A DJ staple for over 50 years vinyl decks have seen a steady decline in sales over the last couple of decades. Mostly caused by the introduction of CDJs (and it’s newer iteration DDJs). However, they are still favored among many DJs and not just those in the turntablist/scratch community.
After a rough few years, vinyl sales have been on the increase and this has seen the revival of a classic brand. That also happens to be the best…
Technics SL1200 turntables have been the turntable of choice for vinyl DJs ever since their introduction in 1978. Their sturdy build and reliability have made them the industry standard. If you are serious about DJing with vinyl then there is simply no other recommendation that I can make.
Why I recommend the Technics SL1200
Taken out of production in 2010 (due to declining sales) SL1200’s were brought back in 2016 due to consistent campaigning from the DJ community. The MK7 version is the latest iteration to come out and has been fully updated.
Despite many contenders over the years, no manufacturer of turntables has come close to challenging the dominance of Technics. Their superior quality of sound, build and the fondness of them within the DJ world is completely unmatched.
For both beginner and experienced DJs, there is simply no other recommendation to be made.
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What to look for in DJ Turntables
When it comes to DJing you need the speed of your deck to remain consistent and reliable. After all, there would be nothing worse than a mix slipping out through no fault of your own. Technics use high torque direct-drive motors to ensure that this doesn’t happen.
In fact, the motor has been improved from previous models to reduce that very thing. Known as ‘cogging’ some turntables, are prone to variations in speed. While Technics decks keep a steady and smooth rotation.
DJ turntables are not cheap and they have to withstand a lot of abuse, particularly when it comes to scratch DJs.
And this is another one of the reasons that Technics became so popular and are known as the tanks of the turntable world. It is not uncommon for Technics to last a lifetime. The most you might have to do is have them serviced to keep them in top condition.
While the main features of any DJ turntable are fairly basic i.e pitch control and speed control, innovation and extra features do give you more options.
The MK7s gives you the essentials in this respect. Technics have added reverse play and the ability to play 78rpm records. Meaning that the true crate diggers out there are no longer limited to the vinyl that they find.
There is also the option for you to adjust the acceleration and brake of the turntable. However, this involves removing the platter so most DJs probably won’t deem it necessary.
Technics decks are iconic and they have retained this look and feel into the MK7s. Where things have been updated is in the matt back finish, which now extends over the buttons and tonearm looks super slick.
Like I said above, if you are looking for decent turntables that will serve you well with real vinyl, or things like Traktor, or Serato then you can do no wrong with the SL1200 MK7s.
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Vinyl decks were central to the very start of DJing itself. It was when a DJ in a club in Manchester, UK put two decks side by side for the first time that DJing was truly born. For the next 50 years, the technology might have evolved but it always had vinyl turntables at its core.
Even in the face of modern digital DJing the humble vinyl deck still has a place. Every year there are multiple DJ competitions worldwide that pit the turntables skills of DJs against each other and the standards get raised every year. So that humble turntable I mentioned isn’t going anywhere yet, not for a good while…