Stealth hi-fi: Technics SL-1200 & SL-1210

Many people consider the Technics SL-1200 & SL-1210 to be the best hi-fi turntables under £10,000.“What, those DJ decks?” I hear you cry.Here’s a

Many people consider the Technics SL-1200 & SL-1210 to be the best hi-fi turntables under £10,000.“What, those DJ decks?” I hear you cry.Here’s a fact that might shock you: the Technics SL-1200 was designed for hi-fi buffs, not DJs. (Incidentally, the only difference between the 1200 and 1210 is the colour – the former is silver, the latter gunmetal grey.)There’s something about its direct-drive operation that allows the Techy to grip the music and not get bogged down. Most turntables rely on a rubber band to spin the platter, and often struggle with timing.But there’s a double-edged sword in here. On the downside, you can’t take the deck out of the box and expect it to be a world beater; there’s work to be done to it.The upside of that is there’s endless upgrading and tinkering you can indulge in, and that’s the audiophile’s raison d’etre.A whole cottage industry has sprung up around making the SL-1200/1210 awesome, and at the forefront of that is Sound Hi Fi.The Technics’s most recognised problem is a humming power supply, so Sound Hi Fi offers the Timestep PSU, which they’ll fit for you or you can attach yourself with a bit of simple soldering.Other, much simpler fixes are to replace the standard feet and the platter mat, neither of which damp vibrations very well. There are tons of options, some dirt cheap and others over £100.The standard tonearm isn’t terrible, but it’s no audiophile-grade item. Swapping it out is a 30-minute process of removing endless screws and fitting a new arm and an adapter plate. It’s not unheard-of to fit a £3000 arm to a Techy – that’s how good the base unit is.So, you can spend around £1000 on a Technics SL and some upgrades, and you’ll arguably end up with a turntable no other £1k deck could match.Or you can go crazy. It’s tempting…