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Technics SL-J2 Reviews

displaying reviews 1 to 13 of 13

Technics SL-J2

Technics SL-J2

5/10 by jdhorn1

4/07/2018. Have had one sitting around for awhile and finally serviced it and got it going last night. Darned if the power cord got around my leg and pulled it off the stand and busted the pegs the feet screw into that holds the bottom plate on. Figured it was ruined. I did not have the to cover on or it might have got busted too. Anyway, got some super glue and reattached the pegs and let it dry. Flipped it over and checked everything, nothing seemed broke or out of place. Hooked it up and spun an album. Darn thing played and didn't skip a beat. Got lucky and says something about how tough the little tables are.

8/10 by erikpsmith

I really think two turntables can be said to represent the apogee of the linear trackers. The Mitsubishi turntables of the early eighties, which stood records on their side, and this one. What makes the SL-J2 so cool is that with the touch of a button on the front panel, you can select which track you would like to play -- just as you would with a CD. The sensor reads the tracks in an optical fashion. So you can click the button three times and set it to start on track number three. It's that simple. Earlier Technics models required you to click a button corresponding with the track, but this one, the most advanced of the bunch, gives you a numeric LED display. No Technics turntable advanced the technology further.

I have been able to piece together a little of this unit's history. It appeared in 1984 and commanded a high-end price. But I guess it must not have sold very well in an age when the CD was replacing the vinyl record, and people were thinking that whatever turntable they bought was likely their last turntable. I bought mine in 1988 for $100, on sale.

What a turntable for $100! Direct drive! Advanced features!

I wish I'd kept it, but instead I gave it to a friend who needed a turntable -- and he told me it promptly broke down and started dragging the needle across his records -- apparently a hazard with this unit.

I've gotten another on eBay. Looks to be in better shape than the one I had. Really, this is one of the most advanced turntables of its day. Perhaps linear tracking turntables don't get a lot of respect -- it's more fun to fiddle with tonearms and watch the cartridge track its way across a record. But linear tracking turntables don't come any better than this one.

9/10 by brianfay

I got a Technics SL-J2 for Christmas in 1984 when I was a sophomore in high school. My folks got it for me at Service Merchandise and it worked perfectly. Great sound. No problems (other than Peter Gabriel's album Birdy (bad pressing) was too warped to play on it), and the automatic controls were incredible.

As with any sad story, by 1995, I was done with records and fully into CDs. I sold the turntable and my albums for some ridiculously low price at a garage sale. I forgive myself some for that because we had moved the turntable and records three times without me ever playing them and would, after the sale, move six more times.

Last weekend, a friend hosted a Vinyl Party and I went out for the first time in thirty years to buy a record (I chose Sonic Youth's Murray Street for sentimental and sonic reasons). It felt great to flip through album bins again and I remembered something lost since I've been streaming. I came home and went to eBay not remembering exactly which turntable I had had until, in my search of Technics linear tracking units, up came the SL-J2. Yeah, I thought. That's the one.

I found one for $60 (plus shipping) that looked clean and was supposedly working. It arrived Thursday and I have been using it since. Great so far with a few minor issues (once in a while it wants to drag the needle across the record -- I'll look into that). It's so great to be back in records and to have my old turntable again. I never marked the one I had, but I wish now that I had and could somehow hunt that exact model down. I shudder to think that it probably went into a landfill somewhere. Sigh. Still, this is the next best thing. I love this little machine.

I'm also now very fond of this site and all the expertise I'm reading. Thank you all.

10/10 by bootleg_

I just picked one up at the swapmeet here in Orange County CA. Just got back and plugged it into my Technics SA-222 receiver and it works perfectly. I admit I didn't expect it to work for the price I picked it up for, but I loaded an Eddie Money vinyl and it works right off the bat! Super happy. Looks 80's-tastic too. I love they way it looks. I'll probably get a new stylus soon but as it is, works great for a 30yo machine. Fast fwd works too. Super cool. If you see one for a good price, its worth a shot. They seem to be pretty well built from reading the review on here.

9/10 by martindi4

I run into one of this recently and after reading your comments and other reviews I did not hesitate in purchasing it. I do not regret it at all since this turntable performs smoothly, it is compact, and have very nice features considering it is for vinyl. I am not an expert but my local electronics shop inspected it and spoke highly of it. Love the sound and if you see one buy it :)

10/10 by kuecksjohn

I have a sl-J2. My father bought it new in 1982, Along with his Onkyo receiver and Denon tape deck. CD's were still new and we already had a large vinyl collection. The turntable has always worked perfectly with no down time. My father passed away in 2001 and his stereo has sat undisturbed since then. Recently, my mother passed and while going through there possessions, I got the turntable. I just hooked it up to my stereo,plugged it in and hit the start button on an old 45. It worked flawlessly. Automatic every thing. Picked the proper speed, size and just dropped the needle in the groove. I've got The Cars Candy-O playing as I write this. When these were new, no one would think of buying anything but a Technic's Linear tracking turntable.

10/10 by MaxBadal

My opinion echoes the other comments. The SL-J2 still plays well after 30 years!

10/10 by dw57

I have had my Technics SL-J2 turntable for about 25 years. I originally bought it for the hands off design. I had young children and with this turntable there was no chance of them sliding the needle across an album. Thanks to this website I was educated that the grease could turn to glue after so many years and that was why the arm no longer would move. Very simple removal of the lid, cleaning off the old grease, applying some silicone (that is all I had), and the turntable is back to normal again. I think I paid around $100 back in the days, but that was a long time ago and I don't quite remember. Anyhow, it was a great investment. While searching online for a problem fix I read one problem post that made me laugh. It was a concern that a dimple on the arm was touching the record and a question about how to fix that. Obviously I am showing my age knowing that, yes, the needle must touch the record for the music to play. Thanks again for a little knowledge with a great reward.

9/10 by radewey

I'm going to echo maxstirner's review. It is simply great to have a table sound this good and NOT have to tweak at all! I remember seeing one of these back in high school and thinking Someday when I have the money... after I graduate college. And then when I graduate college they vanished and were replaced by CD's (and I still didn't have enough disposable money yet, real life has a way of getting in the way of fun). Whatever turntables remained on the market were OK, but force you into tweaking, which can be its own sort of fun of course. But I never forgot the day I first saw this in the store. 32 years later I bought one cheap and it's actually better than I imagined. Sure, I'm wondering how long the tonearm mechanism is going to last and what kind of work is ahead of me if I have to repair it, but sound-wise it blows the pants off the Dual 1229 I used for 35 years and I loved that table. CD players must have copped their ideas from machines like this. Maybe I'll miss the joy of seeing the tonearm playing the record, but I have a backup table for that. Audiophiles seem to hate automatic anything, and maybe this thing does feel more like a CD player than a turntable. But we listen to vinyl for the superior sound, and this thing convinces the uninitiated like no other turntable.

10/10 by Hersey17356

Where to begin? I scored mine off eBay and the ding-dong who shipped it packed it in (I kid you not) a folded up piece of cardboard and cling film and had FRAGILE written in Sharpie on it. Lid had a crack in it the size of the San Andreas (I fixed that with a bumper sticker from our local college radio station), and amazingly enough it still worked! With a little TLC, she's good as new. It sits side by side with an SL-6 and it's a joy to work. Currently, it has an ATVS235EP cart with a 3x.7 JICO upgrade stylus, but my spare AT311EP works just as well. I don't know why LT's get the knocking they do. They are TROUPERS in every sense of the word and sound just as good, if not even a little better sometimes than their conventional armed counterparts.

8/10 by osvaldo cesar


10/10 by izzy69


9/10 by maxstirner

This is my first linear tracking turn table. It costed me 12 € at a thrift store. I have been playing records on it for two days now nonstop and I am really flabbergasthed with the sound quality.

I have never heard a turn table (that I own) sound this good in my life. First I just could not admit to myself that it was as good as it really is. It came with the standard cart EPS 30 and the sylus was broken. I replaced the stylus but there was just sound from one channel. Everything else worked just fine. This problem took me hours of experimenting and research. First with the cables and grounding. I also opened the table en checked the inside.

Finelly I just replaced the whole cartridge and that was the solution. It is the same standard technics cartridge, but from another p-mount Technics direct drive turntable I own. But the strange thing is this: I don't like this cartridge at all really. It has to much bass and the middle tones aren't very good. But all the records I played sounded really really good. I played Rose Royce, Steve Miller Band, AC/DC (back in black), Chopin (Pollini), Beatles, etc etc. It took me a at least a day and a night to admit to myself that this small, plastic, light, turn table with a cheap p-mount cartride and stylus on it sounded much better than my real turntables (Technics SL-1411, SL-D2, Pioneer PL 516) with good 1/2 inch cartridges (AT95E, Grado black).

Why? I think is has something to do with this powerful image of how a really good turntable looks and feels like. The archetype of this super turntable is of course the Technics 1200. And if your turn table doesn't look heavy like that and if it is not very expensive than it can't be any good, can it? Yes it can! You just have the get rid of this stupid idea in your head. Get that coocook's egg out of your head. And start to listen and stop looking. That's what I did anyway. I am sure that there are lots of people who have the same walls in their head as I have. Just the plain fact that I am the first to write a review on this amazing good sounding turntable says a lot.

The SL - J2 looks a lot like the first CD players of the 80's. And I think that was on purpose. These linear players probably were positioned as an alternative to the new and for the first time deadly real competition of the CD player. And I must say it is very userfriendly.

I haven't said much about the linear tone arm, because it is completly new to me. What I know I have just recently absorbed. The essential thing is that it is (in theory) the best design. It tracks the groove in the best vertical angle. So anti-skating and right groove distortion are history. But the implementation is quite complex. Thus expensive.

Is this a review of a born-again-linear-fundamentalist? I can't tell the future. Nobody can. But the next linear turn table I find I will buy. Cheers!


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