Technics revives SL1200 turntable

It had to happen

by Mark Hodgkinson Jan 5, 2016 at 6:41 PM


  • Hi-Fi News

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    Technics revives SL1200 turntable
    In news that we know is going to excite quite a few of you out there, Technics has today announced the return of its direct-drive turntable based on a newly designed direct-drive motor.
    The Technics 50th anniversary limited edition Grand Class SL-1200GAE and non-limited Grand Class SL-1200G have been developed for audiophiles looking to rediscover and experience the uniquely warm sound quality of analogue vinyl discs.

    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 HiFi use.

    Direct drive turntable systems came about in 1972 however, one problem that direct-drive systems have always faced was sound quality degradation caused by 'cogging’, or tiny vibrations of the motor and rotational speed fluctuations. By combining the knowledge and expertise gained as the originator of direct-drive turntable systems with a newly developed coreless direct-drive motor without 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, a 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 for by vinyl lovers.
    The turntable has a three-layered construction consisting of a rigidly combined heavyweight brass and aluminum die cast platter, with deadening rubber covering its entire rear 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.

    The tonearm employs a lightweight material (aluminum for the SL-1200G and magnesium for the SL-1200GAE) which has been cold drawn to improve the characteristics of the material and increase the dampening effect. 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.

    A hairline-processed, 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 of the SL-1200MK5. This four-layered construction combines high rigidity with a premium finish and feel.

    To celebrate the launch of this new Technics SL-1200 development, the Technics 50th anniversary limited edition Grand Class SL-1200GAE will be available from summer with a limited serial number plate and restricted global quantity of 1,200 pieces while the Grand Class SL-1200G will be available in late 2016.

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