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Technics SL-D303 Reviews

displaying reviews 1 to 9 of 9

Technics SL-D303

Technics SL-D303

8/10 by Pauw

I picked up a SL D303 for 14 Euros a little while a go.It had the usual broken hinges on the dust cover but apart from being dirty and stored for a long while it was in working order. I gave it a very good clean, serviced it , adjusted the pitch control....and set of to build some replacement parts for the hinges from metal I had. After quite a bit of time working on this ...I put on a spare Ortofon OM 10 I had , connected it to a spare phono pre amp I had and sat back to give it a good audition. Now, for 30 plus years I had never had an auto table, I had always gone along the fully manual path. So , I was very pleasantly surprised by how well this worked, it was smooth, precise and easy. Again, I had always gone done the belt drive path but this is direct drive and again it is a great performer......In the end , I was very impressed by this table and feel it is a great performer. Clearly it is a Technics but at the moment these are cheap but that is to our advantage at the moment because this performs up with the best tables and is so affordable. For me , I use it in rotation with my Linn and and I am never disappointed by it!

8/10 by chazola

I actually 'downgraded' from a Heybrook TT2 to this as I already went through the vinyl revival 10 years ago and being a child of the late 80s/90s, most of my music collection is on CD. But I do enjoy spinning a record every so often and I'd always wanted a DD Technics deck after playing with 1210s in radio studios. Not light and plastic-y like the 90's P-mount decks, this has a decent weight to it and a nice substantial tone-arm, heavy platter and solid base. Mine arrived with a broken cueing system (due to a snapped plastic part inside) and one channel out (dry/loose solder joints)- after surgery and a good clean it's spinning well, with solid speed and an impressive sound considering it was only a mid-range deck. I'm using an AT95EX cart with it, and even with the less than stellar captive RCA leads that it comes with it gives a very good full, detailed sound. I haven't had any issues with the dust-cover hinges, and I expect with a high-end cart this could easily match a lot of 'audiophile' tables. Everyone knows/wants 1200/1210s, these aren't as solid, and wouldn't stand up to pro use, but are a good sleeper bargain for the home system.

5/10 by Wpawlitsky

I bought my SL D303 new in 1981 and I still use it to this day. Even made sure I got it in the divorce settlement ! Only criticism is the cover. I can't rememberer how many years ago the hinge tabs on the cover broke. So I lift and set aside when it's being used. Other than replacing the cartridge a number of times over the years, it's been flawless. Well, I need to put another LP on. Later....

10/10 by Naggy

These unknown and unwanted decks (they are not 1210's !)are a bargain at the moment in the UK, Technics are just DJ workhorses right? Totally wrong. Buy any direct drive Technics NOW they will appreciate in value. This model started prodn in 1981 when Japanese engineering was superb, passed on engineering excellence from the top Technics Special Products division. Who else had deep enough pockets to continually improve on sonic reproduction over soooo many years (decades), think about that for a minute.

They must have spent millions in r&d on building turntables. Selecting this deck from the long drop down list on vinylengine, for this review, shows an amazing product range. Ok as you can see the penny has dropped for me and my hifi journey - Technics are the forgotton masters of audiophile vinyl replay. So this deck works first time. The lid and hinges are perfect, the lid slides off the hinges (always take the lid of for a better soundstage.

I press a button and it moves the needle onto the record, the record ends and it auto moves the tone arm safely back into the holder. That doesn't sound very audiophile does it? ha ha - all I know is that in the gap between these very helpfull functions the speed stability is perfect, the fantastically machined heavyish platter spins totally level - I use a small spirit level to get that right. I set the cartridge downforce at 2g using electronic scales and a smaller spirit level to set cartridge levelness /VTA. The direct drive power will push that needle through vinyl relentlessly all day. My Nagaoka MP11 Gold Boron is a really fine match. No bright current fashion CD like cartridges in my house - no sir. Mellow, air, meat, port, detail and gorgeous tone thank you. The Schitt mani phono stage (set at 43k) and my DPA preamp, both can take the earth lead from the technics (yes these turntables have earth leads - maybe some technics guys knew something about unearthed buzzing motor noises, adding unwanted vibrations - ha)...oops Wes Montgomery just finished playing and this kind deck lifted my tonearm, and put it back in on the holder.

Hey that tonearm seems to be strange s shape, I guess those Technics engineers enjoyed spending profits on bending nice straight tubes into an 'S' shape, why oh why did they do that on EVERY turntable, can't be right can it ...or can it? Then that headshell it unscrews and you can therefore have more than one cartridge - in other headshells (a nagaoka Mono one perhaps).

These guys knew about turntable design back in 1981. So the sound beats my Meridian 508 20 bit cd player and chord 64 dac. The air around instruments is there, the soundstage is wide deep and high. The stop start speed of instruments is there, wow, particularly nice are the plucking of guitar strings, nice and woody. Maybe i should say timbre. This is what I got into hifi for. My last RCA cable purchase was £80 back in 1997, a Chord something or other, not as good as my DPA Black slink but that was a lot more expensive. SoI have just slotted this wonderful Tecnics vinyl spinner into my system and the guy I bought if off last week wanted just £75. let me repeat that £75 for a turntable manufactured by a huge company who new what they were doing and spent millions getting it right. Everything works and it looks like it is new, but there are many unloved fine examples out there. Get one before the herd realise how good they are. Pure quality.

8/10 by Techman77

Definitely good and stable turntable. Automatic works smoothly. If you find this and it's good condition, don't hesitate, just buy it. It's worth it!

8/10 by findog3103

Sounds wonderful to my ears. I have a Dual 1019, Technics SL-B2, Pioneer PLX-1000 and the D303 matches them all.

9/10 by Alchemist_8

Great well built turntable. Great sound reproduction and very easy to use. Technics know how to build a weighty turntable!

7/10 by 77Shellac

Picked one of these up for cheap (just under $50, plus shipping) awhile ago and did some minor fixing up. Mostly it was just dirty, as the previous owner let it sit unused for about 10 years. A quick cleaning and lubing did wonders. Spins at true speeds, and the automatic features (including record size detection switches) work correctly. I installed a plug n spin head shell/cartridge/ stylus unit (a modestly priced Audio Technica unit). After balancing, it performs well and sounds great for the price. Reasonable price was a big factor overall, and I think this machine is superior to many of the newer affordable priced junk machines out there. The tone arm is of good quality, and adjustments are smooth and easy. The motor and platter seem solid, and I haven't been bothered by any weird glitches. It's not the solid beast that the 1200 is, but it's a great lower cost machine. The automatic features are ideal for my girlfriend and her kids (less broken needles and gouged records!)

I agree with jwspicer1 that the dust cover hinges leave something to be desired, but I am one to just take the cover off and set it aside until I'm done playing records. If you like an automatic machine and are a fan of the Technics brand, you would likely not go wrong investing $100-$150 in a D303.

9/10 by jwspicer1

The successor to the D3, and a very unusual beast. First, the platter is recessed into the base to create a lower profile than the D3. Closer to the later P-mount straight arm machines to come. Second, the integral rotor-platter design was kept, but the coils were actually printed on a circuit board, with the rotor magnet suspended above the printed coils. Still effective, but a bit less torque than the D3. Third, the Memo-Repeat was gone, replaced with a standard Repeat switch. Fourth, the record size was selected by the push-pin detection system (shared with other models around the same period, like the Q303). That was actually a good thing if the machine is properly maintained. Fortunately the quality of the construction and especially the arm were kept up. Nice general-purpose turntable. Not the flashiest, but it won't embarrass if given a good cartridge. And readily available for reasonable prices unlike other Technics models. Would get a 10/10, but there's that blasted dust cover hinge thing again.


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