When Panasonic re-booted the Technics SL-1200 in 2016, they did so for audiophiles as the SL-1200G/AE; and with a build quality and a multi-thousand dollar price tag to match.
When the Japanese company issued the US$1500 SL-1200GR* a year later, they took aim at audiophiles once again, albeit those on a tighter budget. Cashed-up DJs might have taken the bait but this was hardly the affordable workhorse of yesteryear.
Anyone wanting to pick up a pair of DJ-friendly, direct-drive turntables for under a grand would still need to do battle with the scattershot used market (the original SL-1200 was discontinued in 2010) or drop cash on one of the many Hanpin/-type clones spilling via Pioneer, Reloop, Denon, Audio Technica et al.
But why should Johnny-come-lately pretenders get all the action? That’s a question that Panasonic has this week answered, directly from the floor of CES 2019.
The newly announced Technics SL-1200MK7** is aimed squarely, wholly and unreservedly at DJs but it’s probable that many a home-based audiophile will find its direct-drive design and heavily-damped two-layer platter immensely attractive.
From the press release:
“The new model inherits the traditional design of the same series and maintains the same operating ease, reliability and durability, while newly adding a coreless direct drive motor and other sound-enhancing technologies. It also features new DJ play functions, such as reverse playback. The SL-1200MK7 is launched as the first new standard DJ turntable in approximately nine years.”
One less talked about feature of Technics turntables (and their clones) is that we’re not asked to remove the platter and move the belt to change playback speeds – the bane of entry-level models from Rega and Pro-Ject. We simply press a button.
(For the record: I own both a Rega Planar 2 and a Technics SL-1200G).
On pricing and availability…Panasonic/Technics are keeping schtumm – for now. It is highly likely (*wink*) that the SL-1200MK7 will sell for less than a thousand Euros. The SL-1200 MK7 will sell for US$1199 / €999 and begins shipping “Summer 2019”.
I’ll be meeting with Panasonic Europe at Hamburg’s Norddeutsche Hi-fi Tage on 2nd February, where I’ll also be quizzing them about the new Technics SL-1500C turntable (US$1399) that, purists note, features no pitch control slider but also ships with a factory-fitted Ortofon 2M Red and in-built MM phono stage.
Further information: Panasonic Technics
Technology for Rotational Stability
- Coreless Direct Drive Motor
- High-Precision Motor Controller
Construction for Vibration Tolerance
- High-Dumping Turntable Platter
- Rigid Cabinet Construction
- High-Dumping Insulator
- High Sensitive Tonearm
- Detachable PHONO Terminal
Technics Definitive Design
- Inherited SL-1200 Series
- Drive Method: Direct Drive
- Turntable Speeds: 33 1/3, 45rpm (with switch 78 rpm)
- Starting Torque: 0.18N･m / 1.8kg･cm (1.56 lbs-in)
- Build-up Characteristics: 0.7 s. from standstill to 33 1/3 rpm
- Wow and Flutter: 0.025% W.R.M.S.
- Turntable Platter: Aluminum die-cast
- Diameter：332mm (13-5/64″)
- Weight：Approx. 1.8kg (4.0 lbs) (Including slipmat and slipsheet)
- Type: Universal, Static Balance
- Effective Length: 230mm (9-1/16″)
- Overhang: 15mm (19/32″)
- Tracking Error Angle:
Within 2° 32′ (at the outer groove of 30cm(12″) record)
Within 0° 32′ (at the inner groove of 30cm(12″) record)
- Offset Angle: 22° • Arm Height Adjustment Range: 0 – 6mm
- Stylus Pressure Adjustment Range: 0 – 4g (Direct Reading)
- Head Shell Weight: Approx. 7.6g
- Applicable Cartridge Weight Range:
[without auxiliary weight] 5.6 – 12.0g (14.3 – 20.7g (including head shell))
- Head Shell Terminal Lug: 1.2mmφ 4-pin terminal lug
- Audio Output: PHONO (Pin Jack) x 1, EARTH TERMINAL x 1
- Power Supply: AC120 V, 60 Hz
- Power Consumption: 8W (Approx. 0.2W (Standby))
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 453 x 169 x 353mm (17-27/32 × 6-21/32 × 13-29/32 inch)
- Weight: Approx. 9.6kg (Approx. 21.2lbs)
Turntable, Slipmat, Slipsheet, Dust cover, EP record adaptor, Balance weight, Head shell, Screw set for cartridge, PHONO cable, PHONO earth lead, AC power supply cord, Owner’s Manual
*SL-1210GR in Europe
**SL-1210MK7 in Europe