Back in 2014, Panasonic reanimated the not-dead-just-sleeping Technics brand with the launch of two high end audio ranges. We got a brief ears-on in the listening room and liked what we heard. Very much. But there was something missing. For many party animals of a certain age, the good times were fueled by discs spun on the DJ weapons of choice – a pair of Technics SL-1200 decks. The brand confirmed plans to appease vinyl lovers at IFA 2015 by introducing a new direct drive motor assembly for an upcoming turntable. Now, the picture is complete with a CES reveal of the brand new Grand Class SL-1200G.
In fact, Technics is planning to release two Grand Class turntables. One special limited edition model to mark the brand's 50th anniversary (SL-1200GAE) and a non-limited standard version (SL-1200G). Both are very much influenced by the original models.
Panasonic's engineers have developed a new coreless direct drive motor that works with microprocessor-controlled rotary positioning sensors to eliminate cogging (tiny vibrations from the motor and rotational speed fluctuations). The motor supports turntable speeds of 33 1/3, 45 and 78 rpm and drives a three-layered cast brass and aluminum platter with rear damping.
The turntable's cabinet is also multi-layered, which includes a 10 mm-thick aluminum top panel, for a combination of high rigidity and premium finish. The SL-1200G makes use of aluminum for the tonearm, while the anniversary edition is treated to magnesium alloy, both of which have been engineered to increase the dampening effect.
Only 1,200 units of the anniversary edition turntable will be manufactured, and will be released in the (northern) summer. The non-limited SL-1200 will follow later in the year. There's no word on pricing as yet