieta's picture

Mr. Fremer: Certainly everything is wrong but not with me. You and me, whohas the reason is not the subject but understand why it can't be 254mm on effective length. Look:

First no where exist that 239mm on P2S ( in your first Technics thread you measured 237mmmm. Please read what you posted there. ). Now, these are the calculations ( IEC standard. ) for any 254mm effective length pivoted tonearm:

Löfgren A: overhang 16.22mm offset angle 21.6°
Löfgren B: " " 16.7 mm offset angle 21.6°
Stevenson A: " " 14.3mm. " " " 20.4°

As you can see no where appeared those 15 mm and 239mm P2S as you posted.
Those numbers are not my " numbers ", comes from the original solved/calculated Löfgren/Stevenson equations.

I have no doubt that the Technics tonearm effective length is shorter than 254mm and that its alignment choosed was Stevenson.

You insisted taking a wrong premises and that's why you always arrives to the same 254mm mistake.

Please make your self the calculations, it's not rocket science.

My assumptions are corect not because comes from me ( I'm not the subject here. ) but because comes from the equations and mathemathics are only that: objective non.refutable results. Repeat, it's not me: was and is LÖFGREN.


Zardoz's picture

it gives me a headache trying to follow what you are trying to say. You say the length is 237 but the Stevenson A overhang is 14.3, so how are you saying that the the length is 250? 237+14.3=251.3, are the dimensions you give claiming that is Stevenson 250??? So I really don't understand your argument with anything that Michael has written. It seems you are arguing just to be arguing, rather than actually giving any clarification to the issue. Like I say, maybe it's just a language issue, but you don't seem to be clarifying anything with your long posts.

silviajulieta's picture

Look, the P2S 237mm did not comes from me was a number that Mr.Fremer found out in his 2 weeks ago Technics thread. He posted there:

""" Next I used the Acoustical Systems SmartTractor to precisely measure the pivot to spindle distance, which not surprisingly was far greater than 222. The measured number plus the 17mm overhang spec produced an effective length of 254mm. """

Now, you need to read that thread and the findings I posted. Problem was in all this analizis is that by " accident " Mr.Fremer changed the overall tonearm/cartridge alignment when the TT arrived with him and the only TRUE parameter that stays fixed was the P2S distance.

You posted:

""" so how are you saying that the the length is 250? 237+14.3=251.3 """

that tell me that exist a misunderstood in you of the overall/whole tonearm/cartridge alingment theory and why say I this?, because I posted the calculations for a tonearm with 254mm on its the effective length input to those calculations. The results with the IEC standard are unique for that 254mm. only.

If we change the effective length in the calculations then we achieve to new results.

Got it?

azmoon's picture

Nice try.

Zardoz's picture

Don't think I am the one with the lack of knowledge.

Michael Fremer's picture
silviajulieta's picture

Mr. Fremer: Because I believe you is why I stay still here. As I told you the main subject is not you or me but to analize what is happening down there down that Technics parameters.

I told you that your posts comes in that way because your main premise to make your statements has not certainty.

I insist in that shorter than 254mm EL when you still insist on that number and you posted again:


I already did it a check up here and else where and in no single word by Technics, not even here, comes that 254 EL Technics specs.

SO, from where ( please give us the link. ) took you that Technics specs.?


Michael Fremer's picture
THE LINK IS THE HYPERLINK IN THE BODY OF THE STORY. Did you click on it? Do you know what is a HYPERLINK?
Michael Fremer's picture
* Although we do not publish the tonearms total effective mass, the specifications given that day for effective length of 239mm (9-7/16”) and overhang of 15mm (19/32”) = 254mm combined were accurate and indeed correct for the new longer tonearm. Visit: http://www.technics.com/download/brochures/us/SL1000R_SP10R_US_Print.pdf
silviajulieta's picture

Mr.Fremer: I already knew the information in that link and I already posted here to you that they are rigth and they know for sure what means Eeffective length in that Technics information they stated that EL is 239mm with those 15mm for overhang and that says that the P2S distance is 224mm.
No where can appears the 254mm.

Anyway and in the first Technics thread I posted that through all his historty the longer EL in any of Technics tonearm different design the longest was 250mm and due that makes no sense that " suddenly " they decided to make it longer at 254mm.

In that same post I told you that Technics and almost all Japanese manufacturers alignment choice was and is Stevenson.

In that same thread I posted that not only Technics but other Japanese vintage tonearm manufacturers does not took the Stevenson output values estrictly as were calculated. Almost all made it " tiny " mods.

In those times the alignment accuracy necessity/must to have was not a priority for them and that was the Japanese culture even today. They never took in count the accuracy importance that today is so critical and important to stay truer to the recording.

If we take any Technics tonearm models and make the Stevenson calculations we find out that are very near the results but not mimic exactly and with the 1000R is the same.

Running Stevenson and with the Technics 239mm EL these are the results:

overhang: 15.2mm, P2S 224 so the EL is: 239.2mm offset angle 21.6°.

What can we read in your Technics link:

EL. 239
Overhang: 15mm
Offset angle: 21°

they just eliminated all numbers after the decimal points. Sure is wrong but that's what is that and is the fact.

254mm just does not exist and never existed.


Ortofan's picture

... if he had a Feickert NG on hand, then a check with that device would have shown whether or not the Technics tonearm had been set up with Stevenson geometry, since that protractor has reference marks for that type of alignment.

Michael Fremer's picture
I have that but didn't use when the 'table was here. Not that it would matter to this guy.
andyanalog's picture

as TT become more important again and industry gets more interrested too, mabey some major industry people should come together and start talking about a kind of new TT standards. goal: easy and 100% perfect setup.

modern technology with laser etc. that is so much cheaper now than in the "70 could help here.

my 2 ct.

mrl1957's picture

Remember Technics' "T4P"? Fixed overhang, fixed tracking force (1.5 grams in most cases), standardized cartridge alignment, extremely easy cartridge swapping without having to deal with headshells...just a thought.

silviajulieta's picture

Yes, that's great. I own and owned cartridges as B&O MMC1/2 and Technics P100CMK4 ( superb performer. ) with that standard where we have to worry of almost nothing just true plug and play.

I can't remember in this moment if I still have a LOMC cartridge with that standard ( I 0wn over 130+ MM/MC cartridges ( vintage and today designs. )

Nothing is perfect and that standard is not but way superior of what we have today.

Word: STANDARD, historic problem is that exist no single standards in cartridges other than the distance between the cartridge top plate holes to mount it in the headshell/tonearm.

With the " plug in " cartridges we don't have to worried not even of the VTA because all cartridge parameters in its construction are exactly the same. The stylus tip always is where has to be with the rigth angle, azymuth and everything even the VTF was the same for all cartridges. and we don't have to think on headshell wires and headshell wires connectors that goes soldered and that degrades the cartridge signal.

Today each single LOMC cartridge comes with all different and that's why is a pain in the ass its tonearm/alignment.

I think that if not all LOMC cartridge parameters in its overall construction some must be a STANDARD and maybe the RIAA or some institution of that caliber could help about.


Michael Fremer's picture
The problem is that there are numerous "solutions" to the same problems and not everyone agrees on them. Some prefer longer arms (12") because they lower tracking error but others including Rega, Graham, SAT and others prefer 9" arms because while tracking error is greater, they claim the shorter arm's dynamic behavior in the groove is superior. Also, the longer the arm, the greater is the magnification of any set-up error. People have been arguing these points for decades and it's not likely a consensus will ever be reached. Off the record most arm designers will tell you the make 12" versions to satisfy the marketplace more than they do it because they believe it's a better solution. And that's the truth!
andyanalog's picture

At least a simple device for easy measuring the right needle angle would be nice.

I watched your video with the microscope and the angle calculations and it seems you have a turntable Ph.D. But for normal people it's almost impossible to do that stuff right.

silviajulieta's picture

Mr.Fremer: In reality the problem for 9" tonearms gaves no single advantage over a 10" that's a way better EL number. The 9" makes/puts a lot of cantilever stress especially in the last third of the LP grooves developing higher " resonances " additional at that higher tracking error. SAT designer is a " roockie tonearm designer ", his credentials comes not from audio tonearm design.

Graham took it from the tonearm he copy: Audiocraft, but Audiocraft develops 12" too. Gandy market is that: 9" and not because is better. No single advantage against a 10" one .

In the other side, the plug-in cartridges can works either with 9", 10" or 12" tonearms. Null points does not changes, offset angle is made it through the tonearm not the cartridge and the overhang means that in the longer arm the plug-inheadshell be made it according the EL of the tonearm . No problem at all.


silviajulieta's picture

Dear friends: Why is so important this thread's analizisas stereomike pointed out here.

My main target in my home audio system is STAY TRUER/nearest TO THE RECORDING in either alternative: digital or analog.

All of us know the full of imperfections that the overall analog alternative has from the recording through the playing proccess and we can't change all those imperfections no matter what, it's exactly as tube electronic technology that's the murderous of the true high end quality level performance.

Everything the same what is the more important ( for me. )issue to start to stay truer to the recording?:

that the LP recorded information in each single LP groove be pick up by the cartridge when ridding those grooves.
No matter what, including with LT tonearms, no single cartridge can follow exactly each single LP groove. No human been can mimic wit a cartridge what comes in those grooves.
Normally tonearm manufacturers makes their designs taking in count the characteristics at " macroscopic " level of the cartridge ( some not even thinh in the cartridge. ) but the more important issue here is to analize the tremendous challenges that has the diminute stylus tip trying to follow those LP grooves, this is to search what is happening down there at microscopic levels. Till today no one did it. In other forum along other gentlemans analized that critical overall issue, a very hot discussion but gave us a new understanding on why is so important to align the best we can trying to have the lowes tracking error a distorion levels down there.

Those is not to laugh about, look and sorry to take the SAT tonearm example but in the other Technics thread we analized this main subject:

the SAT kind of designer choosed alignment parameters gave us terrible numbers that almost no one really took in count its MEANING and this meaning and with a cartridge mounted in the SAT and before the stylus tip hits the first LP groove we have these SAT calculations alignment against a " normal " tonearm as the Jelco:

SAT tracking error 3.09°, this number means that the SAT ( before the stylus tip is ridding. ) has 168% higher tracking error that any other tonearm in the world.

SAT max. distortion% is 2.67% and this means that the SAT has 400.20% higher distortion levels ! ! ! . 400+%

SAT average RMS % distortion is 0.616% then the SAT has 166% higher distortion levels.

Obviously that with those numbers the SAT is way away of that main target: truer to the recording because no matter what the stylus tip can't pick up the recorded information as can do it the Jelco or the Cobra or any other tonearm.

When the cartridge mounted in the SAT nothing can be better or compensates for all those and only will be even worst no matter what.

Look, I'm not talking here if what we listen trhough likes me or not because that's not the issue but to stay truer to the recording.

All those analog imperfections tell us that we have to analize and learn how to improve our home audio system overall quality level performance. High end does not wrog-up mainly because the AHEE just does not helps and does not cares about and you and me are part of that AHEE and maybe the only ones ( customers. ) that can do something about.

We have to remember that almost all of us are first than all MUSIC LOVERS not audiophiles. This last is only a tool to enjoy MUSIC.

Regards and thank's Mr. Fremer to permit my posts.

NotAgain's picture

Goin' thru silviajulieta's posts....

Luvin' 'em, toots ;)

Even if you're totally legit ... the LOLs keep rollin'... 'cause dat's wat's in da "mind" of typical vinylphile ;)


Michael Fremer's picture
The SAT is easily the best sounding tone arm I have ever heard.
nagysaudio's picture

wipes the floor with it. In engineering, build, and sound. Sorry. For that price, one can get an entire SME or TechDas turntable. Those are the best built and performing turntables in the world. SAT price is ridiculous.

Tom L's picture

...to know the actual effective length of my Denon tonearm. I took a hardened masonry nail and drove it directly into the pivot point of the tonearm. Then I drove another nail through the headshell, right through my Stanton 681eee at the point where the stylus contacts the LP. A simple measuring tape revealed that the effective length is 222.56mm.
Try it, it works!
BTW, I am in the market for a new turntable. And cartridge.

Michael Fremer's picture
Thanks. I needed that. I put a nail through my brain and am in the market for a new one.
silviajulieta's picture

Mr. Fremer: """ The SAT is easily the best sounding tone arm I have ever heard. """

No one can argue against your subjective statement. Period.

As with the Technics tonearm with the SAT my arguments were all an objective approach ( facts. ) with objective certainty data that is absolutely non-refutable.

Through all those non-refutable true data you and every one attest why the SAT quality performance levels is to low against any other top today tonearm design.

I never talked or argue against what you or any one likes it with the SAT during listen sessions because this is not the main subject. Any one can likes higher or lower distortions and this is not under questioning but the facts of the poor perfonca levels in that tonearm.


revbond's picture

All credit, Mr. Fremer, for revisiting this in the name of Science!! Now for the real test: how does it sound with the factory setup?

isaacrivera's picture

How many $20K tables you know that come with a preinstalled cartridge? In any case, if you are the no-tinker kind of audiophile, why read this blog?

revbond's picture

something in this post makes sense...but apparently only to you! Knuckleheads untie!

sandyu's picture

You'll notice that Michael spoke about an "ignorant knucklehead" in his update. (Some of you may have missed it! Go back to check it out, it's important!!) And it struck me immediately how he'd brilliantly distinguished between intelligent knuckleheads and the other kind. As I read these comments, I'm struck by how many intelligent knuckleheads are choosing to comment here....

bent river music's picture

Let's move to laser-read grooves where the discussion can be around wavelengths, spurious reflections, modulation distortion vs. laser head height, beam angle, etc. Then we can get a new set of 'experts' to comment.

M3 lover's picture

Hi Mikey, you made reference to tracking error relating to alignments -- 2/14 at 9:17. Shouldn't that be tracing error?

silviajulieta's picture

Mr.: Fremer: Technics confirm that the effective length in its tonearm is the one in that PDF specs. As I told you they certainly know what they did it and do it.

Here is theirs answer to my specific email:

""" Pstctechhotline
Hoy, 03:23 p.m.
Tú;TechnicsSupport (TechnicsSupport@us.panasonic.com);Pstctechhotline (Techhotline@us.panasonic.com)

The general specifications available are provided in PDF above.


Technics Technical Support

Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company

Division of Panasonic Corporation of North America

661 Independence Parkway

Chesapeake, VA 23320

EMAIL: TechnicsSupport@us.panasonic.com """

I send that email to confirm from where comes the misunderstood and confirmed that did not comes from me.