TECHNICS SL-1200/1210 – a hi-fi turntable? – Pt 1

Encouraged by the success of the TECHNICS SP-10MKII that I have been playing with, I thought it would be a good idea to try out the humble TECHNICS SL-1200/1210.

We have 2 of these ex-DJ ‘work-horse’, direct-drive SL-1210MKIIs in the house.

The choice of cartridge falls to a venerable Ortofon VMS20E MkII moving magnet (which I’ve owned since the 70s) – Ortofon say that the popular VMS20E MkII is “probably one of Ortofon’s most highly acclaimed magnetic cartridges“.

It’s been many years since I’ve heard this Ortofon.


The first problem – not wishing to de-mount the Shure M44-7 DJ cartridge from the Technics headshell, the only headshell to hand that was light enough to balance on the SL-1200 tonearm, was a Audioquest/Orsonic AV-101b – even then, it was necessary to add a temporary auxiliary rear counterweight using a brass M4 screw, nuts & a lump of Blu-tak.


(Not pretty, but it works!)

The 2nd problem was that the Orsonic headshell with Ortofon cartridge is considerably less in height than the Shure cartridge on Technics headshell.

The SL-1200/1210 has a very nicely engineered, double-helicoid, height adjustabler arm-base ring – except that this one, like a lot of these TTs, had seized solid (lubricating grease hardening over time).

We need to dis-assemble and fix this, but I was keen to hear this turntable running – so, the TT was hooked up in this non-ideal condition for a first listen (VTA is way out with the elliptical stylus and the armbase at least 8mm too high).

However, the initial sound is very good despite this, what do you think?!……








4 thoughts on “TECHNICS SL-1200/1210 – a hi-fi turntable? – Pt 1

  1. For the auxiliary counterweight I used 4 Danish coins (the ones with the hole in the middle) plus the m4 screw. Worked like a charm 😀

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