Luxman 441 vs. Technics SL-1200mk2 as first TT?


I am a analog wannabe living in a country with practically no analog audiophile gear available and no current possibility of mail-ordering from abroad. Even having these inconvenience, I have not been able to stop myself from collecting old vinyl from family, friends and garage sales and now find myself in the irony of having a lot of interesting music, but nothing to play it on. Can you imagine my suffering?

Being persistent, I have hunted down these used options:
- Vintage Luxman 441 with SME III tonearm ($190). Likes: Appearance and quality. Concerns: Age, serviceability, slow resale (in my country).
- Technics SL-1200mk2 ($240). Likes: Dependability, easy to sell for a later upgrade. Concerns: Sound quality.
- Kenwood KD-5070 ($75). Likes: price, heavy corian plinth. Concerns: Automatic mechanism/stock tonearm, sound quality.
I favor the Luxman, because it is simply beautiful and it has a good tonearm, but fear that something might go wrong with the electronics and I would have to trash it, or that I would have a hard time getting rid of it for a latter upgrade. The Technics, on the other hand, can be easily sold to get my money back, but is it the sonic equal to the Luxman at the same price? The Kenwood is a distant runner-up.
TT will be used with vintage Mcintosh Pre/Amp and B&W speakers.
So there you have it. Your feedback will be VERY appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

PD: I also posted in AA, but value your advice just as much.
why can't you order from abroad? you must use regestered mail, this is the only way to insure you will get what you order. If that is your worry?
Rockinroni, I live in Venezuela. I have used mail-order in the past, but currency exchange has been regulated by the government, and credit cards are no longer useable abroad. Besides, shipping and customs+tax (40%) are killers.
On the other hand, the terrible economic situation allows for very good deals in used gear. I managed to pick up a McIntosh C29/MC2125 combo for $300 and a Sansui TU-717 for $35! As a matter of fact, these vintage components are the culprits for my recent interest in vinyl.
That’s the reason I’m buying used, limited to those options.
As a SL1200MkII owner, I can tell you that the TT is capable of fine sound, but I would be careful about buying one used - they're durably built, but since it is the preferred TT of DJ's, they can lead rough lives. If you can find one that you know is clean and not abused, it should serve you as well or better than anything you can get for around that money.
The Technics is rugged as Zaike notes but I agree with the caveats he raises. OTOH, the Luxman was also a good deck in tis time, & user tweakable. Yours also has a nice arm on it. Do check the arms (wobbly??) the rotating speed of the TT... if OK, then a matter of taste really -- I don't think you'll be UNhappy with either Luxman or Technics, but it's difficult to decide FOR you. As to serviceability, a well cared for TT usually lasts a very long time despite the mechanical parts involved. In suspended decks, changing the suspension springs helps and in belt-drives the belt often dies after a few years -- but these are things that you can probably remedy locally.
Get both turntables! When your Luxman fails use the SME III on the Technics. You'll have a fantastic TT that will be *extremely* hard to beat for the money...

The modded Technics 1200 is the most underrated TT in high end.

Goto for more information.
The Luxman SME combo is by far the best setup, BUT the SME Series III arm is a very specialized unit. It is very low mass and will work only with high compliance cartridges like the Shure V15mxr or the grados. It will NOT work well with most moving coil cartridges. Also, it is a very tricky arm to setup properly. You need a copy of the instructions or previous experience with it to get it right. Believe me you will not get it by trial & error or experimentation. If set up properly and with the right cartridge it should be quite a nice sounding rig.
I agree about the Luxman/SME combo as the most attractive. However, as someone who has bought a 441 and a 444 by mail in the past 2 years only to have them both delivered with damaged main bearings, I would only buy one in person. Even the original factory packaging seems to be inadequate and replacement parts are not available, afaik.
Went to see the Luxman, and I bought it on the spot.
The TT is in beautiful condition, with a scratchless original cover and in perfect working order. To make it an even sweeter deal, the seller threw in an extra arm for the SME III and a Pickering XV-15/750E cartridge.
No concerns about the reason he's selling; the guy upgraded to a Nakamichi Dragon CT (WOW!).

Once again, thanks to all who replied... I hope I can return the favor sometime.
My Luxman has operated perfectly since the Seventies and
keeps on going. Not only is it beautiful to look at, it
performs flawlessly. I believe Technics build the motor
for this table; can't be sure. Works well with any arm
I have had on it. Presently I am using the SAEC arm which
works wonderfully on this table. My Luxman has provision
for two arms to be mounted at the same time. Nice