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  Technics SL-1200MK2  Industry standard Turntable

Submitted by Lead  Flag on 07-05-2005 15:05
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Technics - Turntable Overview

Gearbase product details : Technics SL-1200MK2

The Technics SL1200MK2 is probably the most used piece of equipment in the history of the DJ-scene. It is a reference to where competition is measured. Even when a new CD deck is introduced people will always compare it's performance again this legendary turntable : Technics SL1200MK2.

I've made modifications to my SL1200's in a rather complete way : Lead's Technics SL1210LTD. Normal people would only mount a deckplate over the body of their turntables. This is a non-permanent way of coloring your decks.

Technics SL1200MK2 Product Image
Product Type
Quartz Direct Drive Turntable
Brushless DC motor
332mm diameter Aluminum diecast, 2kg
1.5 kg/cm
33 1/3 and 45 RPM
± 8 %
Wow & Flutter
0.035% Wrms (max)
-56 dB (IEC 98A unweighted)
-78 dB (IEC 98A weighted)
Power Supply
110-120/220-240V, 50/60Hz
Power Consumption
16 W
453 x 360 x 162 mm ( WxDxH )
Net Weight
12,5 kg
Headshell, weights, cover, 45RPM adapter

Technics SL1210MK2 Product ImageSL1200 or SL1210 ?

Let's get ride of the rumors for good : There is absolutely NO DIFFERENCE in technical performance between the silver Technics SL1200MK2(or MK5) and the black SL1210MK2(or MK5). The only difference is the color of the aluminum housing.

Actually the black version was meant to be for the european market with it's voltage selector beneath the platter. Nowadays all SL's have a voltage selector which makes both deck absolutely equal.

History of a Legend

This is the historical timeline of the life of the Technics SL12xx series. There is a lot misunderstanding about this and some younger people might forget. The Technics SL-1200 is found side to side with DJs everywhere.

SL-1200   1972
Released as a hifi player.
Rubber/Aluminum diecast cabinet, improved motor, separate ground wire.
Japan only.
SL-1200 LTD  1995
High Glossy cabinet, gold plated arm/platter, unique number in a gold looking plate.
SL-1200 MK4  1997
Japan only.
Pitch reset button.
30th anniversary model: Blue LED's, Pitch ± 8 and ± 16%, pitch reset button, no-click Pitch fader, slipmat is included.
Replaces SL-1200MK2, improved top of stroboscope, pitch reset button, non-click Pitch Fader.

  •  M   - USA
  •  MC - Canada
  •  E   - Scandinavia/Switzerland
  •  EK - UK
  •  XL - Australia
  •  EG - Germany
  •  EB - Belgium
  •  EH - Holland
  •  EF - France
  •  Ei  - Italy
  •  XA - S.East Asia, Africa, S. America
  •  PA - Far East
  •  PE - European Military
  •  PC - European Audio Club
Country of Origin
On most SL's you'll find a reference for which country or region of the globe that specific turntable was meant.

Check the backside of your turntable and read closely direct after the serial number. In nearly all cases the last 2 letters printed are a code for each country. If your code is not on the serial number tag it might be on the black sticker in the upper inner casing.

Technics SL1200MK5 Stroboscoop with black Power SwitchPower
To turn the SL on and off, you rotate the black disc on top of the Stroboscope (left side). Rotate it clockwise to turn the power on, counter clockwise to turn it off again.

Stroboscope Light and Dotted Rim

The engineers have designed the pattern of the dots on the rotating platter in a very clever way. The dots give a visual indication of the speed when the platter rotates. Check for the index just below the stroboscope itself. When the dots don't move in a ring you can find the speed in the index. When the dots are 'running' in a certain direction the speed of the platter is just below or above the speed in the index.

Technics SL1200MK5 Stroboscoop with black Start/Stop button and 33/45RPM selectorPlay/Pause

With Play/Pause you can start the rotation of the platter, or when it's rotating you can brake it. After you hit the brake the platter will usually stop within a quarter rotation. This is an adjustable setting inside the SL and it might not be set right on every deck you'll find so don't rely on it that it sound the same everywhere.

33 1/3 and 45 RPM Selector

With these selector you have to choose the playing speed of the platter. Most 12" vinyl records with 1 track need 45 RPM, all others 33 1/3. Although this is no hard rule you could use it as a general guideline.

Pitch bend trick when on 33 1/3 RPM

Some people use a little pitch-bending trick when the 33 1/3 RPM mode is selected. When a track is playing you can hold down the 33 1/3 RPM button and at the same time press the 45 RPM button. The speed will increase to 45 RPM but when you use it with tiny little pushes you can perform an un hearable positive pitch-bend.

Technics SL1200MK2 Counter Weight and Anti SkatingWeight

The position of this counter weight sets the pressure on the needle and is measured in grams. The black ring (with scale printed) rotates separate from the rest of the weight so you can easily set the 0-point to the right place.

After you mounted your needle and element you'll need to balance the arm. Just put the needle somewhere in the center of the platter and rotate the weight to change it's position back and forward. When you reach a complete balance the arm is in horizontal position, just floating around.

Now hold the weight and turn the ring with scale so the 0 lines up with the marker line that is carved in the arm.

Now your 0-point is set, rotate the weight (the scaling will move along with it) to adjust the needle pressure. When moved towards the base of the arm, you'll increase the weight. Read the number of grams from the scale. Usually 4-5 grams will do the job.

Technics SL1200MK2 tonearm Balnce procedureMore Weight? Keep it in balance

When the weight is in it's most forward position and you need more pressure you can take of the weight, rotate it 180 degrees and put it back on. The scaling will now point backwards. When you move the weight to the front again you will have a few grams more.

Don't use to much weight:
It will destroy your records!

Technics SL1200MK2 Counter Weight and Anti SkatingAnti-Skating

This knob adjusts a spring that can give the arm a force outwards. To make the correct setting put on a record with a nice blank part (mostly found near the center of the records, or between 2 tracks). Adjust the force so that the needle and arm keeps their position. The higher value you give the Anti Skating, the more force outwards is given.

During a set I sometime make adjustments to the Anti Skating, sometime some records seem to need it.

Technics SL1200MK2 Counter Weight and Anti SkatingTone arm Height

The height of the arm is dependant of the type of needle you use. Every needle has his own specific height. You can find this in the instructions that are enclosed with the needle.

Unlock the Mechanism

To adjust the height you first need to loosen the lock that hold the mechanism. Look at the right back side of the arm section for the lock as shown here.

Technics SL1200MK2 Counter Weight and Anti SkatingAdjust the Height

Rotate the ring with the scale printed on to adjust the height of the arm. Read the height with the read marker (red line). When the mechanism is unlocked, you can adjust the height from 0 to 6 mm.

Don't forget to lock the mechanism again !

For those of you that cannot get enough about it you might also want to read the Technological side of the SL12xx(MK2), there are more topics in this category to check.

What do you think about Technics SL-1200MK2 ??

Vote :   


This content is © 2005-2024 The DJResource...


There are 8 Comments

  Flag Jizzy wrote on 19-02-2006 @ 13:41
het blijft een fijne TT
  Flag remixer wrote on 12-03-2006 @ 14:33
en je kunt er ook nog faderstart erop maken (alleen handig/makkelijk voor radio maken)
  Flag Twizz wrote on 18-05-2006 @ 17:41
tis en blijft kwaliteit bij technics
  Flag vasch wrote on 07-08-2006 @ 18:09
Ik mis de SL 1210 m3d..?
  Flag DjDM wrote on 02-07-2007 @ 19:33
De nieuwe Technics M5G al geprobeerd? ((( DIE IS VETTTTTTTT!!!!!! ))) ZO HEE...WOW
  Flag Foxxer wrote on 10-11-2007 @ 12:16
echt super tafeltjes
  Flag Tekhead wrote on 08-07-2009 @ 00:56
The unbeatable Myth of Vinyl Freaks !
  Flag Taurus wrote on 28-08-2009 @ 20:34
Mijn Technics 1210 MKII hebben dit jaar de respectabele leeftijd bereikt van 28 jaar en altijd trouw geweest tot op de dag van vandaag, nooit reparaties (behalve lampjes gezien de branduren).
Geen andere tafel kan hier tegen op.?Cool
vinyl never dies.... and keep the groove alive.?Cool
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