Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › Better turntable deal: AR-XA($200) or Technics SL-1200mk5($250)(both in great cond.)?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Better turntable deal: AR-XA($200) or Technics SL-1200mk5($250)(both in great cond.)?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I have a chance to get either a fully restored Acoustic Research XA turntable for $200 or a barely used Technics SL-1200mk5 for $250. Both are in great condition. Which is the better table, and which is the better deal? Is there anything comparable in terms of price that would be a better deal than either of these? Thanks for any help that you can provide!
post #2 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by steelglam View Post
I have a chance to get either a fully restored Acoustic Research XA turntable for $200 or a barely used Technics SL-1200mk5 for $250. Both are in great condition. Which is the better table, and which is the better deal? Is there anything comparable in terms of price that would be a better deal than either of these? Thanks for any help that you can provide!
They are both nice budget turntables in their own right but your information is limited. The ARXA needs more done to it to make a great table and is more challenging. The Technics just needs a very easy to replace tonearm and you are good to go. If the AR still has the stock tonearm, get the Technics. Even it's stock tonearm is better than the one on the AR.
post #3 of 26
Yeah, I'd go for the technics...great table
post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses. If I go with the Technics, do you think $250 is a good price?
post #5 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by steelglam View Post
I have a chance to get either a fully restored Acoustic Research XA turntable for $200 or a barely used Technics SL-1200mk5 for $250. Both are in great condition. Which is the better table, and which is the better deal? Is there anything comparable in terms of price that would be a better deal than either of these? Thanks for any help that you can provide!
No doubt,the Technics is a much more sophisticated device, and a better unit for actual performance, if that is the point. I would go for the Technics. For a barely used one at 250USD; this is a great deal!

The AR is more for nostalgia/collecting, so far as I'm concerned. It has a good/stable motor speed, though. If it is sporting the original arm; I'm not sure if this arm is really any good? This is what, a nearly 50 year old table/tone arm design? Not to say certain vintage units are not really good. The 70's SME arms are certainly nice units. But again, technology for vinyl playback was getting pretty advanced(relatively speaking) by the 70's, peaking in the 80's in certain aspects(the cpu controlled actively corrected arms of the big maker high end decks for example).

-Chris
post #6 of 26
I had an AR and it was a pain! The technics is rock solid, has never had an issue...And for $250 it's a great buy!

Enjoy..
post #7 of 26
Go for the AR and let me know where I can pick up the Technics. $250 is a give away price.
post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 
I'm starting to question whether or not $250 is all that great of a price. I just noticed that an SL-1200mk2 and an SL-1200mk3 turntable sold for $157 and $180, respectively, on ebay today. Perhaps I should wait until I can find a Technics 1200 for under $200, then????
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by steelglam View Post
I'm starting to question whether or not $250 is all that great of a price. I just noticed that an SL-1200mk2 and an SL-1200mk3 turntable sold for $157 and $180, respectively, on ebay today. Perhaps I should wait until I can find a Technics 1200 for under $200, then????
Don't be silly. Typically, only TRASHED tables, abused/used to death, sell for that kind of price. Either that, or a BUY IT NOW price is put up for someone looking for SUPER QUICK SALE, or a bad reputation seller(98 percent or lower feedback can begin to be considered not good), or possibly AS-IS sales with some broken function/feature. You claimed the one you had access to was 'barely used', which to me means near-mint condition. Such condition would normally sell for not that far from new price: I would expect at least mid 300's, for a mint condition barely used MK5 with original packaging and materials. I also presume you mean that your find is local, which means no shipping and handling charges which can easily jack the actual cost up $35-$50, depending on the seller. I was one charge $68 for a new MK5 that sold for $320, putting the actual cost right at about $400. You can find new SL-1200s for about $400 from reputable online stores if you shop around.

-Chris
post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 
OK, OK. This is my first time looking into a Technics, so I'm not aware of how much used models typically go for!

By the way, do you think a new Pro-Ject for $289 would be a better unit/deal than the used Technics 1200 for $250? I noticed the Pro-Ject at my local hi-fi store today.
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by steelglam View Post
OK, OK. This is my first time looking into a Technics, so I'm not aware of how much used models typically go for!

By the way, do you think a new Pro-Ject for $289 would be a better unit/deal than the used Technics 1200 for $250? I noticed the Pro-Ject at my local hi-fi store today.
There is no 'audiophile' deck even for 500 or 600 that is in the same ballpark of technical quality when compared to the Technics SL1200. Now, if you want to move to the 1500-2000 range, you can start to find some 'audiophile' decks with some superior aspects, if you choose wisely. Or, you can get Sl1200 and later just change out the arm to even better one(the stock arm is actually very good, with very high precision low friction bearings - but you can get better and add it on later) and the SL1200 is a superb unit in terms of speed stability and platter and table resonance. It used thick cast aluminum with hard rubber sandwhiched pieces(constrain layer construction). If you handled that SL1200 in person, you obviously realized how incredibly well made it is.

Now, I opted for something much more expensive, but if I was going to spend 500, there is no question I would get a SL1200. No question at all.

Chris
post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by searchenabler View Post
There is no 'audiophile' deck even for 500 or 600 that is in the same ballpark of technical quality when compared to the Technics SL1200.
You can get lucky on eBay or a in a house clearance sale when the seller hasn't got a clue with a brand name or model number. However, the Technics scores high on my list, purely for the fact that spares are available world wide, and its robustness is second to none.
post #13 of 26
Before you pass on the AR, check out Vinyl Nirvana.
AR Turntable Vinyl Nirvana Acoustic Research Merrill Thorens For Sale
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by sean3089 View Post
Before you pass on the AR, check out Vinyl Nirvana.
AR Turntable Vinyl Nirvana Acoustic Research Merrill Thorens For Sale
The ARXA can be made into a fine deck. Vinyl Nirvana offers some very good and very expensive parts for it. Once one spends about $1000, it can roughly equal the Technics in quality and it will still need a new tonearm beyond that. I am no really trying to knock the AR table. I once owned one. The Technics is just a better deck to start with and there are fewer things that need fixing on the thing.
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssportclay View Post
The ARXA can be made into a fine deck. Vinyl Nirvana offers some very good and very expensive parts for it. Once one spends about $1000, it can roughly equal the Technics in quality and it will still need a new tonearm beyond that. I am no really trying to knock the AR table. I once owned one. The Technics is just a better deck to start with and there are fewer things that need fixing on the thing.
For a site (VinylNirvana) that claims it is not in it for the money - the parts/mods certainly 'seem' excessive in price!

But yeah, ssportclay is right. It will take a lot of money to get the AR to the same general quality level of a stock SL1200. As I said earlier: the AR units are more for nostalgia/collecting than anything else.

-Chris
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Dedicated Source Components
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › Better turntable deal: AR-XA($200) or Technics SL-1200mk5($250)(both in great cond.)?