Here we are again one year later, and at CES 2017 Panasonic has finally got around to releasing the 1200 for the rest of us. The new SL-1200GR is the “standard” model in the current range, and is going to retail for around £1300.
Now, despite promising myself that I’d probably never write another story about Technics turntables for fear of being accused of shameless clickbaitery, I found myself banging many words into my keyboard again. But this is a new 1200, and the £1300 price isn’t in the realms of batshitmentalness for some, so it’s definitely worth a few words. In my first drafts, I rambled on about the outrageous price for a DJ turntable, the comparative lack of features, and how Panasonic has actually said in this NY Times piece that none of the new 1200s are for DJs.
But then the epiphany hit me — it really doesn’t matter. Panasonic, by their own admission didn’t release a new DJ turntable, and here I was writing all about how they didn’t again. But frankly they never did anyway.
Why it doesn’t matter
The best turntable is an entirely subjective statement. I don’t use Technics because I want more features than they offer. But there’s 3 million of them out there for a reason, and I suspect that a huge part of that is simply because they are Technics.
So logic and reason really doesn’t matter at this point. I have no doubt that they will be better than the old ones, especially having fixed some of the key issues such as hardwired cables. But owning a Technics is so much more than caring about new features. It’s about the experience, confidence, and sheer cool factor of owning a pair.
Here something interesting — the irony of using a top end MacBook Pro to spend all day to type words and do a bit of Photoshop when a cheap PC laptop could do the same thing didn’t escape me. Sometimes, it’s not just about fulfilling a function and is all about how it feels to do something, so who am I to tell anyone that they shouldn’t use a £1300 turntable to do a £400 turntable job? Use whatever makes you feel good. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.
There is however a point at which they price themselves out of even the richest DJ’s pockets. But at £1300 each, that’s doable, especially when a single CDJ-2000NXS2 is close to £2k. And the SL-1200GR is unlikely to be old hat in five years either. And there’s still part of me that wonders if these would have been a more palatable £999 in a pre-Brexit world.
Go for it
If you want a pair, I say go buy them and have fun with your gleaming shiny. Your DJ friends will be greener than the jolly green giant, and you’ll feel like a rock star. Regardless of a logical balanced buying decision or in-depth review from us, you know that that you’re buying them anyway, because they’re the new more affordable Technics that you’ve been waiting for.