Technic’s SL-1200 turntable has, for decades, been a standard deck for many different sub-classifications of vinylheads, not the least of which has been DJs, for whom its combination of a high-quality direct-drive motor system and relatively modest price tag (in the past, around $700) was unbeatable. The line was terminated in 2010, but classic SL-1200 models were so popular that in 2015, fans launched a petition demanding new turntables.
Technics announced a prohibitively expensive audiophile model of the SL-1200G a year ago, but yesterday, the company unveiled the new Grand Class SL-1200GR turntable at the Consumer Technology Association conference. The SL-1200GR, which is being billed as a “standard model,” incorporates much of the same technology of last year’s turntable and a previous favorite: 2002’s SL-1200MK5. You can read an exhaustive list of the improvements the company has made on prior SL-1200-related models in the company’s press release.
No word how much this thing is going to cost yet, but as FACT reports, What Hi-Fi estimates it will be less expensive than last year’s SL-1200G, which was designed for audiophiles and railed against by a lot of DJs. (A big part of the criticism, obviously, was that it ran $4,000). The rationalization is that the new deck is a “standard” model as opposed to a “reference” model; Technics also alluded to the fact that it was working on a cheaper product last year.
In a piece last week, The New York Times explored the evolution of Technics turntable, and the ways in which the company has resisted its characterization as a DJ-oriented turntable company.