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Technics SL1200 turntable upgrades

Discussion in 'audio' started by tedmanzie, Apr 11, 2014.

  1. tedmanzie

    tedmanzie pfm Member

    I have an unmodified Technics SL1200 mk2 from 1985. It has a Stanton 680e cartridge and D680 eliptical stylus.

    There are various 'upgrades' described on the internet - re-wiring the original arm, new arm, new feet, new power supply, new mat, etc.

    Is anyone here a fan of these decks and would you recommend any of the modifications?

  2. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Slightly off-topic, but there is currently a petition on here asking Technics to reintroduce the SL-1200. I can't understand why they stopped making the things to be honest. There's clearly a market as mint examples are changing hands at more than they sold for new now. I wish I'd bought one when they could still be had new for £300 or so!
  3. tedmanzie

    tedmanzie pfm Member

    Yes I've seen some silly prices being asked for mint examples. There must be literally hundreds of thousands of these things around though (DJ dreams in tatters!), so finding a good condition second hand one shouldn't be too much trouble?
  4. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I found a rather nice example of it's 1970s arm-less ancestor, the SL-120, in a local auction earlier in the week for just £30 with a 3009 on board (thread here in the classic room)! It's a really nice deck. I'd rather like to try a MkII at some point as apparently the plinth is better damped and it has the quartz-lock speed control. I like the idea of direct drive a lot, it seems to have much of the torque of an idler-drive but manages it in a deathly silence! A proper engineering solution to the question.
  5. Bigbobby666

    Bigbobby666 pfm Member

    I have 2 1200's and love them!

    Start with a new cart and a good phono stage. Then if you want more; rewire the arm (audio origami), and maybe get RCA plugs fitted to allow custom interconnects.

    In my opinion tho the stock deck is great, so you should only need to get a good cart and stage to have a great sound.
  6. Peter Stockwell

    Peter Stockwell deep fried and gone

    All true, but a step beyond, is taking the power supply & transformer out of the deck, and maybe replacing it with something beefier. No need to replace stock arm, but any top flight arm will work very well on this deck.
  7. Beobloke

    Beobloke pfm Member

    New cartridge, Funk Firm Achromat, have Audio Origami re-wire the arm and enjoy.

    If you feel you need to push the envelope further, save up for an SP10.
  8. Bigbobby666

    Bigbobby666 pfm Member

    Its worth having a search on hifiwigwam for technics upgrades - there are some seriously detailed posts on what you can do with a Techie there.
  9. tedmanzie

    tedmanzie pfm Member

    I like the sound of a 'Funk Firm Achromat' !

    Cartridge/Stylus sounds very good already, do you not rate the old Stantons round these parts? :)

    I think the old (not new) Stanton cartridges are very good. I have a 680E on one deck with a D680 eliptical, and a 500 on the other with a Pickering D-5-E eliptical. They both have groovy little brushes that sweep up as they go!
  10. Bigbobby666

    Bigbobby666 pfm Member

    I have a Ortofon 2m Blue on mine, which i'm very happy with, i've been swapping phono stages around a lot recently, my fav so far was the Musical Fidelity M1LPS.
  11. Gromit

    Gromit Plasticine Dog

    I've had a few SL1210's over the years and found them to be an enjoyable way to play records. Not being a massive fan of the 'bog-stock sound' they can be improved very noticeably for a small outlay.

    Of course there are some folk who've spent £k's on modding their Tecchies - and fair play to them, the couple that I've heard have sounded very fine indeed. Would they have been better off just getting SP10's? Who knows, but for me that's not wholly the point - like cars and motorcycles, the improving/modding/tinkering can be all part of the fun and if the end result is a big improvement on the original, then great. :)

    The most modded 1210 I had was just fairly low-key (in the grand scheme) with Timestep HE psu, Vantage Audio feet (the best 25 quid I ever spent on the turntable!), Vantage bearing, Achromat (although the jury remained out on that one) and the KAB arm damper. With a 2M Black fitted it sounded great.
  12. tedmanzie

    tedmanzie pfm Member

    Vantage feet seem like a very good idea.
  13. paul71a

    paul71a pfm Member

    I've a pair of them, both flight cased and at least one of them could be described as "mint". I wonder if I should sell them if they're worth a pretty penny?
  14. tedmanzie

    tedmanzie pfm Member

    £300 to £400 ?
  15. linnfomaniac83

    linnfomaniac83 I bet you can’t wheelie a unicycle!

    Freefallrob's 1210's sound superb fitted with Rega RB303 arms, he had an ortofon MC X3 on one and a Goldring eroica on the other when I heard them. Both decks changed my view on what a 1210 can do completely, they sounded utterly superb. It's the industrial DJ looks that put me off using a 1210 in my own system but with a little effort, they can sound amazing.
  16. johnfromnorwich

    johnfromnorwich even my wife noticed the dif..

    I picked up a Mk II a while back. I quite like it (stock arm, DL110) but I'm surprised at how much vibration is picked up by the plinth. Not sure what can be done about that (mine is totally stock). Design classic though. Good for parties and a useful spare but I can't see it displacing my 301. It's DJ friendly design however, does render it more or less toddler proof!
  17. dss

    dss Musical Bons

    Surely a SL 1210 MKII is a nightclub deck, to listen to nightclub music in a nightclub style is it?

    If you want a hi-fi deck to listen to hi-fi music in a hi-fi style you would start elsewhere there, with a Rega or something.

    Having said that, on mine I changed the rather heavy rubber mat for a tasty slipmat that allows for slipping the record.

  18. Still

    Still he said his naim was ralph


    Would your future choice re: slip mats be influenced by the moo moo thread?

  19. dss

    dss Musical Bons

    Only when playing this is it:

    Otherwise something woolly from Kompakt there.

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2018
  20. twotone

    twotone pfm Member

    I have a Technics SL 1200 mk2 which I bought mint complete with Garrard p77 cart and makers box for £350, I subsequently sold the cart for £40 I think on ebay.

    I have a Timestep PSU, Technics Acromat, Isonoes & Techniboots, Micro Seiki MA-202 arm & HA-202 headshell with a Reca Reson MM cart and even through a Rega Brio-R phono stage it's the best I've ever heard music on my current system.

    Actually it's hard to believe that vinyl can sound as good as it does through a good TT set up.

    I love it.


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