Panasonic has made an announcement at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that will rock the DJ world: the company is going to start producing new Technics SL-1200 turntables in 2016. Keep reading for the details on the relaunch of the industry-standard turntable, including images of the two new models, SL-1200G and SL-1200GAE.
Technics 1200s: The Original DJ Tech Tool
The direct-drive Technics SL-1200 was the single most important piece of gear to DJing in the formation of the artform, bringing a reliable, predictable vinyl player to the masses. It was intended as audiophile gear, but the attention to detail has made it appealing to DJs for decades.
The last model that Panasonic introduced, the Technics SL-1200 MK6, went out of production back in 2012 – meaning that a lot of the demand for Technics went to the used gear market. But now, citing increased demand in market for vinyl records, Panasonic is relaunching the turntable line with two new products.
Technics SL-1200G / SL-1200GAE
There are two models that Panasonic is putting out in the Technics SL line:
- Technics SL-1200G
- Technics SL-1200GAE: limited edition, 1,200 units sold
In addition to simply making new Technics available to purchase, Panasonic has also made a few adjustments to the units’ design that will improve performance for DJs:
- Three-layered platter: the platter of a turntable prevents vibration and resonance – and on these new models, it’s a three-layered platter, made of “a rigidly combined heavyweight brass and aluminum die-cast platter, and deadening rubber”. Panasonic claims that this has more than twice the inertial mass of the SL-1200MK5, and even more than the SP-10MK2 (which is the broadcast standard for vinyl)
- Four-layered cabinet: Panasonic has added a “hairline-processed” 10mm top panel of aluminum to the top of the turntable cabinet. Again, this is one more layer than the SL-1200MK5, giving it an even more polished look and feel.
- Motor vibration suppression: To help control any small vibrations that the direct-drive motor might create, there’s an onboard microprocessor on these new SL-1200s that detects vibrations using rotary positioning sensors and make adjustments, as well as using an encoder at the bottom of the motor to “detect the precise rotating angle”. This is all in addition to other advances made by Panasonic in direct-drive motors, including eliminating the iron core to avoid “cogging” – tiny motor vibrations and speed fluctuations.
- Dampening tonearm: On the SL-1200G, the tonearm is aluminum; on the SL-1200GAE it’s magnesium – and the material and deign on both have been improved to increase dampening.
- Gold-plated terminals: Most DJs who have owned a Technics turntable know that one of the fastest things to wear are the RCA connections – on these new models, there are simple gold-plated terminals to allow quick attachment of any cable.
Both new Technics models are coming out later this year – with the SL-1200GAE 50th anniversary limited edition coming in Summer 2016, and the SL-1200G coming to stores late in 2016. Besides a few material differences and a serial plate on the special edition we’re not entirely sure what the difference between the models – but with only 1,200 being made of the special edition, we suspect they will mostly only be collectors items.
Prices have yet to be announced, but we imagine Panasonic isn’t catering to the low-end turntabilist with these models.