Panasonic celebrates 55 years of Technics with limited turntable
Technics has made many hi-fi products over its 55 years of existence but is perhaps best known for the iconic SL-1200 DJ turntable. Now parent company Panasonic has announced a special limited edition of the relaunched direct drive vinyl spinner to celebrate the brand's 55th anniversary.
The SL-1200 turntable was first introduced in 1972 and quickly gained favor among DJs, with hip-hop artists experimenting with the direct drive unit and developing novel scratching techniques (where the record would be moved back and forth on the platter and release it to resume its original playback speed). You could get versions of this turntable until 2010, when Panasonic announced an end to all direct drive turntable production, citing a decline in global demand for analog decks.
At IFA 2014 in Berlin, Panasonic relaunched Technics as a luxury hi-fi brand and the following year showed off a new direct drive motor assembly for an upcoming turntable. The Grand Class SL-1200G model subsequently broke cover at CES 2016, and more versions have followed since.
And next month the brand is releasing a limited edition turntable based on the SL-1200G called the SL-1210GAE. Just a thousand will be available worldwide, and if you're not fond of black then you may want to spin on – as pretty much everything here gets treated to a black color scheme. The top panel also gets an anniversary badge with a unique serial number so you can show your friends how lucky you are to own one.
The turntable features a coreless direct drive motor to eliminate rotation irregularities, with motor control coming courtesy of technology developed for Blu-ray players. The platter is made up of a brass top plate, a die-cast aluminum core platter and a solid rubber coating covering the whole of the rear surface, for rotation stability and vibration damping. That theme continues through to an aluminum cabinet that makes use of heavyweight-class rubber and a new zinc insulator with a soft gel-like material that's used in the flagship SL-1000R to isolate the unit.
A lightweight magnesium tonearm comes with the deck, Technics engineers will check and adjust the balance of each turntable at the factory, and there are gold-plated brass terminals used for optimum sound quality and ease of cable connection. Playback of 33.3, 45 and 78 rpm records is supported and the strobe light can be deactivated to limit listener distractions.
The SL-1210GAE is limited to just a thousand units worldwide, don't expect much change from US$5,000.