Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Technics SL-1600mkii Turntable

This is one of my favourite turntables of all time. I know it's not the best turntable (belt, idler or direct drive) out there nor, it is the best automatic turntable. Some people prefer the Sony PS-X75 or higher end Sony, Denons, JVC, Nakamichi etc..and the list can go on but, I've always loved this table. I guess my fondness of Technics turntables and the aesthetics of it.

Let's not forget Technics is one of the few makers of direct drive turntables and yes I am aware what happened some years back when they stopped producing the SL-1200mk2 and now they're making higher end turntables that looked to be similar specifications of their broadcasting line of the 80s. Regardless, the SL-1600mkii is a very good turntable.

It is well built machine and packed full of features It has the same motor and tone arm as the SL-1200mkii, a cast plinth with the usual heavy platter. The platter is suspended and the automation is via photo sensors. Not to mention a nifty stylus light. In addition, it can take similar upgrades like the KAB USA tonearm damper trough. Like always, it has the 2 speed direct drive, quartz locked motor that many love.

It does have it's Achilles' heel, the automatic lead in and return mechanism. It is done via a rubber belt and motor. The belt can always be replaced however, the plastics gears are the weak link. They can break and render the automation useless. However, I think creative people have been using a 3D printer to manufacture these parts, just like the SL-1300mkii to SL-1500mkii. Take that as a grain of salt as I am only basing that off memory.

Definitely, this is one of my favourite tables that I've had, in fact, this is my second one as I had some remorse when I let my first one go. But, I think I might hold on to this one.



Technics SL-D3 Turntable

Well, it certainly has been awhile since I last posted a page on our blog. Stuff keeps moving in and out and life keeps getting busier. However, I do have some pictures to unload!

Technics direct drive turntables are one of the most reliable turntables made and some of the easiest to service. To some it's nothing spectacular but, for those wanting a quality turntable for not a lot of coin, these turntables are some of the best out there. They are plentiful, reliable and for majority of people out there, they do the job well. The SL-D3 is the fully automatic version of their "SL-DX" line up. The SL-D1 is a pure manual table and the SL-D2 is their semi-automatic (automatic return).

Does the increase of automation make the turntable more complex? Not really, just a few more extra things to adjust, test and poke around inside but, like anything their other siblings, a breeze to go through.

A quick run down of the some features, it's a 2 speed direct drive with 33/45rpm, with automatic lead in and return for 7", 10" and 12" records with repeat feature up to 6 times. Like majority of Technics turntables they are well made with a good motor, good tone arm and I have equipped this SL-D3 with a Shure M95 cartridge with an aftermarket Jico stylus. So, it does sound quite nice.

Now, what I don't like about "these" turntables and many would probably agree is the hinge-system. They tend to break if one is not careful but, I remember seeing a decent fix-solution on Audiokarma one were to break. So, all is not lost.

As for this guy, this one found it's new home as a Christmas gift)

Some quick specifications: