The 8 best DJ turntables that prove there is life after Technics

The 8 best DJ turntables that prove there is life after Technics

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Something of a controversial list given the number of DJs that bleed 1200’s, Paul Rigby goes in search of the 8 best DJ turntables on offer and finds 7 options at a wide variety of prices that prove there is life after Technics.


Words: Paul Rigby


Having recently tackled the 8 best budget turntables that won’t ruin your records, it’s now time to turn to the DJ-flavoured variety, the more robust cousin of the often fragile audiophile variant. For DJ-oriented decks, the demands are more targeted. Yes, sound quality is an issue but there are also turntablist features along with varying extraordinary technical demands such as control priorities for digital media and more. Most good DJ decks are built with features that are easy to access combined with solid build quality. DJ turntables tend to receive more punishment than a typical hi-fi unit, so the latter is important too.

Any tool – be it something to insert a nail into a piece of wood or to transfer ink onto a piece of paper – works best without fancy gimmicks. Gimmicks are fine, don’t get me wrong, but you’ve got to ask yourself, does this deck to the job well without them? For DJ decks, you are looking for good pitch adjustment, high torque and true tracking. All of the turntables on this list do that job well.


gemini-pt-2000-ii-direct-drive-turntable

GEMINI PT2000
£0.99+

geminisound.com

The problem with cheap DJ decks is that the build quality is necessarily reduced while lower quality motors start to resemble a blancmange on Speed. The PT2000 manages to dodge these nasty bullets. While there are better turntables around, if you can pick up a second-hand direct drive model of the Gemini (avoid the low torque and functionally disabled belt driven TT-2000) then you will have the basis for a decent starter DJ system. Check out auction sites and you may find yourself a pair of Geminis priced at next to nothing.


SL1200Mk2_Top_L

TECHNICS SL-1200 Mk.II
£140+

www.ebay.co.uk

The SL-1200 Mk.II is the classic DJ turntable. The industry standard, you might say, so I won’t go into detail. Many DJs swear by them. It’s true that it is no longer made so only second hand machines are available to buy but, despite the perception that there is a mad rush to grab the things, there are plenty out there to purchase, often at reasonable prices. For example, I took a quick eBay scan and found 81 of the blighters available with prices ranging from £140 to £420 via auction or Buy It Now. This little beauty has everything that any DJ will ever need in a turntable.


Stanton T.92

STANTON T.92 USB
£269

www.stantondj.com

In general terms, the T.92 is basically similar to the more expensive ST.150 which means that the T.92 is durable with high quality components including a high torque motor and a free Stanton cartridge to get you underway immediately. You also get three speeds (33 1/3, 45 and 78) plus RCA sockets and a S-shaped tonearm, a tonarm lock and a dust cover. OK, it might not have all latest bells and whistles and, aesthetically, it may look a little functional but add the USB and S/PDIF digital outputs and you have a flexible turntable for not too much money.


audio technica lp1240usblrg

AUDIO TECHNICA AT-LP1240 USB
£379

eu.audio-technica.com/en

With obvious designs nods to the SL-1200 Mk.II, the LP1240 features not only 33 1/3rpm and 45rpm but also 78rpm, for those lively, George Formby-themed, drum’n’bass gigs at the British Legion. Featuring a built-in pre-amp and USB port, the included software also allows you to convert vinyl to digital which increases the flexibility of your sources. Featuring two sets of start/stop buttons with varying speeds, pitch width changer and a centre lit pitch fader, you’ll be glad to hear that all cables can be disconnected. This is a bit of a Swiss Army knife of a turntable.


NUMARK_TTX1

NUMARK TTX USB
£475

www.numark.com

I think the technical term for this design is ‘a big bugger’. Mind your back because it weighs in at a whopping 16kg but that does include a rock solid motor with enough torque to keep a typical Ferrara hugging S-bends all day long. It comes with quartz lock, dual start/stop buttons, yada, yada but also a nifty read-out showing you RPM, pitch, torque and BPM. The deck also arrives with an interchangeable arm: S-shaped or straight and that useful USB port for a digital connection.


Stanton ST150HP

STANTON ST150
£499

www.stantondj.com

If you thought that the Numark was heavy then the indestructible Stanton might prompt a quick refresher down the gym. This 20kg hulk not only has that Technics DNA ‘feel’, it arrives with high-end essentials such as a S-shaped arm, digital connection, detachable leads, a nifty slip mat plus a free cartridge which means that you are up and running straight from the box. As for the motor? It’s strong enough to beat you up if you don’t talk nicely to it.


reloop-rp-7000

RELOOP RP7000
£525

www.reloop.com

OK, that arm might look rather familiar – it’s an OEM arm used on other decks – but Reloop has put a lot of itself into this design. A Technics SL-1200 Mk.II with go-faster stripes, it’s ideal for those who like to give eBay a wide berth. A relatively light weight model (at 9.5kg), it features a solid plastic chassis with a metal upper. Coming with MIDI, a digital read-out and a single bank of effects pads (which may take a little bit of getting used to), it ain’t cheap but it is laden with features.


Vestax pdx3000mix

VESTAX PDX3000 M.II
£565

www.vestaxeurope.com

Pricey it might be but it arrives with Vestax’s Anti Skipping Tonearm, which does what it says on the tin: a spring balanced, straight arm it is tough to skip. If this feature is a priority, take a careful look at the Vestax. The deck does suffer – or benefit, depending on your point of view – from being built purely of plastic. So innate strength might be an issue. That said, it does arrive with a host of nice features such as adjustable break/start time and a wide adjustable pitch range.

  • Álvaro Martín Gómez Acevedo

    The cartridge supplied with the Stanton turntables isn’t free. Those models are noticeably more expensive than their counterparts, and that’s precisely because of the cartridge. I’m not a DJ, and I can tell I’m the happy owner of a Numark TTXUSB loaded with a Nagaoka MP-110 cartridge and its signal routed through a Musical Fidelity V-LPSII phono stage. All of this for quality home listening. I’ve made several needledrops and compared them with others created with some “true audiophile” setups and there’s hardly any difference.

    • crozbomb

      this article is about dj turn tables,not fags that listen to vinyl. you pretentious fucking idiot.

  • richard vreede

    Again a review by an idiot , which never has looked INSIDE the st. 150 , piece of junk , build the cheapest way with real bad pcb’ and everywhere used the same shitty su’scon std black caps and Offcourse the 7805 7812 7815 1915 and the -2+-24v regulators on a way too small cooling block and I bought two of those shitty things, but lay in the base ment recapped and stuff, but why is that upper deck, without a thing connected 10 kgs .Those oem feet, work as feet till 11 kgs not 16kgs, then they work as pudding. the motor ain’t bad, the sample rate is way too low to make the platter spin properly and the to-arm can be lived with, the internal pre-amp en digital output has to be cut out of the system . That table is not meant for a nice sound , so take a digital mixer and scratchhhhh… Fond of scratching .

    • PAH9

      Which turntable would you recommend to DJs then, Richard?

      • Steelo

        You really can’t go wrong with a pair of Technics but you will pay for it. Almost any of these decks above will more than suffice though as they share the same motor and other internals.

      • piwwo

        I started with Gemini XL-500 II, cheap things bought them for 150 used each. Plastic case, rather weak motors and everything – but at least they are better than belt driven. Anyhow, starting with these, practicing for some weeks before first touching an real MK2, I was instandly able to beatmatch and mix with the industry standard. A friend of mine who had the PDX3000 failed with the Technics. The Gemini are difficult to handle because of their weak and cheap design, but if you manage to beatmatch on these, no MK2 can stop you…

        • Maiakaat

          Original XL-500 was a terrible deck , driven at the spindle, zero torque (figures they used were totally dishonest), take the platter off a high torque deck and compare, they are direct drive only in name.

          Vestax early decks were virtually interchangeable with technics, so I can’t see how someone would struggle with a MkII unless these now have so much Torque that a MK II is like using an inferior product

          • One of the older Gemini designs, interestingly enough, is one of the only “clones” to use a true linear feedback direct drive motor like on the pre-DSP Technics 1200s rather than a pulse system. I forget which, though.

          • Maiakaat

            Wrong thread… moved

          • Maiakaat

            Worst deck I ever brought, I had to use an XL600 in a bar too, wasn’t that much better.

            Touching the base rumbled like a storm, I got 1200 MKII’s less than 2 months later (half on credit) and gave it to my best friend for her vinyl – who I used to DJ with a bit

          • piwwo

            I practiced on them for a few weeks because I had no money to buy 1200er. It was not possible to do a longer transition with them and often frustrated – however when I first time used 1200er, it was at a party, I instantly could use them because the XL been so fragile that I learned how to handle the table.

          • Maiakaat

            In My Experience any DD deck would give you reasonable practice for a 1200, and of course, the XL500-II may be a much better deck than the XL500 which I was referring to.

            The main issues I can see from the too little torque or too much torque (the former true for modern super-high torque decks, the latter for anything pre-1200 and some super budget DD drives) is that you would be far too aggressive (or far too delicate) with a 1200.

            When I started I had Belts, and I couldn’t keep time on 1210’s because I couldn’t get the pressure right to manage the deck, as you have a double whammy of low torque, meaning you think you’re jogging the deck but you aren’t, and the different reaction of a belt drive deck when you touch the deck or record.

            I guess if you are particularly delicate or heavy handed, then each one of these cases respectively might give someone problems where the torque between the 1200 is vastly different, but in most cases it probably just affects your efficiency, limiting your ability somewhat, rather than causes huge differences

            (CAVEAT: It may be that scratching causes all sorts of real problems, I was talking about beat, pitch and drop mixing – I should have thought maybe you were talking about scratch techniques, where I imagine none of this is relevant)

    • Steelo

      Apart from the Vestax and the Gemini (and obviously the Technics), the rest of these turntables share the same motor and internals (Hanpin 5500 modified to varying levels). Although it is a reasonably inexpensive and Chinese made, it’s proven itself to last the test of time so far. There can be trouble with slight loosening of the tonearm assembly but it’s easily rectified.

      • richard vreede

        open a stanton and be amazed how shitty build it is and then try to recap it and turn it to a descent turntable , which i did , the 2012 revision motherboard and powerintake are pcb’s from a nice quality, and the hardware ain’t bad in the motor and motherboard, only they have the cheapest optocoupler from the range, which is used with strobecard at the bottom of the rotor and the slowest chip which is used for the speed sampling, feedback which is a shame for a couple of euro’s, so the platter will never run constant and while scratching you want a constant torque, which vestax and technics do. The pdx 3000mix is perfect with the j-arm and at least uses elna’s , as allways and has good feet , better then technics, those feet are replaced under my mk-5 which i used for scratching. But the weight of the topdeck from the stanton is netto 10kg….no function at all. I think there are about 100 su’scon sk caps in the unit and everywhere the same. So also other feet for that thing etc. the problem is that so called revieuwers don’t look inside the unit, where the most important parts are.
        And then they give it a price.
        audio-technica is way better build with their shelvelike approuch. 1240 is a nice table. Reloop ain’t that bad either. And the pioneer uses stanton parts, that’s why the wow and flutter suck, but i would allways buy a technics mk-5, and revise him, a 1210mk2 are too old and fucked up. But it’sa standard job, get a new tonearm for 70 euro, replace the tonearm-wire and remove pcb, just place two rca conectors on a plate at the side, replace the rotor /stator part for those 40 euro.. Take out the psu and build it in a nice alu case or buy a nice torrodialand with two schematics which you grab from a diy site , you can make your own pcb and the 21v reg sucks, but with two lm317 ‘s you can make a way more stable and far less noisy 21v reg on an euro board. You don’t have to remove the psu outside, but when you want a better sound….. And i want allways another color, so it gets coated ….. no flashy stuff. And the potmeters , especially the open one from the brake needs to to be replaced by better ones. measuring the crystal is for most people not possible, but since the service manual says which voltage to measure and the platter needs to stop about half a turn after having put the stop bottom…. nobody does that.
        But besides new feet, you have a good as new unit , which will be 250euro more expensive then a pioneer, which second hand will drop in value and the parts are way expensive and hard to get( just like an oem-table).

        • The AT 1240, Reloop 7000, Pioneer, and Stanton 150 are all made by the same OEM. How different could they be inside? And have you ever looked in the Numarks?

          • Maiakaat

            I heard Numark [allegedly] stole Vestax tech through the grapevine in-and-around the 2001 period, and then pulled out of the merger

            I imagine the premium stuff is like early Vestax, unless Vestax managed to win an injunction of some sort. Personally I’m skeptical that at least half these decks get even close to a Pioneer/Technics or Vestax (or higher end Numark) when you factor in Durability, ground isolation and so on.

          • Assuming you’re not committing libel here, are you saying the Numarks are derivative designs of Vestax? Are you talking about their 1990s ones or the TTX/TT500/TT200? The arm changing system patent is registered and owned by Numark. http://patents.justia.com/assignee/numark-industries-llc?page=2 The tonearm joints do look similar between the original PDX 3000 Mix and the Numarks, though.

            The Pioneer deck is not related to the Technics any more than any other fairly well-regarded Super OEM Hanpin is, so I don’t know why you’re grouping it exclusively with the Technics in your post, other than the brand recognition factor. The very well-regarded later Vestax units are being lauded by the poster (Richard Vreede) even more so than the Hanpin Super OEMs, so I’m wondering if he’s ever opened up Numark’s later decks (ignoring the TT250… we’ve heard that’s a Yanhorng that’s been sold as the IMG Stage Line DJP-202 for a long time).

            He’s got strong opinions on all the others and it’s not like Numark doesn’t have any percentage of the market. The TTX certainly has the most well-designed body of any DJ turntable, uses a very high torque motor different than the Hanpin Super OEM German-design (according to Vreede), and has many features the others do not.

          • Maiakaat

            Numark [allegedly] stole the original designs somewhere around 1999-2001, If true I’m guessing when Vestax finally handed over the motor and tone arm tech (which may not have been patented) Numark pulled out of the deal and released a deck which looked identical to the original Vestax around that time.

            I have no idea what tech they use now, but they [allegedly] stole the tech (or Vestax [allegedly] served legal/threatened legal on them claiming they did, so I suspect they [allegedly] stole the tech after doing due diligence when it would have been handed over

            I never followed after that point. You can suggest I am committing libel to somehow argue I am incorrect, you can simply look at their first genuine high-torque deck design around that time if you don’t want to trawl the internet for legal documents, it looks to be a virtual clone, one they seem to have failed to get right.

            PS, notice that that patent was 2004 (this happened at least two years prior)

            I’m grouping the Pioneer (not this specific pioneer as they have got some sort of arrangement for the Technics brand, which I understand is out soon for some ludicrous sum of money)

            As for the others, I don’t know much about them, I’ve been out of the loop for over 10 years, I haven’t seen the decks up close, and some peripheral reading mentioned the same tonearm design, and possibly the same motor, that alone doesn’t make them clones, given a Technics can withstand being thrown down the stairs in a flight case, if you say for sure they are exactly the same electronically, with exactly the same quality of isolation engineering, with exactly the same sound circuitry, then fine, I trust you, but I’m not convinced that the OEM extends beyond a few specific parts they share.

            Clearly from my comments I was involved many years ago, so please forgive my ignorance

            http://www.vinylengine.com/library/vestax/pdx-2000.shtml

            http://www.vinylengine.com/library/numark/ttx-1.shtml

            You have to agree it’s highly indicative that something went on, we both do not know the truth

          • Where did you get the information that Pioneer licensed the Technics design? Considering Technics’ useful patents already expired, why would Pioneer DJ/KKR even do such a thing? And what turntable are you claiming they’re using said licensed design on?

            Strait arm turntables have been around for a long time in the hifi realm, DJs have been turning cartridges to the outside almost since the first days of scratching, and Vestax, Numark, and Stanton all started doing the underhung (compared to SME length standard) strait arms at around the same time. The Numark interchangeable arm patent also appears to cite a Dutch patent for the joint and an old headshell design they didn’t actually use.

            http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect2=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=/netahtml/PTO/search-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&d=PALL&RefSrch=yes&Query=PN/6661767

            http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect2=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&d=PALL&RefSrch=yes&Query=PN%2F4257615

            Can you please link to anything regarding your claims, such as contemporaneous rumors or the “defensive” patent filings?

            You can’t patent the very use of direct drive motors for a turntable, but rather specific implementations of them. Thorens, Denon, JVC, Kenwood, and others were doing DD hifi decks long before Vestax. The relevant Technics patents concerned their particular linear feedback system and the magnet on the platter on the 1200mk2 I don’t believe anyone entirely bothered copying both on the same deck after the patent expired. However, that was both derivative and an alternative to the very useable Denon invention & patent that previously tried to achieve the same thing using a different method. Then you had phase-locked loops, hall generators, hall sensors, etc. There are a whole bunch of DD TT methods.

            I did try to look up the claims of untoward behavior on Numark’s part towards Vestax, but I didn’t find anything. Your links don’t exactly help on the matter. Please link to what you’re talking about. You very well might have correct information, but I’m not going to just assume that’s the case without some verification. Even something at the time (preferably before it went sour) about the joint Numark-Vestax venture might be useful to start us on the industry news cycle and document journey. We can add this one to the three links you provided.

            https://www.amazon.com/Stanton-STR8150-Torque-Direct-Turntable/dp/B0000C5NYD

            But I think it’s kinda useless.

            I did find this patent:

            http://www.freepatentsonline.com/6469974.pdf

            It does show that Vestax predated Numark and Stanton by about 3 years on the DJ strait arm. It’s certainly possible the interchangeable arm was a way of getting around the Vestax patent, but Stanton doesn’t seem to have worried about it.

          • Maiakaat

            I’ve had a look, this all allegedly happened around 2000 heard through word of mouth, it’s not on the Web, but this could be because of the year, or just because it is heresay.

            Vestax did file patents around the same time in 2003, long after the second generation of turntables were released.

            Anyway, it’s not really that important beyond me being possibly guilty of libel, it’s something I heard at the time, lots of stuff stacked up, but I could be wrong, can’t remember the source, it was a long time ago, i’ll edit the first post to state allegedly.

            On the Pioneer/Technics, I should have phrased it better, they have something like the trademark, and are releasing a new Technics. I don’t know if this will be as a Pioneer or Technics brand, but it’s all over the internet. Again, I don’t really invest time in this stuff, it’s just some bits I caught online, but this one is true, all legal, but the decks are limited edition and very expensive as far as I read, something like over $2000.

            I like the Numark TTXUSB, it looks like it’s probably durable enough to be the defacto pro deck prior to the launch of the new Technics/Pioneer.

            if I were to start DJing, and use vinyl I’d nab some, but I have one 1200MKII in storage, and one under my desk, I only found this article out of curiosity/nostalgia.

            I’m sorry I’ve not been very specific, I’ll try to be more clear, more careful with wording online re. getting my info across, I hope you don’t take offence, I guess it’s not something I have in depth knowledge on like you, just commenting from casual interest.

          • Regarding that Jack O’Donnell article, those Stanton/Vestax mixers were awesome. I think one of them was rotary. I don’t know why Numark’s not doing more full-on club digital in/out mixers and having a rotary option. A PPD9000 rotary would have been a winner, but heck, they stopped making those pretty early after release and it turned out the problem with them was just poor soldering on the top switches and a in/out board that needed hot gluing inside so it didn’t pop out. All TI and Alesis chips inside. Nice stuff. I’m a little disappointed InMusic is putting so much focus into Denon DJ right now, but hopefully we’ll see something come out of that merger soon… hint, hint. I mean, it should go without saying what their next product should be.

          • Maiakaat

            The best connection I’ve found is a link by the way of Jack O’Donnell around that time

            http://pro-music-news.com/html/01/e10824al.htm

            But there is NOTHING about what I have talked about, so I guess it’ll just go down as myth 🙁

            After the googling I’d say I’m 60% something did happen but was resolved, and 40% it’s just bullsh1t

          • Agreed. Definitely possible there was some joint venture. Also definitely possible Numark just saw their patents, improved on it, and filed their own. I can imagine rumors springing up to allege one if the other was actually the case. Also possible that Vestax’s own strait arm patent in 2000 had little chance of holding up in court. There are dozens of other hifi strait arm patents that predate theirs, so they could have had the somewhat novel idea of doing an underhung strait DJ arm and counsel advised it would be difficult to take action against other firms who followed, patent or not. Might explain why they never (not that I can find, anyway) legally challenged Numark, Stanton, Gemini, etc. It’s a lot easier to get a patent than to defend it against another. Most of these patents aren’t even in effect anymore, as they only last like 17-20 years, so it’s a total free for all now. Given that, it’s a little bizarre that there are so many brandings actually using Hanpin, including Pioneer, not so much that the Super OEM (apparently German, according to Vreede) design is bad, but that there are so many other ways of doing it, including both Denon and Technics’ techniques (pun not intended, but welcome).

            I’m also annoyed that American Audio discontinued not only one of the first Super OEM TTs but recently their Radius 3000 media player & MIDI controller also from Hanpin. I really like that unit. I suspect Hanpin is now able to start a kind of bidding war, with the highest bidders to use them as OEM right now being Reloop and Pioneer as a result. They’re definitely selling for a premium compared to what the HTD 4.5 sold for. I’m not sure some better RCAs and foam in the tonearm quite accounts for that in the Pioneer, in particular. I do think the RMP-4 went in some right directions over the prior Hanpin universal player iterations (rate-based jog bend versus time-based, though an option to choose would be nice), and wrong in others (dropping the SPDIF for a sync capability by way of RCA jack, for instance). Right now I’m getting into these new Gemini MDJs. Hoping they ramp up their efforts on the firmware. No idea who the OEM is, but if we want to talk about cloning and mimicry… wow. Pretty uncanny attempt. They even have the same circular LED thing. If you blindfolded me and put me in front of an XDJ1000 and the MDJ1000, I’d have difficulty telling them apart.

          • Maiakaat

            Well after 15 years away I received a Xone K1 today, and have a (throwaway starter – a behringer CMD PL-1 and CMD LC-1) in the post, to get familiar with it over the next year. both for £45 each new.

            I think at a later date I’ll add the NI D2 pair (much more expensive), and swap the single PL-1 for a good Pioneer CDJ/XDJ clone pair possibly for completeness, I’ll have a look at the Gemini range, but this will be far down the line. Thanks for the tip.

            I want to get familiar with Ableton after six months with traktor, get a decent Ableton controller, and maybe something like the mid-range NI Machine groovebox controller as the last digital bit, once I’ve got the cash and am fully familiar with things

            I guess I could plug a Xone 23C to hook up my vinyl, add a normal crossfader, and two channels, but I’d rather just use the 1200MK2 for recording an listening now I think

            My intention is just to eventually start loading hybrid mixes onto SoundCloud/YouTube – this is how I ended up having a look at the state of the vinyl deck market, must say I’m still skeptical about quality, (Numark and Vestax aside) and even Vestax seem to have some reports of problems on their last deck regarding durability, with issues around the 5 year point

            Take care

          • Maiakaat

            The Pioneer thing, My-bad its Panasonic, which I guess you know about silly me http://www.technics.com/global/introduction/hifi-direct-drive-turntable-system-sl-1200gae/

          • Maiakaat

            I saw a review/teardown of the Pioneer last night, shockingly bad, I hope their pro club stuff is better (or it’s now improved).

            I like the integrated foam case on Numark, seen complaints about them doing this (it being foam/plastic) but it was probably cutting edge back around 2007. I’d definitely go for the newest of their turntables if I ever replaced my 1200’s, though to be honest I’ll probably send one to a friend and use the other for recording/listening.

            Trying to scratch on vinyl was always an issue for me (soft skin, a female problem) couldn’t get any friction on the vinyl for more than a few seconds. Once you get over the psychological barrier (that feeling from directly controlling vinyl, and the grudge against new DJ’s not needing to master beatmixing timing skills, the power of digital mixing makes much more sense – as long as you have a controller, and not a mouse, and it’s one that can integrated with a club setup without f*cking their setup up)

            I do love the innovation that went into the TTX/TTX1 bodies, they are the benchmark for ergonomic design, far superior to Technics in that regard

          • wcg

            He’s talking BS, There are no Stanton parts and Pioneer parts, they’re all Hanpin parts made by the same company. The Pioneer is well reviewed even by audiophile sites, it’s a decent table.

    • NeZ G

      You talk absolute bullshit haha

  • Peter Lay

    What about the Pioneer PLX 1000? Anyway, still prefer Technics SL-1200s any day…

    • Steelo

      The Pioneer PLX 1000 is a Super OEM turntable so it has the same motor, internals and tonearm etc as almost all the ones above yet has the Pioneer tax added on. They did do a little bit of work with some rubber dampening in the base and tonearm but that doesn’t justify the “Pioneer Tax”.

      • Maiakaat

        Saw a teardown, unless they’ve fixed the issues it was unusable in club environment, horrendous quality build and sound (runble in a club would blow the speakers and amp with feedback), multiple issues

  • Terry Nicholas

    Such a shame you overlooked the superb Pioneer PLX-1000, SL1210’s younger cousin. Came on the market recently and for my money is the bees, i also run SL1210’s professionally and would only ever trade them for a pair of these. I bought mine from France and saved roughly £100 which made the cost of the Shure White Label cartridge free, i use it as my HiFi deck and its superb except that the lid is not hinged and needs to be fully removed but as a deck there is no contest.

    • Lwanga Charles

      kindly, what did u mean by the statement: “the lid is not hinged” ??? need to follow this carefully

      • Terry Nicholas

        There are no hinges on the lid unlike the SL1210 which does have hinges, basically this means the lid has to be removed. Since posting the review I would say that the Pioneer deck is only ok for home use as the isolation is very poor and would not work in any kind of live environment.

  • Pasquale Lionetti

    And Pioneer PLX-1000 too

  • Mark Adams

    awesome list, I will definitely buy my first high-torque turntable from this list. Your rock, dude!

  • Chris Craist

    I own a pair of Vestax PDX2000 MK2 and to me, they are much better than my old 1200s.
    Ptich range is way better, the direct drive engine can move a truck (much more torque than the Technics one).
    The arm is also better to me.
    Unfortunately Vestax doesn’t exists anymore so keep them preciously as it is very difficult to find some in North America.