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An Introduction to Technics SL 1200MK2 DJ Turntables

The firm Technics began manufacturing turntables in 1972 and debuted the Technics SL-1200 series in the same year. It produced them until 2010, then resumed manufacture of them in 2016. The Technics SL 1200MK2 became a widely used DJ turntable during the late 1970s, after its release in 1978 and is available new or used on eBay. 

Are there different uses for these turntables? 

Yes. Use these turntables for cueing, beat mixing, scratching, as well as for simple playback of record albums. This Matsushita/Panasonic product was originally intended as a high fidelity consumer record player. Its direct drive feature and high torque motor design made it attractive to radio and nightclub disc jockeys who needed control over wow and flutter. These turntables provide a wow & flutter of 0.01% WRMS and rumble of -78dB. In 1970s discos and in radio stations, it became a go-to item for its pushbutton cueing. Paired with a slip-mat, hip hop performers used it for cueing, beat-mixing and scratching. Turntables from the 1200 series are often used in recording studios, also, and with public address systems which require minimized resonance during playback. 

Other names for the Technics SL 1200MK2 

While general consumers may refer to the turntables by their proper names, such as Technics SL 1200MK2, disc jockeys (DJs), emcees (MCs) and producers created numerous nicknames for the turntables. They refer to turntables from the Technics line as:  

  • "Tec 12's"
  • "that record player"
  • "Wheels of Steel"
  • "ones and twos"

What versions or models of this device are available? 

More than three million units of various versions of the Technics SL-1200 have sold since its initial release in 1978. Many of the original devices produced in the 1970s remain in use today. These include the 1200MK2, the SL 1200, SL-1200MK2-XA, the SL-1210 and the SL1200M3D. In 2016, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Panasonic released two versions under the series Grand Class. These newer releases were the 1200GAE and the 1200G. They later introduced a third version, the 1200GR model. 

Materials used for construction of these turntables 

Technics turntables feature die-cast aluminum housings with a heavy rubber base. Their compact design use only necessary components and features no empty space. These features let them absorb unwanted vibrations which ensures only the album’s sound gets replicated. They use an ultra-low-speed motor. It provides high torque of 1.5kg per cm to allow start-up in 0.7 second and stops in the same time period. This design uses a direct drive motor that incorporates the platter into the motor system rather than just spinning it. 

Content provided for informational purposes only. eBay is not affiliated with or endorsed by Technics. 

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