T80mkII REVIEW - By Nimbus
The T80 is the perfect replacement for your old worn out Technics. Now with added features, hard cover, 45' holder, and selectable Line or Phono output switch.
The new T80mk2 is an upgrade version of the already formidable T80. The unit now comes with a high impact hard cover to help protect your investment and keep the T80mk2 looking new.
A holder for your 45' adapter ring has now been added so you can always have it handy when you feel the need to jam with your classics.
Best of all the new mods, a high quality phono pre-amplifier has been added, allowing you to output either Phono signal or ordinary Line signal just by a flick of a switch! Now you can connect with any modern device that may not include a phono input.
I learned to mix on the mighty Technics 1200 Mk2 turntables. I have a pair of mint condition 1210M5G's sealed in an airtight container back in New Zealand and they are my pride and joy. Of all the items dear to me that I parted with before heading over seas, they were the only thing I could never bare to sell. Now that they are no longer in production they are even more coveted. My reasons for this rather obsessive connection to my Technics that I share with probably millions of others is due to the symbolism of the era they represent. Nostalgia is a powerful thing that ripples through generations, and has been a large part of the huge success to the Technics DJ turntables range for over 35 years.
It is for this reason a lot of DJ's are still hanging on to their old, tatty, damaged and worn out Technics despite their obvious need for a very expensive refurbishment, or replacement. In fact you will generally hear Technincs DJ's comment that they could never get used to different feeling that the other brands of turntables offer. I remember when the Vestax PDX series of turntable was released and most DJ's gave them a very poor review despite the advanced technology they employed.
The T80 Vs The Techs... does it compare?
Well, I am very pleased to announce that there is now a turntable available that feels very similar in performance, offers rock solid design, and comes at an affordable price range. The T80 has the power, the stability and extra features that make it the obvious choice when contemplating a new turntable setup.
We tried the T80 for ourselves and were astounded at the familiar feeling they offer. The platter spins up to full speed in a fraction of a turn and doesn't flutter when it reaches full speed or when pitch correcting. The Techs and the T80 both boast a powerful 4.5Kg/cm motor, but the T80 definitely seems to rotate more smoothly when you are holding the record on a slipmat while cuing and scratching. You can even adjust the start/stop speed of the platter from controls on the front panel (no more digging around with screw drivers!)
Over all we were very happy and surprised at how great they feel to use. The response for mixing and scratching was as natural as drawing breath. I found my adjustment time from the Techs to the T80 was ZERO. We played for a few hours with the Techs and the T80 side by side.
The T80 has a few extra features that can pack quite a punch for the more adventurous turntablist. With two Start/Stop buttons you can use the T80 in regular or battle style orientation and always have the button right where you want it. Also having three speeds can be handy at times with 33,44,78 rpm modes. The T80 also has multiple pitch ranges, 10%, 20% and 50%, and you can even swing your wheels of steel into reverse (just in case you feel the need to check if there are any demonic messages in your latest tune).
I'm particularly fond of the removable audio leads and also power lead, this is a great design feature that can save a lot of hard work when you have worn out or damaged the leads. On the Technics a broken lead would mean an expensive trip to the turntable doctor!
At first I was a little put off my the rounded edges as I am used to my turntables having square sharp corners, however after lifting them in and out of a DJ coffin a couple of times I realized this is so much easier when you can fit your fingers down the corners. Also you are much less prone to bumping a rounder corner during a performance than a square one.
The New T80 Mk2 has the added features of a Hard Plastic cover and a place to put your 45 adapter. I must admit that I dont use 45's any more, and my gear all gets put in to road cases, to these advances are not that much excitement... However they have added a built-in phono pre-amplifier so you can choose between Line output and Phono output for your mixer or audio devices. This means you have a lot more connection options than before. Nice!
The T80 is 11KG of solid serious business. It feels like the real deal and has excellent performance in heavy vibration environments. The shock absorbing feet work really well, and the sexy looking tone-arm does a great job of tracking at any weight I set it to. The anti skating actually works well in this model, which is a rare thing in any DJ turntable. It was very difficult to get the T80 to skip and the tracking signal on the worn Serato record we were using to test came through perfectly balanced at all times... despite a wonky table, and of course some wonky DJ's
Overall the design is very good and suitable for a fair emount of punishment. But just when you are thinking the VOXOA T80 is winning hands down against the mighty Technics, we find the T80's kryptonite. Well, for the price range the performance and features are astounding, so we can expect to take a small hit on something right? Lets face it, the Technics of old were indestructible and were designed to last for decades, but we can we really expect the same from another brand? Well the answer is ALMOST.
We managed to loose the little silver knob of the end of the tone arm lever. One of the feet got smashed in transit (because we didnt use road cases)... although the cracked foot casing did not effect its operation, and the start stop buttons seem a little 'flappy' and occasionally one of them would spin around. But thats it. I would recommend using a solid flight case to protect them unless they are in a fixed location because they will not take the same level of abuse we are used to seeing with the old techs.
After about 5 of us spent hours hammering away on these things they performed great and felt really good. These beautifully designed T80 turntables really out-perform the old Techs on almost every level... that is unless you do handstands on the platters as part of your act!