What happened to Technics?
We get DJ's come into the store and ask for Technics almost on a daily basis. The reality is that if you want a pair of Technics you will more than likely have to pay an extortionate price for a battered 30 year old, rusty turntable (or fork out the best part £6,000 for a pair of brand new ones). But there is light at the end of the tunnel! The last few years has seen a resurgence in vinyl sales and as a result hardware companies have responded accordingly by producing a selection of 'new' turntables. I put the word 'new' in inverted commas as most of them are based heavily on there Technics forefathers, to the extent that some are almost unrecognizable from them. Throughout this article we will compare each turntable to the Technics 1210. Why? Because quite simply it is the industry standard. It was not the best turntable, not the worst, but reliable and got the job done. As regular club Vinyl DJ's here is our selection:
First Turntable: Pioneer Plx - 500 (£299 each)
Pioneer Plx - 500 Black
/ Pioneer Plx - 500 White
Pioneer swooped in this year with there 'entry level' turntable the PLX 500. It certainly looks like a 1210, with the only noticeable difference being the Start/ Stop button being Pioneer's signature round CDJ design. The great thing about this turntable is that it comes with everything you need to get started in the box. Including; head-shell, cartridge, cables and slip mat. It performs pretty well. It has a slightly less torque than the Technics series but still enough to comfortably mix on. It is built from plastic, as appose to metal, but still feels well built and hard wearing. A really nice feature it has is the bonus of USB output which makes digitizing your vinyl collection sooooooo much quicker its unbelievable. On a budget and looking for your first turntable? This is one.
Technics 1210 MK2 Clone: Reloop RP-7000 Direct Drive Turntable (£385 each / £765 pair)
Reloop RP-7000 Direct Drive Turntable
Hold tight the Germans on this one! One of our favorite modern turntables. The best way to describe this would be a modded version of a 1210 Mk2. Its like taking a classic Peugeot 205 Rally then adding DAB digital radio, electric windows and air con to it. In fact I was at an afters in Paris during the summer playing records and it was 2 hours before I realized I was not on a 1210! The only noticeable difference is that you can control the amount of torque (the center being the equivalent of a 1210), brake control, a reverse button and an added stop / play button for battle mode. Performance wise this a Technics 1210 with some extra mods. My only criticism would be it doesn't to us look as slick as some of the other turntables on this list. Other than that its no brainier at this price range.
Technics 1210 Mk5 Clone: Pioneer Plx 1000 Direct Drive Turntable (£529 each / £999 pair)
Plx 1000 Direct Drive Turntable
Look at this. It defiantly wins on looks and if the Reloop RP-7000's perform like 210 Mk2's then these perform like the Mk 5's. The pitch is so responsive and the torque just right. Made of metal they feel as heavy duty and robust as the 1210's. Its hard to notice a difference other than the variable pitch adjust settings. If your looking for a brand new pair of Mk5 turntables this is your clone.
Out Performs a 1210: Audio-Technica 1240 Direct Drive Turntable (£449 each)
Audio-Technica 1240 Direct Drive Turntable
If your want a turntable that out performs the 1210, then this is it. It has all the added features you could want in a turntable; the pitch control buttons, a chords lock button, reverse play, battle-style 2 start/stop buttons, target lights, brake/start adjustment knobs ect.. It also has higher torque than a 1210 and a sound quality that it is equal to the legend itself.