Technics have just announced the new SL-1200GR turntable to add to their ‘Grand Class’ range of Hi-Fi products.
It was only a year ago they launched the wallet emptying SL-1200G EGS at £2999 but with the build and attention to detail that went with the price tag for the real audiophiles and some DJ’s who only wanted the best.
The SL1200GR takes many of the G-EGS features and Technics have made it more affordable.
Here are the main differences:
On the SL-1200G EGS the platter has a heavy brass plate for extra balancing and weight, this is removed on the SL-1200GR but still remains an aluminium die-cast platter with heavy rubber dampening underneath.
Technics say :
“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 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.”
Technics developed a brand new motor for the SL-1200GR which is now a single-rotor coreless direct drive compared to the twin-rotor of the 1200G. The motor is controlled using the same precise technology as the 1200G as well.
“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 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’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 achieves maximum performance.”
The SL-1200GR uses an aluminium tonearm compared to the 1200G that uses a lighter magnesium material. The newer tonearm is still had finished and adjusted by experts though.
“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 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.”
We’re a little unsure of the difference here, the SL1200GR is listed as having an aluminium die-cast chassis (just like the 1200G) but with no mention of the base itself or the top plate. However it does have vibration absorbing insulators (rubberized feet) similar to the 1200G.
“The SL-1200GR 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 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”
It still maintains the removable RCA and ground leads. The weight is now down to 11.2kg which is mostly down to the brass plate on the platter being removed. The pitch control has a digital reset button and can be switched from +/- 8% to +/- 16% at the press of a button.
From what we know, the SL-1200GR will be closer to the original SL1200 Mk2/3/5 than the higher grade 1200G but still classed as an audiophile product.
We expect availability in March / April 2017 and priced at £1299 each (subject to change)
Due April 2017, Pre-Order available now
Update 11 Jan : Price confirmed at £1500 each inc vat.
Update 4th Feb: Technics announce the SL-1210GR