Despite Punxatawney Phil’s prediction of more winter ahead, many audio enthusiasts are crawling out from under rocks in the hope of good news.
For the few of you who have not heard, Technics has continued their transition from an every-man, commodities based manufacturer to a high-end competitor. With the release of steroid injected versions of some of their most revered turntable models, they have come out swinging for the fences. The best part…. they look like home-runs.
They started with the Limited Edition SL-1200GAE ($3,999); a total reimagining of the original 1972 SL-1200. This 40-pound tour-de-force sold out in the blink of an eye (No, we didn't put any in storage for later release!). Announced concurrently, the SL-1200G ($3,999) was released shortly after. In addition to the bragging rights of the Limited Edition badge, owners of the GAE got the improved feet which increase isolation and therefore reduce noise. Both models feature a new direct-drive motor with coreless stators thus eliminating cogging. Surface-opposing rotors increase torque and reduce bearing load. A three-layer platter further reduces unwanted resonances. The magnesium tonearm is lightweight and again, has superior damping characteristics.
Technics then went back to the future for a re-do of their original direct drive model, the SP-10 creating the SP10R (projected price $10,000) and SL-1000R system (projected price $20,000). They went even further than the 1200 series with the design of the motor, platter, tonearm, tonearm base and connecting terminal as well as an outboard control unit.
They respected their long-time supporters by making the SP-10R base plate physically compatible with the original SP-10MK2 and MK3.
The SL-1000R System body and turntable are comprised of five layers of differing materials which ensure exceptional rigidity. The insulators that support the cabinet are designed with multiple elements that further reduce external vibration in all planes.
So, what all the fuss?
Other than musicality, cosmetics, build quality, price/performance, and just plain desirability………not much.