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Guide To Technics 1200 Turntables

Guide To Technics 1200 Turntables

Here's an overview that explores the popularity and features of the most popular turntable ever made. Plus we breakdown the differences in models and availability.

Are Technics 1200 Turntables discountinued?

Yes. Panasonic, Technics' parent company, stopped production of the Technics 1200 Turntable in 2010.

Are Technics 1200 Turntables still available? Why are they so expensive?

Our supply of brand new (deadstock) 1200's ran out some time ago, however we do carry refurbished Technics imported directly from Japan by Stokyo. In our opinion, these are the next best option to purchasing deadstock, new-in-the-box 1200 turntables. In our experience, the condition of the MCC line are generally superior than those found on the current used market. Most importantly, you get the piece of mind that these turntables have been thoroughly test and calibrated. Lastly, with pricing for deadstock 1200s approaching $1500, the MCC models are a well-priced alternative. Click here to view Turntable Lab's selection of Technics 1200 turntables.

Will Technics ever produce Technics 1200 Turntables again?

In 2016, Technics announced the re-designed 1200G / 1200GAE. This model was re-designed and built from all new tooling and moulds. It is aimed at the high-end audiohphile market with a premium price point ($4000). Currently, these turntables are not available for sale online. We are unaware of any re-release of the 1200 as a widely available, more affordable model. 

Why are Technics 1200 Turntables better than other turntables?

No other turntable has defined DJing like the Technics 1200. Its design, performance, and durability are legendary. Here are some of its specific strengths:

  • iconic design, beautiful look
  • high quality construction, most parts are made of metal
  • high torque, direct drive motor (magnetically driven)
  • responsive pitch control
  • durability: built to last with little maintenance
  • high re-sale value
  • no real comparable DJ turntable
DJs using Technics 1200 Turntable

Why do most professional DJs still use Technics 1200 turntables?

In addition to having a pair of Technics 1200s at home, many professional DJs use Technics in the club or on the road. 1200s are familiar and reliable. Even with the advent of CDJs and digital DJing, most clubs have a set of Technics 1200s in their DJ booth. In terms of performance, the feel and drive of the 1200 platter can not be replicated by a controller. The response of the pitch control is excellent for beatmatching and the strong torque motor allows for accurate scratching and mixing.

Plus, the design is awe-inspiring like a great piece of art. Over the course of your DJ career, you may own several controllers or mixers, but it's a high possibility that you'll have the same pair of Technics.

Can I still get Technics 1200 Turntable replacement parts?

Yes. Turntable Lab stocks most available Technics replacement parts. Click here to view Turntable Lab's selection of Technics replacement parts.

What are the differences of the Technics 1200 Turntable models?

Starting with the base Technics SL-1200MK2 (there was a SL-1200, but for DJ purposes, the MK2 is the unofficial start), here are subsequent popular models and their variations:

  • SL-1200MK2(silver) / SL-1210MK2 (black)
  • SL-1200M3D (silver) / SL-1200M3D (black) - subtracted dust cover hinges, added non-clicking pitch control (no click when you set pitch control to 0), added pitch control reset button (overrides pitch control to go to 0), redesigned sunken power on/off (to prevent accidental power off), added shadow-design slipmat
  • SL-1200MK5 / SL-1210MK5 - added additional adjustment controls to tonearm, re-designed LED target light
  • SL-1210MK5G - added glossy speckled black finish, increased pitch control range to +/-16% (vs.8%), switched to digital pitch control, changed to blue lights, improved tonearm

I can't afford a Technics 1200, but I want to DJ using a turntable. Any recommendations?

Recently, Turntable Lab has been recommending Audio-Technica's AT-LP1240-USBXP DJ Turntable. It still no 1200, but has the functions and performance you need at a more affordable price. You can view our complete selection of DJ turntables here.

What are "gray market / dual voltage" Technics 1200 Turntables?

When Technics were in production, there were two model-types for international customers and US customers. The international model became known as "gray market" because they were less expensive and did not carry the same warranty for US customers (both are no longer applicable ). The international model featured a 220v-style power plug (usually with the US adapter included) and a voltage control switch underneath the platter that switches between 110v and 220v. The international model can still be used in the US with no difference in performance. In the market today, you'll find many international models. Don't let this worry you, the models are basically the same and function identically.

What's the proper setup settings for the Technics 1200 Turntable?

Everyone seems to have a different answer for this. DJs always have their own personal settings for tonearm height, tonearm weight, and anti-skating. And those settings will always be different than your audiophile listener. We recommend doing some research based on your need, and tweaking them to best suit your needs.

If you want to get technical with your setup, we recommend Mobile Fidelity's Geo-Disc Phono Cartridge Alignment Mat and Shure's Stylus Force Gauge.

For a basic unboxing setup overview, check our Technics 1200 Setup video:

Want to read more? Check out our "My First 1200" Series on the Turntable Lab Blog where DJs share stories about their first Technics turntables.

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