The Difference Between Technics 1200 & 1210

Written by matt wooddy
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The Difference Between Technics 1200 & 1210
The Technics 1210 features a black finish instead of silver. (Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Panasonic's Technics 1200 was first introduced to consumers in 1972. This particular turntable was different than others on the market during this period as it featured a responsive direct-drive platter and user-friendly pitch control. The Technics 1200 became an instant favourite among DJs and hardcore record collectors and remains so to this day. Similar to the 1200, the 1210 was first offered to European and Asian markets when it was introduced. However, there are some slight differences between the two models, however small they may be.


The very obvious difference between the early Technics 1200 and the 1210 models was the finishing colour of the equipment's exterior. The MK2 model notates the first turntables in this series, each one assigned to both types. The silver Technics 1200 was released for the United States market, featuring a standard 120V power supply compatible with outlets for the United States. The 1210 models were black and came from the factory with a selectable internal transmitter, allowing the appropriate power to flow from the appropriate outlet.


The Technics 1200 MK3 was released in 1989 and did not have a sister 1210 model. However, the 1200 MK3 did feature a black finish similar to the 1210 MK2. Gold RCA plugs and a foil Technics emblem on the back are added to this special model, while not much else changes.


The next release for the Technics 1200 and 1210 turntables was marked the M3D model and featured an updated pitch control. While both models featured a pitch reset button and eradicated the recessed pitch bridge at +/-0, the 1210 MK3 featured a sturdier pitch fader when compared with the U.S.-based 1200. While this difference seems slim, 1200 M3D owners can have their pitch controls serviced by an authorised dealer to mimic the performance of the 1210. Once again, the Technics 1200 M3D came available from the factory in a silver finish and a U.S.-compatible outlet supply. The Technics 1210 M3D came standard with a black finish and a European/Asian-compatible adaptor.


The latest model of the Technics 1200 and 1210 series is the MK5. There are no differences between the 1200s and 1210s for this model except for the finish. The 1200 comes standard in a silver finish while the 1210s are manufactured in black. Both turntables receive an anti-skating upgrade on the tonearm from 0 to 3 grams to 0 to 6 grams.

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