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.
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.