Technics 1210 | silk purse or sows ear?

As some of my Hi-Fi chums in the North East know i have recently given up the ghost on High end turntables choosing instead the vintage and inexpensive route. This was in no small part to my friend Neil Blackwood who introduced me to the virtues of the Goldring Lenco. Let me tell you, when it comes to Lenco’s, Neil Blackwood is your man and within weeks of hearing his converted me and i had him build me one. It was only a matter of time before i had Neil put an Audio Oragami RB250 on it and an Audio Technica OC9 MLIII. The results are amazing. Something i will covet for many years to come.

However, so good is the Lenco that i didn’t want to play my singles collection on it. So, i started to look around for a cheap n cheerful alternative. There is no shortage of fabulous turntables out there and i could have easiy gone bancrupt buying all the turntables i have loved over the years. Having read so much about the Technics 1210 on my favourite forum (Art Of Sound) i decided to have a punt. Having seen numerous examples of the beast on the bay of E and all by the same seller, i decided to get in touch with him for more information. Sceptical as i am about many traders who trade through such auction sites i approached with caution.

Having submitted a bid on a very nice looking 1210 i looked at the sellers other items and some of them were quite spectacular. I decided to contact him and discuss options. After contacting Tom Turner at The Vinyl Countdown i told him what i wanted and he followed my request to the letter. Tom is based in Cardiff and offers a fantastic service got anyone wishing to by one of his audio sculptures or wanting their pride and joy servicing. Tom also carries out mods on Technics and other brands to a very high spec. The finishes Tom offers include gloss, matt, metallic, carbon fibr and pearlescent. If you are seriously considering a Technics SL1210 i would highly recommend you get in touch with him based on my personel experience.

So, how did things turn out? Well, being as i was a 1210 sceptic despite having access to my son’s 1210 i was pleasantly surprised at the initial results. I have some work still to do with the turntable to get it tuned to my ears and i am treating it as a project as well as something to play 45′s on. At the moment i have fitted an Ortofon 2M blue in the sharp end of a stock Rega RB250 albeit with an improved counterweight and changed the turntable mat for a Sound Dead Steel design. I am really pleased with the results and changed my stance on the 1210 hype although i still think that you can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear. No! the 1210 is what it is and whilst not being quite the sow’s ear i once made it out to be i still hold the view that Triggers new broom with it’s many new shanks and heads still applies with many of the Technics designs when punters start changing bearings, isolation feet, power supplies plinths et al that is without clamping high end arms and cartridges to them. With a little help from The Vinyl Countdown i have acquired everything i wanted and some. Watch this space for an update on my findings.

If you want to buy a Technics 1210 and require a bespoke finish to a very high standard withouth the risk of being fleeced contact at The Vinyl Countdown with all your requirements. I couldn’t recommend him highly enough.

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