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Technics SL-1700 MKII

 

technics-sl-1700-mk2-top

 

This is the Technics SL-1700 MKII. It was on the market from about 1979 up until around 1981. As you probably already know, Technics was a major player in the turntable market throughout the 1970's. In 1969 they introduced the first direct drive turntable with the SP-10 which was targeted towards professional users but in 1971 they release the SL-1100 for the general public.

 

technics-sl-1700-mk2-top-up

 

The SL-1700 MKII is a semi-automatic, direct drive turntable with wow and flutter at 0.025%. Overall it has great specs and a very solid workhorse. It's similar in build quality to the SL-1200 MK2 and utilizes quite a few shared parts. The SL-1700 MKII was geared towards to the home listener however, with its suspended chassis and auto-return features.

 

technics-sl-1700-mk2-tone

 

The MK II version of the SL-1700 has automatic cuing while the MKI (SL-1710) version is manual. Some other differences / features of the MKII are:

The 1700 MK 2 has:
A servo-motorized arm using a belt (independent from any linkages or gears connected to the platter motor. You manually cue it up but the arm will return by itself at the end of play to the resting position (semi-auto).

The top plinth is die-cast aluminum, not plastic. It incorporates a double suspension system. The inner base is TNRC material (Technics Non Resonance Compound).

The motor, platter, mat, arm (except for the auto feature) are exactly the same as the SL-1200.

 

technics-sl-1700-mk2-back

 

The SL-1700 and SL-1700MKII do have speed adjustment issues at times. Usually this can be fairly easily fixed by cleaning the speed control potentiometer or re-flowing the appropriate circuitry. So, if you're thinking of buying one be sure to check the speed control, cuing, and auto-return. These are all fixable issues but will cost a bit to remedy.

 

Technics SL-1700 MKII

 

The Technics SL-1700 MKII is a very nice turntable. Some enthusiasts prefer a fully manual table such as the SL-1200 because there are fewer potential problems. But, if you want a table that will auto return at the end of the record, a suspended chassis for more insulation from vibration and noise then the SL-1700 MKII is a good choice. A fully serviced SL-1700 MKII will sell for around $400. Average working units sell for about $250 to $300.

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Technics SL-D2

Technics SL-D2

 

The Technics SL-D2 turntable is very common and is a great table for those just starting to explore the vinyl universe. It is semi-automatic and features both auto-return and auto-stop. It's also a direct drive table incorporating a brushless DC motor. It came with a universal tubular tonearm with a removable headshell.

 

Technics SL-D2 Dustcover

 

The SL-D2 hit the market around 1980 and retailed for about $200. Not bad for a good quality table if you were on a budget. Even today they are very good performers if taken care of. They do tend to have problems with the pitch control or speed but usually just a cleaning of the potentiometer will fix it. The plinth is made of Technics Non Resonant Compound which is a resin material that is noticeably quieter than some of the cheaper plastic plinths Technics used on other tables.

 

Technics SL-D2 Platter

 

The Sl-D2 is a workhorse of a turntable and, when taken care of, will play reliably for years. It is a little sensitive to vibration so either some aftermarket performance feet or dampening might help. Anything that will isolate it from outside vibration would help.

 

Technics SL-D2 Tonearm

 

The Technics SL-D2 is not a high end turntable but it is great for someone on a budget or who is just entering the hobby. A working SL-D2 coupled with a decent cartridge like the Audio-Technica AT95e will make for some great times spinning vinyl.

 

Technics SL-D2 Strobe

 

As I mentioned above, the Technics SL-D2 isn't rare. But, that doesn't mean it isn't good either. If you have some records laying around that you want to play or rip and you don't want to shell out hundreds or thousands of dollars for a turntable then the SL-D2 is for you. It's easy to use, easy to set up and can be maintained on a budget. Plus, it sounds good. You can find a REALLY nice SL-D2 for around $200. An average working table will run about $100. Add another $40 or so for a decent cartridge like the AT95e and you're set to go!

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