1. Things you need to know about the new ‘Conversations’ PM system:

    a) DO NOT REPLY TO THE NOTIFICATION EMAIL! I get them, not the intended recipient. I get a lot of them and I do not want them! It is just a notification, log into the site and reply from there.

    b) To delete old conversations use the ‘Leave conversation’ option. This is just delete by another name.
    Dismiss Notice

Technics SL1200 turntable upgrades

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

  1. joel

    joel Painter of Dragons, Maker of Mirrors

    This is interesting and unexpected, but clearly the exit of Technics has left a gap in the market that a smaller, nimbler company might be able to exploit....
    Given Pioneer's close relations with Panasonic, it's not impossible that Pioneer are using Panasonic's tooling and resources (which might also account for the coyness). I think it's most likely that this would be OEM from one of the usual sources, however.
    Whichever it would be, actual production would almost certainly be in China, Vietnam or Malaysia. So I wouldn't get that excited. We will have to wait and see.
  2. joel

    joel Painter of Dragons, Maker of Mirrors

    It's not remotely as simple as this I'm afraid. In any case the chances of Panasonic having kept 40+ year-old tooling I would put at less than 50%.
  3. dss

    dss Musical Bons

    Does the revival 1210 need to be the Mk2 version is it? It would seem likely that the manufacturing bits left might be the final MkV model there. That was the one with some unnecessary add-ons and complexities.

  4. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    To my mind the Mk II is the real deal, it is the timeless classic. The Mk I (like my SL-120) misses the bits that enabled it to become a classic (the rock solid quartz-lock, the pitch slider and large on/off switch, the cueing light etc. The Mk V blinged / pimped it up with a shiny finish and ugly bright LEDs etc. Definitely a step backwards. A mint boxed SL-1200/1210 Mk II is the one to have IMO.

    PS The more I think about it the more I'm convinced the SL-1200 Mk II is a remarkable product. It really did facilitate something that was barely even possible before. The features that enabled dance culture / turntableism were really rather strange and out-of-place when viewed from an audiophile perspective, so it's hard to picture how Technics came up with them at all. It was after all an audiophile deck, it was not designed as a club TT. Why was the pitch slider so big and positioned where it was so ideal for right-hand access? Why did it have a pop-up cueing lamp? Why a large broadcast-style on / off switch independent from the speed selection? The typical audiophile needs none of these things; they don't alter pitch beyond setting the correct speed, don't change records in the dark and don't need a radio-station style fast-start. All these features were introduced with the Mk II - they didn't exist on the original SL-1200 / SL-120 or the higher-end SL-110. This precise yet unusual combination of features actually enabled whole musical genres.
  5. Peter Stockwell

    Peter Stockwell deep fried and gone

  6. 337alant

    337alant Negatively Biased

  7. mikemusic

    mikemusic pfm Member

  8. tedmanzie

    tedmanzie pfm Member

    i agree. I started to learn scratching when I was 16 back in 1984, I was using a direct drive but a cheap one, it was hopeless. When I first tried a 1200 i could not believe it, it was like the thing was made for it, which funnily enough it wasn't.

    the dj thing kicked off in new york regardless of the 1200 mk
    2 (old pics show djs on other turntables, maybe mk1?) but the mk2 certainly enabled the flourishing of the artform.

    i've never seen an interview with the designer(s) of the 1200, it would be an interesting read.
  9. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Studio 54 used, of all things, Thorens TD125s (I can't think of a less suitable deck!) and The Loft used very expensively kitted-out Technics SL-110s, all very much audiophile stuff, though both had some pitch adjustment. There is no way you could ever scratch or back-cue on a TD-125 though! The Loft actually used Koetsu carts at one point!
  10. dss

    dss Musical Bons

    one thing about all these tricked up 1210's on the AoS is these enormous record clamps on the decks. What is that about is it?

    A) You won't be able to slip the record to cue in properly, in the proper nightclub setting playing nightclub music, and

    B) Clamps usually kill off the life in the vinyl, making it sound all 'hi-fi' there.

    C) Proper DJs like Jeff Mills would not use them, and would not be able to whip off the plates mid break.

    I get the feet and the mat ideas, but multi £k bearings and power supplies and arms ?

  11. Peter Stockwell

    Peter Stockwell deep fried and gone

    ON AoS there's a race, maybe a one man race, to show who's blinged their SL1200 the most, but leaving that a side, the weakness in any Turntable is gernerally the power supply and the bearing, probably the bearing before the power supply.

    Kabusa used to, and probably still does, sell an aftermarket power supply that bypassed the original transformer, but didn't change the rectification, even this relative simple update improved on the standard Technics psu.

    Are you not convinced of the merits of an SL1200 deck as a purely music fans deck ?
  12. mikemusic

    mikemusic pfm Member

    DJs could use all the bits but I can't see the clamp being sensible.
    Be very interested to hear a fully tricked up 1200 in a night club against the house kit !
    The Stillpoints weight makes a difference in sound quality for me.
    The Mike New bearing, arguably the best is under £500. Yes you need to be serious spending that but it makes a difference.

    Not sure how any of the mods would stand up to nightclub life
  13. chris@panteg

    chris@panteg pfm Member

    Excellent post and spot on about the mk2 being the one to have !
  14. jackbarron

    jackbarron Chelsea, London

    Some unmodified, mint condition, 1210 Mk2s are going on fleaBay for almost £900

    Good job I got one a few months ago.

  15. Joe Hutch

    Joe Hutch Mate of the bloke

    Surely the 'purely music fans deck' would be one without all the add-ons, which are really for 'purely audiophile fans'?
  16. Peter Stockwell

    Peter Stockwell deep fried and gone

    That's an everlasting question. What's the difference between music lover and audiophile?
  17. Joe Hutch

    Joe Hutch Mate of the bloke

    One posts on audio forums, the other doesn't.
  18. mikemusic

    mikemusic pfm Member

    I'm all about the music

    Modding and upgrading kit to give me more music. Depth, width, dynamic range - all hifi terms - that give me more music

    I often listen in the dark, masking those damned LEDs. I prefer black boxes on my black Mana racks so they 'disappear'.
    That hasn't worked out fully with some silver boxes so I will shortly use some rolls of black paper to hide it better.
    (Thankyou Xerox for having Docutech PR belts in black paper)

    Most rate me as a hifi nutter.
    Nope just the music
  19. Werner

    Werner pfm Member

    It wasn't and it was.

    The history as I had to learn it was that the original audiophile SL-1200 got picked up by the club crowd. Consequently Matsushita got word of it, and lended their ear to that market for the follow-up MkII.
  20. Peter Stockwell

    Peter Stockwell deep fried and gone

    Interesting tip of the iceberg comment.

    Some claim that music is "good" you'll like it payed back through anything, I disagree with this. For me some music is not easily approached if it's not allowed to be comprehensible by the kit that you use for playback. Some music on some devices is utterly destroyed and becomes either unlistenable and/or boring, but I guess that's not the debate on this thread.

    I'm interested by the kit, too. I.e what does piece of kit A bring me compared with piece of kit B, sometimes, often even, there's nothing to speak of, but sometimes there's a big and apreciable change.

Share This Page


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice