Technics SP-10MK3

1 9 8 1 september 1981
1 9 8 8


Last call : last call for high-end LP turntables from a general manufacturer.
By the time the SP-10MK3 was withdrawn, Yamaha, Sony, Kenwood or Pioneer all had since long abandoned that segment of the still financially valid high-fidelity market.

Mostly different from the SP-10MKII bestseller is... everything !
The drive itself sees its weight doubled from 9,5kg to 18kg. More precisely : the platter of the MK3 weighs as much as the entire MK2 drive.
The SP-10MK3 is mechanically based on Technics' SP-02M cutting lathe so this explains that.

Starting torque of this new ultra-low speed brushless DC motor allows a 16kg/cm spec - twice as much as that of the 1975 SP-10MK2 and... sixteen times as much as the original 1969 SP-10 !
This means a full speed ahead in 30° of a full rotation or 0,25s.

The inertia moment of the 10kg platter is of 1,1 ton/cm2... The platter has a 1,5cm copper alloy core (inner platter), supported by a diecast aluminium outer platter.
1,1 ton/cm2 is, btw, the equivalent of 1000 tonearms all tracking at 2g.

The power supply houses a very beefy and resin cast transformer (inside) and the speed and start/stop controls plus the ± 9,9% pitch control in 0,1% steps (outside).
You can see design iterations for this power supply under Knobber Image #3.

The recommended tonearm and base were the EPA-100MK2 and SH-10B5 (but the original EPA-100 can work just as well !)

The boosted signal-to-noise ratio reaches 92db - not as much as an Exclusive P3 but respectable just the same.
There is however number's magic here : the EIAJ changed its DIN B measurement method in 1981 to "better measure what the ear hears".
This had the effect of raising signal-to-noise ratio by about 20dB, whatever was measured.

The SP-10MK3, or any other component for that matter, doesn't have an actual 20dB boost in s/n ratio : physics have their limits.
When compared to the SP-10MKII : if measured with the same referenced method, they'd measure about the same. And 78dB or 80dB is already plenty enough !
See the Exclusive P3 text for the entire story about this.

The SP-10MK3 sold somewhat well but previsibly not nearly as much as the previous SP-10mkII version : CD was there and most high-enders were by then irremediably drawn to Oracle, Linn LP-12 or ultra Thorens vinyl spinners - in other words, not Made in Japan anymore.

Even Micro Seiki couldn't make much of its SZ-1 masterpiece : the vinyl LP era as mass-market medium was about to end and, as often, standards get buried just when they finally come to full maturity...

Detailed images aplenty of the guts of the SP-10MK3 (and SP-10MKII) must be seen at the indispensable

I have a lot of 1975-2005 Technics literature coming in from Europe and Japan this summer : this will bring a lot of new images and better sources for better scans.

Technics SP-10MK3, image 1 Technics SP-10MK3, image 2 Technics SP-10MK3, image 3
Technics SP-10MK3 specifications
Title Value
Turntable section Turntable section
Type : Quartz-phase-locked direct-drive
Motor : Quartz-phase-locked ultra low speed brushless DC
Platter : copper alloy + aluminium diecast
32cm diameter / 10kg weight
Speeds : 33 1/3 - 45 - 78,26rpm
Pitch control : ± 9,9% in 0,1% steps
Startup torque : 16kg/cm
Startup time : 0,25s (33 1/3rpm)
Braking time : 0,3s (33 1/3 rpm)
Load characteristics : 0% up to 10kg/cm
Speed drift : ± 0,001%
Wow & flutter : 0,015% WRMS (JIS C5521)
± 0,021% wtd zero to peak (DIN 45507, IEC 98A weighted)
Rumble : -92dB (DIN B ; IEC 98A weighted)
-60dB (DIN A ; IEC 98A unweighted)
General General
PS : AC 110/120 - 220/240V (50/60Hz)
PC : 32,5W
Dimensions : 36,9 x 11,3 x 36,9cm (SP-10MK3)
16,6 x 9,6 x 41cm (power supply)
Weight : 18kg (SP-10MK3)
6kg (power supply)
List price : 250,000¥ (1981)
Technics SP-10MK3 : 0 topic
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page online since : july 2008
page updated : june 2010
page type : LGT / KNB
page weight : 209.56 Kb / 0 b

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