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Slightly used Technics SL-1200MK2 - good deal?


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Hi all, vinyl newbie here. I have $1000 dollars to spend on an entire system as I have nothing currently.

Via Craigslist I have found someone offering a 2006 Technics SL-1200MK2 that (according to the seller) has maybe 100 hours on it ("they have been sitting in storage for several years") and a Shure SC35C cartridge (which I understand to be a DJ cart and would need to be replaced/upgraded).

The seller is asking $400 for it - I'm thinking I should jump on this rather than get a new Rega RP1 or Pro-Ject Debut Carbon or a Audio-Technica or Music Hall TT in the same price range, but wanted to get some other opinions.

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I have a Technics and I love it. It's built like a tank and has worked flawlessly for ten years. I'd be tempted by that table if it was in perfect working order and also looked like it was taken care of. But if it's an "all sales final" type of thing on Craigslist, I'd be hesitant at that price. I buy a lot of used record players, receivers, etc. and it's not uncommon for a unit to work perfectly for a period of time before problems start appearing. Oftentimes, they are minor problems but new ones nonetheless. For $400, I'd be willing to go check it out and see what the table and the seller are like. It'd be a tough sell but not impossible. For $300 or less, I'd be far more willing to take a chance on the table as long as it works properly.

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The Technics SL-1200 is a vastly different table than a Rega, Pro-Ject or Music Hall. First things first, do your research and decide what type of features and characteristics are attractive to you. Believe me, you'll find no shortage of opinions on that SL-1200 ... or any of the other tables for that matter.

The Technics are built like a tank and known to last for a long, long time. Should something go wrong, there are about a billion people who could probably help you out, and no shortage of spare parts. I don't have any numbers, but if you asked me what the most popular / best-selling turntable of all time was, I'd take a guess with the SL-1200.

Having said that, $400 sounds a tad high to me. I'd probably check it out as well, just to see if it was working properly and what kind of condition it was in. Providing it was in nice shape and you could talk the owner down to the $300 - $350 range, I'd have no problem with you jumping on the sale. I don't wouldn't even mind $400, providing that was the TT you REALLY wanted.

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