Technics SL-1210 M5G Review

By | Posted April 4, 2010


The Technics SL-1210 M5G is thought of by most DJ’s as the #1 DJ turntable on the market!

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Staff Review

Technics 1210m5g

Review by Pearce Cleaveland (aka DJ Terminal)

What can I really say here? I am reviewing an industry standard product, often considered the best professional DJ turntable known to man, and this time… they made it better.

I have always owned Technics decks, some call me lucky, I just think I started at the right place and never really needed to upgrade. I followed the progression up from my first set of 1200mkII’s, never really being impressed with the minor changes made in each model advancement. This was true, at least until I picked up my shiny new 1210m5gs.

First impression out of the box, they just look better. Then you plug them in, connect them up, and the real fun starts. The blue pop up work light (which is now insanely bright), blue pitch slider markings and the gloss-sparkle top deck look amazing (especially at night). Sure, those are only cosmetic changes, and add no real functionality, but I am getting to that.

The only real changes in the 1210m5g that any dj will care about is the digital pitch control with switchable pitch range (a first for Technics analog decks), and the upgraded tonearm/tonearm suspension.

The upgraded pitch slider is now digitally controlled, but you won’t notice anything different except for the button which changes the +/- range from +/-8 to +/-16. I really don’t find myself using the extended range much spinning hip-hop, but breaks and EDM dj’s will likely find some convenience there. As an added bonus, Technics added the sweet little feature there also where the displayed pitch range changes corresponding with the range selector switch. When I first started using the decks there was a small difference in the sound when pitching up and down a live track, but this disappeared after the decks were broken in. So far, no gripes.

The second major improvement is the tonearm/tonearm suspension. You will notice first, that the tonearm is made of a different metal, and seems a bit more flimsy, but it is just lighter. The sound quality/sound pickup improved a bit from the previous models, and this can be heard especially when just listening to the needle pickup transmission, in a quiet room with the mixer off. Some bedroom dj’s will also notice that the whistle from time-coded vinyl is now almost twice as loud, but once you have a monitor on this isn’t an issue. The suspension upgrade difference is also minor, but seems to work better, seeing as the tonearm is lighter. The only other change to be noticed around that general area is the upping of the anti-skate range from 0-3 to 0-6, which is nice.

Aside from the major changes to the tonearm and pitch slider, and the cosmetic changes all-around, the only other notable change is the more accessible brake speed, which can now be accessed without removing the platter.

My final verdict: If you are buying a new set of Techs, spring the extra few bucks and get the 1210m5gs. They definitely sound better, and have a lot of little additions that most dj’s will just take for granted, but they look amazing. Not that the looks of something should drive you to make a purchase… but you know that in the end, you want the sexy blue lights, now don’t you.

1210m5g Hits/Misses

Hits (+)

(+) Great new look with all the blue led lighting
(+) Selectable pitch range with corresponding display
(+) Upgraded tonearm/tonearm suspension
(+) More easily accessible brake speed adjustment

Misses (-)

(-) Are you serious? My only gripe is that they don’t hover.

*Note: the only reason I didn’t rate these a 10 is because I wanted to leave Technics some room for improvement. I don’t know yet what that improvement will be, but if the 1210m5gs are a testament, it will be something good.
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Features & Specs

* Quartz direct drive accuracy with computerized pitch adjustment up to ±16%
* Very high torque motor for quick start-ups (only 0.07 seconds stop to speed)
* Custom brake speed control
* Stylus Kick Cancel
* Exchangeable pitch slider
* Super cool blue LED pop-up work light
* Built-in anti-skate adjustment up to 6g
* Arm-end scale for quick weight setting
* Molded aluminum diecast cabinet and heavy rubber base material help absorb unwanted vibrations
* Professional Technics slipmat
* Highly sensitive low-mass tone arm with gimbaled suspension
* Includes removable hinge-free dust cover (not shown)
* Size: 17-13/16"w x 6-3/8"h x 13-7/8"h. 26.4 lbs.

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