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Technics SL-D3 Reviews

displaying reviews 1 to 15 of 15

Technics SL-D3

Technics SL-D3

10/10 by romangaslan

Had an SL D202 since 81 decided to look on eBay and see what's for sale. Found a D3 for $60 out the door. No cart but I have 5 with original head shell. I couldn’t hit “buy it now” fast enough. The table looked hardly used, the dust cover looked like it went through the war but it buffed up decent with headlight lens polish. It’s paired with an Audio Technica AT15sa I’ve had for ages with hardly any time on it. I think I’m good for the rest of my audio listening life.

10/10 by MyDual1246

Technics SL-D3:
You can look at the entire Technics lineup and be hard pressed to find another S-shaped low mass Gimbal suspension tonearm, automatic table in the line that sounds better or operates as reliably. Said differently, Technics made some great stuff - the rest is just marketing IMHO. Sure the specs of other Technics tables might exceed the -75 dB rumble of the SL-D3 slightly; and yes, others might be quartz (although the pulse detection circuitry on the SL-D3 makes that distinction fairly moot), but overall you just get effortless precision with the SL-D3 as good as Technics ever made it.

My ownership of the SL-D3 dates back to XMAS of 1981. It was bought with a Stanton 681 EEE and Technics SA-303 receiver with a pair of Technics SBL-70 three way bass reflex speakers. While not inexpensive, that turntable paired in that system beat systems costing 5 times as much back then in terms of dynamic range, operation and value for years.

Recently I found an SL-D3 with a SHURE V15 Type IV cart at a thrift. The entire setup looked new. I could not believe it for $25. But the reason I tell the story is that when I brought it home and set it up on a Quadraflex 650FET R running Yamaha NS-70T speakers...I almost fell over. The true flatness of the sound with transparency and sound stage that you could step into and out of like a closet was almost too amazing to believe.

BOTTOM LINE:
If you are able to get your hands on a SL-D3 then buy it. If you are lucky enough to get one in good shape, it's not worth skimping on the cartridge. If you can, try a top end vintage cartridge like the SHURE V15 Type IV or a Stanton 681eee - because this turntable will amaze you with what it will wring out of those carts. And, believe it or not, it is a turntable that has the underlying specs to deserve the most cart you can afford. (And to those of you who have an SL-D3 and want to be blown away by what it can do - perhaps try upgrading that old cart. You may be very surprised at the turntable you already have!) Peace.

10/10 by lenjack

Just got mine for $115 from a guy who serviced it. Works flawlessly. Speed dead on. No wow or flutter, or rumble, even with sub. Absolutely quiet. Small crack in cover, which I don't use. Tracks everything perfectly at 1.25g, with Shure m97Xe. A few minor cosmetic marks.

8/10 by rzeles1967

Just picked one up off of Craigslist (6/2018) after having some problems with my vintage Pioneer PL15D (Seemed to skip quite a bit, etc.). Ended up grabbing it for $80 less a cartridge (although the ad said it came with an At cartridge). I Added an AT95E and am very happy after a cleaning and some drops of oil on the spindle. Dust cover is quote faded still but at least not cracked like many out there. Not worth replacing it in my opinion. I opened the bottom as I was having some speed issues and tried to spray the pot/switch for the pitch control. I opted not to take off that entire control board as lots of connections and screws. Just kinda put the straw under it and a couple squirts. Not sure if its any better. Still have a bit of an issue with the strobe drifting. This is my first Direct Drive after my Technics SL-5 Linear Track which I love. Mostly older belt drives including a Sanyo TP-600SA which is excellent and in my main setup with my vintage Marantz 2245 and Original Large Advents speakers. The strobe thing drives me a bit nuts as I listen to a lot of Jazz and it makes me think the speed is changing. Maybe back to a belt without a strobe so I don't have to worry about it. I think if you can get one of these in good working order with a decent cartridge for under $150, ,well worth it to those new to vinyl. I know most purist swear by manual tables but this automatic makes it very convenient and easy to operate. Just press the button and go (less the whole strobe/pitch thing)

9/10 by tuber

I bought my SL-D3 at a resale shop for $7.99, dustcover and all. I took it home and played a record without any trouble at all. It had a Nagatronics intregrated catridge/headshell that was quite worn. I replaced it with an Ortofon Blue mm2. I have had other higher end tables, and this one is no slouch. It is quiet and steady. Sound quality is as good as any mid-line deck out there. Probably would cost about $400-$500 to equal it with a new table. Maybe more. I Would never part with it.

10/10 by Beez1717

My parents owned this turntable and after many years of use they put it under the house for storage. That was probably a very bad idea for it, but when I asked them if I could fish it out and use it, all it needed was a cartridge and it was good to go despite having been subjected to temperatures it probably shouldn't have been. It still sounds perfectly good and now I have my own stereo with a turntable amp and it is working like it had never been put in storage for all those years! I have had no issues with any part of it aside from having to realign everything, which was expected. The motor is silent and you wouldn't know it's on just from listening to it. The more I have used the table, the more I notice just how darned simple it is to use once you get it going. I would recommend this table for anyone who wants a super reliable machine that has some simple features such as memo repeat and auto cueing, but don't need anything more fancy. I love how it looks. With the sliders and tone adjustment wheel, it manages to look timelessly retro, and I could see it looking good in any room. If you can find one then I'd recommend buying it. You won't be disappointed no matter if you are new to vinyl, or are a vinyl guru. After all, it's all about the music, and this table delivers.

9/10 by Windmillgolfer

I've had my SL-D3 for about 36 years but not really used it for the past 20 years. However, it has been sat on a shelf in my study for 10 years or so. Tried hooking it up to a Denon AV Receiver but no phono input drat:-( A pre-amp arrived this afternoon. Connected up and bingo. Works a treat, holds speed very well. Yes, one hinge tongue broke, many, many years ago. Easy enough to cope with the lid as it is. Playing Don McLean's American Pie now - it was left on the turntable (naughty). Now here did I put those LPs? I still use the other Technics components a couple of times a year (SL-PG400A and RS-BX404) and the SA-GX100 daily through Mission speakers. All sat above the PC in the study. This kit just runs and runs.

5/10 by Mitch Lee

I use mine to transcribe LPs to digital format. Speed is very accurate and steady. With a Shure V15 III it tracks anything that is trackable. I have tried other carts in the D3 and the Shure in other turntables, but this is the best tracking combination I have found for transcribing challenging vinyl! The wave forms are almost alway nice and clean. I tried linear turntables and new state-of-the-art carts but always got more mistracking on loud passages and more skips on damaged LPs. I should add that it sounds great too. Very versatile! Rock and classical, pop vocals and combo jazz, big beats and country fiddles all get just what they need from this relatively inexpensive, solidly built machine. Of course the dust cover and hinges wear out. Fortunately, there are about a thousand less robust Technics models out there that use the same cover and hinges with a different model logo stamped on the top! I've replaced my cover several times from dead TT donors.

10/10 by CarlosRamiro

Compre del único dueño en 2012 la tengo funcionando todo el dia, solamente estaba cortada y reseca la goma por eso la cambie. Excelente costo/beneficio la parte mecánica funciona excelente, pitch, todo en excelente estado de funcionamiento, es realmente un todo terreno de las bandejas. Recomiendo 100por ciento, espero pasársela a mi nieto,jeje.

10/10 by pe444rro

Excelente bandeja, despues de 30 años de uso sigue perfecta como el primer día

10/10 by Hruotberht

Es sin duda una gran tornamesa y mas aún considerando los años que han transcurrido desde su manufactura. Me siento muy afortunado al contar con una tornamesa como esta. Gracias al sitio por tan valiosa información acerca de todos los modelos presentados. Larga vida al vinyl!

10/10 by UAWProud

My first table was a new SL-D3 in 1978. Though I passed that one to my younger brother in 1995, I have recently bought and sold a few in the last year. These 35 year-old SL-D3s are great turntables, mechanically and electronically.

I typically buy them from their original owners, who often had them stored away for the past 20 or 30 years. Yet you plug these in and away they go, as if they were just made yesterday! They don't miss a beat! I then proceed to play them for 12 to 16 hours a day and there are no issues! Typically I just shoot a little synthetic oil down the spindle and tonearm shaft and that's it. What more can you ask for?

The memo repeat function typically works well and I don't have any issues with it. The rest of the controls slide easily and operate well without issues. The motors are quiet too! What more can you ask for? 35 year-old cars don't perform that well without a restoration!

OK, the dustcovers break because the hinges get worn or stiff. Something has to give, so the plastic tabs that slide into the hinge breaks. What do you expect? I leave the dustcover off when I play mine any way. I did just sell a nice SL-D3 that had a beautiful working pair of hinges and a fabulously nice dustcover. Just sold it though. Shipped it today!

For the amount of money you will have to spend to get a nice SL-D3 (well under $150 US), not sure why anyone would complain about these wonderful vintage Technics! They were and still are great! The sound is as good as the system and cartridge you have behind them!

9/10 by snorrewiets

As successor of my previously bought Technics SL-B202,which had the problem of ticking motor noise,after investigation it seems that this motor was wornout and not available anymore.So bought now a Technics SL-D3 directdrive,bought this for 25 Euro's in a very dirty state,after some heavy cleaning and putting in a new Audio Technica AT-95E element it turns out I have a very fine TT,everything is working fine,steady RPM,cleaned pitch control and oiled the bearings.This TT has a broken tongue of the dustcover too,but this is quite common by Technics...Not a high-end TT off course,but very satisfactory.

9/10 by jwspicer1

Excellent machine that has held up well over time. Would be a 10/10 but it does suffer from the dreaded Technics dust cover issues (broken tongues and wimpy hinges) and the Memo-Repeat can be a bit finicky. But the sound and the ruggedness of the turntable itself are second to none. Great for anyone getting back into vinyl or to have around as a second or backup machine to a higher-end one. Even without quartz control, it is extremely stable and quiet. Good for anyone who lusts after a 1200, but wants automation and can't handle the hairball of a lot of 1200 prices. It can still be found pretty easily and at good prices. Or like I did, I found mine for parts but all it needed was some oil, replacement hinges, and a bath!

10/10 by nono



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