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No turntable, no turntablism, right? And this is the model that the whole shebang was built around. Crucially these direct-drive decks had a solid-as-a-rock build and a sturdy tone arm that meant they came battle-ready straight out the box.
The ability to adjust weighting, needle placement, rotation speed and pitch control were all features intended to tickle the high-end Jazz and Classical audiophile who wanted to eek the finest sounds from his prized vinyl collection, but it was the DJ that unleashed its real potential.
Before decks like this model, disc jocks would gingerly manipulate the wax on rotation, now they could really get busy with it - spinbacks, scratching, needle-dropping and beat juggles would all eventually be realised on a pair of these. They might not have been built for the job, but they certainly became the company’s best employee (some say outselling guitars at one point).
Much like the skateboard or paint can, no one could have ever predicted just how far removed the humble turntable could have become from its intended purpose.
Since its arrival in 1979 the SL-1200MK2 quickly became the backbone of hip hop, and when the London Science Museum lit up a pair for it’s ‘Making the Modern World Gallery’, it showed that they went on to become much bigger than that.
Check this cheesy run-down of the deck for its full spec…