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Technics SL-1200 price in it's heydey
I've been trying to find out (without much luck) how much a new Technics SL-1200 turntable would have sold for new back in late 70s-early 80s.  I'm finding them used in eBay and Craigslist for around $200.  And a new one, costs $4,000 these days.

I assume in the 90s and 2000s, you probably couldn't give one away.

All my Googling about price led me to a number of blogs that are trying to justify the $4,000 price tag, and one YouTube video interviewing a Techincs rep where he explains how important the upgraded power cord is to the sound quality of the turntable.

If anyone knows what these things sold for in their hey day, I would appreciate a response.

  • DVDdoug
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: Technics SL-1200 price in it's heydey
Reply #1
This site says:
Quote
When the Matsushita Corporation (today Panasonic) rolled out the SL-1200 in 1972 it was dubbed "the middle-class player system", an aspiration borne out in its $350 price tag, clean lines and minimalist design....

Quote
All my Googling about price led me to a number of blogs that are trying to justify the $4,000 price tag,
You don't have to "justify" the price.   In a free market the price is set when a buyer and seller agree on a price.  

Re: Technics SL-1200 price in it's heydey
Reply #2
This site says:
Quote
When the Matsushita Corporation (today Panasonic) rolled out the SL-1200 in 1972 it was dubbed "the middle-class player system", an aspiration borne out in its $350 price tag, clean lines and minimalist design....

Quote
All my Googling about price led me to a number of blogs that are trying to justify the $4,000 price tag,
You don't have to "justify" the price.   In a free market the price is set when a buyer and seller agree on a price.  

It's pretty clear that Technics is taking advantage of vinyl resurgence.  And more power to them.  If they can con you out of $4000 over a turntable, then that's on you, not them.

  • 4season
  • [*][*][*]
Re: Technics SL-1200 price in it's heydey
Reply #3
I don't remember what they sold for in the 1970s and 80s, but not so many years ago before they were discontinued, I seem to recall them selling for around $450 at B&H Photo.

  • DVDdoug
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: Technics SL-1200 price in it's heydey
Reply #4
Quote
I assume in the 90s and 2000s, you probably couldn't give one away.
Maybe.  I gave away my AR turntable that I bought for $100 in the late 70s.       I still have the SL-something (not a 1200) that I replaced it with.   I also gave away a mono McIntosh tube amplifier that somebody had given me, and a Radio Shack reel-to-reel tape recorder.    And, I eventually gave away most of my vinyl.    (I kept some records to remind me to buy the CDs, or to digitize if the CD/MP3 isn't available.)

  • marc2003
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Developer
Re: Technics SL-1200 price in it's heydey
Reply #5
I'm in the UK and I remember them being around £400-450 each in the late 90s. Used prices weren't much cheaper - maybe £350 if you were lucky.

  • copperblue
  • [*][*]
Re: Technics SL-1200 price in it's heydey
Reply #6
I'm in the UK and I remember them being around £400-450 each in the late 90s. Used prices weren't much cheaper - maybe £350 if you were lucky.
In the UK I have paid respectively £300, £350, £370 for new MK2, MK2, M3D in 1989, 1996, 2003.
Although the new ones resemble the old ones they are new designs and don't share components or tooling with the old ones.
  • Last Edit: 29 July, 2017, 02:32:47 AM by copperblue

Re: Technics SL-1200 price in it's heydey
Reply #7
I'm in the UK and I remember them being around £400-450 each in the late 90s. Used prices weren't much cheaper - maybe £350 if you were lucky.
In the UK I have paid respectively £300, £350, £370 for new MK2, MK2, M3D in 1989, 1996, 2003.
Although the new ones resemble the old ones they are new designs and don't share components or tooling with the old ones.

It spins a disc.  It drops a needle.  For Technics to tout the "improved power cable" as a feature at an audiophile festival tells me that the audiofool business model is in full effect here.

  • copperblue
  • [*][*]
Re: Technics SL-1200 price in it's heydey
Reply #8
I'm in the UK and I remember them being around £400-450 each in the late 90s. Used prices weren't much cheaper - maybe £350 if you were lucky.
In the UK I have paid respectively £300, £350, £370 for new MK2, MK2, M3D in 1989, 1996, 2003.
Although the new ones resemble the old ones they are new designs and don't share components or tooling with the old ones.

It spins a disc.  It drops a needle.  For Technics to tout the "improved power cable" as a feature at an audiophile festival tells me that the audiofool business model is in full effect here.
You misunderstand "improved power cable".
This literally means that the power cable unplugs from the back of the table!
Previous 12xx Mk x variants have fixed cables (excepting JDM specials IIRC). :)

Re: Technics SL-1200 price in it's heydey
Reply #9
I'm in the UK and I remember them being around £400-450 each in the late 90s. Used prices weren't much cheaper - maybe £350 if you were lucky.
In the UK I have paid respectively £300, £350, £370 for new MK2, MK2, M3D in 1989, 1996, 2003.
Although the new ones resemble the old ones they are new designs and don't share components or tooling with the old ones.

It spins a disc.  It drops a needle.  For Technics to tout the "improved power cable" as a feature at an audiophile festival tells me that the audiofool business model is in full effect here.
You misunderstand "improved power cable".
This literally means that the power cable unplugs from the back of the table!
Previous 12xx Mk x variants have fixed cables (excepting JDM specials IIRC). :)

I had no idea that solder the power cord directly to the circuit board was so detrimental to sound quality!

:-)

  • copperblue
  • [*][*]
Re: Technics SL-1200 price in it's heydey
Reply #10
Those fixed power and signal cables are a real PITA when relocating the table.
Especially as Technics dispensed with dust cover hinges from M3D on, stylus damage a worrying possibility...

  • Atmasphere
  • [*][*]
Re: Technics SL-1200 price in it's heydey
Reply #11
The New Technics SL-1200 is a new design from the ground up with a ton of improvements.

I took one apart, as a customer of mine wanted to mount a 12" arm on it, which is not supposed to be possible. We got it done though.

The chassis is a new more rigid design. A new plinth of cast-machined aluminum is applied. The two together are anti-resonant. In addition, two different mechanical damping means are applied to the chassis. The platter is more massive and is damped. The motor is a new design, the servo is computer controlled with USB updatable firmware. Speed stability is about 90% the difference between the SP-10 MkII and SP-10MkIII, meaning that this is the most speed stable machine made and the second most speed stable machine ever made. Up to speed in about 1/8th a turn. The arm has improved bearings and tolerances as well as a lighter and more rigid arm tube material.

Overall pretty sweet. If any high end companies had even had the ability to make a machine of this quality, I'm sure it would have been 3-4X more $$$. I don't know why they made it look like the old machine with which it has no compatible parts but my guess is they are cashing in on the recognition. The power cord is not what makes this special, rep say so or not.

Re: Technics SL-1200 price in it's heydey
Reply #12
The SL-1200 is probably the most famous turntable in history.  There's a lot of name recognition with that model number.  It was a smart marketing move to do that,  Hell, in 2010 the entire Technics line was was discontinued by Panasonic, along with the SL-1200.  Not only did they bring back the SL-1200 name in 2015, they brought back the Technics brand also.

Panasonic marketing speak makes it sound like Technics is a completely separate company and how they reached out the original Technics engineers to consult with them on the SL-1200 and how to improve it.

Somehow I think that Technics products are rolling off the same assembly line that Panasonic equipment is rolling off of.

Technics is claiming they're hand assembling each SL-1200 in Japan that is available for sale now.  Considering the claimed run of only 4000 units, it would make sense to do that, rather than spend the money to create a program for machinery to crank these things out.

If it's a quality turntable, that's good.  If you're willing to spend $4,000, more power to you.

  • krabapple
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: Technics SL-1200 price in it's heydey
Reply #13
The New Technics SL-1200 is a new design from the ground up with a ton of improvements.

I took one apart, as a customer of mine wanted to mount a 12" arm on it, which is not supposed to be possible. We got it done though.

The chassis is a new more rigid design. A new plinth of cast-machined aluminum is applied. The two together are anti-resonant. In addition, two different mechanical damping means are applied to the chassis. The platter is more massive and is damped. The motor is a new design, the servo is computer controlled with USB updatable firmware. Speed stability is about 90% the difference between the SP-10 MkII and SP-10MkIII, meaning that this is the most speed stable machine made and the second most speed stable machine ever made. Up to speed in about 1/8th a turn. The arm has improved bearings and tolerances as well as a lighter and more rigid arm tube material.

Overall pretty sweet. If any high end companies had even had the ability to make a machine of this quality, I'm sure it would have been 3-4X more $$$. I don't know why they made it look like the old machine with which it has no compatible parts but my guess is they are cashing in on the recognition. The power cord is not what makes this special, rep say so or not.

I guarante you that some prominent audiophile asshole (possibly Michael Fremer) will claims it's not as good as the original. 

Re: Technics SL-1200 price in it's heydey
Reply #14
The New Technics SL-1200 is a new design from the ground up with a ton of improvements.

I took one apart, as a customer of mine wanted to mount a 12" arm on it, which is not supposed to be possible. We got it done though.

The chassis is a new more rigid design. A new plinth of cast-machined aluminum is applied. The two together are anti-resonant. In addition, two different mechanical damping means are applied to the chassis. The platter is more massive and is damped. The motor is a new design, the servo is computer controlled with USB updatable firmware. Speed stability is about 90% the difference between the SP-10 MkII and SP-10MkIII, meaning that this is the most speed stable machine made and the second most speed stable machine ever made. Up to speed in about 1/8th a turn. The arm has improved bearings and tolerances as well as a lighter and more rigid arm tube material.

Overall pretty sweet. If any high end companies had even had the ability to make a machine of this quality, I'm sure it would have been 3-4X more $$$. I don't know why they made it look like the old machine with which it has no compatible parts but my guess is they are cashing in on the recognition. The power cord is not what makes this special, rep say so or not.

I guarante you that some prominent audiophile asshole (possibly Michael Fremer) will claims it's not as good as the original.

BTW, I managed to troll him on FB: https://www.facebook.com/search/str/michael%2Bfremer/keywords_blended_posts?filters_rp_author=%7B%22name%22%3A%22author_friends%22%2C%22args%22%3A%22%22%7D&filters_rp_creation_time=%7B%22name%22%3A%22creation_time%22%2C%22args%22%3A%22%7B%5C%22start_year%5C%22%3A%5C%222017%5C%22%2C%5C%22end_year%5C%22%3A%5C%222017%5C%22%7D%22%7D&esd=eyJlc2lkIjoiUzpfSTYyOTQxMzU3MToxMDE1NjM5OTMxNzY4ODU3MiIsInBzaWQiOnsiNjI5NDEzNTcxOjEwMTU2Mzk5MzE3Njg4NTcyIjoiVXpwZlNUWXlPVFF4TXpVM01Ub3hNREUxTmpNNU9UTXhOelk0T0RVM01nPT0ifSwiY3JjdCI6ImNvbW1lbnRzX2xpbmsiLCJjc2lkIjoiNWIwYmEyMThiN2EwODQyNjY4NzZmMGQyZmRhMTI5NTYifQ%3D%3D

Re: Technics SL-1200 price in it's heydey
Reply #15
The New Technics SL-1200 is a new design from the ground up with a ton of improvements.

I took one apart, as a customer of mine wanted to mount a 12" arm on it, which is not supposed to be possible. We got it done though.

The chassis is a new more rigid design. A new plinth of cast-machined aluminum is applied. The two together are anti-resonant. In addition, two different mechanical damping means are applied to the chassis. The platter is more massive and is damped. The motor is a new design, the servo is computer controlled with USB updatable firmware. Speed stability is about 90% the difference between the SP-10 MkII and SP-10MkIII, meaning that this is the most speed stable machine made and the second most speed stable machine ever made. Up to speed in about 1/8th a turn. The arm has improved bearings and tolerances as well as a lighter and more rigid arm tube material.

Overall pretty sweet. If any high end companies had even had the ability to make a machine of this quality, I'm sure it would have been 3-4X more $$$. I don't know why they made it look like the old machine with which it has no compatible parts but my guess is they are cashing in on the recognition. The power cord is not what makes this special, rep say so or not.

I guarante you that some prominent audiophile asshole (possibly Michael Fremer) will claims it's not as good as the original.

BTW, I managed to troll him on FB: https://www.facebook.com/search/str/michael%2Bfremer/keywords_blended_posts?filters_rp_author=%7B%22name%22%3A%22author_friends%22%2C%22args%22%3A%22%22%7D&filters_rp_creation_time=%7B%22name%22%3A%22creation_time%22%2C%22args%22%3A%22%7B%5C%22start_year%5C%22%3A%5C%222017%5C%22%2C%5C%22end_year%5C%22%3A%5C%222017%5C%22%7D%22%7D&esd=eyJlc2lkIjoiUzpfSTYyOTQxMzU3MToxMDE1NjM5OTMxNzY4ODU3MiIsInBzaWQiOnsiNjI5NDEzNTcxOjEwMTU2Mzk5MzE3Njg4NTcyIjoiVXpwZlNUWXlPVFF4TXpVM01Ub3hNREUxTmpNNU9UTXhOelk0T0RVM01nPT0ifSwiY3JjdCI6ImNvbW1lbnRzX2xpbmsiLCJjc2lkIjoiNWIwYmEyMThiN2EwODQyNjY4NzZmMGQyZmRhMTI5NTYifQ%3D%3D

Link not working.  Your troll are pretty epic.  If you can find a working link, I'd love to read it.

Re: Technics SL-1200 price in it's heydey
Reply #16
The New Technics SL-1200 is a new design from the ground up with a ton of improvements.

I took one apart, as a customer of mine wanted to mount a 12" arm on it, which is not supposed to be possible. We got it done though.

The chassis is a new more rigid design. A new plinth of cast-machined aluminum is applied. The two together are anti-resonant. In addition, two different mechanical damping means are applied to the chassis. The platter is more massive and is damped. The motor is a new design, the servo is computer controlled with USB updatable firmware. Speed stability is about 90% the difference between the SP-10 MkII and SP-10MkIII, meaning that this is the most speed stable machine made and the second most speed stable machine ever made. Up to speed in about 1/8th a turn. The arm has improved bearings and tolerances as well as a lighter and more rigid arm tube material.

Overall pretty sweet. If any high end companies had even had the ability to make a machine of this quality, I'm sure it would have been 3-4X more $$$. I don't know why they made it look like the old machine with which it has no compatible parts but my guess is they are cashing in on the recognition. The power cord is not what makes this special, rep say so or not.

I guarante you that some prominent audiophile asshole (possibly Michael Fremer) will claims it's not as good as the original.

BTW, I managed to troll him on FB: https://www.facebook.com/search/str/michael%2Bfremer/keywords_blended_posts?filters_rp_author=%7B%22name%22%3A%22author_friends%22%2C%22args%22%3A%22%22%7D&filters_rp_creation_time=%7B%22name%22%3A%22creation_time%22%2C%22args%22%3A%22%7B%5C%22start_year%5C%22%3A%5C%222017%5C%22%2C%5C%22end_year%5C%22%3A%5C%222017%5C%22%7D%22%7D&esd=eyJlc2lkIjoiUzpfSTYyOTQxMzU3MToxMDE1NjM5OTMxNzY4ODU3MiIsInBzaWQiOnsiNjI5NDEzNTcxOjEwMTU2Mzk5MzE3Njg4NTcyIjoiVXpwZlNUWXlPVFF4TXpVM01Ub3hNREUxTmpNNU9UTXhOelk0T0RVM01nPT0ifSwiY3JjdCI6ImNvbW1lbnRzX2xpbmsiLCJjc2lkIjoiNWIwYmEyMThiN2EwODQyNjY4NzZmMGQyZmRhMTI5NTYifQ%3D%3D

Link not working.  Your troll are pretty epic.  If you can find a working link, I'd love to read it.

Hard for me to fix it because it works perfectly for me.  This can happen and it can be very misleading to work with.  What fails?

Also; Logon to FB and try searching on Michael Fremer  and  Jim Austin
  • Last Edit: 01 August, 2017, 09:11:03 AM by Arnold B. Krueger

Re: Technics SL-1200 price in it's heydey
Reply #17
The New Technics SL-1200 is a new design from the ground up with a ton of improvements.

I took one apart, as a customer of mine wanted to mount a 12" arm on it, which is not supposed to be possible. We got it done though.

The chassis is a new more rigid design. A new plinth of cast-machined aluminum is applied. The two together are anti-resonant. In addition, two different mechanical damping means are applied to the chassis. The platter is more massive and is damped. The motor is a new design, the servo is computer controlled with USB updatable firmware. Speed stability is about 90% the difference between the SP-10 MkII and SP-10MkIII, meaning that this is the most speed stable machine made and the second most speed stable machine ever made. Up to speed in about 1/8th a turn. The arm has improved bearings and tolerances as well as a lighter and more rigid arm tube material.

Overall pretty sweet. If any high end companies had even had the ability to make a machine of this quality, I'm sure it would have been 3-4X more $$$. I don't know why they made it look like the old machine with which it has no compatible parts but my guess is they are cashing in on the recognition. The power cord is not what makes this special, rep say so or not.

I guarante you that some prominent audiophile asshole (possibly Michael Fremer) will claims it's not as good as the original.

BTW, I managed to troll him on FB: https://www.facebook.com/search/str/michael%2Bfremer/keywords_blended_posts?filters_rp_author=%7B%22name%22%3A%22author_friends%22%2C%22args%22%3A%22%22%7D&filters_rp_creation_time=%7B%22name%22%3A%22creation_time%22%2C%22args%22%3A%22%7B%5C%22start_year%5C%22%3A%5C%222017%5C%22%2C%5C%22end_year%5C%22%3A%5C%222017%5C%22%7D%22%7D&esd=eyJlc2lkIjoiUzpfSTYyOTQxMzU3MToxMDE1NjM5OTMxNzY4ODU3MiIsInBzaWQiOnsiNjI5NDEzNTcxOjEwMTU2Mzk5MzE3Njg4NTcyIjoiVXpwZlNUWXlPVFF4TXpVM01Ub3hNREUxTmpNNU9UTXhOelk0T0RVM01nPT0ifSwiY3JjdCI6ImNvbW1lbnRzX2xpbmsiLCJjc2lkIjoiNWIwYmEyMThiN2EwODQyNjY4NzZmMGQyZmRhMTI5NTYifQ%3D%3D

Link not working.  Your troll are pretty epic.  If you can find a working link, I'd love to read it.

Hard for me to fix it because it works perfectly for me.  This can happen and it can be very misleading to work with.  What fails?

Also; Logon to FB and try searching on Michael Fremer  and  Jim Austin



Re: Technics SL-1200 price in it's heydey
Reply #18
Quote
Technics SL-1200 price in it's heydey

Although they had been around for two decades already Technics 1200s popularity peaked during the House and Techno DJ boom in the early to mid 9Ts. At least in my jurisdiction. At that time they were selling more 1200s than Fender Statocasters.

When i bought mine in 1994 the big deal on widespread offer was two with basic cartridges and a half decent DJ mixer for under £1,000.  After haggling call it £350 each. $500 or so in international money.

A decade earlier when the go to turntable of choice ( for the well heeled audiophile) was the old belt drive Linn Sondek the Sondek cost circa £400 and the Technics was a bit cheaper but not much. Say about the same as 10 years later in fact.

In the 9Ts the Sondek, by now somewhat discredited, now cost north of £1500 with a decent arm etc. So it's ovious where the value then lay. So that's why the 'new' 1200 is now the same price as current so called audiophile decks. It always was that good.

I don't know about the new 1200 being better than the old one. I seem to remember when it first came out again the wow and flutter figures where worse. maybe that's changed with incremental upgrades. It hardy mattered though as the proof of the pudding was baked in. Even an amateur DJ could beatmatch two tunes for minutes at a time and the bass stayed hard as fuck even in a room roaring at 140dB (provided the floor didn't bounce).

  • Porcus
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: Technics SL-1200 price in it's heydey
Reply #19
Speed stability is about 90% the difference between the SP-10 MkII and SP-10MkIII, meaning that this is the most speed stable machine made and the second most speed stable machine ever made.
Care to clarify?

Re: Technics SL-1200 price in it's heydey
Reply #20
Speed stability is about 90% the difference between the SP-10 MkII and SP-10MkIII, meaning that this is the most speed stable machine made and the second most speed stable machine ever made.
Care to clarify?

I seem to recall that SP10s were used with add-on gizmos to create lightweight, cheap cutting lathes.

Maintaining speed with a cutting head replacing the playback stylus puts exceptional, outside-the-box torque requirements on the motor. 

From an engineering standpoint, torque and speed accuracy can be orthogonal or not, depending on how you test them. 

Since the torque requirements of cutting and playing are very different, conflating them would be a rookie mistake. For example The turntable that has the best speed stability with a cutting head may merely have more brute strength, and a playback table with exceptional speed stability when used as it was designed to be used might stall out completely when trying to drag a cutter.

As a practical matter turntables have had more than enough speed stabilty to eliminate audible pitch problems since decades earlier. 

The SP10's torque characteristics were probably a boon to DJ's who wanted to "Scratch" LPs. 

Direct drive turntables were alleged by some to more measurable high-frequency jitter than a good belt-drive table.  I have seen this with other direct drive tables, but I have not seen the results of any relevant tests on either model of the SP10.  Standard flutter and wow tests may not detect this issue. 

I did a modest amount of DJ work while I went to college the first time, but this was decades before scratching. I did a lot of work with belt drive turntables, but it was not the best application. It could have been a disaster trying to scratch them.
  • Last Edit: 03 August, 2017, 11:24:40 AM by Arnold B. Krueger

  • Atmasphere
  • [*][*]
Re: Technics SL-1200 price in it's heydey
Reply #21
Speed stability is about 90% the difference between the SP-10 MkII and SP-10MkIII, meaning that this is the most speed stable machine made and the second most speed stable machine ever made.
Care to clarify?

Technics made a cutting lathe on which the SP-10 MkIII drive is based.  The SP-10 was in no way a good DJ machine, unless you're talking about use in a radio station where it excels.

Speed drift : ± 0,001%
Wow & flutter : 0,015% WRMS (JIS C5521)
± 0,021% wtd zero to peak (DIN 45507, IEC 98A weighted)

Technics SP-10 MkII:

Speed Drift  ± 0,002%
Wow & flutter : 0,025% WRMS (JIS C5521)
± 0,035% wtd zero to peak (DIN 45507, IEC 98A weighted)

SL-1200 GAE
Wow and flutter:   0,025% WRMS (JIS C5521) They do not specify at what torque setting, which is adjustable. I didn't see any difference in speed stability with the torque settings although customers claim that its 'audible' which I highly doubt.

The spec though does not tell the whole story as the motor is a new design that is supposed to be immune to 'cogging'.

Unfortunately Technics is a bit more precious about specs than they used to be so this is all I could find on line, but when we tested this machine over hours it was clearly more speed stable than the SP-10 MkII we tested.