At the Panasonic CES 2016 press event in Las Vegas Tuesday, the electronics giant unveiled its latest Technics turntables, the direct drive Grand Class SL-1200G, along with a limited edition version in the Grand Class SL-1200GAE. Riding the rising wave of vinyl's resurgence, the latest evolution of the company's legendary SL-1200 lineup is loaded with new technology to allow audiophiles to bask in the warm glow of their vinyl collection in style.
The new tables are specifically designed to remove the weaknesses of direct-drive turntables, and they eliminate "cogging" by removing the iron core within the motor. And that's just the beginning of the new features Technics is touting for its fresh turntables.
The system is designed to suppresses vibrations via "high-precision rotary positioning sensors" which utilize a microprocessor system to avoid unwanted noise from the motor itself. In addition, the motor utilizes an encoder, located beneath it, to detect the best possible rotating angle. And thanks to a twin-rotator design, the company claims the turntables are able to reduce the overall bearing load, while still reaping plenty of muscle from the system to further limit any unwanted vibrations. That's a whole lot of technology to make sure you get a clean and clear spin from your stacks of wax.
Promising broadcast quality, the turntable's three-layered platter is comprised of heavyweight brass and die-cast aluminum, with rubber along the entire bottom side to smooth out any unwanted resonance from your spin. Technics claims that when it comes to resonance reduction, the new table outdoes its famed SP-10MK2, which itself has a stellar reputation in broadcast stations around the world.
And what about the tonearm? The SL-1200G employs a lightweight aluminum construction, while the SL-1200GAE uses magnesium instead. Both have been cold drawn, said to decrease dampening even further, and this, together with Technics' gimbal suspension construction, results in extreme accuracy when you lay the needle down.
Finally, the units are set in a four-layered cabinet, with a 10mm top panel of aluminum on top (one extra from the company's usual three-layered design), for high rigidity, and a sexy aesthetic.
The 50th anniversary limited edition Grand Class SL-1200GAE will be available this summer with a limited serial number plate in a quantity of just 1,200 pieces. The standard Grand Class SL-1200G is slated for availability in late 2016.