Technics sp10 mrk2 or SL-1200mrkII

Hello. I am interested in getting a TT. I have not had one in quite some time. In talking with someone whom I respect, I was pointed in the direction of the sp10 mrk2. A friend of mine has an SL-1200mrkII. I know that I can get that from him without any issue. I also know that they are both direct drive tables. Is the sp10, leaps and bounds ahead of the 1200?
Thanks for any thoughts.
The SP-10 is a great TT but you will need a base and tonearm more than likely. Unless of course you can find one completely equiped.
I know it will need to be "adapted". Have you heard the 1200?
Should I think about that as well or just try and get an SP10.
Both require custom work to sound best..

The SL1200 will have to be modified to compete with the SP10mk2... look at the KAB mods including the external powersupply, isoplat mat with a herbies on top since the SP10 has a more damped platter, and the damping tray for the arm.

The SP10mk2 will have to have base built for if you run it stock it won't sound very good either... Plus you need an arm for it.

Also the other risk of the SP10mk2 is they have been bid up in price because of the popularity, and most don't get shipped with the platter stabilizer (piece of metal that screws down the platter to the chassis to prevent killing the bearings (which can't be repaired))... There are no repair parts unless you buy pieces from other broken units. Strobe light will probably be broken FYI.

If you aren't going to rewire the SL1200's arm you should buy a SL1210M5G which has upgraded wiring otherwise you can have your arm sent to KAB to have it Cardas wired.
Thanks for the reply. In my research I saw that KAB site. I would be willing to mod it. Like I said, I may be able to get a great deal on a 1200 so I don't mind putting a little extra into getting it to sound as good as it can. Thanks again for the input.
A virtually unused (they claimed) limited edition (3000 pieces) Gold Technics 1200 just sold on ebay for $500. That's a great price on a table that can only rise in value over the years and less than what it sold for new. Another one on ebay sold for over $1200 just last week so there are good deals if you look.
The SP-10MKII is a better table in my opinion than the 1200. I have had both and now own an SP-10MIII. But the 1200 is a very good player in it's own right and does have the ability to adjust VTA while playing a record as well as being complete.
Thanks everyone. I think I might try and get a SP10MKII down the line. I am sure they will pop up every now and then. I have this philosophy of trying to limit regret. It's tough with this hobby, but I have done pretty good so far. If the 10 is a better table then that is the one I will get.
Dear Mikeduke: +++++ " If the 10 is a better table then that is the one I will get. " +++++

It is not only a bettter TT but you can choose the best match tonearm for your cartridge.

Regards and enjoy the music.
It seems like it is a great table. Once I get my room treatments and I have my funds in order, I will see what I can do. The only thing is I need one that is ready to go or almost ready to go. I don't have the skills to work on my system myself. But, I will be looking.

Technics created a complete turntable system around the SP-10 which they called the SL-1000 MK II. It includes a custom base made of a black glasslike material they call obsidian, a hinged dustcover and the EPA 100 tonearm. And, of course, the outboard power supply. Assembly is a very simple matter and calibration is easier than with many arms. These are rare but very high performance. Expect to pay between $2500 and $4000 for the whole deal. If you can buy locally, that is preferable. Trusting anybody to ship a turntable is a gamble.
Thanks Jack.
I have seen that SL-1000 on a website when I was doing my search about this table. Shipping, I would imagine, would be a gamble. So if I find a sp10, that comes with an arm and the power supply, I need a base to put it on? I just can't put it on my Grand Prix rack? Sorry if that is a dumb question.
Thanks again for all the feedback

The platter and motor are both part of a single assembly. Raul claims better performance without any plinth and I believe it given his history and credibility. The only complication involved in that approach lies in finding a way to mount your tonearm. If you are not handy at all - like me - you might have a problem with that.

I don't know where you are presently in the great audiophile continuum, but you might find more than adequate performance in an all-in-one DD setup. Just be sure to appropriate a very high end Japanese model and you will be fine as long as the unit has been well cared for.

Does anyone have experience with the Luxman PD-441?
So, if I find one with a tone arm already installed, like an EPA100, then it is safe to say that it is ready to go as is? Thanks again if it seems like you have to answer the same question over and over again.
As far as where I am on the continum, I am now on the dual path of making what I have sound the best it can and looking to get a TT.

Let's start over.

Unless you are trying to push against state of the art performance levels, you would likely be better served by a turntable like the Technics 1200 series. That will keep you on the right side of the diminishing returns line. Record playing, more than any other aspect of high end audio, requires a knowledge and experience base or a dealer or friend who has same. Some people are capable of just grabbing the bull by the horns but if you do not feel confident enough to dive in headfirst, you would be better off starting with something preassembled. I'm pretty sure most of us cut our teeth in that way.
Mike, as you alluded in your last post, this thread seems almost to be going in circles. The SL-1200 series and the SP-10 series are similar in that they came from the same manufacturer and are both DD designs, but there are significant differences.

The SL-1200 series was introduced in the '70s as Technics' least expensive quality DD table. It was intended as an audio consumer product. The adoption/demand by mobile DJs in the '80s kept it in production as other models were discontinued and that continues to this day. Several years ago, a company called KAB began developing upgrades for the 1200s for non-DJ use. Their success means that today these tables are considered by many as the best available for under say $1,500 (some might place that figure higher). With or without the KAB mods, the 1200 series requires only the installation of a decent cartridge and you're ready to play music (assuming you already have a phono stage in your receiver or preamp).

The SP-10 series (original 10 with built in power supply and no quartz loc is not considered as desirable, more favored are the Mk 2, Mk 2A, and Mk 3 with outboard power units and quartz loc) was the top of the Technics consumer line. They offer the highest performance but usually require more knowledge in set up, or a good dealer to do it for you. The most recent model was built 20 years ago. As Jack stated, there was the SL-1000 Mk2 which came complete except for a cartridge. However, not many were sold so are harder to find, they tend to be expensive, and some believe a solid wood plinth offers better sonics than the factory Obsidian. Otherwise, as most SP-10 series are found today, the buyer must be prepared to build or have built an appropriate plinth, then select and install the desired tonearm. By the way, Jack's statement that Raul goes without a plinth is not correct. Some sort of plinth is necessary to secure the tonearm at the proper position (a very exacting consideration) and Raul uses a hardwood plinth to attach his table and arm. The difference is that Raul's plinth is a single layer of wood, rather than the multi-layers most owners construct to provide more mass.

So Mike, based on your questions I believe your best option would be to start simpler and purchase a SL-1200 series and discuss upgrades with Kevin at KAB. That may provide everything you are looking for. If, over time you feel you might want something better you could then look for a SP-10 series, or other quality DD table from Denon, Kenwood, Luxman, etc.

To learn more about the Technics models, go here -

To learn more about quality DD tables in general, go here -

Good luck.
Macrojack, where does Raul put his arm if he does not have a plinth? He has to have a plinth, if nothing else, to hold the arm... As an owner of a Technics Sp 10 mk II I would never even consider trying to use it without a plinth. Either there was a misunderstanding or Raul put his foot in his mouth again!

Mike, the advice to get something that is already 'put together' is solid. There are a lot of details to setting up a front end rig, and if you are not well versed in the process or friendly with someone who is, you will hate vinyl before you ever really get to hear it. Do you have access to some level of expertise?



Dear Nrchy, (I start with the courtesy that Raul unfailingly exhibits in his communications and which you did not accord Raul in your post above.) You might want to re-read Pryso's post just above yours. If you do you will learn that Raul has his SP10 "mounted" in a single piece of plywood that is only large enough to provide real estate for mounting his tonearm. To add some further description, the motor section of his SP10 rests directly on some Audio Technika feet, so there is no contact between the plywood and the shelf upon which the tt sits. I think it is fair to say this is a no-plinth set-up. In another thread, Raul reported that this set-up was far superior to a heavy "marble" plinth that he used previously. You and I may argue that marble is not ideal for a plinth, but it IS likely to be heavy. The key to Raul's success in this set-up might be the coupling of the motor housing to the shelf via the feet he uses. Anyway, I've never known Raul to stick his foot in his mouth; for me his feet are always planted firmly on the ground, from which position he is not vulnerable to fads, like huge wooden or slate plinths, unless they really work.
I'm with Lewm.
My dictionary defines plinth as a base. As such I do not think Raul's arrangement can be seen as a plinth since it doesn't support the table. Rather it serves as an armboard carried by the motor assenbly. And the motor assembly rests on three AT 616 shock absorbers. No plinth.

So Nrchy, you might want to string some floss between your toes so you can clean your teeth while your foot's in there.
Plinth: a base or platform.

As we tilt at semantics here, perhaps Raul should join in.

But until he does I have seen pictures of his SP-10 Mk2. His wood platform is larger than "enough to provide real estate for mounting his tonearm". It is large enough to surround the tt with an extended section along the right side for mounting a tonearm. But is it only about 3/4" thick so is far from being considered massive. And Jack is correct, this wooden piece does not support the table. Raul's three AT suspension devices are placed under the metal bottom plate for the motor.

Anyway, I would still call his wood piece a plinth but to each his own. 8^)
Thanks for the clarifiacation fellas. It is all great info. I do infact have a very good dealer who has alot of experince setting up turntables so that is not an issue. It is the person who I am getting my Grand Prix rack from.
So I really don't need to do any setup myself. I also have another contact in which I might be able to get a complete, with plinth, ready to go sp10.

I have time for this so I am not going out and doing this tommorow. I am also sure that the SL-1200 would be a fine table to start with. I noticed that KAB has ready made tables. If I go for a 1200, do you guys just recomend that I get one of those that is on the site and customize it?
I just want to thank everyone again for their replies. It has been educational and helpful. Now, I was wondering if I could ask a comparison like question. I have access to Nottingham. I was leaning towards the Space 294. Would a KAB modded 1210MRGS or an SP10MKII compete or beat that Nottingham. I know beat is a subjective word, but would the SQ be better?
SP10 used to be a great table in its day, but I am not sure if risking having zero support or spares and questionable history is worth it. Today I would absolutely buy a 1200.
Alex, this is precisely why I went with a new 12xx, KAB Electro-Acoustics has all the necessary modifications to make the 12xx a very good turntable.

Now if I were a 'collector' of audio equipment, I would definitely want an SP-10, the cool factor is up there with the best.
I am sure that the KAB modded tables are great. And even if I go hog wild with the choices I get, it would still be less then the other option I was thinking about. I am jones'n to get a table in my setup. To show you how desperate I am, I am going to put my old kenwood in my setup when I am able to get a shelf and preamp. I have no doubt that a KAB table would be MUCH better then that table. The choice is half the fun right?

Let's say I get the KAB 1200. Is it worth it to uograde the cartridge to say a Dynavctor DV-17D3? Or an even better arm like a Moerch or SME or the like at some time?
Thanks again.
Mike, I once went the route of replacing the arm on 1210 with Rega RB600 and later with SME only to come back to original arm eventually. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Technics arm unless you are paying attention to snobbish owners of multi-kilobuck tables that can't spin at 33 1/3. Now the cartridge is a different matter and in my opinion is a matter or taste rather than facts. I tend to have multiple cartridges, it's more convenient this way.
Thanks for the reply Alex. I was just throwing the ideas out there. I was already playing arround on the KAB website just seeing what a table would run me. All and all, really not that bad. Even though it may not match an SP10, I may really think about this. I need to contact someone to see what, if anything, could be worked out in regards with a SP10. Just so I know.