Wednesday, July 18, 2012
A 1200 for $1200?
I just noticed that Amazon is selling new Technics SL1200s for...get this..."starting at $999." They even have a refurbished one, whatever that means, for sale for $1300. Checking another online source, I found that they were selling 1200s for--you guessed it--$1200.
The prices of these 'tables went up once Panasonic announced they were discontinuing the 1200 a couple of years ago. Before that, they had a retail price of $500. I couldn't recommend this 'table at THAT price, much less the new "collectible" price. I'd always try to steer people toward something like the venerable Rega Planar 2, which cost $495 back then. While I obviously drew the ire of the 1200 Army when I made that recommendation, most knowledgeable audiophiles were quick to agree that the Rega had a much airier and energetic presentation and just sounded more musical. But the Technics fans are vocal and sometimes downright nasty, and they have a million reasons to buy a direct-drive 1200 over a belt-drive anything--and very few of those reasons have anything to do with sound quality.
But for around $1200 you can buy a friggin' amazing turntable such as a Rega RP6 ($1295) or the new VPI Traveler ($1300). Why in the world would you buy a new Technics SL1200 for that much?