We haven’t been able to find a truly suitable replacement for the Technics 1200. More brands might be introducing turntables in an attempt to fill the void, but most products come with bells and whistles, from USB ports to MIDI compatibility. We’ve yet to find something that sticks with the basics and does it well.
The Reloop RP-7000, on the other hand, does a pretty decent job of getting there and adding more without annoying DJing purists. The device, a professional, high-torque club-standard manual quartz drive turntable, keeps many of the Technics’ features intact while adding more.
Some attribute the similarity to the origins: Both the Technics and RP-7000 are Hanpin OEM models. What you get, even before you try it, is solid construction with an angular form, stroboscopic dots, an S-shaped tone arm, and the controls you grew up with in the spots you know. A scratch-resistant painted metal finish holds up to the wear and tear of going to gigs.
When you turn it on, it’s a different story. Although usage does veer in a new direction, it starts on a familiar note with a sturdy brushless DC motor, reliable upper-torque direct drive, and even speed with digital correction. Much of what’s here won’t let you down and is extremely precise: a high-resolution digital fader, variable torque, straightforward beat-matching, an additional start/stop button, and further creative options. As it’s a fully manual design, you can play three standard speeds: 33⅓, 45, and 78 RPM.
Out of these, you can choose from three selectable pitch ranges – +/- 8%, +/- 16%, and +/- 50% – and a high-resolution digital fader for exact pitch resolution, while beat-matching is equally as exact, with just a 0.02-percent difference.
Reloop included the second start/stop button for the vertical portion and for use with variable torque. This latter feature essentially lets you customize the turntables according to your specifications, from 1600 to 4500 g/cm. With this quality, you’ll be able to switch from classic to high and every possibility in between.
Everything here gives it the look and feel of a Technics 1200, but Reloop decided not to simply emulate and replace. Rather, it took this template and improved upon it.
What’s different? This model gives you the classics and then adds a reverse button, a quartz lock button, click-free pitch control, pitch changers by pitch control, a knob for adjusting the torque, and RCA output sockets.
Compared to the Technics, too, you get more creative choices. That new reverse button lets you adjust the start/stop time anywhere from 0.2 to six seconds. The line/phono switch, as a second point, allows you to connect directly to a line input on a mixer or amp without grounding.
Of course, if you can’t give up modern features, there’s the RP-8000, which is essentially the RP-7000 with MIDI functionality and a digital display. If you find these attributes unnecessary or, worse, an affront to true DJing, the RP-7000 is your best option of finding a quality, newly-built, dependable turntable.