Technics SL-1200mk2 TurnTables

Technics SL-1200mk2 TurnTables 

DESCRIPTION

Universally acknowledged. Built-to-last. Industry standard. Coin-of-the-realm. All of these phrases apply to this quintessential pro DJ tool.

  • Quartz Direct Drive accuracy, with continuous pitch adjustment up to 18%
  • Very high torque motor for quick start-ups (only 0.07 seconds stop to speed)
  • Custom brake speed control
  • Non "click" pitch fader
  • LED pop-up work light
  • Built-in anti-skate adjustment up to 6g
  • Arm-end scale for quick Weight setting
  • Molded aluminum diecast cabinet and heavy rubber base material help absorb unwanted vibrations from the dance floor
  • Includes Technics slipmat & scratch mat
  • Highly sensitive low-mass tone arm with gimbaled suspension
  • Includes removable hinge-free dust cover
  • Silver or Black finish
  • Cartridge required -- not included

  • USER REVIEWS

    Showing 1-10 of 147  
    [May 23, 2013]
    Lee De Forest
    AudioPhile

    I am reviewing upgrades for the Technics SL-1200/mk II, particularly the KAB PS-1200GX (power conditioner), DC1200 (regulator) and SX1200 (strobe disabler), sold as a package for $260.

    In the summer of ’10 I acquired a Technics SL-1200/IIa from eBay. Within the first week I noticed that the transformer was transmitting some mechanical vibration to the cartridge. If you have one you can verify this yourself. Turn on your amplification and set the volume to the usual level; with the ‘1200 turned off, lower the needle to the lead in groove on the motionless LP. When the needle touches the LP the hum level should not change. Now turn ON the ‘1200, but don’t start the motor. Repeat the operation of lowering the needle to the motionless record, but this time you will hear a pronounced hum elevation when the stylus makes contact. With the ‘table turned on there is current flow to the transformer whose mechanical vibration is picked up by the cartridge. This noise will persist when the record is playing. The fact that the hum drops when the needle is lifted even 1 mm from the LP surface makes it clear that the cause is mechanical vibration, not electromagnetic induction. I removed the transformer, bolted it onto a wooden block and sat it on a different shelf with some connecting wire. Under the transformer and block I placed some packing foam. It looked rather shabby, but the problem was solved.

    I further improved my turntable by upgrading the stock tonearm to an Origin Live Silver Mk II. It’s a wonderful arm. All the positive press about it is true, and you can check out an excellent review in sixmoons.com. As terrific as it was, the new tonearm didn’t solve a persistent problem with the ‘1200 that others have commented about: a dull recessed midrange. I swapped cartridges and made countless mods to my tube preamp to open things up, but to no avail. What solved the problem was replacing the stock thick rubber mat with a Funk Firm achromat 1200 – the version customized to work with the elevated outer rim of the platter on a Technics turntable. It takes only 10 seconds to do a quick swap between mats to confirm: muddy, diffuse, dull sound with stock rubber mat; lively, more solid, better defined, and more accurate tonal balance with the Achromat. And realize I had already added some stick-on Cascade VB-1 sheet to the underside of the platter to dampen its ringing. Apparently the aluminum platter needs a lot of help in this respect.

    As the OL silver tonearm uses a Rega 3-point mount, by installing it I surrendered the ability to easily change the VTA that the Technics arm supplied. Later I took Pete Riggle’s VTAF (Vertical Tracking Angle adjuster on the Fly) along with his armboard adapter for Technics turntables. The adapter is superbly well built and improved on both the Technics and the OL mounts. The VTAF allows easy VTA adjustment and decouples the tonearm from the plinth. Big upgrade in convenience; huge upgrade in sonics! You can read about it here: http://www.vtaf.com/id81.html.

    I mention the above to show that I was starting from a heavily tweaked and much improved turntable - one in which I might be able to discerned fine differences in further modifications. I’m an upgrade freak and can hardly pass up any kind of tweak or mod. But I hesitated to take the KAB power supply/conditioner, as I felt I had already achieved much of what it had to offer by removing the transformer. I contacted Ken Barton who referred me to Zakesman’s review: http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/frr.pl?ranlg&1093010514&openflup&25&4#25. The fact that he could switch readily between the internal power supply (PS) and the KAB PS, and described much improved sound with the latter, closed the deal for me.

    I got the hardware from KAB: PS-1200GX (power conditioner), in which the DC1200 (PS regulator) and SX1200 (strobe disabler) are included with the price. The PS-1200 is actually two units: the power conditioner and a switch-mode PS that plugs into the outlet. I don’t want to call the PS a “wall wart”, as it’s more like the AC adapter box your laptop. The main PS1200 box filters the voltage from the wall wart, er I mean, power supply. Both the output cable from the PS box and the output cable from the PS1200 are about 2 m – sufficiently long that they can be separated on different shelves. The PS1200 output cable is apparently comprised of 20 AWG stranded wire and runs inside the turntable and connects to the DC1200 board. The DC and SX are circuit boards that the user bolts in and wires up. The DC1200 regulator board replaces a board that contains a single transistor. It was a breeze to install and required only a wire stripper and screwdriver. The SX unit was supposed to come with wires pre-attached to the board and wire nuts, so that a user with no soldering iron could install it. That wasn’t the case; but fortunately, I’m quite handy with a soldering iron, so connecting was no trouble. The papers that came with the devices had minimal installation instructions, so one really had to use the instructions at the KAB website to figure things out. There was no need to remove the bottom plate of the ‘table - only the cover below the platter. For me, it was nice to say “goodbye” to the unsightly three sets of wires dangling out the back of the ‘table: AC line, transformer in, and transformer out. I suppose that most installers would leave the original AC power cord in place, but I snipped it out. It is no longer needed.

    I installed everything at once, and then listened. I can say without reservation that I’m happy with my purchase. With the preamp attenuators in their usual position, as soon as I threw the switch, I noticed that hum was lower by 8-10 dB than before the installation. Cool! Most – maybe all – other Technics SL-1200 owners would not have removed the transformer, as I did, and would likely enjoy around 20 dB of total noise reduction. Reducing this amount of noise will unmask some serious detail! For that alone, it’s worth the cost.

    The strobe disabler didn’t seem to do much to improve sound quality, but as I mentioned, Ken Barton now throws it in with the deal. Okay, maybe there was a tiny bit more clarity with the strobe off, but the difference was not pronounced in my system. The strobe can be enabled/disabled by holding the ON switch for 6 seconds, so it’s easy to do an A/B comparison. Apparently the strobe light mainly serves to reassume us humans that the quartz clock is doing its job.

    But regarding the sonic improvements wrought by the other hardware – Wow! With a stiffer power supply, one might expect more sure-footed dynamics and better bass articulation. I got that – bass lines in either electric bass or bowed double bass are easy to follow. The dynamic aspect of plucked bass (and other strings, too) in the Tchaikovsky scherzo movement of the Symphony # 4, was as convincingly real in its tactility as I ever heard in playback. Both low level and macro dynamics improved. And there was more: more detail, more immediacy; mids were lusher, and highs clearer. Everything just seemed faster and more immediate, as I said. In short, I heard pretty much everything that Zakesman described, even though I started without the transformer vibration. The only drawback is that with other sources of noise vanquished, that other noise bugaboo (record surface noise) is more noticeable. What are you going to do? Shut up and enjoy the music.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    [Nov 30, 2012]
    Tom
    Audio Enthusiast

    Super table. Some "audiophiles" might not agree-but this model replaced my DUAL (CS-5000) so that shows how much I love this unit. I'm considering a cartidge upgrade..from a STANTON 681 Mk3 EEE to a GRADO ( prob. the Gold 1) to improve the performance even MORE. PLUS, as I've heard from many reviews, I won't encounter the infamouse "Grado Hum" on the 1200. Can't go wrong. It's out of production now, but if at all possible, try to get your hands on one. PROBLEM SOLVED !!!
    5+ STARS

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    [May 19, 2010]
    David colon
    AudioPhile

    Needless to say, this is one turntable that you either love or hate. I love it. Now I want to say that along with the 1200mk2 I have a VPI Scout and the Gyro SE with the Michell TecnoArm, TecnoWeight upgrade and the VTA adjustment sleeve. I have a Shure V15xMR on the Gyro SE, a Aurum Beta on the VPI and on the 1200mk2 I have the Denon dl103R. I have two turntables hooked into my Pre-Amp at all times. I have never given up on vinyl so I listen to lp's all the time along with my CD's. It's not important about all the other gear I have but because what is important is that we enjoy the music. And what makes one man happy may not make another but that doesn't mean a thing. If you are happy then that is all that counts. Ok, about the 1200mk2. I always have the mk2 two on line. I rotate the vpi and the michell all the time but that damn 1200mk2 just doesn't want to leave the system for a rest and I'm running it stock. No fancy upgrades for the technics. The Denon dl103R is very happy with the technics and unless you have the ears of an eagel and are more than just gifted with an audiophile "golden ear," I don't believe you will have anything to complain about this classic turntable. It's reliable, built like a tank, and this is one of the things that annoys many people, and the direct drive is dead on and smooth as silk. By the way, it really is important to periodically put bearing oil on the technics. This only only have to do about every three to five years and you can buy it at KAB for not to much money. Ok, look, I read Stereophile Mag. every month. I have been a subscriber for about fifteen years and I have come to understand that if you take the reviews too seriously there will never be any turntable out there that will sound good to you. Thing is that most of that "not sounding good," will be a product of psychoacoustics. I'm telling you if you are on the market for a turntable, maybe the last you'll need, then you have to do yourself the great favor of getting a listen to the Technics 1200 series. Look, I'm 62years old. I have spent a fortune over the years chasing that elusive audiophile sound and looking back I could have saved a lot of money just trusting my ears and not some salesman pushing the exotic stuff. If I had could only keep one table it would be the 1200mk2. In fact I am going to order the 1210m5g because the time is coming when these turntables are going to sky rocket in price. Oh, and forget the DJ link. These tables were first constructed for listening to music before they were opted by the DJ's for scratching. anyway, trust me, you won't go wrong with a 1200 series and a good cartridge.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    [Feb 24, 2010]
    rkgreen
    Audio Enthusiast

    I have had a Linn Sondek LP12 with an Ittok arm since 1982. It sounds great, but was a pain. Finally, when the power supply went, I learned that a new power supply would cost twice as much as a new SL-1200mk2.

    I decided enough was enough--I wanted a turntable that just worked. And the Technics does just that. It is beautifully built, absolutely silent, and easy to use. It seems immune to room vibration. Did the Linn sound better? Sure--a little, and by that I mean very little. But the Technics is less fussy, and from all I can tell, far more reliable. You are also not expected to spend a fortune to regularly tune or upgrade the thing.

    I already love the Technics, probably for the same reason that I love my Honda Accord. It just does its job really well, day after day, at a very fair (but not cheap) price.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    [Mar 24, 2008]
    arctikdeth
    Audio Enthusiast

    Strength:

    heavy, quality, sound great for a dj turntable, features.

    Weakness:

    bulky, heavy(if you call that a weakness?)

    thats it..........

    used this turntable for many years now and truouble free use is the best way to describe this. been dropped from about 3 feet, and no problems, still sounds great,..i use a dj cart because of the high output, i used to use a ortofon- x5-mc, because it sounds great, but the dj cart just snap right in the tonearm, very easy and great sound tight bass, great highs, and midrange is excellent, guitar solos are ear rattling w/ this.

    Customer Service

    in the many years of use, none has been needed, surproised there still in business for building a turntable that DON'T breat

    Similar Products Used:

    sony, other technics turntables, thorens

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    [Nov 22, 2007]
    Gino
    Audio Enthusiast

    Strength:

    Excellent musical performance with a neutral, soft and warm cartridge as the Shure m97xe.
    Excellent technical performance from the DC motor.
    Simplicity and reliability.
    Good match with a Rega RB tonearm.

    Weakness:

    Can be bright and cold with some cartridges as the Grado Prestige Black. This cartridge is a good one but it is a better match with a belt drive turntable as the Rega Planar 25.

    The Technics SL-1200 mk2 is the best turntable that I have ever had. It is not only a DJ turntable but a real audiophile turntable. I use it with the excellent Rega RB600 tonearm and the pretty good Shure m97xe cartridge.

    The musical personality of the Technics SL-1200 mk2 is bright, dynamic, detailed and a little bite cold with a Grado Prestige Black cartridge. If you use a neutral, soft and warm cartridge as a Shure m97xe or Shure v15Vxmr or a Goldring Eroica H, the Technics will really sing at its best. With my Shure m97xe cartridge and Rega RB600 arm the musical performance is good on all the frequency range. Bass is tight and clear not muddled at all. Medium is sweet and warm. Treble is soft and extended. The music is exciting to listen to with plenty of dynamic and details.

    The technical performance from this turntable is exceptional. The platter REALLY turns at the right speed. I don't feel any frustration about the accuracy of the speed with this turntable. When I listen to the Chopin Waltzes, the piano is well reproduced with any wow or flutter. Since I discovered the qualities of a good direct drive turntable as the Technics, I'm less interested to the belt drive turntables.

    I listen to classical, pop, rock and ambient music with the Technics, Rega and Shure combo. I recommend this turntable without any shy because it can beat british belt drive design. You can take a look to my combo in the photo gallery at the component section on this website.

    Customer Service

    I have good customer service with Technics retailer MOOG Audio in Montreal, Canada.

    Similar Products Used:

    Revolver standard turntable with Linn LVX tonearm.
    Linn Axis turntable with Linn Basik+ tonearm.
    Linn Basik turntable with Linn Akito tonarm.
    Rega Planar 3 turntable with Rega RB300 tonearm.
    Mission 775S turntable with a Mission 774 tonearm.
    Rega Planar 25 with Rega RB600 tonearm.


    I use a Rega Mira integrated amplifier and JMLab Chorus 715 loudspeakers.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    [Aug 11, 2006]
    cmsdms
    AudioPhile

    Strength:

    speed stability
    silent
    good arm
    good sound quality

    Weakness:

    For the money, none.

    So many reviews, what the heck one more wont matter. For what it is worth I think this is one of the best turntables period!. i have been using a Denon 103 cratridge(in various fromats) for over thirty years and can say this cartridge sounds fantastic with the 1200(with added counterweight). Speed stability is the best. try playing some solo piano on this turntable and then try the same cut on ANY other and you will hear what I mean. The turntable is dead silent, no rumble. There may be better arms out there but this one is pretty high quality. if you buy this turntable for home use in my opinion you will not be dissapointed especially for the price. I have had many high end units and overall this is the best.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    [Feb 08, 2006]
    robinliebrechts
    Audio Enthusiast

    Strength:

    good construction heavy nice looking very good pitch stability

    Weakness:

    soundquality isn't so great

    I bought a sl1210 in 2002. I used it for less than 3 months with different types of cartridges, a denon dl160, a ortofon and a dj cartridge. with none of the cartridges i get a nice soundquality. the sl1210 sounds too shut in and the bass is very poor. the cartridges and arm were correctly adjusted. so i sold the sl1210 and bought a transrotor porcino. with the transrotor i got the sound i wanted. the sl1210 is very well contructed though. Robin

    OVERALL
    RATING
    2
    VALUE
    RATING
    3
    [Jan 29, 2006]
    DJ Wicked
    AudioPhile

    Strength:

    bass, mids detail sound flows, price, motor, platter tone arm

    Weakness:

    The table and platter have no weakness what so ever. A tone arm upgrade is a good idea.

    This deck is in every club and is used by 99.99 percent of dj's. However this should not distract away from the fact that this is a true audiophile deck with the worlds most accurate motor a brushless dc. This leaves no vibration as the deck is spun by a magnetic field. the solid platter is dampened with heavy rubber. The chassis of the deck is rock solid and is held still and protected from vibration by 11kg of lead which dampenes the sound further. The sound is amazing, beatiful sounstage, mids, and crisp full bass as good as as any at it price i think better

    Similar Products Used:

    linn

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    [Sep 13, 2005]
    DJ Wicked
    Audio Enthusiast

    Strength:

    Relable like nothing else, studio grade sound quallity. ATTENTION TO DETAIL. Precision of motor when mixing beats. Best Anti vibe ever. Best selling audio equipment in existance, need I go on..........

    Weakness:

    Signal cables high quallity but fixed.

    I cannot believe some of the tripe people are typing. These decks have been around for 30 years and never been changed. They are the strongest in the world at any price. They sound amazing even for the price, with upgraded cables and expensive carts. The also have the lowest wow and flutter availible meaning there more accurate. Even though these decks have totally out sold any piece of hifi equipment ever in existance, they have barely been any reports of faults. These are abused by millions of dj's every day yet still work as good as new even when 25 years old. I challenge anyone to stick some lynn tables in a club enviroment and see if any one can mix on them / or if they last 20 years. Every part on the technics is built in japan to complete precision. When mixing nothing feels like technics. The platters are rock solid, and the decks are the best protected against vibration for the price. They designed to be vibration proof in clubs with 20,000 watt systems blasting, in these environments anyother deck sounds worse off. The electronics and semiconductors are all custom made to the heighest standard and thats why these last. Every club in the world has these, (appart from when competitors SPONSOR clubs to use there decks). These things are even in the Science museum, as the #1 example of manufacturing excellence. Other dj turntables like st150s, ttx etc are good but come one, you really believe every club will have them one day & and they will last 25 years (didn't think so). Oh and none are as accurate as technics to start with, and any that come relativly close soon lose there accuracy after a few years. I learnt this the hard and expensive way on my stanton 150s. I love the attention to detail and the way nothing was overlooked when making these. If you want to DJ and you cant afford these then tough luck because you need these, best to start off on a good habit. Also you save money in the longrun on these because there everlasting and youll never need another pair again. One thing though, although the cables are very heigh quallity there fixed, whats the crack with that then.

    Similar Products Used:

    nothing is similar to technics, but other turntables are stanton st150's, ttx, a range of clear audio turntables.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Showing 1-10 of 147  

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