Hi-Fi Database
Home Turntables Technics SL-QD33

Technics SL-QD33

<< Previous Next >>
Click to enlarge icon


Description:33, 45RPM
Dimensions:430 x 100 x 360mm (W x H x D)
Year:1986 - 1994

Rating: 8.00 out of 10
Rate It icon Edit icon More Technics icon


Short URL:


By: BiggieTembo 12th Mar 2014
4 out of 5 "Technics SL-QD33"
I love the Danes! Why? Well... what's not to love about these people... They kind-of re-invented themselves after WW2, created a great welfare state which still continues today (argue this point with the natives); they enjoy the outside life (barbeques, winter walks, nude bathing in a frozen lake, invading the North and Eastern parts of England and Normandy, way back when...); they are at rest within themselves (sparking up a conversation on a bus or train doesn't happen automatically, like in America or England, but depends on the individual, or how many units of alcohol have been consumed - and sometimes this openness can be quite rewarding); they are tolerant of others and will never forbid any opposing opinions in the public forum - but they'll also tell you directly if they don't agree with the bullshit that coming out of your brain; and most of all they love the design of things - because, let's face it - if you've got to gawp at a gargantuan set of Stonehenge-like speakers in your living room every time you're on the sofa - well, they might as well look nice, aye.

This attention to design and detail has been the blessing of Danish interiors since... well... since the beginning of the "minimalist" way of living. Out went all the clutter, the frills and tassels on the ends of pieces of cloth; the intricate carved elements finishing corner-pieces; the wild-feathery hat-stands. In came white, blank spaces, no handles, push-magnetic open/close/sliding doors, graphic art, clean lines... all of which soothed the Danish mind-set. With the addition of huge windows, the idea was to let as much of the light in as possible (it's pretty grey in autumn and winter), along with open-plan inner spaces and candles on the dark, winter evenings - the Danish life is one of simplicity and inner (mental) peace.

The Danish attention to design and aesthetic living standards has also been a curse: When something new appeared, or when something had been "superseded" by newer technology, a newer design, or public attitudes to fashion; or when something broke - they chucked the perfectly-functioning lamp, TV set, bike, kitchen knife, tool, bed, cupboard, cassette deck, food mixer, etc. into the "big rubbish" - a collection-point for larger, unwanted objects that were put out for the garbage collectors one day every month. They then replaced the old "out-dated" objects with brand new sparkling versions of what they already had before, which, to all intents and purposes, would have worked fine with a spot of oil, a spray or two of switch-cleaner, a little screw-tightening here or there, or just a simple cleaning.

These "big rubbish" objects were usually recycled (read: burned, to provide "district heating") or sorted and sold off by the garbage company - for tons of cash ("where there's muck, there's brass", as the old saying goes...). If we concentrate solely on electronic objects - these were usually shipped to "recycling places" by shipping companies - and ended up in what once was a green valley teeming with natural life, for example, in Ghana (read: one of the world's most burgeoning toxic dumps). To be fair, many other countries in the wealthy world have done the same, in other dump-areas of our planet.

Mmm... I hesitate to go into the socio-economic-ecological-historical effect all this has had on the areas involved, so where am I going with this, you say?

Well - the resulting backlash to this kind of irresponsible off-loading of boom-time wealth-fashion-taste waste, has led to returning ideas of recycling and re-using making a comeback into many people's lives, especially throughout this so-called, much-reminded Financial Crisis we're living through right now. Many people have begun to go back to principles of recycling and repair (for the most to save money) - and most important of all, deciding what they REALLY need, as opposed to what they really WANT (or brain-washed by mass-marketing-media consumerism to want).

Consequently, many are taking responsibility for their actions concerning waste-generation (for example, asking themselves: What will happen to my waste when I throw it away? Can I fix it? Could someone else use this, even though I don't want it anymore? Why don't I research on the internet about how I can repair this bike, etc.). This is all great stuff - even more so for the hi-fi fan ;-)

Which is where I come in: I found this turntable (and so many other truly great stereo units, older and more modern) in one of the "big rubbish" locations in Copenhagen, in 2012; thrown out by someone who, I presume, had gone over to mp3's or I-phone play-opportunites or whatever now the modern way of listening to music entails. The unit was totally in 100% working order and unblemished, so I nabbed it straight away ;-) Thank you, man! You and me -we saved the world (and me lots of cash)!

This is a great turntable - a sleek, late 90s (I presume, by the style) black design, which carries forward the earlier metal-grey-styled turntables design-format: hinged lid, front panel with function buttons/sliders, tone-arm weighted and anti-skated (it's worth noting here that the anti-skate function had been "factory-set" which may be a little inflexible if the cartridge will ever need to be changed). The cartridge, by the way, was a Technics P30 (which differs from the quoted cartridge number on the back of the turntable), and stuck out proudly like the prow of a ship. The needle was spotless, and the records, played through a grand old Technics SA-5150 sounded sublime.

The functions include start/stop, cuing, repeat, 2 speeds (33/45) and power on/off, and they respond well, are smooth and with a very tolerant but slight delay, and function perfectly. They are not clunky or "mechanical" like some of the earlier Technics turntables. It's direct drive, has a "mechanical" size-detector (a little gizmo-lever on the turntable that gets pushed down when a 7" is placed on it) and plays like a dream. There is a strobe speed indicator, which I presume can be adjusted by a small screwdriver somewhere in the guts of the unit, but so far it hasn't needed it. I miss, though, for the chance to be able to do this myself: The SL-220 had two plus-minus speed adjusters on the front panel - one for 33 and one for 45. (OK, the SL-220 was a belt-driven machine, and the strobe plus-minus adjusters were great for lengthening the life of the belt if it stated to become a little slack). But in the spirit of user-friendliness, a feature similar to this could have been added here.

The lid is the "slotted-in" variety, like so many of the other Technics turntables. These lid-couplings slotted into the hinges of the unit, and many Technics lid couplings that I've seen (including my great SL-220) have simply snapped off or broken, because the tension (or primitive springs) of the lid-hinges have presumably been too strongly set. It hasn't happened yet for this unit; the hinges are smooth and hold the lid up in whatever position it was last last lifted at (i.e. the lid doesn't reach some kind of weight vs. gravity, critical mass position, and then comes crashing down), and I can see there is a design change in that the support for the hinges on the unit go further down the back of the unit, ostensibly giving it more strength.

All in all, a great turntable, even more so because I found it for NOTHING :-) - 8 out of 10 (a very high 8).
6 people liked this review.