The original Technics SL1200 was introduced in 1972 and featured a servo-controlled direct-drive mechanism and EPA-120 tonearm. The turntable was also available without an arm as the SL-120.
In 1979 the mkII was released with a Quartz Locked Phase control system providing exceptional pitch accuracy and an aluminium diecast cabinet which had a special heavy-duty rubber base to isolate the turntable from external vibration. The SL-1210 model is virtually identical to the SL-1200 but features voltage selection and is usually finished in black instead of silver.
When Technics introduced the original SL-1200 direct drive turntable several years ago, it made all other turntables seem antiquated in comparison.
It became a strong favourite among audio purists, amateur and professional, and was particularly popular in discos because of its rugged construction, easy handling, high torque and good immunity to feedback.
The mkII represents the next generation, incorporating numerous improvements over the original.
In addition to being quartz-locked, it permits continuous speed adjustment under quartz control, a feature appreciated by disco DJ's who wish to maintain consistent rhythm when changing records.
Its starring torque is high, with the platter reaching speed within 0.7seconds from a standstill.
It also maintains the selected speed better than the original SL-1200.
It should also prove virtually feedback proof because of its special base design.
Type: manual turntable
Drive method: direct drive
Motor: brushless DC motor
Control method: servo (mk1), quartz (mk2)
Platter: 330mm 1.75kg (mk1), 332mm 2kg (mk2)
Speeds: 33.33 and 45rpm
Wow and flutter: 0.03% WRMS (mk1), 0.025% WRMS (mk2)
Rumble: -70dB (mk1), -78dB (mk2)
Effective length: 220mm (mk1), 230mm (mk2)
Overhang: 14mm (mk1), 15mm (mk2)
Effective mass: 12g (mk2)
Stylus pressure range: 0 to 4g (mk1), 0 to 2.5g (mk2)
Dimensions: 453 x 366 x 180mm (mk1), 453 x 360 x 162mm (mk2)
Weight: 10kg (mk1), 12.5kg (mk2)
Produces surprisingly good sound, especially when paired with a good mid-priced cartridge. Interested in a high-performance, durable turntable? Well the 1200 might just be the one for you.
mk5 service manual (en) - Milos1977
MK3D instruction/owners manual (jp) - mozgabyte
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10/10 by lennyca
Incredible build quality, and awesome sound.
10/10 by Vsanzbajo
Unwavering accuracy, quality feel and construction. Very low rumble and good compliancy when concerned with damaged vinyl etc. Sounds utterly incredible. Great for DJing (the best, still!) but great for reference or listening purposes also. Only bad point is the stock cabling, which when replaced provides a massive differnce in sound quality and durability. I would reccomend HOSA cable for a perfect fit within the clamp and good increase in quality...
9/10 by tubthumper
Only the lack of a 78 facility spoils the total feel.
9/10 by russellswanborough
Sturdy. Works. Sounds great.
8/10 by flark
for pro use its a 10/10. hammered in radio stations and club on 24/7, will never fail. build quality is truly pro !
musically speaking its more like an 8/10. problem is not the tonearm as for the bearings but the resonances.
8/10 by Dr Pan K
I bought mine at the same time as my SL-1100a. Back in the day, phono ruled, and most integrated amps had two phono inputs for this very purpose. The original 1200 is pretty much the same beast as the 1100, only smaller. Neither is as good as the later 1200 MK versions or, for that matter, subsequent SP models (the original SP-10 is not in the same league as any of the later SP models, either). I sold mine years ago, but if it was maintained properly I have no reason to believe that it would not be still going strong, just as my 1100a. These things were built to last.
BTW, back in the day, my 1200 was fitted with a Stanton 681EE. Both Technics and Stanton, originally audiophile companies, went the way of the pro disco market, and now both appear to the history, at least as far as anything audiophile goes.
8/10 by anmpr1
5/10 by Aramak