You are here

Alternatives to the Technics SL1210 turntable?

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Alternatives to the Technics SL1210 turntable?

Postby Arpangel » Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:05 am

Not sure if this is the right place to raise this topic, but I can't think of any other SOS sub forum.
I've always wanted an SL1210 for hi-fi use, and sampling duties. But now prices have gone through the roof. I'm wondering about direct drive alternatives, like the Stanton, or models from Pioneer, or whether I'd be better off looking for a decent secondhand 1210?
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5811
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Alternatives to the Technics SL1210 turntable?

Postby blinddrew » Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:43 pm

If it's for hifi use is there a specific reason you're looking at direct drive?
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 12042
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Alternatives to the Technics SL1210 turntable?

Postby Wonks » Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:46 pm

Arpangel wrote:I've always wanted an SL1210 for hi-fi use, and sampling duties.

So. maybe sampling as well? ;)
User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10889
Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Reading, UK
Correcting mistakes on the internet since 1853

Re: Alternatives to the Technics SL1210 turntable?

Postby blinddrew » Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:58 pm

Doh! :headbang:
Ignore me.
Assuming you weren't going to anyway... ;)
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 12042
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Alternatives to the Technics SL1210 turntable?

Postby Trevor Johnson » Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:24 pm

The Technics SL range were/are beautifully engineered: I've had an SL1800 from new, circa 1979. The 1800 is a hi-fi rather than DJ deck, though some folks have used it for the latter. The tonearm can be improved with a bit of transplantation, depending whether the 1800 is the MkI or II version.

The 1800s are not that expensive, but I'd find a good used 1210 if that's what you want.
Trevor Johnson
Regular
Posts: 349
Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 12:00 am

Re: Alternatives to the Technics SL1210 turntable?

Postby Arpangel » Thu Sep 12, 2019 6:03 pm

Trevor Johnson wrote:The Technics SL range were/are beautifully engineered: I've had an SL1800 from new, circa 1979. The 1800 is a hi-fi rather than DJ deck, though some folks have used it for the latter. The tonearm can be improved with a bit of transplantation, depending whether the 1800 is the MkI or II version.

The 1800s are not that expensive, but I'd find a good used 1210 if that's what you want.

A friend got one, and it sounded fantastic, very solid stable sound, like listening to CD but with the benefits of analogue. It certaianly sounded a lot better than his Thorens TD125 with a Hadcock arm.
The arm is dodgy, but that can be replaced, there's an ADC cartridge in my friends one, and it still sounds superb.
I'm not interested in modern hI-fI turntables, they seem very over rated, so this option of a 1210 seemed like a good way to go.
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5811
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Alternatives to the Technics SL1210 turntable?

Postby Trevor Johnson » Thu Sep 12, 2019 6:52 pm

I have a Thorens TD150, (was my mother's), needing restoration and definitely a different arm, probably a Rega.

My SL1800 has a Goldring 1042 cartridge, but had a non-standard Technics arm fitted from new, but what and why are lost in the mists of time!
Trevor Johnson
Regular
Posts: 349
Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 12:00 am

Re: Alternatives to the Technics SL1210 turntable?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:40 pm

Arpangel wrote:I've always wanted an SL1210 for hi-fi use, and sampling duties.

Do you really need 'instant' start, the ability to reverse-wind, and varispeed?

If not, and you basically just need to play records, then one of the Project turntable/arm/cartridge combos would be cheaper and sound at least as good...
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 29032
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Alternatives to the Technics SL1210 turntable?

Postby Arpangel » Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:12 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Arpangel wrote:I've always wanted an SL1210 for hi-fi use, and sampling duties.

Do you really need 'instant' start, the ability to reverse-wind, and varispeed?

If not, and you basically just need to play records, then one of the Project turntable/arm/cartridge combos would be cheaper and sound at least as good...

I thought so too, but it's not the case, if you listen to an SL1210 alongside a belt driven turntable the differences are very clear. Enough to make me think wow! Belt drives don't have the attack and solidity that reminds me of CD when it first came out, we all noticed the difference in that respect, even though CD was lacking in other respects at that time!
There are a few well known audiophiles who have noticed the SL1210, and realised that it does have weaknesses, but they can be addressed. A different arm, high end cartridge, and a rebuilt plinth.
I went to a local hi-fI shop with my partner, and we both listened to some turntables, Linn Sondek, Michell Gyrodeck, and a Project Experience. We both preferred the project, it sounded very good indeed, the other two were good, but we couldn't hear another couple of grands worth of difference.
But the SL1210 sounds better than all of those, to me, and even if you payed top dollar for one you'd still be getting something really amazing. The reason people don't talk about them in the context of "real hi-fI" is that they are overlooked, and very underrated.
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5811
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Alternatives to the Technics SL1210 turntable?

Postby Zukan » Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:38 am

I had 1210s and stopped buying when the mk 5 came ouit but unless you need it for DJ duties there are many options out there that would suit the hi-fi perspective.
User avatar
Zukan
Moderator
Posts: 8997
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Alternatives to the Technics SL1210 turntable?

Postby Arpangel » Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:44 am

Zukan wrote:I had 1210s and stopped buying when the mk 5 came ouit but unless you need it for DJ duties there are many options out there that would suit the hi-fi perspective.

I'd like a direct drive deck, that's why I'm looking for alternatives, but the good, 70's ones seem very scarce.
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5811
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Alternatives to the Technics SL1210 turntable?

Postby Zukan » Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:49 am

What's the budget saying?

If you're on a budget then have a look at the Pioneer PLX 500.
User avatar
Zukan
Moderator
Posts: 8997
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Alternatives to the Technics SL1210 turntable?

Postby Arpangel » Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:55 am

Zukan wrote:What's the budget saying?

Well, a decent 1210 is "around" £500, one that hasn't been DJ'd to hell, has lid etc.
So I guess, about £500.
The Pioneer looks like it could be OK, they do a PLX500 too.
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5811
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Alternatives to the Technics SL1210 turntable?

Postby Zukan » Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:59 am

Have a look at the Pioneer PLX 500 or any of the Stantons, Numarks or Mixars.
User avatar
Zukan
Moderator
Posts: 8997
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Alternatives to the Technics SL1210 turntable?

Postby Arpangel » Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:07 am

Zukan wrote:Have a look at the Pioneer PLX 500 or any of the Stantons, Numarks or Mixars.

Just watched a video about the differences between the Pioneer and the Technics, not good, the Pioneer build qulality isn't up there at all.
Torque on the motor isn't as good either, and that will affect the sound.
I think it's going to have to be a Technics, or if not, then as most people have said, a normal decent hi-fI deck.
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5811
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am

Next