Was I happy with the Technics? Well, yes, but ... Don't you want something
better, at least until you find something you like too much to replace?
The thing is, the general audiophile community
tossed the Technics DD tables aside in favor of suspended belt drive models
without realizing that the Technics retains strong advantages in speed
consistency and accuracy, and build quality owing to economies of scale,
while its weaknesses relative to suspended designs are pretty easily
addressed for not a whole lot of money.
The tonearm wire on the base model limits the sound quality, but KAB can do
a tonearm rewire with Cardas for a very reasonable price, or you can start
with the more upscale SL1210 M5G which has better tonearm wire than the
lower end models. Second, the tonearm is very precisely made, but KAB
offers a fluid damper trough that makes the tonearm work even better on a
wider variety of cartridges, and tracks even hideously warped records without
Third, Kevin provides a much heavier, thicker turntable mat which helps
reduce noise; you can also purchase any number of premium aftermarket
mats to do the same. The Herbies Way Excellent mat and the Iron Audio mat
are fairly popular with SL12x0 users on A-gon.
Fourth, the Technics biggest weakness is probably noise and vibration
isolation. The standard feet aren't very good. Kevin has some really quality
feet available called the Isonoe (not to be confused with Isonode) footers.
People here use various combinations of sorbothane, squash balls, cutting
boards, brass cones (from PartsExpress, Mapleshade, or Audiopoints), and
Vibrapods to create a platform that drains the vibrations out of the turntable
base and also isolates the cartridge feed from room-borne noise and
vibration. I get performance from my SL1210 M5G that I never thought
possible, and most of the performance increase comes from the combination
of cones, platform, and vibration absorbing materials that provide the
platform for my turntable.