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SP-10R at heart: Technics’ $20K SL-1000R turntable

  • ATTN: high-end vinylphiles – it’s time to ready an appointment with that re-mortgage broker because Technics have announced pricing on the SP-10R ‘turntable’ teased by the Japanese manufacturer IFA Berlin last September. Yours for a cool US$10,000.

    The SP-10R’s coreless direct drive motor is an improved version of that found in the SL-1200G but with coils on both sides for ’12-pole / 18-coil drive’ and with high enough torque to drive the 8kg platter above to (according to Technics) hold wow and flutter down to a crazy low 0.015%. No wonder Technics refer to this ‘turntable’ as Reference Class.

    Of course, you don’t need to be at Technics/Panasonics’ CES 2018 launch to read the SP-10R’s press materials. (The irony being that, for this commentator, CES news spills faster when not attending).

    About the platter the aforementioned .pdf reports: “The turntable platter positions tungsten weights, which have an extremely high specific weight and are difficult to process, on the outer periphery of a 10-mm-thick brass weight. The brass weight is laminated onto the aluminium die-cast, giving the platter a total weight of approximately 7.9 kg and an inertial mass of approximately 1 ton・cm. A deadening rubber for eliminating unwanted vibration is also attached to the rear surface to form a 3-layer construction and achieve high rigidity and excellent vibration damping characteristics.”

    A more obvious departure from the SL-1200G/AE all-in-ones that preceded the SP-10R is its outboard power supply / speed control unit. Housed in a long box, a switch-mode power supply, filtered by Technics’ Ronseal-like “unwanted noise reduction circuit”, prevents unwanted noise from polluting the motor to keep SNR as high as possible.

    Inverted commas around turntable in the first paragraph because the SP-10R isn’t a complete turntable: it arrives without plinth and tonearm, primarily for backwards compatibility with the SP-10MK2 and SP-10MK3 of yesteryear. You gotta BYO. To some would-be buyers that will read as “You gotta be kidding”.

    For those who can’t be doing with all the fussing over pseudo-DIY, Technics have also introduced the SL-1000R — an SP-10R complete with handmade S-type tonearm and dual layer cabinet inside of which the platter and motor are contained by a triple layer housing and insulated from external vibrations by silicon rubber. BYO cartridge.

    A further two tonearms can be added to the left and the rear by those wanting to push the SL-1000R to its maximum physical capabilities.

    The SL1000R will sell for US$20,000. No, that isn’t a typo. And no (once again) neither turntable is aimed at the DJ market.

    Further information: Panasonic Technics

    Written by John Darko

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts and pens written pieces for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

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