Reviews

Technics SL1210MK7 Direct Drive Turntable

Technics SL1210MK7

Perfectly refined, the Technics SL1210MK7 continues to set the standard for others to follow.

Legend of the seventh generation
From the disco era to today’s super-clubs, the Technics SL1210 (and similar sl1200) has been and remains the heart of the most professional DJ gigs. Known worldwide for its robust build quality, reliability and precise and stable sound, the SL1210 is a living legend. Now in the form of MK7, it is capable as always and of great value to the engineering involved. Technics SL1210 MK7

High torque and direct drive
Using Technics’ famous and expensive direct drive system, the Technics SL1210MK7 offers a couple of class-leading torques for a super stable ride and fast start/stop action. When you need to precisely control the mix, this is still the standard setter.

The logical solution would seem to be a straightforward Ortofon MM pickup with a replaceable pin, but as sound quality is more important to us than the drop mat’s ability to resist scratches, we also tried a costly motorbike pickup. The Technics arm’s light pickup housing was fitted with a 7.6 gram lightweight Audio Technica AT-OC9XSH, and the combined mass was precisely within what one can afford before the resonant frequency ended up where it shouldn’t have.

Improved engine without core
Based on the technology of the G and GR reference models, the MK7 uses a new coreless engine design. This involves removing coggings that can affect other direct transmission covers. Cogging is an instability in the speed of travel, which gives an inconsistent tone. With the SL1201MK7, you get the same stability as the solid pitch that has always been a hallmark of these Technics covers.

Vibration-resistant
The SL1210 turntables have always been built robustly and the Technics MK7 is no different. Although not as solid as the more expensive GR model, it still outperforms its rivals at the same price. The rigid mold-to-be-era aluminium frame features hybrid legs, anti-resonace coating and insulation. These not only help to keep the lid firmly in place, but also absorb vibrations, avoiding pen omission and distortion of sound.

Optimization settings
Lift the plate and there are a range of user settings. From a microswitch desk you can select 78 rpm, reverse play and even adjust the initial torque and braking speed – get this cover to work exactly as you want. Technics SL1210 MK7

More tone control
A new ‘x2’ button doubles the range of the tone control from s/- 8% to s/-16%. This additional range makes it even more flexible as a mixing tool and even more practical in the studio than ever before.

Classic Toasar
The tone arm of the MK7 is a classic S-shaped design that tracks accurately and is easy to handle. It also offers a wide range of settings, including VTA (Vertical Tracking Angle), weight and distortion, making it ideal for a wide range of different cartridges and even different slipmat thicknesses. The detachable head makes the exchange of cartridges a quick and easy process.

Connecting your cables
Instead of using static cables like the SL-1210 of the past, the SL-1210 MK7 has PHONo RCA terminals. These allow you to choose the length and quality of the cable that is worthy of a coverage of this standard.

Matte black style and new strobe lighting
Finished in matte black throughout, the MK7 has stealth style. The strobe color is adjustable between red and blue. There is also a bright LED pop-up light to make an accurate tail in dark lighting. Photo:Technics

A living legend who remains a class leader, the Technics SL1210MK7 is the cover to go to the vinyl mix. When looking to purchase a better turntable, a Technics SL1210MK7 might not be the first option that comes to mind. After all, it was constructed there with consideration for contexts other than the teak sideboard in the living room. as a DJ player only. If you want the best sound in this class, a Rega, Pro-Ject, or even the excellent SL-1500C is a better option. But because the Technics SL1210MK7is so expertly made, it can be a great substitute for anyone who is worried about sound quality, including amateur DJs and others. Nevertheless, with a superior pickup to a cheap Ortofon or Audio Technica.

Moreover, significant enhancements were made to the magnetic force of the rotor magnets, and the gap between the coreless stator and rotor magnets was carefully optimized. As a result, the torque performance of the turntable now matches that of the SL-1200MK5 model. Additionally, a unique feature of the MK7 is that the platter can rotate in the opposite direction when both the speed selector button and Start/Stop button are pressed simultaneously.

The tonearm of the MK7 is designed in an S-shape and crafted from lightweight yet highly rigid aluminium material. Its gimbal suspension construction includes a meticulously machined housing and a “high-precision bearing” in the bearing section.

Technics SL1210MK7
Technics SL1210MK7 – photos: Technics

To minimize unwanted vibrations, the platter incorporates a two-layer structure with a layer of deadening rubber covering the entire back surface. The chassis, on the other hand, is made of aluminum die-cast and utilizes a two-layer construction with ABS mixed with glass fiber for added strength. The insulator is equipped with a spring and rubber components to enhance isolation.

Setting up the MK7 is a straightforward process, aided by its responsive anti-skate mechanism and well-balanced tonearm. Both turntables boast a powerful high torque motor suitable for precise cueing of records. However, the MK7 distinguishes itself with superior stability and accuracy in pitch adjustment. Users of the MK2 model, who are constrained by internally wired connections, can expect an enhanced sound quality from the MK7, surpassing that of the RP7000.

Although facing formidable competition, Technics’ MK7 remains a premium turntable that provides exceptional value for money and continues to set the standard for direct drive DJ turntables. The expanded functionality, including greater pitch adjustment, robust build quality, and detachable interconnects, offer substantial benefits that enhance both the audio quality and usability of the deck.

Turntable section

Type  –  Direct Drive Manual Turntable

Turntable Speeds  – 33-1/3, 45 rpm (with switch 78 rpm)

Starting Torque  –  0.18 N・m / 1.8 kg・cm

Build-up Characteristics  –  0.7 s. from standstill to 33 1/3 rpm

Wow And Flutter  –  0.025 % W.R.M.S.

Turntable Platter  –  Aluminium diecast – Diameter : 332 mm – Weight : Approx. 1.8 kg (Including slipmat and slipsheet)

Tonearm Section

Type  – Universal Static Balance

Effective Length  –  230 mm

Overhang  – 15 mm

Tracking Error Angle –  Within 2° 32′ (at the outer groove of 30 cm record)

Within 0° 32′ (at the inner groove of 30 cm record)

Offset Angle  –  22°

Arm-height Adjustment Range   –  0 – 6 mm

Stylus Pressure Adjustment Range   – 0 – 4 g (Direct Reading)

Head Shell Weight  Approx. –  7.6 g

Applicable Cartridge Weight Range

(without auxiliary weight)
5.6 – 12.0 g
14.3 – 20.7 g (including head shell)

Head Shell Terminal Lug

1.2 mmφ 4-pin terminal lug

Terminals

Audio Output  – PHONO (Pin Jack) x 1, EARTH TERMINAL x 1

General

Power Supply  – AC 110 – 240 V, 50 / 60 Hz

Power Consumption – 8 W – Approx. 0.2 W (Standby)

Dimensions (W x H x D)  – 453 x 169 x 353 mm

Weight – Approx.   –  9.6 kg

Accessories

Turntable, Slipmat, Slipsheet, Dust cover, EP record adaptor, Balance weight, Head shell, Screw set for cartridge, PHONO cable, PHONO earth lead, AC power supply cord, Owner’s Manual

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