17 responses

  1. Craig Weatherill
    March 18, 2013

    I’m Craig. I purchased ” The Legend ” used about 4 months ago. I hooked it up to an old but reliable Aiwa stackable unit. I would really like to get the correct components to compliment this GREAT turntable. Would you PLEASE advise me ? I have CD’s and an Ipod, but NOTHING is better than the little “crackle & pop” of vinyl !!!
    I don’t know what I need ! I don’t know what I don’t need either !
    I have the turntable w/ a Stanton headshell ( not original Technics ) , the cartridge states: STANTON 505. I also have a small phono preamp : BBE – FJB-200X
    1 – receiver ?
    2 – amp ?
    3 – speakers ?
    I have about 220 albums and can’t wait to listen to them LOAD & CLEAR
    Thank you for your time ! I look forward to hearing from you !

    • Cameron Schaefer
      March 19, 2013


      Let me preface this by stating plainly that I’m not a home audio expert – I only know what has worked for me. If you already have the turntable and the preamp then all you should need is a receiver and speakers. The receiver already has an amp in it so you shouldn’t need a separate one. I’d advise going to your local record or electronics store and trying out different receiver/speaker combinations. Tell them you’re wanting to use it for music as often the bigger stores assume you want something for movies. Hope that helps!

  2. mooch
    March 31, 2013

    Excellent article as was your beginners guide.

    Really I just want to dabble in a bit of pop and crackle, just like Craig. But, having undertaken research this past month I think I’d be annoyed were I not to get the mark II SL1200. Now the problem is that there are loads on auction sites and the prices vary wildly from $300 to $1400 custom.

    Therefore I have two questions:

    1. If I bought a low priced technics (max £200/$320) and worst case scenario the arm, cartridge and say even the motor needed replacing, what cost would I be looking at? i.e. is it feasible to maybe rebuild it? I was quoted by a repair centre, $140 for a new arm, is this true? I also hear pitch can be a problem on technics due to heavy DJing/scratching.

    2. What on earth am I looking for when buying second hand and what should I be most concerned by? Can I tell by merely looking?

    I know this is a risk but, well, they aren’t making technics anymore and I’m certain the right second hand choice would give me immense pleasure.

    If you could advise it would be most appreciated!


  3. Robbie
    April 1, 2013

    Great companion article by Cameron over at Art of Manliness, one section covers buying used. Cheers, I’m about to embark on the same boat as you!

  4. mooch
    April 1, 2013

    Thanks robbie but that is the article I referenced and it doesn’t address the specific pitfalls of buying a second hand SL1200, the workhorse of the DJing world which means they often get pretty beaten.

    I’m after specific advice regarding the SL1200mk2 as refurb costs can be exorbitant. Examples:

    New arm: circa $120-150
    New cartridge (although not exclusive to technics by any means) $100+
    New cover (many come without/damaged): $100
    Recalibration of pitch: unknown
    New tracking light: unknown
    New motor: unknown
    Earth cable: unknown

    The list goes on and I don’t mind taking a risk, suffice to say, as long as I know what that dish might be.


  5. Jordane Yu
    April 4, 2013

    Great article. Really helpful.

    I bought this pre owned vintage Sony PS2350 turntable a year ago, and now I’ve completed my set up with a denon amp and some kenwood speakers. Thing is, it came with a sketchy head shell, cartridge, and stylus. I was wondering if I would upgrade my head shell, cartridge and stylus, would it be in a universal size that would fit all tone arms?

  6. Don
    May 30, 2013

    Hi Cameron,

    I enjoyed the article. Cleared up and clarified a number of issues. I have many albums that I like to listen to but the overall audio from my current system is poor. I have an old Pioneer PL-100 turn table that I have had since about 1981. It was only recently that I realised new turn tables were still available and I am now doing a little research with view of getting one. When I use this unit I experience a significant amount of ‘crackles’, ‘muffling’, ‘distortion’, etc. from the records and through the speakers. I have added my new Yamaha speakers to the amp, but the audio has not improved that much. Mind you the entire system is from 1981. I suppose my question is, if I were to buy either the Rega RP1 or Pro-ject Debut Carbon discussed above and connect it to my new Yamaha receiver, do you think I would see an improvement in the audio. I imagine your reply will be a resounding yes, given the age and probable quality of the Pioneer I am using, but I ask before buying a new unit simply out of curiosity. Further, my Yamaha receiver does not have a phono jack, so I assume I will need to purchase an external pre-amp for use with the turn table/amp. Which one would you recommend? Thank for your assistance with these questions. Regards, Don

  7. Salvatore Miceli
    December 9, 2013

    Just like to say that I scored a mint 1200 from an old friend for $75. Sold my Rega Planar 3 the other day for many of the reasons mentioned above. I did a side by side comparison and the 1200 blew the Rega out of the water. The 1200 is the way to go for longevity! Be patient and check pawn shops. You never know what you may find.

  8. Vinyl lover
    January 6, 2014

    I’m quite surprised by the number of record players under the 100 bug that give a nice sound. My experience is that the players that get more expensive don’t make up for that money by better sound bot more on durability and looks.

    Great tip about the pawn shop too, a good turntable can take a lot of years so might still produce great sound.

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  11. Turntable lover
    March 17, 2014

    Great article! I only have one minor comment, it can be a little misleading for people buying the first turntable. You can easily find good turntable around $200 dollars (like the Audio-Technica AT-LP120).

    Despite that, thanks for the reading!

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  13. C
    May 11, 2014

    I just want to make sure i got this right (i’m sort of a noob at this). I want the Pro-ject Dedut Carbon and with that I need a preamp, receiver and obviously speakers right? This wouldn’t be my first turntable my first was a TT, CD player, Tape deck combo that recently quit working. My vinyl collection has grown quite a bit since I got it from about ten to nearly a hundred and think it is time I got something of a higher quality.

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