Getting pair of used TTs soon, Need advice!!
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  1. #1

    Default Getting pair of used TTs soon, Need advice!!

    I'm getting pair of used SL1210mkII black. I am TT newb and need to clear something out.

    1) cartridges:
    -which brands are ok??? which brands i have to avoid???
    -are they universal, or do i need technics specific cartridges?
    -does it make big difference for which purpose i am going to use it? for instance> i play DnB and i do want to continue that, but i was thinking that i want to learn how to scratch as well... plz dont tell me i will have to buy more sets of cartridges ... and most important: i am going to use em with Timecodes mostly, so any cartridges that fits TSPRO exactly?
    -any favorites that you can reccommend?

    2) grounding
    -TTs have to be grounded, thats all i know... how? when? why? and with what? ...
    -is it possible somehow to ground it onto VCI? (i remember remotely that there was a paragraph like that in manual)... if so, does it make difference if VCI is with adapter or not?

    bah... dunno what else i do need to ask... uh ok, here's another: the guy i am getting TTs from said they are in really good shape 2years old and bedroomy - is there something i should look into before shaking hands?
    DJ Blofeld - The Evil Genius
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    Doomsday device: TRAKTOR SCRATCH PRO, AUDIO 8, VCI-100black 1.3, 2x Technics SL1210mkII

  2. #2
    Retired DJTT Moderator DvlsAdvct's Avatar
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    I used Shure cartridges and needles most regularly, but always eyed the Stantons and Ortofons. You do not need specific cartridges, you just need to keep in mind there are two kinds. You have your "all-in-one" option, like this that plug directly into the tone arm and you have your individual cartridge like this which you need to attach to the headshell with screws.

    There are needles and cartridges that are said to be made for "time code" but, imho, I think those are just a gimmick. I've used the Shure SC35C cartridges and needles with time code with no issues.

    As far as scratching goes, there are lots of different needles, headshells, cartridges and theories to go with them as to which is best. I'd say start doing a whole load of research on how the tone arm angle, the counterweight, S-arm or straight arm, and other features of the turntable interact to create the best scratching capability.

    You don't need multiple sets of cartridges, but you should have backups. Especially of your stylii (needles). Things can happen in the course of transport. If you are travelling with your needles you should get a carrying case of sorts, and I would always travel with four sets of the same headshell/needle in case things go wrong. Hell, you land on your tone arm wrong when tripping and you can rip the needle right out of the stylus.

    The grounding thing I'll leave to someone who understands better than I do. I'm pretty sure you can use the VCI-100 as the ground, but would be better off using your mixer (which should have ground knobs for each channel). The Technics should come with grounding cables, but I think you could get them at a generic electronics store.

    As far as checking the turntables, I'd say turn them on, play some music on them, listen to it, maybe do some baby scratches to see the response. Look them over, feel the buttons, reference the pitch faders with the rings as it's spinning (1/3, 2/3, etc.).

    Also, do research as to commonly found problems with the model you are looking for. Contrary to popular belief, even Technics break.

    Good luck!
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  3. #3
    Tech Wizard Lucid's Avatar
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    Very sound advice. I would state that the Shure M44-7 is a good all around cartridge to use with the headshell.
    Other things to check out on the TTs are the lights and making sure the cables are not kinked (RCAs and grounding wires.) The grounding wires are kinda stiff and can kink and break. There's a detent click at 0 on the pitch fader. Make sure the large dots on the platter are stable when the pitch is @ zero.

  4. #4
    Retired DJTT Moderator DvlsAdvct's Avatar
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    One issue a friend of mine had...

    He had his Technics for about 20 years last I saw him, and the pitch fader was no longer accurate. The settings drifted a bit for the platters turning, so he remarked the 1/3 and 2/3 parts with magic marker.

    You tell this by the spinning rings on the platter. When it's in the middle they should all be stable. As you move the pitch fader they drift, and eventually only the top one will be stable, or the bottom one. So yeah, just make sure that all works, that the lights work, etc..

    It's the FAQ. Read it.

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  5. #5
    DJTT Dominator JesC's Avatar
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    +Shure SC35C, you can also ground the 1200's internally, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWzM2KJlbwo...my 1200's are old as hell. I bought my from a dj that got them in the early 80s
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