Due to the widespread use of CDs, turntable systems have been absent as major competitors in the audio market, however an ever increasing consumer interest in vinyl records has prompted the launch of a new system for Hi-Fi use.
After teasing hardcore vinyl fans with an extremely limited run, the classic Technics SL-1200 (or ‘Technics 1200’ for short) is being more widely released.
Last year, Panasonic shocked the vinyl community by announcing the return of their classic, Technics SL-1200 turntable. Hip-hop and vinyl aficionados sometimes just refer to the ‘Technics 1200,’ a phrase etched into hip-hop and DJ culture back in the 70s, 80s, and 90s.
“Panasonic Technics is proud to announce the (non-limited) Grand Class Direct-Drive Turntable System SL-1200G for audiophiles looking to rediscover and experience the uniquely warm sound quality of analogue vinyl discs” Via shop.Panasonic.com.
That comeback announcement was roughly one year ago, with a limited run of SL-1200GAEs quickly selling out in Japan . Just 300 of the limited-edition units, priced at more than $3,000 each, sold out in roughly 30 minutes.
Limited edition TECHNICS SL-1200 GOLD
Now, Panasonic is readying a broader push, with ‘Grand Class’ SL-1200Gs hitting the British market this month, according to an announcement just made at IFA in Berlin. IFA is the largest electronics show in Europe, rivaling CES in the United States as a venue for product unveilings and announcements.
The newest Technics 1200s will retail for £2,799, or roughly $3,720 in USD (and of course, post-Brexit, those currency conversations are rapidly changing). The SL-1200G will be almost identical to the GAEs in Japan with just a few minor tweaks. Read below:
Technics 1200G overcomes analogue problems with a coreless drive:
One problem that direct-drive systems have always faced was the possibility of sound quality degradations caused by ‘cogging’, or tiny vibrations of the motor and rotational speed fluctuations. However, by combining the knowledge and expertise gained as the originator of direct-drive turntable systems with a newly developed coreless direct-drive motor without an iron core, this ‘cogging’ can be eliminated. Any potential minute motor vibrations are suppressed even further by high-precision rotary positioning sensors guided by a microprocessor controlled system; a feature unique to the new Technics turntable.
The Technics turntable aims to provide the smoothest possible rotary control by the use of an encoder at the bottom of the motor which detects the precise rotating angle.
Furthermore, twin rotator construction reduces the bearing load while maintaining high torque and also limits minute vibration during rotation making it possible to reproduce the warm sound and subtle nuances of musical expression engraved in the analogue record grooves and craved by vinyl lovers.
Broadcast Industry Beating Three-layered Platter
The platter has three-layered construction consisting of a rigidly combined heavyweight brass top surface, aluminum die-cast center and a deadening rubber material covering its bottom surface. This eliminates unnecessary resonance, achieving high rigidity and vibration damping. The smooth rotational stability and inertial mass even surpasses the Technics SP-10MK2, the direct-drive turntable standard used in the past by broadcast stations worldwide.
High Dampening Tonearm:
The tonearm employs a lightweight material*1 which has been cold drawn to improve the characteristics of the material and increase the dampening effect.
*1 NOTE: This is a modification from previous announcement in January 2016:
The SL-1200G tonearm will also employ cold drawn magnesium material just as the SL-1200GAE to preserve the highest audiophile sound quality.
In addition, high initial-motion sensitivity is attained by employing the traditional Technics gimbal suspension construction with the horizontal rotation axis and the vertical rotation axis intersecting at a single central point, as well as high-precision bearings using a cut-processed housing.
Four-layered Cabinet Construction
A 10-mm-thick top panel of immaculate aluminum has been added to the previous three-layered construction of aluminum die cast, Bulk Moulding Compound (BMC) and heavyweight-class rubber. This four-layered construction combines high rigidity to reduce resonance with a premium finish and feel.
Panasonic is leaving a bunch of details out, all part of a well-tuned, hype-raising marketing strategy. Missing information includes exact release date, exact quantities, and broader global rollout plans, though lower-priced units could take some time to materialize.
Details about the turntable itself are readily available.
Hit the jump:
•Grand Class SL1200G Specification
•Twin-Rotor Surface-Facing Direct Drive motor
•Direct Drive Motor Controller
•High Sensitive Tonearm
•Brass-Top Turntable Platter
•Technics Definitive Design
•Inherited design from the SL-1200 series
•Heavy Aluminum Top Plate
Type: Direct Drive Manual Turntable
•Turntable Speeds: 33 1/3 rpm, 45 rpm, 78 rpm
•Variable Range Pitch: ±8%, ±16%
•Wow and Flutter: 0.025% W.R.M.S. (JIS C5521)
•Rumble: 78dB (IEC 98A Weighted)
•Turntable Platter : Weight: Approx. 3.6kg (including rubber sheet)
Type: Universal, Static Balance
Arm Height Adjustment Range: 0-6mm
Applicable Cartridge Weight Range:
Without auxiliary weight 5.6 – 12.0g; 14.3 – 20.7g (including headshell)
With small auxiliary weight 10.0 – 16.4g; 18.7 – 25.1g (including headshell)
With large auxiliary weight 14.3 – 19.8g; 23.0 – 28.5g (including headshell)
Terminal: Phono Output x 1 / SIGNAL GND x 1
Power Supply: AC110-240 V, 50 Hz / 60 Hz
Power Consumption: 14 W / Approx. 0.2W (Standby)
Dimensions: W: 453 mm H: 173 mm D: 372 mm (Height including dust cover)
Weight: Approx. 18kg
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