Panasonic Black Technics SL-1210GR turntables (1)

It’s Sunday, a day when I traditionally don’t post anything because you’ve all got something much better to do that read the drivel I post, and to be honest so have I. But when something Technicsy arrives, I pretty much don my editor’s hat (there is no hat), put some trousers on, and write some flippant words. So just another normal DJWORX day then.

But there really isn’t much to write — the headline is the story, and everything else is known. It’s a SL-1200GR, but in black, making it a SL-1210GR. That’s it. Everything is the same, including the price. Just like the good old days. But there are reams of words for you to pour over:

Technics today unveiled the new Grand Class SL-1210GR (black) Direct-Drive Turntable System, joining the SL1200GR (silver) edition that was announced earlier this year. Both models inherit state-of-the- art technology from SL-1200G, which was developed as a reference direct-drive turntable for the next generation. On top of these legendary features, the latest models offer new materials and technical design, enabling stunning sound quality for a wider group of audio enthusiasts.

Technics’ SL-1200G has been an iconic turntable and first choice for generations of vinyl fans. While being celebrated for its sound quality, it is also renowned for its flexibility and robustness. The incarnation of this legendary turntable, the SL-1200GR (silver) and SL-1210GR (black), will be available from April 2017 onwards. As customers have come to expect from Technics, the SL-1200GR and SL-1210GR models make no compromise on sound quality. At the same time, these newcomers also provide all the functions that made their iconic predecessor so popular among DJs: its durability, shock resistance, reliable direct drive and adjustable rotation speed. The latest models also come with new materials and a novel overall technical design. “The SL-1200GR and SL-1210GR combine the best of both worlds,” says Michiko Ogawa, Director Technics at Panasonic. “We are sure both models will fulfill the expectations of Technics fans around the globe. Our objective was to extend our top range for audio enthusiasts as well as professional DJs.”

Fusing Technics’ Traditional Analogue and Leading-edge Digital Technologies 

Launched in 2016, the SL-1200G combined Technics‘ traditional analogue technology and advanced digital technology. Its outstanding performance literally rocked the hi-fi market and redefined the reference for direct-drive turntables.

Parts from the SL-1200G were newly developed to create the SL-1200GR and the SL-1210GR, such as the coreless direct-drive motor and precise motor control technology, high-rigidity platter and high-sensitivity tonearm. This ensures audio enthusiasts using the SL-1200GR/SL-1210GR can enjoy music with the rich, robust sound of analogue records.

Coreless Direct-Drive Motor Achieving Stable Rotation

Unlike belt-drive and other systems, direct-drive systems rotate the motor at low speed and directly drive the platter. This concept provides numerous advantages, such as the almost complete absence of degradation in S/N ratio due to motor vibration and deceleration mechanisms, as well as high reliability over a long period of time because of not requiring parts replacement.

In 2016, Technics developed the twin-rotor, surface-facing, coreless direct-drive motor with rotor magnets placed on both sides, eliminating the rotation irregularity of the motor, referred to as “cogging,” which was a unique issue for direct-drive systems. This motor was adopted for the SL-1200G, which once again drew a significant response in the hi-fi market. The SL-1200GR/SL-1210GR inherits the same design philosophy with the new development of a single-rotor, surface-facing, coreless direct-drive motor, resulting in the elimination of cogging.

The SL-1200GR/SL-1210GR’s rotation control, which verifies and corrects the precision of the motor, uses the latest motor control technology cultivated in the development of Blu-ray devices, just as that used by the SL-1200G. In addition, the electrical circuitry has been tuned to ensure the newly developed motor of the SL-1200GR/SL-1210GR achieves maximum performance.

Turntable Platter —Pursuing Rigidity and Vibration Damping Characteristics 

The platter achieves high-rigidity and vibration-damping characteristics by using a two-layer construction with deadening rubber applied to the entire rear surface of the aluminum die-cast. This eliminates the unnecessary resonance that is otherwise relayed to the record, thereby producing clear sound.

To increase the inertial mass and to reduce vibration, the shape of the aluminum die-cast portion was optimised by simulation. At 2.5kg (including the rubber mat), the SL-1200GR/SL-1210GR platter is 0.8kg heavier than that of the previous SL-1200MK5. Also, the back surface of the platter features strengthening ribs to improve rigidity. Increasing the surface area of contact with the deadening rubber achieves damping characteristics that are more than twice as good as those of the SL-1200MK5.

Tonearm Achieving High Initial-Motion Sensitivity 

The tonearm tracks the rotation of the record and enables reading with high precision. The tonearm inherited by Technics is the traditionally used static-balance universal S-shaped tonearm, employing an aluminum pipe with excellent light weight and rigidity for the material of the tonearm pipe.

With its gimbal suspension construction, the tonearm bearing section of the SL-1200GR/SL-1210GR uses a cut-processed housing that employs high-precision bearings, as in the SL-1200G. The high initial-motion sensitivity of 5mg or less is achieved through manual assembly and adjustment by skilled Japanese artisans. This enables the grooves etched into the records to be accurately traced.

Gold-plated phono terminals and ground terminals for detachable cables are provided below the tonearm, so a wide variety of cables can be selected. Also, the use of metal shielding construction inside the case reduces the effects of external noise.

High-rigidity Body and High-damping Silicon Insulators for Beautiful Sound and Isolation from Various Vibrations

The SL-1200GR/SL-1210GR ensures high-rigidity by using a body with a two-layered construction solidly unifying the BMC and the aluminum die-cast chassis.
For the insulators supporting the body, as with the SL-1200G, the SL-1200GR/SL-1210GR uses special silicon rubber that ensures both high vibration damping characteristics and long-term reliability. Vibration in the horizontal direction is absorbed by reinforcement with cylindrical tubes using microcell polymers. While inheriting the technology of the SL-1200G, the insulators have been modified to specifically suit the characteristics of the SL-1200GR/SL-1210GR.

SL-1200GR/SL-1210GR Specifications

Technology for Rotational Stability

  • Coreless Direct Drive Motor
  • High-Precision Motor Controller

Construction for Vibration Tolerance

  • High-dampening Turntable Platter
  • Rigid Cabinet Construction
  • Silicon Rubber Insulator

High Quality Parts

  • High Sensitive Tonearm
  • Gold–plated Detachable Terminals

Technics Definitive Design

Inherited SL-1200 Series

Turntable Section

  • Type: Direct Drive Manual Turntable
  • Turntable Speeds: 33 1/3, 45, 78 r/min
  • Adjust Range: ±8%, ±16%
  • Starting Torque: 2.2 kg・cm (1.91 lb-in)
  • Build-up Characteristics: 0.7 s. from standstill to 33 1/3 r/min
  • Wow and Flutter: 0.025%W.R.M.S.
  • Rumble: 78dB(IEC 98A Weighted)
  • Turntable Platter: Aluminum die-cast
  • Diameter:332mm (13-5/64″)
  • Weight:Approx. 2.5kg (5.5 lb) (Including rubber sheet)

Tonearm Section

  • Type: Universal, Static Balance
  • Effective Length: 230mm (9-1/16″)
  • Overhang: 15mm (19/32″)
  • Tracking Error Angle:
    Within 2° 32′(at the outer groove of 30cm (12″) record)
  • Within 0° 32′(at the inner groove of 30cm (12″) record)
  • Offset Angle: 22°
  • Arm Height Adjustment Range: 0 – 6mm
  • Stylus Pressure Adjustment Range: 0 – 4g (Direct Reading)
  • Head Shell Weight: Approx. 7.6g
  • Applicable Cartridge Weight Range: [without auxiliary weight] 5.6 – 12.0g (14.3 – 20.7g (including head shell))
    [with auxiliary weight] 10.0 – 16.4g (18.7 – 25.1g (including head shell))
  • Cartridge Mounting Dimension: JIS 12.7mm, interval
  • Head Shell Terminal Lug: 1.2mmφ 4-pin terminal lug

Terminals

  • Audio Output: PHONO (Pin Jack) x 1, EARTH TERMINAL x 1

General

  • Power Supply: AC120 V, 60 Hz
  • Power Consumption: 11 W (Approx. 0.2W (Standby))
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 453 x 173 x 372 mm (17-27/32 × 6-13/16 × 14-21/32 inch)
  • Weight: Approx. 11.2kg (Approx. 24.7lbs)

Panasonic Black Technics SL-1210GR turntables (2)

And that’s your lot. Had this news come out on a weekday, perhaps I might have spent a little longer on the verbiage. But essentially, a shiny black £1300 SL-1210GR has been released, and having been here a number of times before, that’ll do for a Sunday. Back to your Sunday lunches and other non-DJ activities. Normal services resume tomorrow.


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