Technics SL-1210M5G Turntable

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by Danny Kaey on October 18 '06

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What keeps kids up all night (again?)? Yep, sure enough, it’s the Technics SL-1210M5G turntable. Going on 30 years of age, Technics most recent introduction to the awesome 1200 series is selling like hot cakes. With recent reports that vinyl is again (again?!) picking up in sales and this by the hot and young 19-27 crowd, we may yet see the creation of new fresh audiophile blood.

Priced at around $600 excluding cartridge, you pretty much get everything you could ask for in a first TT. Personally, I think audiophiles have not given the 1200 series enough credit – I think its one hell of a design and certainly the build quality is fantastic at this price point. Sure, it has the dj usual pitch control, nearly instant start/stop performance, but its not like this should be a hindrance to enjoy it. If you want the audiophile treatment go get it at KAB – Kevin is awesome to work with and will make sure the TT is checked out and adjusted properly. PS: check out the cool blue LED’s!

 Consumer Electronics Technics Dj Images Slideshow Analog4


I had two of the old SL1200MkII. Great value. The plinth is a whole lot better than any suspended (or not) audiophile turntable. For club purposes (people jumping all around), it has to be. Of course no "real" audiophile would approach these cause they cost too little and are not made of acrylic, but since am not an audiophile anyway, I'd get one anyday and would not fear of acoustic feedback. They also keep up value. I'm sure someday they will become classics and people will start to restore them. In my opinion, better than Garrard 401, but what do I know?
Robert, couldn't agree with you more! The arm alone is worth its weight in Rhodium and as you said, lots of technical thinking went into the design of this classic. IMHO, the only thing holding this back from would be audiophiles is the name Technics and the DJ specific pitch controls, etc... Speaking of the arm... this is the same design off which the famed EPA-100 Mk I & MkII was based on (which Stereophile cringingly gave a solid review back in the day) Obviously, the armtube isn't made of Boron, the bearings aren't Ruby's, but other then that... Interestingly the friction of this arm is also at record low levels and I wonder how many modern day arms would compare... anyway...
How true. When I got into "HiFi", my first table was a Rega Planet (their very first). I bought it because it looked cool with three pods in place of the usual platter, and because it was cheap ($180). However, it picked up feedback badly - it had a 1 in. thick plinth made of presswood. That one was replaced by a Thorens TD 160MkII that came with a TP11 ultra low mass tonearm. Low mass was the buzzword at the time. However, the low mass arm and cartridge (ADC ZLM MkII) could not track piano, and the whole thing would bounce around wildly, and was still prone to feedback. Came a Linn LP12 which also bounced like crazy. Then the SL1200s came, one with a Stanton cartridge, and a Shure V15 on the other. It certainly didn't have the "audiophile" look (or name or color or suspension or tonearm or cartridge) but it could track piano and I could move around the room without popping the woofers. I didn't have to clean the slipping rubber belt or to lift the platter to change speed. So when I got back into vinyl, I got myself an old Denon DP100, fitted an antiquated and wonderful Sintec tonearm (a machinist dream - built like a Rolex and bought for $50) built a heavy plinth and can listen to piano the way it should be reproduced. Naturally, if Technics would rebuild those wonderful SP10 platers I'd get one right away, but I guess they would have to change their name, remove some user comfort features and pump up the price to get it accepted by the "audiophile" community...