Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Technics SL-1210 M5G

It's my opinion that 1210MV5MG and its predecessors may be favored by DJ's around the world, but this particular version is a serious piece of audiophile gear. There's plenty of information on the web and specs, so I'm not going to focus on that, but I do have quite a few impressions of this refined beast.

I dare say it appears to me to one of the most technologically advanced turntables in the world that is within the reach of the average consumer. The motor and platter assembly are absolutely incredible. I don't know if this is accurate, but it looks to me that the motor and the platter are magnetically coupled, meaning the motor has no physical connection that I could see to the platter. If that's the case, that would put this table in same league as air drive systems. Hopefully other reviewers can shed some more light on how the drive system works.

It's also a very ergonomic and user friendly machine. Now I know lots of people love to fuss with their TT's, make adjustments, make it a somewhat of a ceremony to play a record, that's cool with me. I have no issues with people deriving enjoyment from spending their money and playing with their gear. But I have to say, this turntable is blast to use.

You're up in under 1 second and the speed is dead on. I'm even having fun playing with the slider and reviewing some passages at slower speeds. Back to perfect speed at the touch of the reset button and you don't have to account for stylus drag. Hell, you can brush the record while it's playing. The rubber mat is outstanding with a slight depression for the underside of the record label. I'm using a lighter stainless steel Clear audio clamp and set-up was also achieved with a Clear audio aluminum protractor jobber thingy.

The integrated lighting is a welcome feature. A red LED hitting the strobe mirrors is neat, but the blue pop-up LED that lights up the stylus is straight out of James Bond! Impeccably cool!

There's a lot of great tables out there, but I just couldn't pass this one up given it's most critical attribute: THE SOUND! Forget about price for a moment and ponder that to these old ears, the presentation in terms of sound stage, speed, decay, ambiance, and the void of space where sounds emerge from this machine provides is anything but entry level. I hope you'll agree and get one before folks here in the USA realize what they've been missing.