Technics SL-1700 MKII


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.


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.


Both the MK II version of the SL-1700 and the MKI (the black SL-1710) version have automatic cuing. Some features of the MKII version are:

  • 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.

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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15 thoughts on “Technics SL-1700 MKII

  1. As an original purchaser of this Turntable, it worked flawlessly for me for years. However it now sits in a cabinet, unused in decades. In my youth, I purchased a fruitful vinyl collection. I was as religious in handling this turntable, as I was in handling each of my albums. These albums also sit unplayed in decades, stowed away in a back room.
    My daughter has expressed interest in both my Turntable and my album collection. However I’ve purposely kept them away from her youth. When she gets older (understands vintage value and analog care), they are hers to own. That is, if she’s still interested. (:

  2. Larry grimes

    I picked up a used 1700Mk2 in the mid 80’s. Do not remember when I picked up the Shure V15 Type 4. It also set in the closet for years with the years of Vinyl as I explored CD’s. Pulled it out a couple months ago and hooked it up to the Kenwood 880D and Kef C 75’s. The tone arm lift and auto return stopped working as some have mentioned. I invented a simple manual arm lift that works perfect. I had considered replacing the turntable and after a lengthy research could not justify the cost. Also have a Shure M97xE as a back up. My current level of enjoyment has not suffered as I set up my listening room to explore and appreciate what I have. Steve Wilson remix projects have me curious!

  3. I have two Technics 1700 SL MK2 quartz direct drive semi automatic turntables with Audio Technica cartridges purchased in 1979 for use as a DJ and at home. They had to be special ordered from japan as they were that new at the time. I actually ordered fully manual but they sent semi automatics by mistake and I got them at the fully manual price (score). I have learned to enjoy the auto return feature though i still use them as primarily manuals. These turntables are very similar in design, parts, and specs as the SL1200’s. Over the years they developed a hum and the auto return / cue feature stopped working. The little belts that actually drove the cue mechanism with it’s separate motor dry rotted. I could not find replacement parts even after contacting the company in Japan. I disassembled the units, and carefully glued the dry rotted belts to a 3X5 card so I could measure the size. I found o rings at the hardware store that matched for about $2. I also de-soldered and re-soldered new high quality audio cables which corrected the hum issue. I replaced the belts with the new o rings and they were as good as new. The o rings weren’t quite as quiet as the original belts but that didn’t affect the playback so it didn’t matter. 39 years (and several stylus later) they are still performing admirably.

    1. Update 2022 – My turntables have since been fully serviced by a pro (2021). New belts, new audio cables, still using original cartridges, new styli, cleaned and lubricated, calibrated. When I took them in, I had installed one new stylus but the old one would not come off and “dissolved” when I took it out and the second one would not come off either so I didn’t force it. There was also still a hum after I purchased a new mixer. The cue controls weren’t working (the “O-Rings” I had installed years earlier were dry rotted) on both turntables and one would not auto-return. He repaired everything with real belts, etc. and my hum problem was corrected with a ground wire from the turntables to the new mixer. All adjustments he made (arm height, tracking force, anti-skating, cartridge placement) were double checked by me and were right on! They are in pristine, like new condition including the dust covers, and they perform like they did when I brought them home in 1979.

  4. salve io o il 1710 che e identico in funzionalita’ ma il blek , o un problema solo sul tasto stop mi sapete dire cosa potrebbe essere ? grazie. MARIO

  5. Three features not directly mention in the description above are:
    1) adjustable tone arm base height. This allows you to level the tonearm to different cartridge body dimensions (same arm/base as SL1200 MK2).
    2) signal dampening when cueing. This function dampens the cartridge output electronically when the cueing is enabled, up or down. This eliminates any potential “pop” from the stylus making or breaking contact with the record surface so it doesn’t damage your amp or speakers.
    3) tonearm position sensing is electronic (versus mechanical switches) which puts no force on your stylus, so very highly sensitive cartridges can be used.
    The auto return not working is usually a bad belt. A # 39 o-ring is a perfect fit and can be replaced by anyone (Menard’s carries this size, Lowe’s and Home Depot do not). It’s located and accessible under the inner vent cover under the platter. A common problem with the old belt is that is turns to goo as it ages. This goo can be cleaned off of the pulleys with rubbing alcohol and a q-tip.

  6. The SL-1710 mk1 isn’t manual, it’s the black version of the SL-1700 mk1 and is semi-auto, just like the mk2. It’s just somewhat less advanced.

  7. I bought a SL-1700 that indeed have speed control issues, but I bought a can of contact cleaner for the pots and some sewing machine lube for the spindle and it runs great now. Turned out to be a great value.

  8. Why does my technics turntable sl-1700 mk2 hum? I just bought it, l don’t know a thing about it,thank-you

    1. I had hum issues many years after I purchased my SL1700 Mk2’s new in 1979. I replaced the audio cables and that fixed the problem. Years later I had a hum issue again after the cables had been replaced again and the units completely serviced by a pro. I had purchased a new mixer, and even though I never had a ground problem in the past with any of the many mixers I used over the years and therefore never needed to use the ground wire that came with the turntables. The gentleman who serviced them and the mixer said connecting the ground wire(s) from the turntable to the mixer corrected that. When I got everything back home and hooked up the hum was still present. I connected the ground wires as he had instructed me and the hum is gone.

  9. Still using my SL-1700 MK2 that I purchased in 1979. Had to replace the belt for the auto return function but as stated above it was easy to do. I had a Shure Type IV for years but just recently had a chance to try an Audio Technica AT37E MC cartridge already mounted to an Audio Technica shell. The combination was too heavy for the tonearm, so I purchased a screw on counterweight for Technics turntables on EBAY and everything is working.

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