At CES in January, Panasonic unveiled the Technics Grand Class SL-1200G, a new and improved take on the brand’s legendary SL-1200 turntables. The company said the turntable would arrive in the U.S. in late 2016, and just as we begin to close the door on the year, the impressive new turntable is finally beginning to arrive in the U.S.
Do not throw out your old turntable just yet. This model is premium to the core, with a studier build and features aimed at DJs and those who take their vinyl very seriously. Because of that, the turntable’s price has been hiked up to match, landing at $4,000, according to Pitchfork. Panasonic chief technical officer Tetsuya Itani has hinted that Panasonic will release a similar, more affordable model, but that has yet to be confirmed.
The SL-1200G is generally heavier and tougher than the SL-1200 models of old. A 10mm-thick panel of aluminum sits on top of the three-layer cabinet design constructed from aluminum, bulk moulding compound, and rubber, which was also used in the older SL-1200MK5. To eliminate the cogging problem — tiny vibrations from the motor and varying rotation speed — inherent in direct-drive systems, the SL-1200G features a new motor that does away with the iron core used in most motors.
Vibrations and motor noise are the bane of any turntable’s existence, and the SL-1200G uses microprocessor-powered “high-precision rotary positioning sensors” to decrease both of these. The turntable also uses a heavy-duty brass and die-cast aluminum platter, which features rubber along the bottom to smooth out vibrations.
While the SL-1200G is beginning to arrive in the U.S., it does not seem like it will be available in the typical big-box stores or online retailers. For a full list of places where the turntable will be available for sale, see the Where To Buy section of the Technics website.
Report by Kris Wouk for Digital Trends