Technics improves direct drive motor design for latest SL-1200 turntable
For the latest generation of its iconic SL-1200 turntable, Technics engineers have tapped into the brand's digital amplifiers to develop a "revolutionary" new control method aimed at improving analog performance.
Technics introduced the SL-1200 turntable back in the early 1970s, with early experimentation spawning the scratching technique heard on such diverse music genres as hip hop and modern metal, and cementing the mode as the go-to deck for DJs around the globe.
According to engineer Tetsuya Itani, in response to market changes and a move to streamline product lines, Panasonic put the brand into sleep mode in the early 2000s. The hiatus was fairly short-lived though, and Technics re-emerged at IFA 2014 in Berlin as a premium audio gear maker.
A reworking of the SL-1200 didn't make an appearance until CES 2016 though, as a pricey Grand Class model. More versions followed, including a 50th anniversary edition, and now the next generation is ready for its DJ club tour.
The SL-1200GR2 builds on the brand's use of pulse-width modulation for motor control based on digital-to-analog conversion in an effort to eliminate cogging (tiny vibrations from the motor that impact on sound quality), but further reduces motor vibration by employing a Delta Sigma Modulation solution drawn from its digital amplifiers.
The company says that this high-precision (1-bit D/A) conversion method allows for the generation of a perfect sine wave control signal to radically reduce motor vibrations for improved rotational accuracy and "drastically improved" tracking precision. "The result is a stunning signal precision with an accurate sound stage, superb imaging, and a very low noise floor," said Technics in a press statement.
Engineers also incorporated a new multi-stage silent power supply to help achieve that low noise floor, which operates at over 100 kHz and makes use of the noise-canceling circuit from the SL-1000R turntable to nip any remaining noise in the bud.
Elsewhere, the new turntable is much the same as its predecessor – rocking a two-layered bottom chassis with insulator feet, an aluminum/rubber platter, and the signature aluminum S-shaped tonearm. A few cosmetic changes here and there have been introduced for a more unified look.
The SL-1200GR2 will be available in silver from December for a suggested retail price of US$2,199.99, together with a black model named the SL-1210GR2.
Product page: SL-1200GR2