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Technics SL-1200 series

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    4 Reviews
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    • More +
      14.02.2013 15:22
      Very helpful


      • Reliability


      a great product- highly recommended

      to clarify, the only difference between the technics sl1210 and the sl1200 is that the 1210's are black, the 1200's are silver- everything else is exactly the same.

      Personally I prefer the darker decks, but really it's a matter of personal opinion. I bought mine second hand and they were in a pretty bad way, so I took them apart and fixed them quite easily thanks to a wealth of knowledge online, and repainted them.

      I don't really DJ much with vinyl, so the decks don't get much use from me but I do listen to a lot of vinyl, and I think because these have such a good reputation for DJing and are built to take abuse, people actually forget that they sound fantastic.

      They were originally designed for Hi-Fi use, not DJing. DJ's only started using them because the new 'direct drive' motor was strong enough for them to manipulate the record on the platter, hence scratching and mixing was born.

      For listening use, with a good cartridge designed for sound quality rather than durability they sound great, and are perfect for recording your vinyl onto a computer because of a 0.01% wow and flutter.

      A great turntable, a classic. Better value than a 'budget' audiophile deck like a pro-ject, everyone should own one of these.


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      18.08.2011 14:13
      Very helpful


      • Reliability


      these are the best turntables money can buy

      The Technic Sl-1200 series turntables have become the holy grail to vinyl audio enthusiasts. If your an up and coming DJ, I would definitely recommend on practicing on these first because techniques like beatmatching and scratching are a lot easier to learn on these as compared to other brands. It was like night and day when I switched from my old Lenco tables to these. What sets them apart from other brands is its high quality build, versatility, and reliability. For around Euro 695 you get a hi-fi turntable with a cool custom silver look that will surely impress all your friends and make you the life of the party (DJ joke :} ) If your a fan of scratching records or beatmatching you will love the 'high torque' design and "variable pitch control" features. These turntables have been very popular and successful thanks to its patented 'Direct drive' motor system. Located directly underneath the platter, the motor allows users to have precise control and full 'torque' while mixing there favorite records. If you want top of the line turntables look no further, the Technic Sl-1200's will meet all your demands and fullfill all your audio desires.

      FEATURES reference "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technics_SL-1200"

      * Magnetic (no wear), direct drive (low slip) mechanism.

      * High torque design which means the platter will spin at the desired speed almost immediately (0.7 s to reach 33 ¹⁄₃ RPM from standstill), and will very rapidly reacquire the desired speed, without "overshooting", if the platter is dragged or nudged. This aids beatmatching.

      *Variable pitch control, allowing the rotational speed to be adjusted from -8% to +8%

      *High reliability: many examples of SL-1200s lasting well over 15 years of heavy use and withstanding physical shock without functional impairment.

      *Very low wow and flutter (0.01%), which means that the platter will stay within 1/100 of 1% of the desired speed.


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      • More +
        13.11.2010 03:14


        • Reliability


        All around good turntable and would buy one tomorrow if I needed a replacement.

        The Technics SL-1200 series are what I consider a "best value" turntable for a hobbyist or pro DJ. They are solid for the money and are real work horses when it comes to using them day in and day out. One thing that I find is if you are moving turntables to different locations the direct drive units are more reliable than the belt drives.

        I have two of the M5s with the LED light which help in dark settings and the bulbs don't need replacing as often as the older bulb types.

        If you like to play with the sound for smoother mixes, the pitch reset button makes it easy to get back and set up for the next transition.

        The thick rubber base and anti-skate control help with keeping the needle playing and not skipping with every little vibration.

        All in all these are great turntables and if you shop around you can get a great price on them, which comes in handy, because you'll want to have a pair of these!


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        05.10.2010 19:46
        Very helpful


        • Reliability


        A beautiful well designed series that is dearly loved by so many!

        May the 'Force be with you' in reading this mammoth review!

        ~Technical Terms Used In Review~

        Direct drive {turntables in which the motor is located directly under the center of the platter, the platter is entirely driven by the magnetic field activated by the turntable's stationary part of the system.

        Torque {means that the platter will spin at the set speed immediately. DJ's will go for a higher torque to enable fancy techniques!

        Wow and flutter {means the amount of frequency wobble that is caused by speed fluctuations. The lower the better as the platter will stay within a small percentage of the desired speed.

        Variable pitch control {is the variable speed control on the turntable that allows the operator to deviate from a standard speed. This affords DJ's to change the pitch to be increased or reduced by up to 8%, achieved by increasing or reducing the speed at which the platter rotates.

        Anti-skate {prevent skating of the turntable arm.

        Target light {used to point at the record showing you the position of the turntable arm in dim light.

        Tone arm {Turntable arm

        LEDS {A light-emitting diode

        Pitch adjustment {is the process of correcting the sound of an audio tone without affecting other aspects of its tonality output.

        Oxygen-free copper wire {referred, as noted by Wikipedia "generally to a group of wrought high conductivity copper alloys that have been electrolytically refined to reduce the level of oxygen to .001% or below"
        Consumers of high-end audio equipment feel that this OFC will significantly enhance low frequency signal transmission.

        Plinth {the stand the turntable rest on, of which there are basically two types; a non-suspended design or a suspended design.

        non-resonant composite{soundproof

        Frequency Generator Servo Control Quartz Lock system {this system uses a quartz oscillator to control the motor speed. The internal revolutions per minute gauge reads the speed of the platter and then outputs its own frequency representing the actual speed. The control system adjusts itself until the two frequencies match.

        Stator {the stationary part of a rotor system

        Detent {the term used for a method or device, used in the rotation of a spindle or similar component.

        Technics SL {the S meaning Stereo and the L meaning Player.

        Matsushita is a Japanese place name and surname which means "below the pine tree"

        *Please forgive me for those that know these terms already!

        I'm beginning this analysis of the Technics SL-1200series in general by saying I love Panasonic, formerly known as Matsushita Electric Industrial Co.Ltd products. I love this quality, sturdy if heavy brand. Therefore, I will attempt to be as candid as I can in noting any flaws!

        ~*~ Company history in brief ~*~

        Founded in 1918 by by Konosuke Matsushita, The multinational Panasonic Corporation has its headquarters in Osaka, Japan. Its primary business is in electronics, manufacturing products under a number of names including Technics.

        Co-incidental to this is an interesting little fact that Matsushita's brother-in-law, Toshio Iue founded Sanyo as a subcontractor for components. Sanyo then grew to become a competitor to Panasonic. But no family rift here as in 2009 Sanyo became a subsidiary of Panasonic which has resulted in a mega-corporation with revenues around $110 billion.

        ~*~ The Technics SL-1200 series ~ Their history ~*~

        It is of note worthy mention that no turntable has ever been copied more than the SL-1200 series!
        The Technics SL-1200 series} 2 through to 6 & GOLD are a range of turntables that have been manufactured for over thirty-eight years.

        In 1972, Matsushita under the brand name of Technics released this record player as a high fidelity consumer player. Since its launch, the company has sold more than 3 million units; so durable that many of the models produced way back in the '70s are still in use.

        ~*~ The Technics SL-1200 series ~ Their features ~*~

        > The turn tables are very reliable; many lasting well over thirty plus years. With direct drive and Magnetic mechanisms. Encompassing low flutter and wow. Incorporating heavy bases weighing in at 12.5 kg thereby reducing the stylus jumping. High torque of 1.5 kgf*cm or 0.15 N*m

        > Although no longer popular on high end hi-fi turntables, the S-shaped Tone Arm has a notable advantage over the straight arm in that it affords less wear on the groove as the stylus is better aligned with the grooves on the records.

        > The controls are large start/stop buttons.

        > A practical feature is the stylus light that can be operated by a simple button which makes operating in dark rooms a delight.

        > The light user friendly arm's height can be simply set with the rotating collar that travels within a range of 6 millimeters, which can then be locked in place with the lever.
        Variable pitch control.

        ~ MK2 models ~ my personal choice, purchased in time for the ABBA years! ~

        Released in 1979, The MK2 models were sold with different models numbers indicated by a different colour; the 1200 (silver) which was mine! 1210 initially in matte black but later also available in silver.
        An improvement on the original with its up-graded motor and shock resistance.

        By adding a ground wire, the MK2 avoids emitting a feedback humming sound.

        This particular model is the oldest that still in production. The older versions of this model have a 100 mm plate where the ground wires enter the unit, but the newer model has a smaller 51 mm hole in the rubber where the RCA and ground wires enter.

        ~ SL-1200MK3 model ~

        Released in 1989 this version has a matte black finish. I've little to remark on this model as it differs very little from the MK2

        ~ SL-1200MK4 model ~

        Released in 1997 this version has a matte black finish like the MK3.

        This is the last model made with the detent in the middle of the pitch adjustment slider.

        This model also has an added third button for 78 RPM.
        Another practical design feature being that it can be used with regular removable RCA cables and ground/earth cable, other than the 1200/1210 models which have the hard wired RCA cables.

        ~ SL-1200MK5 models ~

        Released in November 2002, this version has a silver finish like the MK2,
        This model up-graded to increase the range of anti-skate settings from 0-3 grams-force to 0-6 grams-force.

        With previous versions having a simple globe which burned out over time, the MK5 has a white LED target light.
        SL-1210MK5 has a matte black finish like the MK2,

        ~ SL-1210M5G ~

        Released in November 2002 this model has a glossy black finish with silver speckles,

        This version was released as a special 30th-anniversary edition.
        This model was up-graded from the MK5 in its ability to switch ranges for pitch adjustment. Added to this, the pitch control is completely digital.

        With features of blue target light, blue pitch-number illumination, this model became contemporized in its design.

        Improvements on previous models included tone arm mounting and oxygen-free copper wire being used for the signal.

        Improvements were also made to the pitch control accuracy and better LEDs.

        ~ MK6 models ~

        Released in February 2008, the SL-1200MK6-K & SL-1200MK6-S and the SL-1210M5G.

        > These veriations came with improved tone arm mounting and the signal oxygen-free copper wire improved vibration damping, with improvements to the pitch control accuracy and up-graded LEDs.

        > The SL-1200MK6-S model has a silver finish like the MK2.

        > These versions were released in December 2007 as a special 35th-anniversary edition, with only a limited 1000.

        > Special models worth their weight in gold!

        > These limited edition versions came with 24 karat gold plated metal parts including the tone arm and buttons.

        > Released in September 1995, and wholly based on the MK3, the SL-1200LTD also has a rich black gloss finish with gold speckles. This version was limited to only 10,000 units.

        > Released in 2004, the SL-1200GLD was another limited edition model, there being only 3,000 units. Also with the black gloss finish but without the gold speckles of the SL-1200LTD, it is based on the MK5G model, but with blue target lights.

        ~ SL-1200 - Reasons for their production ~

        The SL-1200 series was apparently a special project by Matsushita in an attempt to solve problems related to turntable designs, which included sound difficulties.

        By designing a heavy plinth made of a non-resonant composite that was placed between a cast alloys top plate which included a solid rubber base, the sound quality was vastly enriched.

        These models came with adjustable rubber feet that ensured the Technics SL-1200 series were insulated against acoustic feedback.

        The Matsushita designed direct-drive system, was developed to eliminate the problems of irregularities in the playback speed of 'frequency wobble', caused by speed fluctuations.

        The stator is bolted to the plinth. This latter is of thin aluminum, damped with a layer of rubber. Hence, this produces a quiet turntable and having a minimal motor and bearing noise. But, as with any brand of well used older models, the bearing rumble does arise!

        The SL-1200 utilizes a Frequency Generator Servo Control Quartz Lock system that is claimed to produce the most accurate speeds possible.

        ~*~ Negatives, as I promised to be fair! ~*~

        > The earlier versions have light and fragile plastic dust covers.

        > Even with the direct drive feature, the thick rubber mat is needed to assist the models noise reduction! This mat is rather large on the earlier designs and not perfectly flat. But simple DIY easily sorts this defect out!

        > Direct drive turntables can present difficulties from vibration due to the motor but with the Technics SL-1200 versions of shock-absorbing material, placed between the motor and platter has cut back on the vibrations.

        I apologise but saying anymore would feel like ditching an old friend!

        ~*~ The end of an Era? ~*~

        There have been rumours of the Technics SL-1200 range being discontinued!

        Panasonic have commented that the SL-1200 turntables are available but the prices have risen due to their production costs.

        Although no official statements have yet been made from Panasonic, some music equipment retailers have received notification that the SL-1200 and all of its related models were going to be being discontinued.

        Advice: If you own one, take good care of it...don't sell it like some of us! If you don't own one, pick up a version on-line!

        Used by professional DJ's etc, over the years, the SL-1200 turntables have been a treasure; oh the good old days of dancing around our handbags at tjhe discos!

        There has been many for's & against comments in the high end fields but I'm speaking as an unprofessional consumer. For my personal use, I adore this series. Maybe my feeling is clouded by sentimentality, but I'm sure, I wouldn't have kept my gems for so long and up-graded to the next MK's if not for its quality in sound & features!

        Thanks to the various on-line outlets that still make this series available, including their replacement components.

        ~*~ And a major thank you to my fellow Dooyooers who have managed to read to the end! ~*~


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      • Product Details

        The Technics SL-1200 is a series of turntables manufactured since October 1972 by Matsushita under the brand name of Technics. Originally released as a high fidelity consumer record player, it quickly became adopted among radio and club disc jockeys. Since its release in 1978, SL-1200MK2 and its successors have been the most common turntable for DJing and scratching.

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