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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

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

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

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