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How about a Technics SL1200 or SL1210 review?
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They're iconic decks, yet I haven't seen a review in WHFSAV.

I for one would be interested to see a review, perhaps with the Rega P3 and the Pro-ject Xpression. The Technics are the subject of much controversy as to whether they're a true hifi decks or good for DJs only, so an independent opinion would be good to see..

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Re: How about a Technics SL1200 or SL1210 review?

We did review the Technics decks way-back-when - IIRC a three-star review, as you could buy much better performance (if not, of course, the DJ frills) for the same money.

I'll see if I can dig the review out of the archive next week, if I remember. 

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Re: How about a Technics SL1200 or SL1210 review?

OK, thanks.

Anonymous
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Re: How about a Technics SL1200 or SL1210 review?

I don't think there is much controversy about it. With a bit of fettling, it's a great sub £1000 turntable. Have a look on some of the other forums or dare I say it, at some of the other hi-fi mags.

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Re: How about a Technics SL1200 or SL1210 review?
Emmodd:I don't think there is much controversy about it. With a bit of fettling, it's a great sub £1000 turntable. Have a look on some of the other forums or dare I say it, at some of the other hi-fi mags.

That's why I say there's a lot of controversy. Many dismiss it as DJ junk and not HiFi, whilst others sing it praises to the skies.

No matter, it deserves attention if only because the SL1200/1210 more than any other deck kept vinyl alive. 

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Re: How about a Technics SL1200 or SL1210 review?
Tarquinh:Emmodd:I don't think there is much controversy about it. With a bit of fettling, it's a great sub £1000 turntable. Have a look on some of the other forums or dare I say it, at some of the other hi-fi mags.

That's why I say there's a lot of controversy. Many dismiss it as DJ junk and not HiFi, whilst others sing it praises to the skies.

No matter, it deserves attention if only because the SL1200/1210 more than any other deck kept vinyl alive. 

Some of the blame has to be taken by Panasonic by dropping the Technics brand as a domestic hifi producer and moving the SL1200/10 to the Technics professional range, but then, what choice did they have when it's still a major money spinner - no (s)pun intended - for them.

Whatever, the SL1200/10 , with a little coaxing, is still a sound proposition but having had one and a Rega P3-24 I believe the Rega to be the better deck.

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RE: Turntables and LPs

There are alot of assumptions, bias and misinformation on the net regarding this turntable. Disco music was'nt really around in 1972 when the SL1200 was developed. It was not invented for DJ's, that is a myth. The SL1200 was developed to tackle the problems associated with LP playback and alot of money was spent in R&D to achieve the result. A properly set up and situated SL1200 is a serious hi-fi table with rock steady speed (providing the record is concentric), and excellent sound quality.  Many records that you buy in the used store were actually cut using Technics made direct drive system tables- so no it is not a DJ thing, but actually an industry standard. I've owned and own Rega belt drives, Thornes belt drive and Technics direct drive. In the USA For what it used to sell for ( almost half the price of a Rega 3) the SL1200 had no peer. Unfortunately they are now out of production. Having owned and used both in my system, I feel The SL1200 is an overall better table than a Rega 2 or 3. Some take the SL1200  and put expensive SME  arms on it to create a "giant killer".

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RE: Turntables and LPs

For what its worth I love my modded Technics SL1200 with an origin live basic modded tonearm. It has been a huge step up from my project debut despite keeping the same ortofon blue 2m cart as far as digging out detail from vinyl. I do think it is a valid alternative to the rega p3-24 option which is the usual recommendation at around this price range. There do seem to be differences in sound between the two probably because of the direct drive versus belt driven issues. Both have the option of further improvements as funds allow. I guess the main problem is the opportunity to try out the modded technics in contrast to the Rega. There are certainly forums for advice for the interested but differences of opinion as far as best replacement power supply and most compatible tonearms for the technics.

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RE: Turntables and LPs

I suppose it is all moot now since they are out of production which seems ill timed with regard to the SL1200 gaining popularity in the "audiophile" community.  There is nothing wrong with the arm on the SL1200, it has lower bearing friction than many more expensive arms including Rega and as the SL1200 was the trickle down of the high end professional SP turntables, the arm is also a lower cost version of one of their high end models back then called EPA 100. On the minus side the arm is not a one piece cast which is standard audiophile acceptance level, but it does have the convenience of being very easy to listen to the different cartridges in your stable almost immediately. The inferiority of the Technics arm is blown out of proportion and seems mostly based on hearsey, as the only way to really know would be to have two SL1200's side by side one with the stock arm and one with a Rega or Origin live arm. Those arms may or may not work better on the deck, but the perception that you have to rid the arm for the SL1200 to be any good is ill informed IMO.

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RE: Turntables and LPs

I went through the classic 1980's upgrade path; Dual CS-505, Rega Planar then LP-12 Ittock. The later served me well for many years, but after reading about the SL-1200 on forums, and other mags, I picked one up second hand to have a play around with, for my own fun.

I cleaned it up, compared it to the Linn, and was amazed that I prefered the Technics. There is a real solid foundation to the music, in the bass area, and a more precise sound. The Linn "swings" more, but that's about it. No lessenibg of detail with the Technics, or lack of imaging.

The only downside I heard was a slightly hard upper-mid, but cured that with some sorbothene feet, and a cork mat. With these minor tweaks, the SL-12xx is a great piece of kit, IMHO.

It is definitely a serious piece of Hi-Fi, not a cheap plastic deck, and properly fettled can give excellent results.

I have heard one, albeit briefly, with a Rega RB250 fitted, and that seemed to give a smoother, more detailed sound, so maybe the arm is the weak link, despite the good quality of it's construction. Too many joins perhaps!

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RE: Turntables and LPs

.

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RE: Turntables and LPs

I hope I was not dismissing "swing", as it is very important, and I find the Technics has a high boogie factor, with the Linn just edging it. In every other respect I prefer the Technics.

To be fair to the Linn, it was probably due a service, which would have taken it back to it's best, but nowadays I can't be bothered! I'd rather have something that consistently performs to a high standard, year in and year out, with minimum fuss.

I'm now playing, and enjoying, vinyl far more than I have for years.

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RE: Turntables and LPs

I hope I was not dismissing "swing", as it is very important, and I find the Technics has a high boogie factor, with the Linn just edging it. In every other respect I prefer the Technics.

To be fair to the Linn, it was probably due a service, which would have taken it back to it's best, but nowadays I can't be bothered! I'd rather have something that consistently performs to a high standard, year in and year out, with minimum fuss.

I'm now playing, and enjoying, vinyl far more than I have for years.

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RE: SL1210 or LP12

I too have been reading up about the Technics, having seen a few modded ones at the Bristol show in February.  I think in the UK they were overlooked when everyone believed belt-drive ruled and direct-drive was technically fine but unmusical.  History seems to have proved that wrong, or at least not the whole story.

 

I also have a disused LP12 awaiting restoration, and I'm wondering if better to get a SL1210 with a decent arm, rather than spend months trying to fathom what upgrades the Linn needs, only to have it all go out of line on the way home from the dealer!  Or maybe to try the Inspire vivid kit to resurrect the Linn.  

Krell CD and amp, Michell/Rega/Grado record player, Hitachi and Sony tuners, Nakamichi cassette, SBT streamer, Sonus faber spkrs.  Sony and Samsung BDP & TVs. Qobuz > iPad > AudioPro Allroom Air One

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RE: Turntables and LPs

for DJs theres no contest the Technics SL-1200/1210 series are the best there is, imo tho if your after better sound quality out of the box then the MK4s are the way to go. a review would be great tho, any news on that link ?

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RE: Turntables and LPs

This "pace and timing", "boogie" or "swing"  thing get's tossed around in the audio press and is something Linn and Rega tables are reputed to have. When I got an SL1210MK5 my findings were similar to Mickeyjoe's. The Technics actually beat the Regas (P3 and 5) in the boogie department, it gives a more solid sound and it is very musical. So I agree with the poster who said what would such things as imaging be if it did'nt make you want to listen in the bargain- this of course is a very subjective thing. I don't know exactly what contributes to the 1200's sound but there is something to be said for a precision of speed; the DD speed hunting thing is a myth- piano notes do not waver at all and things are nicely balanced and right (unless the record is off center). Tonally the Rega sounds a bit thinner and lacking meat, but has more speed and hi-fi qualities- detail, imaging etc. I thought the Technics was more musical overall, and is no slouch on the checklist of things like tonality, detail, imaging etc.

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