Technics announces DJ-specific SL-1200 turntable and an updated classic
Panasonic's Technics brand brought back a DJ favorite in 2016 – the SL-1200 turntable – but then priced it way beyond the reach of your average vinyl spinner. Now Technics has revealed the 7th generation SL-1200 that's been developed with DJs in mind. At the same time, Panasonic's famed audio house has revived another classic turntable, the SL-1500.
Technics says that the all black SL-1200MK7 direct drive turntable is the first new DJ turntable that the brand has released in 9 years. It retains the familiar design of previous generation decks, but gains a coreless direct drive motor that's reported to eliminate an irregular rotation issue.
The iron core has been removed from the slator and the gap between this coreless slator and the newly-improved rotor magnets optimized for better performance. Technics says that this results in smooth rotation for accurate sound reproduction, and torque that matches the MK5.
The SL-1200MK7 can play back records at 33.3, 45 or 78 rpm and allows for precision adjustment of rotation speed within ±8/±16 percent. It's reported to leverage motor control technology from Panasonic's Blu-ray hardware, with DJs able to individually adjust the starting torque and brake speed.
And vinyl spinners in dark venues will doubtless appreciate an LED stylus light that can be set to glow red or blue. DJs can also look forward to playing with reverse playback.
The latest generation SL-1200 turntable retains the signature S-shaped tonearm, and benefits from a die-cast aluminum platter that has a rubber back surface to dampen unwanted vibrations. The chassis is fashioned from die-cast aluminum too, which has ABS and glass fiber mixed in to enhance rigidity and vibration damping. And DJs will be able to attach their own favored power and phone cables to the gold-plated terminals.
Will it really be a more accessible for DJs? Technics hasn't revealed pricing or availability, but as it's aimed at DJs there's a chance this model could be relatively affordable. Maybe.
If you're not going to use all the fancy DJ tools cooked into the SL-1200MK7 and want an elegant, more straightforward deck, Technics has updated the SL-1500 first introduced in the late 1970s.
The SL-1500C has the word "Premium" in its full name, so it's likely to carry a price tag to match. Like the DJ-specific turntable, this model also has a coreless direct motor at the heart of the machine, but Technics has included a built-in phono stage compatible with MM cartridges so vinyl lovers don't need to go shopping for a phono pre-amp if their hi-fi amp doesn't have its own phono circuit. The phono equalizer amp also has a dedicated (isolated and shielded) power supply to keep noise down.
Again, the familiar S-shaped Technics tonearm is in residence, as is the two layer structure of the resonance hating platter. An auto lift feature has been added, which automatically raises the tonearm and included Ortofon 2M Red cartridge at the end of record playback.
As with the SL-1200MK7, Technics hasn't revealed pricing or availability at this time. Both decks are on display at Panasonic's Technics booth at CES 2019 in Las Vegas if you want to take a closer look.