Panasonic Confirm The Return Of The Iconic Technics SL-1200

technics 1200

It’s official: Panasonic have confirmed that the iconic Technics SL-1200 turntables are set to return this summer.

The manufacture’s (and the world’s) first direct drive turntable, the SL-1200 was originally released in 1972 and, alongside its little brother the SL-1210, was accepted and cherished as the gold standard for DJs across the world… And has been ever since.

The last Technics turntable rolled off the production line in 2010 as dwindling sales couldn’t compete with the wealth of digital DJ technology. However, increased interest in vinyl over the last two years has led to change of tack by the Japanese manufacturers.

In 2014 Panasonic revived the Technics brand for a series of audio systems then last year announced that turntables would eventually follow… Which they confirmed yesterday at the CES press conference, revealing that they will first release a limited edition 50th Anniversary Grand Class SL-1200GAE in summer 2016 (limited to 1200 units) then, later, a non-limited Grand Class 1200G before the end of the year.

As you’d expect, the specs have all been rebooted: the whole direct drive mechanism has been updated with the removal of the iron core, the weakest link in the motorised chain that caused most faults in the original models. Also included in the new model are high-precision rotary positioning sensors and a microprocessor control system that will minimise vibrations and relate the rotation speed information to the turntable’s internal control system.

Check the full list of updates on the Technics website, here’s the spec:

Direct Drive Turntable:
Twin-Rotor Surface-Facing Direct Drive Motor
Direct Drive Motor Controller
High Sensitive Tonearm
Brass-Top Turntable Platter

Technics Design:
Inherited SL-1200 Series
Heavy Aluminium Top Plate

Turntable Speeds:
33 1/3 rpm, 45 rpm, 78 rpm

Variable Range Pitch:
±8%, ±16%

Dimensions & Weight:
W: 453 mm (17-27/32 inch) H: 170 mm (6-11/16 inch) D: 372 mm (14-21/32 inch)
Approx. 18 kg (39.7 lbs ) *Tentative *Height including dust cover

Phono Output x 1 / SIGNAL GND x 1

With the wax renaissance leading to record sales of vinyl format releases on both sides of the Atlantic with sales increasing by 69 percent in the UK and 56 percent in US, the return of the Technics SL-1200 couldn’t have happened at a better time. Whether you’re a vinyl revivalist or not, this is still really interesting news for DJ culture and proof that while the technological creative opportunities are endless, there’s still place for the artform’s original foundation concept.