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My Technics SL-1600 MKII arrvied! Impressions within!

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
The SL-1600 MKII is the prosumer version of the SL-1200 MKII which was produced between 1979 and 1981. It is a Quartz-Lock Direct Drive unit with automatic start and stop (with optional full-manual control).

While this wasn't the mind-blowing upgrade I was looking for originally, it's certainly a step up from my Dual 1237. The speed stability is what you'd expect from a Quartz-Lock Direct Drive system: spot on! Attack and decay (especially with guitars and other string instruments) is very good and the PRaT is pretty good as well. Pianos also sound right, something my Dual couldn't do. The feedback isolation is very good. On my Dual I'd hear tapping on the plinth or when I'd use the cueing control, but on my Technics I don't hear either. I even (accidentally) bumped the desk it's setup on and it didn't skip like my Dual would! The background/rumble is not CD-like, but low enough that compared to my old Dual 1237 things sound like they're coming out of nowhere. The soundstage is also different than my Dual, but I don't know exactly how to describe it. The tonearm is a much better match with my Ortofon Super OM20 than my Dual ever was. The brightness and sibilance are lower, vocals are more present, and it's much easier to fine-tune the setup.

I do have a few problems with this unit though: first, I need to put a penny on the headshell to get the arm to balance (Technics sells a special extra-heavy headshell for lightweight cartridges like my OM20, but I don't feel like shelling out $15 for a headshell when I can use a 1ยข coin to do the same thing). The other problems are both caused by the unit's age (this was new in about 1980): the pitch control knob needs cleaning (though I won't bother with it as all I need is quartz-lock) and the cueing doesn't work (I've heard that this is a common problem with this model and can be solved with a new cueing drive belt, though for now I'm just doing it manually as I don't feel like poking around inside it).

Overall I'm very happy with this purchase for the $112 it cost me (off eBay).
post #2 of 4
Sounds like a good score, Mr. R!

I still like the look of those 'old' Technics turntables. But I'm old, and those remind me of my youth. But those SL1xxx's are still being produced & sold in fairly large quantities today. Just goes to show you the longevity a good design can have.

post #3 of 4
Sounds like you got a good deal. I love my (three year old) SL-1210M3D, however there are days when I would kill for automatic operation (I have a lot of singles...). Many happy listening hours!

post #4 of 4
I would love to see some pics...
Technics TT are totally cult items.
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