Technics SL-1200/SL-1210 MK7 in long-term review

After a long and sad period of leaving the market with no option to buy a new Technics DJ turntable (as the Grand Class models are aimed more towards Hi Fi users), the Technics SL-1210 MK7 was finally released in 2019, and two years later in 2021, the silver version, the SL-1200 MK7 appeared, with exactly the same components.

As we have already discussed in one of our previous articles about the main differences between the MK7 and previous models, there is so much debate on the internet whether it is a good choice or are you better off with a second-hand old-school Technics. We would like to share some of our thoughts on the topic, as we have been using the MK7s for a long time, and also got a lot of feedback from our customers.

“Just buy a second-hand MK2, as it will most likely last for decades…” - the sentence that pops up in some form on most forums and Facebook groups. Maybe we are missing something, but we think there are so many things wrong with a statement like this, and it raises more questions, rather than peace of mind.

Technics mk2 detail ansicht

Where and in what conditions will it last for decades?

In a living room with the dust cover on 363 days out of 365? Or in a club where sweat, water and of course sugary and alcoholic drinks might get spilled on it regularly? Will it last for decades without any service intervention, or will it last for decades with regular maintenance? In what condition can we get a second-hand MK2 and what can we actually know about its history? How can you verify that it was actually used in the infamous “non-smoking studio, maybe just a couple of times per year”, or if it even has the original Technics faceplate? How will you know when you buy from Ebay that all internals are original and they are in perfect condition, without any contact issues that may appear over time?

Don’t get us wrong, we love the old school MK2 and the next generations of Technics before the MK7, and have spent decades DJ-ing on them, and yes they are VERY reliable. But if we were at the point of buying a pair of turntables for DJ-ing, with the MK7 available, we would probably think twice before rushing for a second hand one.

Even if you are able to get a “Mint” or “Near Mint” condition used Technics, chances are that no matter how reliable it is, at some point it will need at least some minor servicing, like pitch fader calibration or some contact issues that usually appear with the RCA cables and sometimes the tonearm wiring. 

There is not only a lack of qualified technicians to address the problem, but even if someone is available, usually you won’t get any kind of real value warranty for your repairs. In many cases, you will have to look for spare parts yourself, and in some cases you might have to wait for months to get it shipped from some other part of the world. So if you do decide to buy an old-school Technics, make sure there is a reliable service around you, and ask if they have access to spare parts. 

Don’t forget that if you buy an MK2 or MK3 and plan to DJ with it, it is not a bad idea to take it to the service first, for removing the annoying click at 0%, as this is not a DJ feature and it is very frustrating to mix around the 0% pitch area as it can constantly lock your tempo at 0%, and on release, it will usually jump to somewhere around +/- 0.5%, rather than smoothly moving towards 0.1%, and this may result in some inaccurate beatmatching.

So what about the MK7? Is it a better deal?

There certainly were some complaints about the MK7 right after its release, and yes, many of these claims, such as the less robust build quality, different internals, and less resistance to feedback are true. 

But consider whether you actually need those qualities. Consider how many times you will bring your turntable to a large scale event with a large sound system that is capable of feeding back from your turntable. And if the answer is: you actually need it mostly for home use, why would you even bother about these? There is no real benefit from the ultra robust housing in a quiet environment such as your home studio.

Apart from the tech specs, the real advantage when buying an MK7 lies in the fact that it is a new turntable, it is covered by warranty, and service parts are available at your local service center. Have we got some faulty models returned? Sure, and they were repaired in less than a couple of weeks, for no cost as long as there was a warranty issue.

Using a pair of MK7s for almost three years now, we can honestly say that mixing ånd beat matching is a bliss with these. Many times we find that we don't even have to make minor nudges or pitch bending as the two tracks just stay locked for more than a minute!. Even after two years, the pitch fader and rotation stability are on point.

We could go on discussing about internals, but for us, the purpose of DJ-ing with vinyl is to make two tracks stick together for as long as possible, and for this purpose, the MK7 is the best turntable we have ever used. 

Is the digital pitch fader more annoying? Not necessarily. We usually get our beat match done in no time, and in considerably less time when compared to the MK2. Pitch faders are things that you can get used to, no matter what technology lies underneath them. You will quickly recognize its behavior and adapt.

In case they will be taken to a club where loud sound and feedback can be an issue, it is a good idea to put some isolation beneath it, such as the Luke ASB-1 isolation feet.

Are the mechanical parts looser and is the overall build-quality worse? The buttons did receive some criticism after the release of the MK7, and they certainly do not feel as good, as well as the the target light that doesn’t pop up so smoothly as on the MK2, but they show no signs of wear after 2 years - because most vinyl DJs will very likely just not abuse them. They are not like the CUE and PLAY buttons on CDJs that get pushed on average more than 10 times before playing a track. Most people will leave the pop-up light up after their session, the RPM buttons are only touched occasionally, and the Start/Stop button gets pushed only a couple of times during a session.

The tone–arm has no issues, we had almost no issues with skipping, when we did it was always the fault of some dirty record, so just as with any other turntable, it is still a good idea to keep your records clean.

As we constantly move things around in our studio as new gear keeps coming and going, we always had to move our pair of MK7s as well, and it is so good they made all cables detachable. It is so much easier to move around the units this way, especially if they get carried around in flightcases, and we don’t have to be careful about cramming the cables inside the box and possibly damaging them.


With a history of manufacturing bulletproof turntables and premium Hi-Fi equipment in general, there is no doubt that expectations are high whenever it comes to any kind of Technics gear. The MK7 is somewhat of a black sheep in the SL1200/1210 family because of the isolation and build quality in general. To be realistic, it is highly unlikely that we will ever see the same turntables at this price point.

From a pragmatic standpoint however, we think that the time spent on moaning about the build quality, should rather be spent on DJ-ing. Yes, the MK7 does have some minor flaws, but are they really a reason for not buying the turntable? Probably, if you expect that they will receive a high amount of abuse, in situations such as if you are a club owner, festival planner or a DJ equipment rental company, and the turntables are going to be carried around a lot, and will be used in very loud environments. But in this case you will also make money with the turntables so investing a little extra on a pair of SL1200/SL1210 GR will make sense (just don’t forget to swap their feet for a set of non-wobbly turntable feet, read more on this here).

However, as long as you are spinning at home and taking the turntable occasionally to events with no more than a few hundred people, we think that there is no particular reason for not choosing the MK7. It is a premium turntable, with a super-precise pitch fader and very stable rotation of the platter (which are the most important features a DJ needs for mixing), and after using them for some time, we believe that they outperform the old-school Technics in terms of precision. We absolutely love how flawless the transitions are when blending two tracks together and the slightly higher torque motor is also perfectly suitable for scratching.

Considering this and the fact that it is covered by up to 5 years warranty, we think that choosing the MK7 over a used MK2-MK6 is a much wiser option today. No matter how good the old models are, they are still not getting any younger, and it will become a tougher challenge over time to repair them if issues arise. We can confidently say that although it will never satisfy everyone, we love mixing on the MK7s, and it is a turntable that responds to the needs of most DJs today, and our customers can also confirm this.