Turntables disappeared for a while, certainly in the DJ market but there was an increasing cry for them to be re-introduced into the wild. Seems like Panasonic heard the cry and pressure from DJs and audiophiles alike have culminated in the re-development of the Technics SL1200 Series.
To be honest I expected they may run some more off the production line due to the increasing popularity of vinyl and we have seen some excellent decks emerging such as the PLX1000 from Pioneer for example. I did however expect them to just churn out some more Technics SL1200 decks from the old mould and specs as this would be the most cost effective of course. I was very pleasantly surprised to find I was entirely proved wrong! The new offering which looks like it should be available in the summer, from appearances and specification seems to be an overhaul and a masterpiece of Modern Art to-boot! Behold the Technics SL1200GAE (Limited to 1200 units) and the Technics SL1200 G (due later in the year), the new industry standard. The question is just how limited the numbers available will be and how many people will be able to afford the investment. Prices have not been released at the time of writing this.
The Technics SL1200GAE has however, (as the original was) been dubbed for HiFi use. As audiophiles across the world still hold the original SL1200 Series in high regard, I am sure they will enjoy the new upgraded specification.
Technics SL1200 All New Design for Redefining the Direct Drive Turntable
- Twin-Rotor Surface-Facing Direct Drive Motor
- Direct Drive Motor Controller
- High Sensitive Tonearm
- Brass-Top Turntable Platter
Technics Definitive Design
- Inherited SL1200 Series
- Heavy Aluminium Top Plate
- 33 1/3 rpm, 45 rpm, 78 rpm
- Variable Range Pitch
- ±8%, ±16%
Dimensions & Weight
- W: 453 mm (17-27/32 inch) H: 170 mm (6-11/16 inch) D: 372 mm (14-21/32 inch)
- Approx. 18 kg (39.7 lbs ) *Tentative *Height including dust cover
- Phono Output x 1 / SIGNAL GND x 1
As you can see from the specification and images they are not treating this as a slight enhancement on the original, in their words “our intent in this development is to redefine the direct-drive turntable reference”. There seems to be improvements in most areas from the platter construction to the vibration damping, cabinet and insulation.
UPDATE: The word is they released 1200 of these decks which were sold out within 30 minutes selling at over £2.5k per deck, I am sure you will agree that is astonishing!