Ready to pull the trigger on a DD turntable: Technics SL-1210GR or Pioneer PLX1000???


I had the Technics SL-1210GR in the shopping cart, and had my credit card out.  Then I thought I'd take a look at Agon forums and see what people were saying.  I saw a lot of good reviews on the Technics, but people really liked the Pioneer too, and it's less than half the price!

Either way I went, I was going to match them up with an Ortofon 2M Bronze or Black.  Whatever cart I select, it will be plugged into a fully restored Marantz 7c, or an Audio Research SP-9.

Now, I appreciate belt drive turntables.  In another life, I was a factory rep for Thorens and B&O.  I made my living in the late '70s by bashing Japanese direct drive turntables. I myself have a beautiful Thorens TD-160.   It's over 40 years old, and now my preferences have changed.  I like torque, running a dust brush without the table slowing down.  I like the instant startup.  I think "s" shaped tonearms, speed strobes, and cuing lights are sexy.  And "good" direct drive tables sound good to me.

So what do you think?  I can easily afford to buy either turntable.  I gotta say if you go to the Technics website, they have a very impressive pitch on the 1200 series being hand built by Japanese craftsmen.  Pretty cool story.  But that may not add up to it sounding any better than the Pioneer.  I'm still a bit of a value shopper.  

On the low end, I could do a Pioneer 1000 /Ortofon Bronze combo for $1140, or the full meal deal Technics with Bronze or Black for $2,040-$2300.   Will there be a big pop in performance??  

Thanks!
tweak48
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Since Technics are back with a new DD motor there is no competition, it is reasonable to pay more for GR if this is the question.
Yes.  That was the question.  Thank you for the answer.  
+5.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000. 000.000.000. 000.000.000. 000.000.000. 000.000.000. 000.000.000. 000.000.000. 000.000.000. 000.000.000. 000.000.000. 000.000.000. 000.000.000. 000.000.000. 000.000.000. 000.000.000. 000.000.000. 000.000.000. 000.000.000.
LOL
Technics!Not a fan of the Ortofon Black though it seems like everyone else likes them.
Technics!Not a fan of the Ortofon Black though it seems like everyone else likes them.

I'm open to suggestions.  I'm just not spooled up on carts these days, so default to Ortofon because I was also the factory guy for them (and all Harman lines) at that time.  

@tweak48   Nagaoka family.
Show me a better TT than the PLX1000 for under $1K! It is not an inferior copy! I doubt that the Technics sounds significantly better. I have both the Pioneer and an older model of the 1200. Both are capable of musical satisfaction!


If some of the readers can’t face the fact that everyone tried to copy Technics SL1200 mkII... when the company was out of business, then they really know nothing about it and don’t understand the reason why they did it.

Pioneer nowadays is the leading manufacturer of professional equipment for DJs (only), their CDJ is the industry standard for years (in digital) for professionals, the only reason they are designed a visual CLONE of Technics, instead of making they own design, it is because Technics is the industry standard for professionals (in analog turntables).

And Technics was out of business at the time when Pioneer jumped in and made those turntables, they are not bad when you compare to OLD Technics SL1200/1210, but please stop living in illusion that you can compare Pioneer to the BRAND NEW Technics with coreless motor like G or GR series, because those models are not cheap, they are made for critical listeners (not for djs).

The GR cost $1700 new and on the used market it’s about $1500 in mint condition. The G is twice as much in price!

The old Technics SL1200 mk2 was $390 turntable when it was new. Before it was discontinued the price was about $500 new. So when you’re comparing Pioneer PLX1000 to Technics SL1200 mkII you’re comparing $1000 to $500 turntable.

Almost every manufacturer making visual clones of Technics, not only Pioneer, but also Audio-Technica and many others. They must keep the price low, because for higher price nobody will buy them if Technics is available, but Technics was not available, so Pioneer price was $1000 (higher than used Technics mk2 on the market). The size, the shape, the platter, the type of the pitch control, the tonearm ... is it all visual clone of Technics. But they’re making them not for audiophiles, but for DJ use, because this design ( a clone of Technics) is important ONLY for DJs (not for audiophiles, they don’t even understand why there is a pitch control). And some audiophiles could use them after M.Fremer told them it’s not bad for the price, without understanding the fact why it was made exactly like a blue print of Technics (visually) and not like some awesome Pioneer design from the past like PL-70 mkII

Think about it, you’re living in the audiophile’s world, but Pioneer is not an audiophile brand anymore. They just made a good turntable for professional market to put it in the DJ setup near their Pioneer CDJ and Pioneer Mixer, for DJs to replace Technics, but Technics returned with superior series of turntables such as G and GR series DESIGNED FOR AUDIOPHILES (NOT FOR DJs). For DJs Technics made new mk7 version (much cheaper than G/GR and better than Pioneer 1000).

If you want to compare PLX1000 to Technics the equal model is Technics mk7, everything else like GR or G/GAE are much better.

Used Pioneer PLX-1000 cost $400 and people will be happy to get rid of them, because there are NEW Technics available now.

It’s pretty funny to read when audiophiles blame DJs and for this reason hate Technics, but at the same time using Pioneer as alternative pretending it’s better, but it’s not better and made primarily or DJs. While NEW Technics G series made primarily for AUDIOPHILES.

If you want cheap and quality Direct Drive then there is a Technics mk7, no need for Pioneer PLX1000 anymore.

If you want a top quality then SL1200 G for nearly $4000 or it’s low cost alternative model GR for 50%

 ** P.S. It’s kind of weird when people think that is one turntable looks similar to another they are performing equally just because they are both Direct Drive.

** If you like Pioneer find the best from this company, it is not the same company anymore, just look what they are manufacturing today. Then look back and see what was their target back then, when it was all about Hi-Fi. If you like Pioneer you’d better find your self Pioneer PL-70 II from 1981 for $2000 and you will get better tonearm, better drive, better plinth than any new Pioneer turntable. And yes, that was an original Pioneer design, not a clone of Technics from a modern Pioneer brand. As you can see their old is much better than their new.







I’ve owned them both . Unless you are a DJ no reason to buy the Technics. .Old direct TT's have too many electronic problems .
And Technics was out of business at the time when Pioneer jumped in and made those turntables, they are not bad when you compare to OLD Technics SL1200/1210, but please stop living in illusion that you can compare Pioneer to the BRAND NEW Technics with coreless motor like G or GR series, because those models are not cheap, they are made for critical listeners (not for djs).

Wow great write up!  Very informative.  For all the reasons you pointed out, I ordered a SL-1210GR last night.  And I'm confident it was the right decision.  

But, I gotta say, if I was shopping in the sub-$800 turntable market, the PLX-1000 would be at the top of my list.  The product information sheet is very impressive.  https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81sZ1WyEWkL.pdf

Now, I'll defer to the turntable experts on this forum, but compared to some of the so called "audiophile" turntables I see being marketed with MDF plinths, and low voltage, low current, wall wort power supplies, built in preamps and USB ports, the PLX-1000 (to me) looks like more of a serious product and like one hell of a value.

And who gives a damn if Pioneer reverse engineered the SL1200 mkII?  That was a pretty high standard.  As a hi-fi salesman while in college, i sold the living hell out SL1200s.  All to hi-fi guys.  The disco scene just wasn't a big thing in where I lived in 1973.  But hifi was.  And all my buddys had a nice stereo.  

But I know I'm a bit of a contrarian, so the SL-1210GR will suit me just fine.  Great thread.  Thanks to everyone.