Technics SL-1200 series as an audiophile turntable?

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by Benzlo, Aug 9, 2008.

  1. Benzlo

    Benzlo Joyfully Addicted

    I know there are high dollar audiophile turntables out there that my Technics will never compare to.

    However, I have (2) technics SL-1200 M3D (right aftre the MK II) that I used for DJing. I've been getting more into audiophile listening and I've got some decent solid state equipment and speakers.

    I am wondering if anyone uses the technics SL-1200 series turntables for detailed listening rather than DJing. It's super strong DD motor is very attractive to DJs (who use vynil). I removed the DJ cartridge and put in a shure M97x and it sounds pretty good.

    I also have a vintage Yamaha YP-D6 which sounds very good.

    Does anyone else use a Technics SL-1200 series turntable in an audiophile type system? Should I stick with my D6?
  2. Fast_Eddie

    Fast_Eddie Upper-middle fi

    I listen to an SL 1200, though I don't know if anyone would call me an audiophile. Listening to Steely Dan - MFSL Katy Lied through a Dynaco PAT-4 pre amp, Denon POA 2400 amp and a pair of B&W DM 602s. I don't know if it's audiophile or not, but it sure sounds good to me!

    I think everyone would agree that the SL 1200 is at worst a "decent" table. At best, some have said it's the best turntable ever made.

    Take care,

  3. MaxSeven

    MaxSeven Word Skeptic

    I almost bought a Technics SL-1210M5G, that I would consider to be of audiophile quality. Instead I bought vintage (The AR Turntable), but I would still consider that particular model to be of outstanding quality and superior engineering. Definitely, when combined with a good cartridge, the Technics would be a super-star.

    I don't consider the Technics to be exotic though, and that may be the difference.
  4. jazzwolf

    jazzwolf Super Member

    Quite a lot of people use their Technics SL-1200 for serious listening. It's a very good turntable and with a few tweaks it can stand it's own with anything out there. Lots of threads on this forum about members tweaking and modifying this turntable.
  5. MaxSeven

    MaxSeven Word Skeptic

    The SL-1210M5G...

    Attached Files:

  6. cactuscowboy

    cactuscowboy Banned

    My primary turntable for spinning stereo LPs and 45s is a KAB Technics SL-1200MK5 with:

    Cardas tonearm rewire
    Tonearm Dampener
    78 rpm mod
    Outboard power supply
    Ortofon ProS40 integrated headshell/cartridge

    Audiophile quality??? Yeah, you better believe it!
  7. rockin1150

    rockin1150 Super Member

    I use a yamaha p-450 w/ pickering p15 stylus. Sounds awsome through my Rotel amp and pre :thmbsp:
  8. lplover

    lplover Active Member

    There are mods available from Kevin at KABUSA, as well as a lot of Technics stuff. I have a lower rated Technics DD and still think it's great.
  9. Soundthought

    Soundthought Revolution is cyclical.

    I use a 1200 MK2 in my main set-up.
    It feeds both a Denon/Klipsch 7 channel system, and a Jolida/Khorn 2 channel rig.
    Works well with both mediums. IMO.

    For me, it was primarily about stability and versatility.

    No worrying about vibration issues when I decide to crank it up a bit.
    It's never skipped or rumbled, regardless of what cartridge is on or what album is spinning.
    I like that aspect of it.
    Being engineered for a high vibration environment explains the "rock solidness". :)

    The other plus in my book is the versatility when it comes to cartridge rolling.
    Easy to set up and quite adaptable to a variety of cart styles.
    Everything needed for adjustment is right there, readily available.
    Pretty cool, I think.

    Quick starting, speed accurate, multi-adjustable, deck that just happens to look good and match most of my more modern components.

    Can you tell I like it?

    I've spent time with each of my 30+ decks in that spot and everytime the 1200MK2 ends up back there.
    That really says it for me.

  10. djost

    djost New Member

    I hope I'm not off topic too much...if I am I apologize.

    The KAB modded Technics SL-1200 series table is a very popular topic that is discussed in several forums. I have never heard one, but I am very curious how one would compare to my Linn Axis/Basik+ with Grado Master cart setup.

    Would the Linn Axis table have a warmer sound and the Technics have a more brighter sound? Is a KAB modded Technics arm "better" than a Basik+ arm?

    Again, if I'm off topic with my question, I apologize. I'm getting ready to upgrade my turntable and I'm very curious if the KAB Technics should be an option.
  11. Fast_Eddie

    Fast_Eddie Upper-middle fi

    I would very much like to hear that. I have no doubt that is Audiophile quality and then some.
  12. Benzlo

    Benzlo Joyfully Addicted


    Thanks guys,

    I'll check out some of the forums on the mods. It is definitely a very solid table. I worked the motor hard when I DJ'd and it is SOLID.

    It weighs as much as an amp so you know it's built heavy.

    I will keep in the rig for now. I appreciate the input.
  13. Bigerik

    Bigerik AK Subscriber Subscriber

    From where I sit, the biggest weakness in the 1200 is the arm. However, there is a good conversion kit available to allow a bolt on swap to a Rega. I am sure a 1200 with a good Rega arm would be a killer sounding table.
  14. BrocLuno

    BrocLuno AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Lots of option. Reason they are so popular with both the DJ crowd and the audio crowd. Biggest difference in the approach to cartridges . Audio folks go for light tracking weights and superior tracking. I have about 12 cartridges mounted all the time and swap as I work through the "new" used vinyl I pick up here and there. A table like yours is built for headshell swapping. It's also pretty quiet with good specs. It can be improved. Parts are readily available. Even in stock form it will easily support up to a $500 cartridge. What's not to like?
  15. JohnVF

    JohnVF Banned

    My girlfriend has two of them. I love those tables...they just feel so SOLID compared to my bouncy-bouncy systemdek that needs it's own shelf to keep it singing (but man does it sing with a wall-shelf under it). I've fooled around with them a bit, and think you'd have to really invest some cash to better them, and even then I'd just put the money instead into a great cartridge and phono-preamp and keep the 1200s.

    I get jealous everytime I use them, as I have to lift the freakin' glass platter on my TT to change speeds by manually moving the belt, with is a PITA when she can just flip a switch. If I were you, I'd keep them and wisely invest what you would have spent on bettering it elsewhere in your system. If you're just starting out on this adventure, you'll have plenty of time to hear other turntables and decide if you want another. But I'd keep the technics regardless, because I think you'd miss there rock-solid nature once they were gone. Just my 2cents.
  16. KlipschFan61

    KlipschFan61 Smooth Jazzer

    I have no plans to part with mine any time soon.
  17. Stanton681EEES

    Stanton681EEES Addicted Member

    I want to scream every time someone says the weak point on the 1200 series or 16 17 or 1800MKII series is the arm. I wonder how many people have actually tore one down to see just how well there designed. If the arm is so bad then why after more than 20 years does Technics still manufacture them. Plus once you rewire one and up grade the cables they sound wonderful. I just had my 1800MKII rewired and added Belden cables. All I can say is best money I've ever spent on audio. And as to compare it to the regas from the people I know who's opinions I trust tell me the Regas are highly over rated. Plus they need upgrades to really shine.
    I just don't get it.
  18. cactuscowboy

    cactuscowboy Banned

    Fast Eddie,

    If you ever get up to NW Wyoming, give me a call.

    Dave (Cactus Cowboy)
  19. Fast_Eddie

    Fast_Eddie Upper-middle fi

    Man, if I could leave the kids and the dogs I'd jump in the car and come up for a visit today!
  20. Benzlo

    Benzlo Joyfully Addicted

    WOW - I really appreciate all the response.

    I appreciate all of the response.

    I've got a pair of them from DJing in the past so maybe I'll leave one stock and start playing with new parts on the other one.

    Thanks for all the info!

    I'll post the results of any mods I make.

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