No announcement yet.

ELMO GS-1200, the Ultimate Topic

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • ELMO GS-1200, the Ultimate Topic

    Being that this is an enormously popular, as well as commonly and commonly used to this day, I was thinking that an ultimate post concerning this projector might well be in order. I would hope that it will cover this beloved projector to the fullest. Manuals as well as individuals personal efforts keeping these projectors running at top speed, which may well be points of interest not covered in the manuals. So, the floor is open to everyone!

  • #2
    I once owned three. But they are all gone now, too troublesome and too highly constructed. Four motors. 😕


    • #3
      I totally agree with Maurice about the complexity and temperament of the GS1200. That being said, the construction quality and robustness is superb, and a fully performing GS1200 with the f1.0 lens and a 2-bladed shutter and ESC /ELC(with external power supply) lamp is about as bright as you can get with a halogen lamp design. One of its major assets is the Sendust magnetic heads which seem to last forever. I do not see any downside to the 4 motors which make perfect sense for a 1200ft projector design.
      The Eumig S938 has IMO better sound quality, but it is not as bright even with an f1.0 lens, and construction quality is much flimsier with some under-designed fragile plastic parts.
      Despite its design complexity, I suspect that the GS1200'S will outlast all the others.


      • #4
        I love my GS1200 machines. Agree with Paul 1000%


        • #5
          The GS1200 is one of the best Super 8 projectors ever manufacturered. Ahead of its time in some respects and behind in some others. In order to protect precious prints from scratches caused by a flawed film guide design, current use of the GS1200 requires modified guides with added rollers, explained many times here on the Forum and can be found in the Archive. Once the Guides are modified and the rollers are installed it is good to go unless you want to be able to record new sound on your prints. In most cases trying now to record on a GS1200 will end with poor results. The solution as before, is in the Archive. Replace the recording capacitor. Once that is done and the guides are good you will have this magnificent projector in fine form and it should serve you well for years to come. I currently have 2 of them, one for sound remixing and one for presentations. Fantastic projector with all the features you could ask for! A plug goes out for the Sankyo Stereo 800, The only projector I would swear by until I aquired the GS1200.
          Sankyo 800 is the second best Super 8 projector I have owned. And it comes a close second to the GS. Still using it today to screen the majority of my prints.


          • #6
            A good idea Osi to have a Elmo GS1200 hub on here.
            Speaking for myself I so love the GS1200 (also the GS800 for the portability side). As with the mechanical car they like to be run and not sat idle, at least that is what I find works well for my GS1200's. I'll try not to drift off onto my love of the humble Eumig Osi :-)

            My permanent setup GS1200 has a 2 blade shutter and I converted it to High Intensity Discharge lighting making it a bit of a light house. It's had a couple of faults mainly the small motor drive gears which to my eyes are the weakest part of the design but I do keep a couple of genuine Elmo spares should I need another. The machine is heavy if I go out giving shows so I now take the HID Eumig making the transportation much easier.

            One shortcoming of the Elmo is excess light spill from the top of the lamp house. To cure this I cut some thick black art card which slots under the carrying handle eliminating ceiling illumination.

            Also a good idea if you are able to keep in contact with other owners local to you which we have found useful helping sort out a problem should it arise or top tips. We have several in my area alone and it has proven beneficial for all especially when we meet up.


            • #7
              GS1200? Over-rated product of the 1980's.

              I've used an ST1200HD since I was a teenager and briefly owned or borrowed, I think 4, GS1200's.

              All now been bidden farewell.

              The sound quality in terms of "beef" was always much better from the ST when sent via eq and a good amp.

              Sure the GS is quiet when running, but considering such factors as picture steadiness, focus, sound quality and sound stability, ie. wow and flutter, the GS failed every time when compared to it's competition.

              In my opinion, it's a great looking, over engineered product of it's time which fails the test of actually functionality and longevity.

              Beaulieu? Well, they probably thought they were re-inventing the wheel against a huge Japanese giant.

              So what did they come up with? Not a square but a smoother wheel.

              Sure, they have plenty design faults too. But a much better machine when delivering the goods.

              I've tried to love the GS.'s a no from me.

              I've taken "non-film" friends to conventions like Blackpool and just been embarrassed by the sound "wow" from an Elmo GS1200 displaying the latest releases.

              Terrible, troublesome, non-forgiving machines.

              Get a Beaulieu.
              Last edited by Rob Young; February 28, 2022, 03:51 AM.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Rob Young View Post
                Beaulieu? Well, they probably thought they were re-inventing the wheel against a huge Japanese giant.
                I read that Marcel Beaulieu was deseperate to see that films taken by his super 8 cameras looked like any others (who didn't really made efforts regarding the results when the gauge appeared on the market in 1965) in common projectors. So, to get the quality of the Beaulieu cameras, he designed a top quality projector. I believe the Beaulieu was born before the Elmo.


                • #9
                  I have seven GS1200'S (and two Beaulieu 708, inc a stereo version) I simply love my Elmo's, many other projectors have passed through my hands (inc ST1200 models) But the GS1200's stay, I love them. The only other projector I lament letting go was a Yelco 3600, wish Id kept that beast.


                  • #10
                    I have the Beaulieu 708 Stereo HTI and the Elmo GS1200 Xenon and they both live comfortably side by side. If anyone has a GS1200 with that many issues there must have been something wrong with that machine. With the Elmo 1.0 lens, the picture is clinically sharp. One look at the GS1200 with the 1.0 and an SMPTE film showed that to me. And with the 1.2 lens even just a hair sharper. Steadiness and focus were spot on.
                    I was lucky in that I had a very lightly used GS1200 that I bought in 1981 and I had to send it back to Elmo in New York and they had to replace the sound board for some reason. When I recorded a song at 24fps using the GS1200 and Kodachrome 40 Sound film, the sound playback had no wow or flutter. It actually sounded better than my tape deck at home.
                    With more bells and whistles, comes more parts, more adjustments.
                    I liken the GS1200 to a state of the art (1980's! haha) car. Hard to work on but a fine running one is really the best.
                    Sure the Elmo ST1200 is much easier to work on in many ways but for me the Elmo GS1200 is the king of the Elmo line. I will run mine into the ground till it won't run anymore.. then maybe I'll get another if they are still around.
                    I too have had badly adjusted machines, scratchy machines, faulty machines, more than a few. But get a great one and I think you will see what a wonderful machine it was designed to be. I think if they were still around they would have eventually figured out a better mouse trap that doesn't mark the film. I have had some prints marked by the GS1200, but also marked by Chinon, Eumig, Sankyo, even a Beaulieu 708 before it was sent for repair.


                    • #11
                      One thing that I think stands out about the GS1200 is that it was obviously designed to be the best S8 projector that Elmo could conceive. Certainly selling price was secondary to using the best components and best processes available, and providing all possible desirable features. Every part used in this machine is robust, and well made. For example, they could have used plastic control knobs and nobody would have complained , but no, what they actually used are individually machined from Aluminum and then polished! The green plastic film guides are thick and beautiful and polished up to a mirror finish. And then we have the four motors, which Maurice dislikes, but actually do the job perfectly when everything else is working as intended. The external appearance of the machine really is very impressive, with a superb quality paint job on the chassis and covers, and 'piano' control keys instead of the typical rotating knob. We can debate the pros and cons of some of these features, and whether or not Elmo achieved all their design goals, but there is no doubt that the GS really is built like a Rolls Royce.


                      • #12
                        Since this thread is about a projector that actually exists, the posts referencing the extremely rare GS-1200HD model can now be found here. Please direct all comments relating to this infrequently sighted unit there.

                        Concerning the GS-1200, I can't imagine using another projector at CineSea, especially with Alan Gouger's terrific HID conversion.


                        • #13
                          Thanks Doug! You know, I wonder if I am one of the first on this forum, to actually have two topics, made out of one?!


                          • #14

                            We've had a few over the years. Sometime a thread will go way off topic, however since the off topic content could prove useful (or fun!) to Forum members, I've split them up. Normally it's more about whether the relevant info can be found if it's hidden under a topic title that doesn't indicate what bits of wisdom are contained therein.


                            • #15
                              Quite understandable. Now, hopefully, we can helpful discussions on how to handle the various issues that come forth with owning a GS1200.