Turntable recommendations/advice/help

Hi all, looking for some help choosing a new pair of turntables…

I’ve recently treated myself to a Mastersounds Radius 2 (!) which is every bit as great as I expected, but it’s made me realise that it’s about time I upgraded from my old Audio-Technica AT-LP120s.

Whilst I fully realise the obvious answer is to pick up a pair of 1210s, I unfortunately don’t have the money to shell out in full, and I’m also hesitant to pick up a second hand pair.

With that in mind, I’m looking at either a new pair of MK7 1210s which I can pick up on finance, or a pair of Pioneer DJ PLX-1000s which are the cheaper option and also conveniently stocked in Curry’s, meaning I can make use of a salary sacrifice scheme through work and therefore eliminating the need for finance.

Has anyone here got either or happened to use both at some point? Leaning towards the Pioneer for the financial ease and the fact they look like a solid alternative to the 1210s with an almost identical layout.

Or should I just save up some pennies and go for a refurbished pair of 1210s?

Any recommendations and advice welcome!

If you’re willing to do a bit of graft a pair of old 1210s or 1200s can be had quite cheap and you can refurbish them yourself. All parts are easily obtainable and there are so many tutorials out there. Personally that’s what I’d do, I wouldn’t go near any current ‘budget’ alternatives.


The Pioneer PLX-1000s feel almost exactly the same as brand new technics, and the pitch doesn’t wander and drift around as much. If this is the easiest option, there’s no reason to worry about them not being as good as buying baggy, 30 yr old technics. You can still switch between the Pioneers and Technics easy enough. A club i sometimes play in has the Pioneers, and the only thing i really notice is that the pitch is slightly easy to use.

DO NOT get the PLX-500s though, the motor is so weak it makes mixing on them a real chore.

MK7 1210s would be the best option, but if it is a stretch then the Pioneers are absolutely fine.

Second hand 1210s are my own personal bread and butter because 99% of clubs have some battered pair somewhere in a cupboard that you can pull out and play on. It’s always an option, but maybe for home use just get something nice to use day in day out. For similar reasons don’t use studio monitors for djing with either, they sound too harsh and your ears just get tired of them


Looking for as little hassle as possible so will give this a miss, but appreciate the recommendation. Wanting something that’s ready to go out of the box, as it were.

Thanks for this, really helpful. Will certainly be staying away from the PLX-500s as it would just be a sideways step, but glad to hear your comments about the PLX-1000s. Haven’t used them before but almost everything I’ve heard about them is positive, and they look as nice as the MK7 1210s as well (IMO at least). Likely I’ll be going for them.

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Thanks, didn’t realise this was a thing they did. Any idea what they’re charging by any chance?

Not cheap, but it depends on whether you look at an “upgraded” pair or not.

If you feel queasy about used 1200’s then just go with the Pioneers or the new techs. For home use, and the occasional gig, those are perfectly fine.

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Just depends on the model etc. I’ve seen a pair of 1200 MK5’s for £1200 as an example, worth emailing them and seeing what they currently have

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not having messed about with any of the alternatives mentioned here, i’m going to go ahead and recommend prioritizing technics 1200s whether refurbed or second-hand. industry standard, there’s loads of documentation and culture around them so should you need to fix anything yourself, there’s parts available and no shortage of ways to customize them as well. they’re a worthy investment.


Mk2 SL1200 Technics for £800ish a pair cash. As long as the tonearms are not bent or have play then you should be good to go with a service from

This guy has a stock pile of spare parts he can afford to throw in for effectively free. £125 a deck (I do my own but I cannot beat his prices as he has the stocks of parts).

Audio repair and test is my business but I’m not out to sell you anything. You have to watch the internet as their are a lot of biased opinions and snake oil tactics. A Technics 1200 mk2 pitch is rock solid and will hold sync for 10 mins assuming you can mix.

I wouldn’t touch any other repair centres either.

Nothing to stop you picking a deck up one at a time and spreading the cost. You have your old decks still?


I use studio monitors for mixing and listening. They use the same components as my portable sound, also my friends RLA sound system uses identical components, as I sold him them a few years back. It is also pretty good to mix on.

My home Cinema uses studio monitors as used for sound design work, no fatigue there either.

I wrote a few paragraphs to counter this statement but audio benchmarking and sound quality assessment is so obvious once heard , unfortunately it is a lost art now.

They are what i use to dj with, but for just sitting and listening i think i just prefer more normal home listening type speakers that colour the sound in all the ways i would imagine any audiophile would hate. I like how sharp the studio monitors sound for catching any issues while in the mix, but i just find the sound a bit tiring to listen to for long periods.

I guess it is all just personal preference, eh?


They don’t sound harsh by the way, quite the opposite.

Search for ‘Japanese jazz hi fi cafe’ all based on studio monitor designs.

The above has been a a sideline of mine for two decades. This stuff was fully supported by the manufactures back then, not really now.

Replace ‘studio monitor’ by ‘cheap self powered speaker’ perhaps, not buying into it.

My Studio Monitors are on now, sounding great.

These speakers you linked to cost £14,000.

You think that is relevant in this thread?

I think i have maybe used a term you didn’t like or something, if that is so i do apologise. I feel like you definitely do have some insight that could be useful here, I’m not going to start saying “cheap powered speaker” though.

If you do have a link to some reasonably priced studio monitor speakers that would be suitable, that would be super helpful though.

I think the entry level pricing was about £1600 (a long time ago) for my preferred flavour of studio monitor, that has gone up to £4000 for what looks like a worse product.

The same analogy for the SL1200 (£350 way back then, bank loan)

Quality audio is very expensive new and maybe disposable incomes are no better if we need to still pay 1990’s money for our turntables. A pair of good used SL1200 for £1000 ish seems ok for a lifetime of use though?

Vintage speakers with DIY work needed for entry into studio monitors that will party as well. I dumped all my new bought Hi Fi twenty or more years ago, helps being able to fix it and rebuild the old stuff…

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Thought I’d just give a quick update on this… went against everything I was saying in this thread and got myself a decent pair of Technics SL-1210 Mk2 for £800 in the end.

Couple of imperfections (stuck tonearm base on one, and a few nicks on the faceplate of the other) but ultimately pretty happy that I’ve bagged myself a good deal. No dust covers either but can pick a pair of non-genuine ones up on eBay for £100 roughly.


Top work. Cash seems to be king for a pair of used ones. I did unstick three tonearms recently, the YouTube guides will help you. There may be a bit of head scratching on rebuild but you have one to compare with

100 percent stick with the stock Technics lead if the old ones are tired and avoid any mods. My experience with fixing these units matches those documented by the website link.

I was offered a new pair of mk7 based Technics the other day which didn’t seem to be very easy to for the shop to shift, make of that what you will.

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Wise move. You can’t really regret going with Technics I reckon👍

I’ve got a 2 or 3 spare that I’m thinking of offloading and going to take them to a record fair this weekend and see if there’s any interest…