Anywhere you look, be it cars, snickers, headphones or notebooks, there is always a legendary product. Put this statement into the turntable world and everyone will point to one iconic device: the famous Technics SL1200! With a history going back to 1972, the SL1200 received a few upgrades until 2010, when the production was ceased. Back by popular demand in 2016 under the SL1200G name, the legendary pickup has now a price tag that rivals a medium sized car: around 4000 euros.
So, as every sane record selector would do, we had to turn our attention towards the second hand market, where we could find a huge amount of offers with prices varying from 300 to 1,000 euros. Apart from the looks, a serious record selector needs a fully functional SL1200, so we asked Alex Puicea, a vinyl purist and a specialist when it comes to turntables, to tell us briefly what to look for when buying a second hand turntable, especially a Technics SL1200).
Pitch: a pitch set to zero requires the biggest dots on the platter edge to look like they’re not moving at all
Anti skating: Take the cartridge out and move the tonearm weight to the farthest end. If the tone arm follows the movement of the antiskate adjustment knob, then you’re all good
Start Stop button: a snappy reaction to the Start Stop button tells us that the drive is in good shape. Any inertial momentum is an indication that something is not right
Tonearm: check for any heavy usage signs or any corrosion signs at the cartridge end. Believe it or not, some people use their own saliva to make the cartridge slide smoothly along the grooves 🙂