Buying a pair of turntables
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  1. #1
    Tech Wizard
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    Default Buying a pair of turntables

    Hey guys, I'm meeting with a guy maybe next week about buying a pair of Technics 1200 mk2s. What should I look for when I check them out, other then obvious the pitch slider, pop up light, and such. Thanks

  2. #2
    RGAS Guru Xonetacular's Avatar
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    it's hard to really go wrong unless they are really really beat, i've bought, refurbished, and sold technics on craigslist quite a bit and going through around 50+ technics total I only encountered one I had to use for parts that had a bent tone arm not worth fixing and the side was real bent like it was dropped off a stage.

    The biggest thing is overall appearance to get a sense of age and how it was used. Power it on, hit play and adjust the pitch paying attention to when the dots stay still looking at the led strobe which correspond to pitch increments. make sure the dots stay steady.

    Put it on 33 and 45 rpm and slowly move the pitch fader through its range, if the pitch is dirty or worn out you will see the dots on the platter stutter in the led strobe showing the platter speed is inconsistent. you don't want this unless you are good at DIY stuff since this is easy to fix if you take apart and clean the pitch fader and you could offer $100 for a tt like this but that's another story.

    make sure the tone arm is straight, if you can, see how a cartridge fits on the arm and if any of the contacts on the tone arm look pushed in or shot. play a vinyl record if possible and see if you get an output in both channels. if he has a mixer that shows left and right output levels make sure one isn't significantly lower than the other (and if it is be mindful that could be a styli problem too). look at the rcas and the ground wire, check to see if the ground wire is close to original length and not chewed up or cut down. check to make sure all wire insulation is in good shape and check what the rca connectors look like and if they have a tight fit. remove the platter and look for any signs of anything being spilled (usually won't cause permanent damage but i have cleaned some thick nasty goop out of tables). check the pop up light, check the 33/45 buttons and make sure they don't stick. make sure all the leds stay steadily lit and don't dim or flicker at all indicating a power problem. make sure the tone arm clip isn't broken off and if it is you can get a new one for a few bucks but make him knock down his price a bit.

    if it plays stereo fine and the pitch is good then it's a solid table. i wouldnt pay more than $450 for a used pair of 1200s and going rate seems to be $500 a pair on craigslist. don't let them being discontinued fool you, the second hand value is the same as it was last year unless it is brand new in box.
    Last edited by Xonetacular; 10-28-2011 at 12:00 AM.

  3. #3
    Tech Guru Onimode's Avatar
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    ^I think that pretty much sums it up. :|
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  4. #4
    Tech Wizard
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    Ok cool, thanks. I have pictures of the tables, should I post them? they look to be clean and in good shape, but the picture are like cell phone quality.

  5. #5
    RGAS Guru Xonetacular's Avatar
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    go ahead it cant hurt but we probably cant tell much

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    Tech Mentor M.Beijer's Avatar
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    there is a video made by ellaskins which cover every single little bit of the technic turntable. Really good info before buying actually.

    Don't have the link but try search "ellaskins refurbished turntable" or smth on
    www.youtube.com

  7. #7
    Tech Guru Onimode's Avatar
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  8. #8
    Tech Guru dripstep's Avatar
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    check the contacts in the tonearm, where the headshell connects to the arm. make sure there isnt any/much corrosion. if there is, you may have some cleaning to do.
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    Tech Guru Patch's Avatar
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    BIG ONE HERE - DO NOT NEGLECT TO DO THIS!!!

    Remove the platter and check the magnets on the reverse for chips/cracks/breakage.

    If I was buying 1200's, I'd definitely get them serviced as soon as I bought them. A pair of serviced 1200's will give you NO trouble for 10+ years if you're nice to 'em.

    In fact - a large perentage of un-serviced 1200's will give you 10+ years of trouble free scratching...

    You ARE planning on scratching ,right?
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  10. #10
    RGAS Guru Xonetacular's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patch View Post
    If I was buying 1200's, I'd definitely get them serviced as soon as I bought them. A pair of serviced 1200's will give you NO trouble for 10+ years if you're nice to 'em.

    In fact - a large perentage of un-serviced 1200's will give you 10+ years of trouble free scratching...
    probably not necessary, you could just buy a decent set to begin with that doesn't need servicing instead of dropping the $200. I would say most technics I have encountered on craigslist have just sat in people's houses collecting dust and would not really benefit from any work.
    Last edited by Xonetacular; 10-28-2011 at 07:58 AM.

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