What are ‘B Grade’ Items?
‘B Grade’ items are those with minor cosmetic blemishes that do not in any way effect the use and performance of the product. In most cases, the blemishes will not be noticed when the arm board is mounted on the turntable, with a tonearm. Examples include small spot marks and smudges to the anodised finish, and here are some typical examples:
Why Produce These Armboards?
We got asked loads of times by people buying our Jelco collars if we’d also consider making armboards too. Until Technics brought out the new SL-1200GAE, G and GR models, the answer to that question was always ‘no’ – but Technics coming back into the market is very significant and probably more so than any of the myriad other new turntable releases over the past few years. So, we got designing, and now our new modular armboards are ready, in black or silver, and with centre plates to suit Jelco, SME, or uncut for customers to fit other arms. Why just Jelco and SME for ready-cut boards? It’s purely economics – CNC manufacture only becomes viable with quantity production and we feel that most of the replacement arm market for Technics turntables sits with Jelco and SME. The Glanz and Timestep tonearms that we also sell are bespoke variants with Jelco mounting patterns and geometry.
What are the benefits of our new armboards?
- They look nice, designed to mimic the outer ring of the original Technics arm mount, even replicating its tiny and delightful outer edge ‘step’
- All fixings are from underneath, so no ugly bolts etc
- Being CNC machined, the assembly is dimensionally correct and stable – no odd angles here
- The assembly of outer ring and centre plate is strong and stiff, which does matter when you consider the tiny stylus movements required to play a record. That means you will get the very best performance from your chosen tonearm and therefore the best sound reproduction
- SME and Jelco/Blank centre plates are set at optimum depth (SME plate 11mm below the top plate; Jelco & blank plates 13.5mm below the top plate) to ensure that the tonearm can be set low enough against the platter to achieve correct VTA with any cartridge, which is otherwise often a challenge because the Technics platter is set so low
- Straightforward to fit, for anyone capable of wielding a screwdriver and following basic instructions
- We can even supply them in a wide range of funky colours, on a special order basis
Each pack includes the following:
- One Outer Ring
- Outer Ring Fixing bolts for either Mk2/Mk5, G/GAE or GR models
- One Centre Plate (SME, Jelco or Blank), with 4 x fixing bolts
- For GR only, 3 x machined alloy spacer inserts
- One quality Pozidrive screwdriver
- Instruction sheet
The most difficult part of fitting is the disassembly of the turntable, which involves removing the base to get access to the original arm mountings. This is much simpler with the newer SL-1200 G/GAE and GR models compared to the Mk2/Mk5, but even for those it’s straightforward. For anyone unwilling to take the bottom off their deck, we offer a fitting service and Timestep in Dartmouth do too. Note that to fit any replacement arm to the older Mk2/Mk5 it is usually necessary to cut away part of the bottom rubber layer to make room for the new arm. That is not necessary or the G, GAE and GR models.
The SL-1200GR requires three spacer inserts to be fitted between the armboard outer ring and the chassis top plate. These inserts are included with the GR kit, and that’s why the price is a little higher than for the other models.