Reloop RP-8000 MK2 vs Technics SL-1200 MK7: Why the DJ Turntable You want in 2019 Isn’t Technics.

Reloop RP-8000 MK2 vs Technics SL-1200 MK7: Why the DJ Turntable You want in 2019 Isn't Technics
Pictured: Reloop RP-8000 MK2 (left) vs Technics 1200 MK7 (right), vying for the title of best DJ turntable of 2019.

Products Featured in this Article

Model: Reloop RP-8000 MK2
Base Price: $699.99 (contact by livechat, phone or email for preferred pricing)
Release: Late January 2019 Early March, per 1/17/19 manufacturer’s rep update

Model: Technics 1200 MK7
Base Price: $1,200 US, £899 Europe (Source: DJ Worx, pending manufacturer confirmation)
Release: May 2019

One day after Technics announces its ferociously anticipated, but ultimately conservative Technics SL-1200 MK7, Reloop dramatically ups the ante with with RP-8000 MK2.  

While Technics took a nine-year nap on DJs, Reloop has been powering the new guard of world champions – DJ Brace, Vekked, Kris Karns (fka DJ Vajra), Fong Fong & IFTW.

The RP-8000 MK2 may be their single most impressive contribution to the DJ community to date. We take a look at how it stacks up against the new SL-1200 MK7 below.

The Reloop RP-8000 Mk2 is – umm – insane.

Official Reloop RP-8000 MK2 release trailer.

Reloop is calling it “the most advanced DJ turntable ever made” and if ever a hyperbolic marketing claim were substantiated, this’d be it.

The RP-8000 MK2 builds on a rock-solid chassis with amongst the best direct drive motors on the market. The humble drum pad section has transformed into a turntablism powerhouse. In addition to all performance pad modes available in top Serato DJ mixers (e.g. DJM-S9, Rane Seventy-Two and the newly announced Reloop Elite), RP-8000 MK2 introduces Platter Play. Previously only seen in $X,XXX instruments like the long-retired Vestax Controller One, Platter Play lets the DJ control the pitch/speed of the platter with its pads, turning the turntable into a melodic instrument with 22 scales and 34 notes.

In fact, it is a midi instrument. Other keyboards/controllers can control the RP-8000 MK2 and it can control other software in turn.

But even if you’re not DJ Woody, turning your turntable into a guitar, the other features of the RP-8000 MK2 make it a slam dunk for any turntable DJ. These include pitch bend (previously only available on CDJs/media players), Serato DJ-integrated digital displays with BPM, elapsed time, key and other track information, digital encoder for browsing and loading tracks to either deck and dual RCA outputs that give you more options in the booth and studio plus the ability to connect one turntable to two mixers.

And incredibly, during a time when manufacturers are raising the price of gear with each new generation (not to mention price increases due to China Tariffs), the RP-8000 MK2 is the same price as the original RP-8000.

Barring any horrible production flaws, we’re confident that the RP-8000 MK2 is the DJ turntable you want in 2019.

“Yeah, but Quality Isn’t a Feature”

DMC Champ Chris Karns speaks candidly on the quality of Reloop turntables.

Many have rightly commented that quality is not a feature. There’s no knob, fader or crazy concept that endows a product with quality. And if there’s anything we’re 100% sure about with the Technics 1200, it’s that its quality is outstanding.

To this end, we spoke to DMC champ, 3x Redbull Thre3style champ and member of Pretty Lights, Chris Karns to get his opinion on the quality of Reloop turntables. Watch the video above to get his 100% honest take on why he switched from Technics to Reloop years ago.

With that said, let’s take a look at Technics’ new offering.

The Technics SL-1200 MK7 Gives You What You Want, but Nothing More

Technics SL-1200 MK7 Announcement from CES 2019

While Technics set the DJ world on fire with the SL-1200 MK7 announcement, it really didn’t break any new ground upon unveiling. Moreover, almost every upgrade has been offered by competing manufacturers for years, including detachable RCAs, digital pitch adjust, reverse mode and an improved motor (that nobody ever complained about).

Let’s be clear here, I own a pair of Technics 1200s. When they were discontinued in 2010 and their price shot up to over $1,000 a pop, I felt very lucky to have gotten mine in 2001. That said, with nearly 20 years in the DJ industry, I’m confident in saying that the Technics 1200 is one of the most effective branding exercises in history. It’s been so effective that the mere suggestion of the possibility of a better turntable has been known to start riots/flame wars where neither mommas, kids nor favorite sports teams are safe. 

The Technics 1200 isn’t a turntable. It’s an idea. It’s carries with it the origins of both hip hop and house music. Built like a tank. Sounding great. Giving you absolute confidence during your performance. It was absolutely uncontested for 3+ decades. Its closest competitor was the plastic-bodied Vestax PDX-2000 that caught on with a few contrarians. But for the most part, the 1200 was the platonic ideal of a DJ turntable.

That said, the last Technics 1200 for DJs was shipped in 2010, when still-living Steve Jobs introduced the iPad and Kickstarter launched crowdfunding to the world. Innovation has skyrocketed since then and if you look at the history of the Technics 1200 honestly, innovation was never its strong suit.

The Technics 1200 was never perfect, but we loved it because it was the best we had. Our mentors swore by them, our culture was built on them, and they were a status symbol in our community. But technology has moved on.

Don’t believe me? Remember 2017 when Denon DJ announced the VL12 Prime, a bona fide engineering breakthrough of incredible build and sound quality? It eliminated the long-standing problem of turntable hum and feedback with special isolation feet and fully suspended internal motor. DJs had been concocting insane contraptions to deal with this problem for their Technics 1200 for years. Solutions included cut tennis balls, inflatable pillows and homemade tuna can + rubber band suspension rigs. It even shaped the way stages were built in nightclubs. But did the masses of DJs even remotely entertain that a better alternative to the 4-figure Technics 1200s (only available 7+ years used at that time) may have emerged? Not at all. The  VL12 Prime is available today in relative obscurity to the Technics 1200.

Fast forward to 2019, and what do we get from the rabidly anticipated SL-1200 MK7? Basically, what we bargained for. Nearly the same features as 9 years ago, plus a few now-standard upgrades.

Do we expect the 1200 MK7 to be a great turntable? Absolutely.

Do we plan to stock it? Most likely.

Do we think it’s the no brainer choice for your new turntable setup? Not anymore.

Any contradiction? We don’t think so. The audience of “give me Technics or give me death” is far larger than who’ll see this article. Plus, we acknowledge the value of comfort, familiarity and pride in owning a pair of 1200s. That’s a value judgement and we support DJs either way.

We just hope that Technics heeds Mark Settle’s words in his The Dumbing Down of Turntables has Got to Stop when he says, “it’s not so much that new things aren’t getting added, but absolutely a case of existing useful features being unceremoniously removed, yet incongruously the price is going up for what is arguably less of a turntable.” In the case of the SL-1200 MK7, DJs aren’t getting much more than they already have with the straight forward Reloop RP-7000 MK2 or the upmarket Denon VL12 Prime. Therefore, for the sake of DJs, we hope Technics respects current market prices and doesn’t try to capture 1200s inflated value from years past. 

(Update: early reports from DJ Worx confirm the European price at £899 and a US price of $1,200. So much for our hopes of a reasonably priced Technics SL-1200 MK7.)

So What’s the Best DJ Turntable of 2019?

The SL-1200 MK7 and RP-8000 MK2 are only announcements at at this point, which means we haven’t held them in our hands. That said, assuming the RP-8000 MK2 delivers on its promise, here are our current recommendations.

Need help selecting a turntable/building a setup or want vip pricing on any of the options mentioned?

Contact a member of our team on livechat, email or give us a call here & we’ll hook you up!


Let Us Know Your Thoughts

What are your thoughts on the recent turntable releases? Which one are you buying if you need a pair in 2019? Want to smack our moms for not bowing down to the 1200s? Let us know in the comments.

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2 Comments
Discussions from the Community.
  1. Hike says:

    Touche Serato ! Love the competition and I bet if it wasn’t for MK7 Serato wouldn’t push themselves more. This is good for every DJ and everybody who is looking to purchase turntables. I will be the first to admit I own nothing Serato related. I’m a old school vinyl junkie who has converted to CDJs and not even Nexus cause I dont need all the extra bells and whistles. But, with that said I really miss and reminisce my days with vinyl. I sold my brand new MK2’s in cases and cartliges in mint condition to one lucky ass friend for $1000 while at the time I thought it was a great sell I miss them dearly. Like many who moved away from vinyl and wish to go back I am in that boat. There is this feeling and sound that one may never be able to describe when asked what’s it like playing on vinyl if never experienced. I hope I get to try both of these in the next coming months and decide on one. My main questions are all on Reloop as this is definitely a eye opener for me.

    1. Can these be used without any laptops or controllers? I mean the good old traditional slap a vinyl on and press start?
    2. To compare this to even the old school MK2 how is the platter drive and feel?
    3. Those that used the previous Reloop how does it compare to the godfather of all Technics?
    4. Most important question how is the build material on Reloop? Are they durable like Technicis or plastic?

    Thank you and hope you are all as excited for 2019 turntable wars as me. Bring on the decks and let the record labels start pushing out vinyl again.

    Make DJing Great Again !

    HiKe

  2. DJ Clear says:

    How can you write a review without laying hands on the product? Coke is better than Pepsi but I haven’t tasted either. I just like the design. ‍♂️ turntables aren’t rocket science and they shouldn’t be. Judging by previous models, I doubt the Reloop turntable is better than any 1200 model except for first version. ✌

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