12 inches of fun


So I have acquired a SP10 in decent nick at a very reasonable price which means decision time on plinth and arm.

As well as the champagne plinth I posted above, I’m increasingly drawn to this copy of the original Technics obsidian plinth -

This then leaves the arm to sort out - probably settled on SME 3012 but can’t decide which bloody variant to go for?

Finishing touch needs to be a nice copper mat if I can find a decent one :heart_eyes:


No idea if this arm for sale on AoS is any good or not but it looks well on an SP10.


Does that plinth take a 12" arm? Worth checking, particularly if a dust cover is going to be used (counterweight clearance)

Have you got a wall shelf?


If the plinth is a direct copy of the SL-1000 set up, a 12" arm can just about be accommodated, although the armboard is a special (I made my own) and (if it is an SME fit) you need to relieve a small part of the inside of the lower (wooden) part of the plinth.

It can be done, but needs a bit of thought. The SL-1000 was originally designed for a 10" arm IIRC


Good call, will check but I think so.

No wall shelf - will sit on sideboard next to Acoustic Solid.


You can’t use the SL-1000 dustcover with a 12" SME due to the counterweight overhang that Guy mentions.

This shows just how tight it is


I have my Hana SL back now. I’ll give it a try in the Groovemaster this weekend. Can’t forsee any issues other than it’s lightness so minimal counterweights needed. (or possibly a heavy headshell though the high eff mass may interact with the compliance. We’ll see.


I wasn’t intending to use a dustcover which is a good thing by the looks of it!


Both the plinths look amazing
I think I’d go for Champagne but they are both fantastic.
Looking forward to seeing and hearing this once its operational.
Nice to have the two different drive types to enjoy the best of both worlds.


So if looking to buy an SP10 Mk2 what would be a good price and what would probably need doing to it to get it in tip top condition once bought. Are there any obvious failure points or areas to improve considering age, or are they pretty much bomb proof and will just need plugging and playing despite age?
Are there any expert service engineers out there for this deck?


Ignoramous question.

What extra, other than the 2 inches, does a 12" arm give you that a 10" doesn’t? A 10" is much easier to accommodate. The 12" tri-planar is shockingly expensive for an extra 2" of the same arm tube and I suppose a headshell that may have a slightly different geometry but imperceptibly more expensive to make.

I have always wondered never having had a 12" arm, or other appendage!


I’d try to find a domestic use rather than an ex radio station sample. The radio station ones often come with additional electronics (psu in 2 boxes) & speed (pitch) adjustment. They can sometimes be identified by the black inset cueing markers around the platter which helped DJ’s place the record in the right position prior to hitting Start.

I think there tends to be a degree of fear mongering about these decks by those who can service them but in my experience they are either working or not & if not avoid it & find one that does. I’ve a couple that I’ve had for about 13 years now & neither has missed a beat. On one the strobe light occasionally goes off but as the strobe markings stay still it serves no really useful purpose.

I took out the mechanism that brings the platter to a stop quickly (on one of them) but that probably wasn’t necessary.

Dave Cawley at Sound HiFi can service them but I’d need to be convinced mine weren’t working properly before throwing that money at either of them.


Better geometry (reduced offset angle & reduced need for anti-skate) & therefore reduced tracing distortion vs a possible compromise in structural integrity through having a longer arm tube…

I’m inclined to think that 10-10.5" might be the sweet spot although much depends on how the rest of the arm is constructed & if indeed you might actually want a bit of added ‘tone’ from your tonearm.


So 12" isn’t the panacea to all ills. Merely one way to address problems but of itself creating others. Everything in this hobby seems to be a compromise!


They generally do sound more relaxed than 9" arms which mostly (to me) sound like the cartridge is fighting to stay in the groove. I was trying to think what the best pivoted arm I’d heard was and I think it was probably the 12" Ikeda. But the FR64s has enough of those qualities.


Obviously the parallel tracker is the panacea… Except for the other issues that causes!


Or perhaps a parallel tracking pivoted arm like the Schroeder LT.


All it takes is replastering to hide an air line through the house to the garage and all is fine, if you don’t have a suspended deck. What is the problem?


…and of course, if you have a 12 incher, you can look down your nose and sneer at everyone with a shorter arm :grinning: