47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2004
Basically a carryover of the SL 1200 M3D table (1999-2002) with a few friendly DJ minor adjustments (brighter,long life L.E.D. stylus pop up light, more antiskating for non-skipping during scratching and adjustable braking speed)...Is this Technics 'table worth it's weight in gold (I think between 30 to 35 pounds)? Without a doubt !It's built like a Sherman Tank to withstand vibrations from speakers or the dance floor which would otherwise cause the needle to skip around or transfer unwanted noise to the tonearm and out the speakers; an enclosed loop of unwanted noise. Heavy, heavy, construction of the anti-resonant plinth/chasis, platter speaks in volumes about the craftsmanship Technics puts into the "Wheel of Steel". Other than the build quality, what's the sound quality like?It can yield either professional (DJ use), near-audiophile (for that sound purist who wants to just listen to records or transfer to cd-r format) or club-quality scratching top grade sound (the direct drive motor and torque is built Chevy or Ford tough for the use and abuse).
HOWEVER, the sound quality also significantly depends upon the application the 'table is used for, whether you use a cheap $20 cartridge or the serious high quality type. Is this table going to be used for scratching, regular DJing, or just in-home use? All these factors have to be taken into consideration in getting the most out of the MK5. It is illogical to install an audiophile high end cartridge/stylus normally used for casual listening(jazz, classical, some pop/rock) if you're gonna scratch (vice versa). Simple rule of thumb---you use a DJ needle for club play and scratch and a good to excellent high grade cartridge and stylus for normal playback.It is impossible to tell you which cartridges are of substantial quality to high end because it can sometimes boil down to personal individual sound preference (some yield tight bass, some yield clear high frequencies, some sound neutral, musical, or colored---or a combo of these sound qualities)This can be costly and sometimes aggravating to figure out what to use.It takes trial and error and a bit of set up and experimentation and sound comparisons. Oh, yeah, feed the 'table some decently clean-dirt free records. Some will appreciate the dustcover sans hinges. Others would prefer actual hinges for the cover if used mostly at home.As for aesthetics, it's still the same high tech look that came about in 1979 (forget about the regular wood or mdf plinth and chasis look of the '70s so many other manufacturers used (Denon and Pioneer being the exceptions).Technics was way ahead of it's time in 1979 when creating the "looks" for this table. The same design still looks good in it's somewhat contemporary-modern design to this day.
Now listen up Panasonic/ Technics...the ONLY one request that I have is that SOMEDAY you will really and truly upgrade this particular turntable by giving it high end and fully automatic functions or features that so many in home couch potatos crave.Then, if the turntable is to be used in a dj set up, allow the owner to switch off the automatic functions to perform as a manual.Afer all, anyone who knows the history of the Technics 1200 series, this turntable has it's roots in being first designed as an in-home playback system; The clubbing,dj-ing, radio broadcasting applications came about by pure accident or simple choice! I'm not asking for much am I...Technics came close to making this turntable a successful and brilliant automatic with the SL 1700MK2 and the SL 1600MK2 back in the late 70's (semi-automatic,fully automatic).Now and then you will see these beauties on eBay up for grabs(but usually with a" buyer beware, automatic arm does not work" disclaimer. The only design flaw was a belt that controlled the auto return mechanism which would deteriorate after so much use and render the auto function useless (costly repair)...With all the focus on Technics "subtlely" upgrading about every 2 to 4 years the 1200 series they can finally use some of this state of the art modern technology for a high quality automatic/manual with no design or function issues !!!
P.S. I also highly recommend this website on Techics past and present products. It's an unofficial website that carries some awesome information on their turntables at [...] My personal favorites and after owning some of these models over the years is anything in the SL 1200 series, the SL Q3, and the SL-5300 (this one built in 1979 was loaded with all the sweet full automatic features, bells and whistles for it's time---all of it's controls were on the outside of the cover) !
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2007
I couldn't be happier w/ my choice of the SL1200MK5. It's perfect for someone who wants great quality without spending ridiculous money. It's solidly built, and heavy, which just gives it this wonderful feeling of quality and reliability. This thing feels very precise and well thought out. I know that these turntables are the standard for DJs, and that means that they've been tested and refined over the years. They really have figured it out. From the moment I lifted the thing out of the box, I could just tell it was perfect for me. I'm a recording engineer, and wanted to complete my home stereo setup w/ good sounding vinyl. Now I'm spoiled by this thing, and am considering buying one for the studio, just to inspire me to make better sounding recordings. Also, the rubber feet are amazing at squelching vibrations from the floor. You can jump around and shake your booty all night, without records skipping on you, another advantage of it being developed for DJs.
OK, you can tell I love this thing, I've said enough.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 1, 2013
I am no DJ, but I do consider myself an intermediate-level audiophile hobbyist. I enjoy listening to music the old-fashioned way, on a home stereo system. I have 200 or so LPs, and about the same number of 45rpm records. My wife also has about that number of LPs as well, and a few 45s. When my old turntable from the 80s finally went out, I was not in a hurry to replace it, as we have bought much of our favorite music on CDs over the years.
But sometimes the mood would strike me and I would want to play one of our records, either because we did not have the music on CD, or perhaps the record version was somewhat different. So I needed a turntable.
Enter the Technics SL-1200MK5. Despite my self-proclaimed status as an intermediate-level audiophile hobbyist, I am embarrassed to admit that I had no idea of the following that these "1200s" have enjoyed over the decades. I just researched and read about turntables until I found a model that did "everything I needed and nothing I didn't need," which describes the Technics SL-1200MK5 perfectly. Upon seeing the 1200 turntable in person, I realized that I had seen these turntables most of my life without realizing their status in the audio world. My oh my!
This turntable plays records perfectly. It doesn't move the tone arm for you, it doesn't stop at the end of a record for you, and it doesn't let you automatically select the song you want to play. None of that is necessary on this elegant workhorse. From what I have learned in all my searching, this turntable will last a lifetime, and that is especially true if you are not a DJ and simply setting this up with your home audio system. It is a thing of timeless beauty, and will certainly get attention from anyone that takes a look at your home audio system.
You will need two additional items with this turntable. First, you will need a cartridge/stylus. I bought a Shure Whitelabel DJ Turntable cartridge for mine. Simply follow the installation instructions. Second, you will need either a receiver with dedicated PHONO inputs, or a separate phono pre-amp. The reason for this is that turntables put out a lower level signal than other stereo components, so in days-past they used to include a phono pre-amp in receivers. Modern receivers do not always include PHONO inputs, so simply connecting your turntable to any other input will not work without a phono pre-amp.
Once you have the two items above, you will need to setup your Technics turntable, and adjust the track force and anti-skate force. Start by "zero-ing" your track force following the Technics instructions. After zero-ing, I recommend starting at a setting of 2g for both track force and anti-skate, but be sure your anti-skate setting is the same as your track force setting.
I have had my Technics SL-1200MK5 since 2008 (5 years) and I can tell you this puppy performs like the day I brought it home. I enjoy playing music in all formats (records, tapes, CDs and MP3s), and it is a pleasure to be able to play our vinyl again. I have even started taking occasional trips to a nearby record trading store and bringing home a few old gems to enjoy now and then. It is wonderful to play them on this fine machine.
If you are interested in recording your records to CDs (and subsequently transferring them to MP3s to listen on-the-go), this turntable is certainly the way to go. Avoid the cheap USB turntables that connect directly to your PC. You can connect your receiver to your PC's sound card and use software to record your records. Or you can go the route I did, and include a CD recorder component in your home audio system. This makes recording records a breeze, and even more so if you have experience making tape recordings in days-past. I chose the Tascam CD-RW900SL, and connected it to the TAPE IN and TAPE OUT connectors on my receiver. I also choose to record only onto CD-RW discs, as they are erasable and reusable. This way, I can correct mistakes as I go, very much like recording on tape. Once I have a CD completed, I then turn to the PC to burn a copy onto a permanent CD-R, which can be played in any CD player. Creating MP3s is then a simple matter of ripping the CD-R using Windows Media Player. The CD-RW can then be erased and used again.
The Technics SL-1200MK5 is a grand addition to my home audio system, and anyone who enjoys vinyl will not be disappointed with this now-famous turntable.
Note: The Technics 1200 turntable line is no longer made. Technics made this announcement shortly after I bought mine. This is sad, especially considering the reputation these turntables have earned over the decades. If I had to buy a turntable now, I would consider searching for a used Technics 1200 (they hold their value quite well and last forever), or one of the fine Stanton T or Audio-Technica AT turntables. Many makes and models emulate the look and feel of a Technics 1200 with good reason, so keep that in mind as you do your research. Enjoy your vinyl!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2008
What more can i say? If your starting and your looking to invest your money in a sound product..1200's....If your seasoned and still spinning vinyl..than you should already know. The 1200 has stood the test of time and is going nowhere! Look for other reviews on longevity or quality and theyll point you in this direction and i have yet to regret it!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2012
Mk5 and MkII are both excellent turntables, albeit for different application. there is a slight difference between them, namely in tonearm wiring and electronics.
For DJ use, get 1200Mk5 and you will love it! It has improved tonearm wiring and better pitch control. If you are looking for a home audiophile deck, get 1200MkII while it is still available. Improved wiring of Mk5 is still not up to audiophile standard and makes no sense paying for it if you intend to replace wiring one day. Also, improved
pitch control is not needed in audiophile setting and due to different electromagnetic signature may be audible.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2011
...and counting. These turntables are very tough, and they can last for so many years, The torque on this thing is so strong that it acts as if it's running on steroids. Definitely the #1 turntable that most DJs love to crave for, and many upcoming DJs that would die to get a pair. Nope, can't go wrong with these babies!
on February 9, 2015
This is one great piece of equipment. There isn't anything that i wish technics had done better. This is a perfect turntable !!!
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2010
My friend just got one of these and I have to be honest, "the sound is just so crisp, so live, soooo there!" I love music! and well this just made me realize a new way to invest in music....musicians all over the world should just start making discs in vinyl..that way no one will steal their music...at least not as crisp as the way this sounds.....get one if you have the money....if you have enough send me one home! haha cheers!