The iconic Technics SL-1200 turntable gets a facelift and some improvements aimed at increasing the overall sound quality.
The turntable category continues to be a source of strong sales for Technics and strong motivator in regard to development of future models. The new SL-1200GR2 and SL-1210GR2 will not be available until December, but we expect these to sell out like their predecessors.
Released originally in 1972, the SL-1200 featured a direct drive, high-torque motor, and has been used by millions across the globe to spin records, scratch, and DJ live music for almost 5 decades.
Technics has updated the SL-1200 more than a few times over the past decade including the SL-1200MK7PS and other variations.
That table featured the same direct-drive motor of the SL-1500C which was designed to avoid issues such as clogging and speed control, plus a version of the company’s long-running S-shaped aluminum tonearm.
Do the new iterations feature mere cosmetic changes or has something really changed under the hood?
Technics has introduced the SL-1200GR2/SL-1210GR2, the next generation of the brand’s Direct-Drive Turntable System. This new model features a new drive control technique for smooth, accurate rotational stability and a new power supply for an exceptionally low noise floor.
The new models do not come equipped with a phono cartridge.
Interestingly, Technics looked at how they have improved signal precision in their digital audio components, especially the reference amplifier SU-R1000, which optimizes vinyl analogue signals using complex digital technology. The goal was to advance their direct drive technology and integrate it into a new generation of turntables.
How did they do it?
This was achieved by reducing motor vibration through optimising the driving sine waves via the PWM signal generation using ΔΣ (Delta Sigma) Modulation, as employed in their full-digital amplifiers.
The motor control signal for the new SL-1200GR2/SL-1210GR2 is a huge leap in performance in comparison with earlier versions. Looking back to the 1970s, the motor control sine wave signal was generated by an analogue RF oscillator, the precision of which left room for smoother rotation.
After the revival of the Technics SL-1200 turntable in 2016, the new SL-1200GAE – along with the much-improved motor by an iron-coreless stator – inherited a new motor control based on PWM for D/A conversion, using a micro controller including a sine-wave ROM.
This added remarkable impact on the whole rotational precision and helped achieving lower motor vibrations. However, despite this approach, the sine wave for motor control was still not 100% accurate.
Along with the motor control, the general power supply has also been the focus of engineering.
The new Multi-stage Silent Power Supply of the SL-1200GR2/SL-1210GR2 is a combination of a low-noise, high-speed power supply working at over 100kHz and a noise canceling circuit inherited from our reference class turntable SL-1000R, cancelling remaining noise by injecting the reversed-phase current of the actual noise.
By this method, a very low noise floor is achieved, enabling improved signal-to-noise ratio, improving the overall signal performance.
Most of the mechanical design of the new GR2 type has been retained from its predecessor: Kept were the rather inert 2-layered bottom chassis made of aluminum and BMC (Bulk Moulding Compound), the combination of which enables high resistance against vibrations, the 2-layered platter made of aluminum and dampened by heavy-weight rubber, the high-sensitivity S-shaped aluminum tonearm and the effective insulator feet.
The newly upgraded turntable is equipped with standout audio and design features, including:
A new Delta-Sigma-Drive and a highly reliable, coreless direct-drive motor for higher accuracy and improved electromagnetic conversion accuracy, ensuring every listening experience is seamless.
A Multi-Stage Silent Power Supply, which combines a low-noise, high-speed switching circuit for improved audio performance.
The carefully refined, but classic Technics design, which offers color coordination and matching components on all elements, for a sleek exterior.
The newly added, 3 mm die-cast aluminum cartridge spacers to ensure greater cartridge compatibility.
Price & Availability
The Technics Direct-Drive Turntable System SL-1200GR2 (silver) and SL-1210GR2 (black) will be available at authorized Technics retailers in December 2023 for $2,199.99.