UPDATE 2: What Hifi states prices as:
UK: £899 (SL-1210)
Europe: €999 (SL-1210)
US: $1200 (SL-1200)
Availability is May 2019.
Back in 2010, the DJ depression kicked when it was announced that Technics was wrapping up production of their venerable SL-1200 and SL-1210 turntables. Yet despite claims to the contrary, DJing did not end, music continued to be played, and people still danced. And here we are eight years later, with the re-introduction of the Technics SL-1210 MK7, a unit that was teased by Technics, and that we more or less nailed before most people had even posted about it.
It’s all available online now (except the price). So he’s the press release:
Technics Introduces the New, Long-awaited Direct Drive Turntable SL-1200MK7* Series with Technology for Outstanding Sound Quality
*The European model is the SL-1210MK7.*
Las Vegas, NV, United States, 7 January 2019 – Technics today unveiled the new SL-1200MK7 Direct Drive Turntable. The new model inherits the traditional design of the same series and maintains the same operating ease, reliability and durability, while newly adding a coreless direct drive motor and other sound-enhancing technologies. It also features new DJ play functions, such as reverse playback. The SL-1200MK7 is launched as the first new standard DJ turntable in approximately nine years.
About the Technics 1200 Series
The SL-1200 was launched as a popular direct drive turntable in 1972, becoming a best-selling model with cumulative sales of 3,500,000 units for the series. It was supported by powerful torque, easy operation, and high durability. It became greatly admired by both audio enthusiasts and DJs who helped to unleash the DJ culture in areas such as electronic dance music. The series is still highly acclaimed by DJs worldwide today.
High-quality sound reproduction true to the Technics philosophy
Coreless Direct Drive Motor Achieving Stable Rotation and Powerful Torque
The direct drive system uses a slow-rotating motor to directly drive the platter. This system has various advantages. It offers high performance, such as rotation accuracy and powerful torque, does not require replacement of parts and maintains high reliability over a long period of time. However, the direct drive system was said to on occasion produce a rotation irregularity called cogging. For the SL-1200MK7, a new coreless direct drive motor was developed. This motor employs a coreless stator. The removal of the iron core from the stator eliminated the root cause of cogging. Furthermore, the magnetic force of the rotor magnets was improved to the highest possible level, and the gap between the coreless stator and rotor magnets was optimised, thus achieving high torque performance equalling that of the SL-1200MK5. Boasting smooth rotation and powerful torque, this motor reproduces sound accurately and faithfully from the groove on an analogue record.
Highly Sensitive Tonearm Accurately Reads the Signal Stored in the Record Groove
The tonearm, which is responsible for accurately reading the signal by tracking the groove on the phonorecord, is a static-balance universal S-shape tonearm, another Technics tradition. The tonearm tube is made of lightweight, high-rigidity aluminum. The bearing section of the gimbal suspension construction tonearm consists of a machined housing and high-precision bearing to assure excellent tracking performance with minimum stylus jumping, even in harsh playing conditions such as scratching.
Two-layer Structure Platter with Improved Vibration Damping Performance
The platter on which a vinyl record is placed features a two-layer structure with deadening rubber on the entire back surface to eliminate unwanted resonance in the aluminum die-cast platter. The platter offers high rigidity and outstanding vibration-damping characteristics to prevent harmful vibration from being transmitted to the record and delivers clear sound.
High Rigidity Cabinet and High Damping Insulator for Thorough Shut-out of All Vibrations
The chassis, an essential part for reducing external vibrations, inherits the audio quality enhancement technology fostered through the development of high-end turntables. The aluminum die-cast chassis is rigidly integrated with a special material consisting of ABS mixed with glass fibre to achieve a two-layer construction. The combination of this special high-rigidity material and a metal chassis raised the rigidity and vibration-damping performance to higher levels, realising a robust cabinet for beautiful sound reproduction.
The insulator is comprised of a spring and rubber to provide optimal frequency characteristics. This not only assures high sound quality and superb howling resistance, but also effectively shuts out external vibrations under high sound level conditions.
The power and phono cable terminals allow detachment of the cables. The phono terminals are gold-plated to minimise sound quality degradation. Since the terminals allow disconnection of the cables, maintenance of the cables is easier, and your favourite phono cable can be connected to let you enjoy the change in sound quality resulting from a different cable.
Inheriting, and Enhancing the Operating Ease of the SL-1200 Series
Starting Torque/Brake Speed Adjustment Function
The SL-1200MK7 employs the newest motor control technology refined through the development of Blu-ray disc products. Utilising a microcomputer, this advanced motor control technology ensures high performance in normal rotation and also responds accurately to a wide range of DJ play styles, such as scratching.
The starting torque and brake speed can be adjusted individually to suit the user’s preference.
Pitch Control Function Enables Accurate and Stable Pitch Adjustment
The rotation speed can be set to 33-1/3 rpm, 45 rpm or 78 rpm.* The pitch control function allows fine adjustment of the rotation speed within ±8%/±16%. This function achieves accurate and stable pitch control thanks to full digital control with improved tracking performance and accuracy.
* To use the 78 rpm speed, the switch on the main unit must be turned on.
Reverse Play Function Expands the Breadth of DJ Play Styles
The platter rotates in the reverse direction when the speed selector button and Start/Stop button are pressed simultaneously. This expands the breadth of DJ play styles.
*To use the reverse play function, the switch on the main unit must be turned on.
* The phono cartridge used must support scratch play.
A Traditional Design Ideal for DJ Play
Stylus Illuminator Featuring a High-brightness and Long-life LED
The stylus illuminator features a new push-type structure and employs a high-brightness and long-life white LED. The illumination area and intensity were reviewed to provide improved visibility of the stylus tip compared to previous models even in a dark environment.
All Black Design
The SL-1200MK7 sports black buttons and a black tonearm while retaining the SL-1200 Series’ button layout. With the matte-texture black body and black parts, the new all black design presents an attractive, refined appearance. The LED light can be set to illuminate in either red or blue, further enhancing the DJ play environment.
Head Shell Terminal Lug: 1.2mmφ 4-pin terminal lug
Audio Output: PHONO (Pin Jack) x 1, EARTH TERMINAL x 1
Power Supply: AC120 V, 60 Hz
Power Consumption: 8W (Approx. 0.2W (Standby))
Dimensions (W x H x D): 453 x 169 x 353mm (17-27/32 × 6-21/32 × 13-29/32 inch)
Weight: Approx. 9.6kg (Approx. 21.2lbs)
Accessories: Turntable, Slipmat, Slipsheet, Dust cover, EP record adaptor, Balance weight, Head shell, Screw set for cartridge, PHONO cable, PHONO earth lead, AC power supply cord, Owner’s Manual
THE SAME BUT DIFFERENT
I could pour over the details, but that’s why I have always posted the whole PR so that you can read and tear it apart for yourself. We’d worked out most of the detail anyway. But it’s fair to say that it’s not an earth shattering update, but definitely what people expected, but not necessarily wanted. I’m already picking up “no ultra pitch” grumbles.
But removable cables, reverse, 78, 8/16% digital pitch, red/blue LED… you get the basic idea — they played safe. And why would you, if you were Technics, with a globally winning formula, step too far away from that? They sure as hell aren’t going to sell another 3 million turntables with a space age turntable, so best to keep singing the favourites.
Sobering thought — the SL-1210 MK7 is the first Technics specifically designed for DJs. And being all new… well just about everything, it’s fair to class this as an all new turntable. Yes, it is designed around the winning formula of the venerable 1200 range, but this is designed and built from the ground up with all new tooling. Let’s not all rush towards it like lemmings claiming it’s the second coming until people have played with them, and played with them.
Interesting side note — Technics repeats this a lot:
*The European model is the SL-1210MK7.*
But the press release bangs on about the SL-1200 MK7. Does this mean that we’ll see different models for different markets? And what will those variants be? It’s all very confusing.
BUT STILL NO PRICE
Like the last round of 1200 releases, the price was held back. And when it came out there was a sharp intake of breath. Maybe there will be a repeat of that, or perhaps the DJ world is about to set on fire as the new 1210 comes in at dare I say it a competitive price. I guess the coming hours and days will tell. Then we can have a discussion about second hand prices of old Technics too.
Forgive me — I’m so pleased that Technics finally made a 1210 for DJs, but it still doesn’t excite me. I’m better served by the features offered on other turntables. But if the SL-1210 MK7 floats your boat and ticks your boxes, then I hope you’ll be giddy as a schoolgirl at the news.
What do you lot reckon? Worth the wait? Or does that depend on the price? What would you pay? 599? 699? 799? Tell me when to stop…