Technics SP-10MK3

Ki Choi

Member Sponsor
May 13, 2010
761
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370
Seattle WA area
Some of you are aware of my other illness but hanging around people like Mike, Myles, Gary, Bruce, and other notable WBF members who are into playing LPs, it became natural that I do the deep dive on pursuing music of my youth via playing "black" discs.

The journey started few years back but didn't catch speed until the KLaudio LP cleaner got materialized removing any concern of ruining a good stylus on a cartridge by playing dirty (as in dirt and not in kinky) used records.

Starting in early 80's when the silver discs came on the scene, I traded 10 perfect LPs to one CD at the School Kid's Record store in Raleigh, NC. Forty years later, I am still kicking myself every time when I see an LP that I used to own in stores...

There's no argument against more music being available on LPs than other media including tapes and I personally can relate to music of 60's and 70's I heard in my friend's car radio and 8 track players more than other audiophile approved esoteric Jazz pieces I know little about. I also confess that these records from way back can sound amazingly good when played in a correctly set up system even compared to master tapes of few generations down.

So, I bought a well used Technics SP-10M3 from Japan. However, the unit was in bad physical condition and dealing from Seattle with a store in Tokyo was not easy. With help from a local friend, I obtained the turntable.

Then there was the challenge of rebuilding it. I was fortunate to find Tanaka-san in outside of Tokyo. Based on his previous works in rebuilding 15 of SP-10MK3s in recent years, I knew he was the best person for the job. Like all people in audio world, he was a bit strange... He was bitter about foreigners copying his work from info he had listed in his website. It was not so easy to convince him to take on my unit. If I didn't have a local friend who can sweet talk him into doing the work, it wouldn't have happened. It took three months to convince Tanaka-san and now it is done. You can see his work here:

http://amp8.com/amp-etc/record/technics/sp-mk3-g.htm

As I said, he is anal... going way beyond replacing caps, he resoldered every solder joints, removed excess flux, cleaned and coated all boards. Even some of the variable resistors (pots) have been replaced. It is performing as good or better than when it was new.

Now the plinth... I guess never reaching the end is the fun part of playing the black discs.

Ki
 
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rockitman

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Sep 20, 2011
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Sounds like you are on the right path Ki for a great record spinner. Your phono stage selection will be critical also for best sound leaving the arm and cart out of the conversation for the moment.
 

ack

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
May 6, 2010
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Congratulations! What a price, ¥250,000?!? that's nothing for the work he seems to have done.
 

audioarcher

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2012
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Nice. Looks like he did a lot of work to it. Must have taken him many man hours to do all that.

Any idea what you are going to do for a plinth yet? There are a few that do a good job. Steve Dobbins is top notch.
 

rockitman

Member Sponsor
Sep 20, 2011
7,108
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Northern NY
Nice. Looks like he did a lot of work to it. Must have taken him many man hours to do all that.

Any idea what you are going to do for a plinth yet? There are a few that do a good job. Steve Dobbins is top notch.

Artisan fidelity also sells plinths...probably more expensive but better wood, fit and finish options...IMO.
 

audioarcher

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2012
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Artisan fidelity also sells plinths...probably more expensive but better wood, fit and finish options...IMO.

More finish options yes. Better design and/or quality is debatable. I have not heard an AF plinthed TT so have no idea of sound quality. Albert Porter is another option, but I have not heard one of those either.
 

Ki Choi

Member Sponsor
May 13, 2010
761
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370
Seattle WA area
Congratulations! What a price, ¥250,000?!? that's nothing for the work he seems to have done.

Thanks. Beyond the $$$, Tanaka-san did both mechanical and electrical rebuild that surpassed what was available from few companies in US.
 

puroagave

Member Sponsor
Sep 30, 2011
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Congratulations! What a price, ¥250,000?!? that's nothing for the work he seems to have done.

What you saw was from the spec sheet from that era. The exchange rate in the mid-'80s puts this 'tables list price in japan at $1000. In 1985 Audio magazine listed the sp-10 Mk III at $1700 + 800 for the base (plinth) those were the days!
 

puroagave

Member Sponsor
Sep 30, 2011
1,300
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360
Thanks. Beyond the $$$, Tanaka-san did both mechanical and electrical rebuild that surpassed what was available from few companies in US.

congrats! i'll be following your sp-10 journey with great interest, the mk III is a special machine. it looks like the restoration was handled by the best man for the job.
 

Ki Choi

Member Sponsor
May 13, 2010
761
20
370
Seattle WA area
Nice. Looks like he did a lot of work to it. Must have taken him many man hours to do all that.

Any idea what you are going to do for a plinth yet? There are a few that do a good job. Steve Dobbins is top notch.

Sean:

I had communicated with Albert and also with Artisan Fidelity. Due to Albert's plinth guy finding a real job (go figure...), building one of Albert designed plinths for me had no certain completion date. I also contacted Artisan Fidelity for options and learned that Chris is working on a next generation plinth that included SP-10Mk3 base that is machined out of a billet of aluminum block to replace factory base that would integrate into the plinth.

I did see Dobbins SP-10Mk3 plinth at Mike's few years back and thought it was massively good but haven't contacted Steve.

Will keep you posted.
 

Ki Choi

Member Sponsor
May 13, 2010
761
20
370
Seattle WA area
And the Forsell ??

You had to remind me... didn't you? ;)

Well, the Forsell Air Reference Turntable is coming along fine. I have finally figured out how to get into the platter air bearing assembly and fixed it. With additional parts obtained from Lennart in Sweden, I will be putting it all together soon.
 
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Ki Choi

Member Sponsor
May 13, 2010
761
20
370
Seattle WA area
Sounds like you are on the right path Ki for a great record spinner. Your phono stage selection will be critical also for best sound leaving the arm and cart out of the conversation for the moment.

Christian

Thanks. I can see the importance of phono stage as I know firsthand how critical the tape head preamp is...

There's no end to this thing... I can see next hill I must climb being the cartridge...
 

Ki Choi

Member Sponsor
May 13, 2010
761
20
370
Seattle WA area
Congratulations! What a price, ¥250,000?!? that's nothing for the work he seems to have done.

I believe the turntable purchased and fully restored then brought over as a checked-in bag from Japan to Seattle will cost around $6K - still a lot but relatively small compare to other WBF members' toys.
 

Bruce B

WBF Founding Member, Pro Audio Production Member
Apr 26, 2010
6,883
304
520
Snohomish, WA
www.pugetsoundstudios.com
Christian

Thanks. I can see the importance of phono stage as I know firsthand how critical the tape head preamp is...

There's no end to this thing... I can see next hill I must climb being the cartridge...

Well I'll have to introduce you to the Doshi Balanced phono pre then!! ;)
 

Asamel

Well-Known Member
Jan 23, 2012
578
0
263
Philly
Shoot-out :D

Ki - with nearly 30 tape machines in your home, do we see an equal number of turntables and phono stages?



Anybody here available for an intervention?
 

audioarcher

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2012
1,389
37
370
Seattle area
I believe the turntable purchased and fully restored then brought over as a checked-in bag from Japan to Seattle will cost around $6K - still a lot but relatively small compare to other WBF members' toys.

Wow. Sounds like you did well. I regularly see the MK3 without a plinth listed for $10k and I doubt they have been rebuilt as well as yours.
 

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