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Technics SL-1200 Reviews

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Technics SL-1200

Technics SL-1200

9/10 by sharkey22

Bought an SL120 MK1 at a boot fair for £5 UK. No feet, no arm, no lid. Serviced PCB with new electrolytics (C9 on the schematic is actually a tantalum capacitor, not electrolytic). Fitted my Rega RB300 and Denon DL-110 MC cartridge and made an isolation plate.
What a great sounding setup. Makes my modern unmodified 1210 sound rather weak and lifeless. This is without a doubt the best TT I have owned by a long way. I have never experienced such solid bass and subtle detail with the RB300/DL-110 combination.
This is a very solid, well built work horse capable of competing with turntables costing £££££s.

10/10 by sdar120

I bought not one but two SL-120 turntables. I actually paid less than 200.00 for each one.

Am I glad that I did. One of them I plan to clean up and find a good deal on an Audiocraft/Ultracraft AC-3000. A coil in the head shell and live music evermore.

9/10 by DSJR

My comments apply to the first, non-quartz SL1200 and the 'armless' SL120. The motor unit is sublime and perfect for any cartridge tracking at 3g or less. The negative comments on old direct drives hunting speed do not apply to these top-model pre-quartz technics decks.

If there's an issue at all, it's to do with isolation and resulting acoustic feedback. The 1200mk1 and 110/1100 have very 'lively' structures and careful siting is a pre-requisite in my opinion. Today, there's a host of feet, isolation tables and platforms to help these decks sound better than ever and I always recommend removing the lid when playing records on these. The exit tonearm cable to amplifier may need replacing today as well. I've had two SL1500's and both sounded so much clearer with a replacement cable (Van Damme in my case), despite the original cable being of good construction originally.

I'm not ignoring the later mk2 etc. models at all, but don't ignore the earlier 120 and 1200. Site them properly (I read of someone placing theirs in a sand-lined box specially made for the job) and I reckon they'd give a modern deck a good run for their money in terms of sound quality.

10/10 by billcain

My SL1200 MK4's solve the only criticism I've seen of the SL1200 series; the lack of a 78 speed. Get an SL1200 MK4, an Ortofon Concorde cartridge and appropriate stylus's and you're set for anything pressed on Vinyl, styrene or shellac. The only and LAST turntable you'll ever need.

10/10 by Bruce Cortesi

I bought my Sl1200mk2 almost 35 years ago. It has only been in my home system - I have owned other tables but this would have to be the best ever. It has NEVER missed a beat and everything works like new from the very first day. I have a ortophon mc30super installed and the sound is brilliant. I play piano and used to own a recording studio. Without any doubt, this deck reproduces MUSIC - forget specifications - and more importantly for reproducing piano holds notes absolutely rock solid. Buy one if you can get one!

9/10 by Bill Stevenson

I have a very high end system comprised of current (2015) Class A electronics and speakers. I also own 4 turntables: Technics SL1200 with full KAB mods, a VPI HW-19 w/SME etc. If there is a better turntable than the Technics I haven't heard it. There are a couple that match it, including the VPI direct drive that costs $30K and yes the VPI tonearm is better than the one on the Technics, but to hear the difference you need to spend serious money for a cartridge like an Anna or an Atlas. Since the arm defines the upper limit, two things need to be clarified: First, the KAB mod includes both viscous damping and internal cotton damping of the Technics arm as well as Litz wire. These mods effect a significant upgrade in performance over stock and only cost a few hundred dollars. Second, it is possible to change to an aftermarket arm so there is a path for further improvement. There is also the option to put in the Mike New bearing and platter. The jury is still out on these mods at least for me. With the KAB mods my turntable is dead quiet, speed is spot on, the sound is smooth to the point where you don't even know you are listening to a turntable. The point is, this turntable is really, really good and can be modded for substantial improvement. Highly recommended.

10/10 by delange

To me this is the best turntable one can buy. It's build like a tank and works great. The tone arm is well build as well. Sound quality largely depends on the needle you put into it. Love the direct drive mechanism used in this table. It beats anything out there. This turntable is a no brainer !

7/10 by richard37

sold my mk-2 and bought a newer also refurbished mk5 and also this unit was like the mk-2 coated perfect, but technically only cleaned, but with some isonoefeet and a new tonearm, since i needed a sme connector for anothere table and for this table i needed other , longer wire; for i use rca connectors at the outside. A sme connector costs ,40 euro and the whole arm new , only the double. Replaced the spindle ballbearing, just for the technics one, 40 euro, since the alternatives are too expensive and i'm now working on the powersupply, since the regulator is offcourse annciet, but i use a torroidal and keep it inside and flatcables are replaced for shielded procab wires( just a round cable , but perfect straight cables in pair, and easy to clamp). Offcourse replaced the bad brake and pitch potentiometers, which needs to be done says pioneer themself, since one is an open one and the other unstable. It's a bit strange that i have to do that, but technics is at the moment a magnet for so called pro's, which even are dealer from technics, but just want to make fast money.
The unit itself sounds nice with a 2mred on a hs-4 , though i'm looking for a bit warmer sound then the 2mred . My same priced concorde made for scratching, gives a better sound , i need another pre-amp and offcourse first getting the powersupply ready. I ain't gonna spend a huge amount of money in this table, for i bought this table , also to scratch on , where i mostly use vestax for offcourse . But technics is a very easy unit, when it comes to buying parts and you can upgrade it very easy( do it yourself friendly). But if you have soldered something or never read about how tonearms/records work, you have a problem, buying one . I mean that 70% of the 1200 mk2's on the market, are sold by peoples , which never have opened the unit, with the standard cables still attached. And nomatter what everybody says, after that time you just need to replace a lot, will it be a good technics 1200mk2 , that's why i advise, buying a mk-5. , made since 2002, but the abs surroundig from the 1200's ain't tanklike to me, just a nice table, but not hi-fi out of the box.
Greatings Richard

10/10 by VincenzoBCA

Great Table, incredibly musical and reliable. Please Mr Aramak say why you don't like it...

10/10 by tomez2

Bias and a DJ reputation keep this wonder machine (I mean that in every sense of the word, a true engineered machine)from being considered as the jewel it is. Build quality? can you say tank? Speed accuracy? Can you say Rolex? Adjustability? Hell it even has a VTA adjustment.... take that! Funny how the audio elitist looked down their noses at these beauties because of where they were made and the NOT high tone price (at least back in the day). Funny, but I just saw a review in one of the major mags about an AWESOME direct drive turntable with an S shaped tonearm (the whole rig looked like a 1200 ripoff to me) that is the latest and greatest in vinyl playback, and it was only MID Four figures in price! Sorry been there, done that...... 35 years ago for $169.00 and it came with a Dust cover (dig intended) still looks and runs like new, BUT sounds awesome! As with anything there are pros and cons and I'm sure the same way a ferrai is superior to a corvette in performance, the corvette is far less moula, and more reliable. My only quibble. The cables, which can be modified for less that a belt upgrade for some of the MDF platter no VTF or dustcover current sub thou offerings.

10/10 by 77Shellac

This beast lived up to the hype. It is the best machine I have owned in 35+ years of listening to music on vinyl. I can't see paying thousands for a turntable when a 1200 can be had for around $500.

For those who can't live without automatic features, this is not the machine for you.

10/10 by sound of the valves

the sl 1200/1210 represents the icon of turntables:a piece of old hifi school that never came back again.No one in the hifi history made better than sl 1200 and that's because of it's magic and unsurpassed quality and reliability.Thanks to Technics for made this wonderfull turntable:the best turntable ever.

10/10 by dynasty_k

The Technics Sl-1200 MK2, I think is the most stable turntable. Very Strong and sound incredible. very low rumble. Is the Master of the turntables. never seen before. Great Turntable.

10/10 by digsydining

Bought my 1200mk2 back in 1991 and it never leave me. Meanwhile I bought 2 Garrard 301's,
Linn Sondek, Technics SP-10mk2, VPI Scout Jr which they all gone now.

10/10 by mdleveille

Functionality is one of the biggest reasons this deck is important, using more musical turntables can indeed provide special sonic quality with proper adjustments and great concern with placement and acoustics. If you are looking for an easy to use, easy to set up and consistently high quality playback device then look no further. Iconic industrial design, legendary reliability and versatility. Can you imagine buying a car that took almost no maintenance that you could drive in all conditions that performed with formula 1 speed every day, day after day.

10/10 by tzutzu

Had one. Sold it. Missed it. Bought another.

10/10 by cyp21

Great turntable for the price and rock solid build quality! Great for DJ'S and for audiophiles who want to mod a turntable.

8/10 by anmpr1

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.

10/10 by Vsanzbajo

Incredible build quality, and awesome sound.

8/10 by Dr Pan K

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.


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