Technics SL-1200MK2 Turntable Reviews

Technics SL-1200MK2 Turntable

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Technics SL-1200 Owners...Use Your Head...Shell That Is!

Feb 14, 2006 (Updated Feb 15, 2006)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:There's no substitution for a proper replacement headshell!

Cons:Perhaps a little costlier and a bit harder to find than universal types.

The Bottom Line: There is nothing like an original part when it comes to turntable headshells...especially for a Technics SL-1200 Turntable!


OK...why write a review on a simple tonearm headshell? Well...the fact of the matter is that over the course of my long and fun run of being a hi-fi bug, I have owned too numerous to mention various Technics turntables. Although I have never owned the famed Sl-1200, I have indeed enough experience with the unit to at least give proper advice on its care.

You'll note that your Technics SL-1200 turntable has an S-shaped tonearm. This type of arm was and still is to a certain degree very popular amongst the Japanese turntable manufacturers dating back to 1970. One of the nice features about this type of tonearm is its removable standard 1/2 inch mount cartridge/headshell. When removing...simply turn the tonearm's collar and the headshell will release. When mounting...simply align the headshell's nipple up with the slot in the tonearm beneath the collar and lightly push the headshell while tightening the collar.

So why make a big deal out of this little item that is so universally available in slightly different forms and variations? Well...it is these variations that can cause problems with proper grounding, stylus azimuth and proper cartridge overhang. I know because over the course of 35 years of fiddling with this stuff and purchasing both original and universal replacements..I have enough experience and info to draw my own conclusions.

As an SL-1200 owner...you know what quality vinyl reproduction can mean to your sound system...whether DJ, sound professional or just plain audiophile! I have observed that when purchasing the low cost under $12 universal headshells of Radio Shack style...that these headshells tend to lean toward the right when seated and considerably upset the proper azimuth for whatever half inch mount cartridge you've selected. This will most assuredly affect the sound eliminating razor sharp imaging and detail!

Also I have noted that these so-called universal types don't have the proper slot length for proper overhang adjustment necessary for your Technics. I'm not knocking these universal types as I have purchased many over the years from either Radio Shack or the local electronics parts supplier. These headshells are perfectly wonderful for early 70's Japanese models plus the later Radio Shack Realistic ones. However...they are far from perfect for post 1975 Technics/Panasonic and Pioneer models.

Also...you'll note that Technics uses molded plastic with a metal shield whereas the universal types typically just use metal for their makeup. This can play havoc with proper grounding for your Technics so as to produce unwanted "hum" and other spurious noises like whining and so on.

Typically...a proper Technics headshell will cost anywhere from $16 to $25 but is well worth staying with when rejuvenating your expensive masterpiece. Although somewhat scarce...the part can be ordered through Technics/Panasonic or if you're really having trouble finding one...give Transtronic Lab of Bloomfield, New Jersey a call at 973-748-0728. Emily and John are the proprietors of this wonderful repair shop that has been in the business of turntable repair for well over 35 years and are a sheer delight to deal with!

You just cannot go wrong with a proper replacement part. The Technics Part Number SFPCC31005K Haf-Inch Mount Black Headshell {supplied with a four gram removeable weight} will be a proper mate for your SL-1200 Mk Series regardless of turntable finish. Happy listening...Technics SL-1200 owners!...P2


Recommend this product? Yes


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