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A closer look at the Technics SL-1500C, SL-1200 MK7

  • In three of the four Januarys since 2016 Technics announced a new version of the rebooted SL-1200: the G/AE in 2016, built and priced (€3499) for audiophiles; the GR, in 2017, whose pricing (€1499) crosses into DJ territory; and in 2019 the MK7, aimed squarely at DJs, albeit it at a higher price (€899) than many expected. We can now travel down the range to see price drop in accordance with ‘table weight: 18kg to 11.5kg to 7.6kg.

    Each SL-1200 is a direct-drive design, featuring a pitch slider for playback speed variation, a strobe light for visual confirmation of speed stability and a target light to illuminate where the stylus meeting the record’s surface. What we don’t get is a factory-fitted cartridge or internal phono stage.

    With Technics’ newly announced SL-1500C (€999) we get to see what an SL-1200 might look like once shorn of its DJ-focussed bells and whistles. The SL-1500C is a plainer-looking SL-1200GR – no lights, no pitch control, different construction materials – but lands with a factory-fitted Ortofon 2M Red cartridge that plays into an in-built (but bypassable) MM phono stage.

    The SL-1200GR is made in Japan, the SL-1500C in Panasonic’s Malaysia factory. Ditto the SL-1200 MK7, which completed the trio of statically displayed models shown by Panasonic EU at Norddeutsche Hifi-Tage 2019.

    In this video (not a review), regional sales manager Jan Hildebrandt shows us the audiophile-explicit SL-1500C next to the SL-1200GR, as well as the SL-1200 MK7’s party trick:

    Further information: 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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