If you turn up to DJ at a gig and there are no Technics, you get the feeling it’s going to be one of those nights where the sound system breaks down and the cops raid the club just as you drop your best tune.

Other decks may have more features, even higher specs in a few cases, but can you rely on them like a Technics SL-1210 Mk2? Probably not.

Solid as a rock

The SL-1210 Mk2 has earned its place in the history books because, up until fairly recently, it was by far the best DJ turntable available. Its key features have always been the torqey direct-drive motor, smooth, accurate pitch control, solid build quality, well-damped feet to soak up the vibrations of a busy club and a touchability factor that makes it a pleasure to use.

Newer rivals include the SL-1210 Mk5, which removes the troublesome centre detent from the crossfader. On the Mk2, this little dent at the zero point can make fine adjustments awkward, as the fader wants to click back into the notch. In fact, that little detent is about the only thing you could criticise about the Mk2.

Features schmeatures

Well, that is unless you want more features. Pitch control is +/-8%, which sometimes isn’t quite enough. If you want a reverse mode, look elsewhere (the Numark PDX 3000 for example), and if you’re after USB audio output you’re out of luck.

But that’s not what the SL-1210Mk2 is about. This is a trooper of a deck, dedicated to a long life of loyal, dependable service, whether as part of a club installation, a mobile rig or just a quality home set-up.

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Technics SL-1210 Mk2 review

Some decks do more, many decks cost less, but no other deck really does it quite like the 1210 Mk2