8MM FORUM WORLDWIDE • View topic - ELMO GS1200

8MM-16MM FORUM WORLDWIDE

The International Forum for 8mm, 16mm, and 9.5mm film
Dedicated To Collectors Around The World
It is currently Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:36 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]

Click on any of the boxes below to link to a new page



Screening Rooms    Ebay Film Sellers    Film/Equipment Sellers    Laurel and Hardy    Magnetic Striping


Our mission is to provide a "free" forum for all members. This forum will not delete, lock up, or edit any posts. On this forum, you are "free" to question any statement that is not understood, and debate any differences you have with another member. We only moderate when a member will not back up his accusations. There are no condescending attitudes from the Administrator or the Moderator. You will be treated with respect. Dan Lail, Admin. and Chris Smith, Moderator



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: ELMO GS1200
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 9:25 am 
Offline
Film Expert

Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:28 am
Posts: 59
Location: Warming my hands on a Eumig
Image
I’m probably not the right chap to be doing a review of the Elmo GS1200 Stereo projector as others will have much greater technical experience than I of its inner workings, but I do have long practical use of these machines regularly out and about projecting film and also for a number of years using the Xenon version when projecting at film festival so here goes.

The first thing that strikes you about Elmo’s GS1200 is the weight when lifting it and believe me it is one hell of a lump at 31lb even without its case and mains lead, but it is made from real metal! You’ll gather I have lifted a GS around for some time, up and down stairs and in and out of cars in all weathers so perhaps this review can be from a more practical standpoint than anything else. When this machine was introduced you needed a sturdy bank account to buy one as the price fairly quickly went up from the initial launch price of £800. Bearing in mind other top brands of machines were selling well bellow that it set the Elmo GS1200 apart from the rest and very much so as we had never seen a machine of this build quality before or since. This was more of a mini Cinema projector with a good quality f/1.1 12.5-25mm as standard, 200w lighting and 1200ft spool capacity which was enough to satisfy just about all. Inside the machine a number of DC motors provided drive for the spool arms and internal mechanism with variable projection speeds above and under 18 & 24fps which leant itself to cine transfers perhaps. The sound amplification was generated by no less than 8 integrated circuits, 9 transistors and packed a punch with its 15 watts music power stereo output along with Magnetic play/record and Optical sound playback. Lavish features were in abundance on this model not least a built in synchroniser for the Elmo ESS or ETS system enabling you to link up the Elmo cassette recorder and more. Twin VU meters enabled you to see what the sound was up to in both playback and record and you could also use a fully featured list of recording facilities such as track to track transfer. Audio levels could be recorded manually or automatically which gave the user flexibility. The film transport mechanism was supplied by one 24 tooth sprocket and the upper 18 tooth sprocket. This is a good design for recently printed films but if you project vintage acetate film which has dramatically shrunken you may well hear the lower sprocket picking at the films sprocket holes due to the 24 teeth tugging away at your film. The projectors claw was a sensible 2 pin type for increased image steadiness and even with shrunken acetate films the GS1200 did project a steady picture, certainly here at any rate. There is a basic understanding that no less than three basic versions of the GS1200 were available and commonly known as MK1, 2 & 3 although I have come across a number of variables to this. It is a simple job to spot a MK3 model as the film loop under the gate moves backwards in use, whereas the older Mk1&2 it moves forwards. In my opinion as a user of these machines the MK3 is the most desirable and the one to look out for if you fancy owning what was back in the day called ‘a dream machine’ and it is when working well.

In use you simply plug in the mains lead, flick up the main projector power button and you will hear the machine go into a power ready state. Inside the machine the sound drum flywheel is already turning just below regular sound projec speed to assist prompt and accurate sound penetrating from the two internal speakers. Threading a film is a breeze as you simply press down the green top loop former and you will hear a click as the mechanics fires in the film threading mechanism for you and what could be simpler. Everything you need to play back and project a sound film faces you on the front panel including a very professional looking collection of audio knobs, framer and main touch sensitive electronic switches to control the mechanical mechanism side of things. Yes this machine has just about every feature you could hope for and it would take me some time to explain the delights of all the recording features at the rear of the machine, but the GS1200 has never liked cement type splices which if projected will generate audio wow and usually break at the first opportunity. Forget 50ft spools and even 400ft sizes as this baby will accept spools as listed in its specification to a huge size of 1200ft which is more than enough to go at. If you like the sound of your own voice it is also equipped with a public address facility, spot stereo recording which is a valuable tool for budding film makers needing accurate audio dubs. Once your show is over you simply offer up the end of your film to the now empty spool and flick the rewind lever whereupon yet another motor engages to rewind your movie back to its own reel.

Move forward oh around 30 years and the position is slightly different with regards to the longevity of this complex machine. In its day it was most certainly the most desirable projector out there offering it all, but this may not be the case today as we have the spare parts issue to face or more to the point very limited spare parts. Taking the back off the machine you are greeted with a full house of electronics ranging from amplifier modules to a number of DC motors most of which if any will be available in very small numbers and probably in the hands of private collectors now. If something important in the machine goes pop you could wind up with something of a hunt to locate specific parts that were produced for this baby so be prepared is the motto. I’m not taking anything away from what was a superb machine, but years on and with no ready supply of major spares it is an issue owning a GS1200 today.

Having now put a downer on the GS1200 lets look back at the positives. It is without question a professional style machine offering a host of features which fingers crossed keep working. The 200 watt lamp, great lens, very high quality sound and 1200 spool capacity are all superb things to have at your finger tips, but concerns over parts have taken a toll on the second hand asking price of these super machines with a standard GS1200 often available between £400 to £500. The MK3 in good shape will still fetch £700 to £800 and if any less it probably has a fault or two so best avoided would be my advice.

Elmo also produced a high power Xenon version of the GS and this was the model I used at the film festivals. A superb performer until we had a Xenon lamp explode in the projector mid show and with the cooling fan going flat out a tirade of glass blew up in the air and showered the audience around the Elmo. A very serious issue for me on the GS1200 Xenon and certainly some years later one the designers would most certainly have to look afresh at.

Plus points
A professional machine built to a high standard with stacks of features to please all.
Negative points
Does not like cement splices and lack of parts today is a serious issue from prospective users. Weighs 31IB and quite a lump to lift if you go out and about giving shows. Excessive light spill from lamp house top.

Main Specification
Super 8/Single 8 Stereo sound. (Twin Track)
Optical sound option
24volt 200watt Lamp
Len f/1.1 fitted as standard (upgrade option for 1.0)
18/24fps variable speeds
Still frame feature which I’ve never used yet!
4 Motors (oh dear)
15 watts music power output
Twin VU meters
Lots of socketry for audio dubbing
Separate tone treble and bass control

You could buy a number of accessories for this machine including a remote control for £14.

Elmo today.
Yes they are still around but have nothing to do with cine equipment as we know it. They produce education equipment in Japan, USA and Europe.

The GS1200’s future.
As already mentioned these are a very fine machine, solidly built and will project your films to the highest standards. The projected image and audio quality is superb on a fully working machine using good film materials. Hopefully one day some entrepreneur will produce the correct new motors, sound heads and other vital spares but until that happens owning the GS1200 will be a risky business.


Last edited by Lee Mannering on Sun Dec 18, 2011 8:18 am, edited 2 times in total.

Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
 Post subject: Re: ELMO GS1200
PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 6:15 am 
Offline
Film Expert

Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:16 pm
Posts: 17
Interesting article Lee, but I think you are a bit too harsh on this machine. Of course I am a bit biased towards the GS1200 as I own several of them...

I think the only crucial flaw this machine has, are the plastic input guide and loop former and the plastic tensioner right before the lower sprocket. When these wear they WILL scratch your film. What where they thinking !!!

Anyway these flaws can be succesfully cured. A number of modifications have been well documented on the other super 8 forums.

Regarding the electronics involved: I would like to the hear the opinion on this one from some of the GS1200 gurus (Kevin, Ugo, Bill) as it has always been my understanding that most of the electronic stuff is relatively easily replaceable with modern day components.

Strange that you had a xenon lamp explode during mid-show, that must have been an anomalie as xenon lamps explode very rarely and when do they, it is normally when striking them. My guess is, that either something went wrong with the power supply, or that the metal wire of the lamp was touching the glass of the lamp.

Anyway besides all the positives you mentioned, another great thing with this machine is the sync capability. I use a laptop to feed the sync socket with a 24Hz or 25Hz wave signal and can maintain perfect sync while re-recording features or playing them 'double band' alongside the DVD enjoying 5.1 sound with a super 8 print.

As a conclusion I would say that the need for new parts is relative, as many components can either be modified or replaced with current day equivalents. This machine can sometimes be fussy and it's true that it prefers acetate prints to be either new or well lubricated.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
 Post subject: Re: ELMO GS1200
PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:05 pm 
Offline
Film Expert
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 26, 2011 1:36 pm
Posts: 723
Quote:
Hopefully one day some entrepreneur will produce the correct new motors, sound heads and other vital spares...

I think we all know that's never going to happen. For this reason I can never understand the huge amounts of money these sell for in this day and age.

_________________
www.mickoregan.com


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
 Post subject: Re: ELMO GS1200
PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 7:06 am 
Offline
Film Expert

Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:28 am
Posts: 59
Location: Warming my hands on a Eumig
Yes everyone always has a different take on each and every cine projector but don’t think I am taking anything away from the late 70’s ‘dream machine’ as it was a top performer most certainly. Yes the Xenon most certainly went mid show with the festival screenings being around 6 hours. Mike, sadly throughout 2011 the prices of these machines has plummeted which I believe is due to the lack of genuine spares as with other lavish machines. Instead there does seem to be a trend to move to a simpler design which is perhaps less reliant on so many components. That being said the GS1200 is ‘a top performer’ but anyone buying a 30 plus year old machine needs to be made aware of the parts issue when the 1200 has so much packed inside the box of tricks.

As with most cine equipment new models were often launched at photo shows and I think it was either 1977 or 78 that we got chance to see the GS1200 demo in the south. A few of us from the local cine club used to go to these and it was probably the first time I threaded a film of this very machine which was a bit of a thrill for what looked a bit of a beast. Even then a buzz surrounded it and it as we know continued for many years to come…


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
 Post subject: Re: ELMO GS1200
PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 3:59 pm 
Offline
Film Expert
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 26, 2011 1:36 pm
Posts: 723
It was an excellent overview of the machine, Lee.

I can imagine the excitement with which it would've been greeted at initial launch way back then.

If I'm honest, if money was no object, I'd probably buy one just to see what all the fuss is about these.
:smile:

_________________
www.mickoregan.com


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
 Post subject: Re: ELMO GS1200
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:46 pm 
Offline
Film Expert

Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 1:08 pm
Posts: 138
I'm late to the GS-1200 party (technically not even there now.)

I never saw one in person until I went to Cinesea last October. They are impressive beasts: big, complex, almost exotic!

We had a two projector show going Saturday: Doug Meltzer's GS on one stand and a 16mm machine of the other. Throughout the different prints on screen the GS was at least the equal of the larger gauge machine in terms of sharpness and brightness. I suppose if the other had been a premium 16mm machine it would have been more of a race, but it was still impressive.

The thing that concerns me about the GS is the complexity of it and this philosophy I run around with is that simpler is usually better (at least less trouble...). By the same token there are few S8 machines around today with the same access to spare parts and knowledgeable repairmen. (This is why several people at Cinesea had Leon Norris on speed dial on their cell phones!)

-on the other hand if you really need that capability there probably is no substitute.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
 Post subject: Re: ELMO GS1200
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:56 pm 
Offline
Film Expert
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:14 pm
Posts: 484
Location: Indiana
My turn to weigh in. Recieved an ST1200D a couple weeks ago. Belts were gone but the projector looked like it had never been used. Not a scratch or so much as a fingerprint on it. Had to clean off the goo belt that was left and reinstall all new belts but since then it is probably the best super 8 sound projector I have ever used and I've had a lot of them. First as a plus the sound options cover every film released in super 8 from the old mono 70's releases to Derann stereo surround films. The ability to show films on 1200' reels is another plus. The stock lens is one of the best I have used. Also the machine is built like a tank. You could probably throw it across the driveway and still show films on it. It definitly is a beast. My favorite feature with this projector is that the autoload works every time. I've fed it everything from perfect prints to accordian leader films and it has loaded every one of them without chewing the crap out of the films.
Was a heck of a job to clean the old belts out but once I got it working it has become my favorite projector. Got it cheap also which helps but still outperformes anything I have ever had or have. Last compliment is the sound quality. Love finally having control over the tone of the films I'm showing. Also this has probably the highest wattage output of anything I've dealt with.
If you can find one, buy it. Best super 8 I have ever used.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
 Post subject: Re: ELMO GS1200
PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:58 pm 
Offline
Film Expert

Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:00 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Sverige
Hi there filmfriends. I'm new in this forum, but not to this hobby.
To add to the above mentioned the GS 1200 has been a reliable workhorse for me for many years. It is however not stable in speed in regular transport mode so there is more wow on crucial sound than in several other high end projectors, such as Beualieu of course, but also Brauns Viscustic models, Noris, Eumig.
I would appreciate a more elaborate description on how you slave it to your PC. How do you generat the 24-25 Hz tone, what output connection etc? Then how to sync to a DVD for sound? I aim to try this for my copy of Moonraker, a Bond movie with optical sound.
Wittner i Germany offer several spare parts of new fabrication.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
 Post subject: Re: ELMO GS1200
PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:21 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:51 pm
Posts: 1934
Location: Loganville, Ga.
Stig, awhile back I started a topic pertaining to syncing to a PC. Check it out:

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=306&hilit=Sync+computer

_________________
And now For Our Feature Presentation.

http://www.metroxpressjazz.com/index.html


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
 Post subject: Re: ELMO GS1200
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:59 pm 
Offline
Film Expert
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 4:45 am
Posts: 155
Location: Hillside, N.J.
I am with Erik: My primary projector at home is the 1200D and HD and both are reliable as yours is. They both take splices well and run smoothly. Only flaw is sluggish rewind at one point. Most 1200 series encounter that problem and it's never a quick fix.

As far as GS: I've owned one for about a year and sold it recently and don't regret it one bit. One reason is I didn't want to keep it long enough to have it sent out for any type of repair which is what I've been told $200-250.00 MINIMUM; regardless the problem. Ouch. I am mechanically inclined, but don't wanna mess with a GS. As far as just viewing compared to the 1st edition 1200 (green machine)- which is the brighter than the D and HD (it puts out entire 150 W as opposed to the D and HD), there isn't much dimmer next to the GS.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group