CES 2016 Press Center
Technics Grand Class SL-1200GAE Turntable 50th Anniversary Limited Edition
Technics has today announced the return of its direct-drive turntable based on a newly designed direct-drive motor. The Technics 50th anniversary limited edition Grand Class SL-1200GAE and non-limited Grand Class SL-1200G
($4000 each) have been developed for audiophiles looking to rediscover and experience the uniquely warm sound quality of analogue vinyl discs.
Technics Redefines The Direct-Drive Turntable
With New Reference Model
Due to the widespread use of CDs, turntable systems disappeared briefly from the market, but their warm sound quality is bringing them back. The direct-drive turntable invented by Technics is still highly acclaimed by audiophiles and DJs in the form of the SL-1200 Series, and there have been many requests to revive the turntable system. As such, we decided to develop a new system for Hi-Fi use. Here we provide an outline of our intent in this development.
Direct-drive is generally considered to be for DJ use, and belt drive is for Hi-Fi use. In the 1970s, when Technics invented direct-drive turntables, their performance and reliability were first
recognized by broadcast stations. High acclaim was then received by audiophiles. The high-precision rotation and absence of S/N ratio degradation were particularly attractive to these users. The high torque and reliability of direct-drive were
recognized by DJs, and direct-drive turntables became the standard in the club scene.
Due to the widespread use of CDs, turntable systems have been absent as major competitors in the audio market, however an ever increasing consumer interest in vinyl records has prompted the launch of a new system for HiFi use.
Overcoming Analog Issues Of The Past
Direct drive turntable systems have been beloved by Hi-Fi enthusiasts since their birth in 1972. However, one problem that direct-drive systems have always faced was sound quality degradation caused by 'cogging', or tiny vibrations of the motor and rotational speed fluctuations. However, by combining the knowledge and expertise gained as the originator of direct-drive turntable systems with a newly developed coreless direct-drive motor without iron core, this 'cogging' can be eliminated. Any potential minute motor vibrations are suppressed even further by high-precision rotary positioning sensors guided by a microprocessor controlled system; a feature unique to the new Technics turntable.
The Technics turntable aims to provide the smoothest possible rotary control by the use of an encoder at the bottom of the motor which detects the precise rotating angle.
Furthermore, a twin rotator construction reduces the bearing load while maintaining high torque and also limits minute vibration during rotation making it possible to reproduce the warm sound and subtle nuances of musical expression engraved in the analogue record grooves and craved for by vinyl lovers.
Broadcast Proven Quality Three-layered Turntable
The turntable has a three-layered construction consisting of a rigidly combined heavyweight brass and aluminum die cast platter, and deadening rubber, covering its entire rear surface. This eliminates unnecessary resonance, achieving high rigidity and vibration damping. The smooth rotational stability and inertial mass even surpasses the Technics SP-10MK2, the direct-drive turntable standard used in the past by broadcast stations worldwide.
High Dampening Tonearm
The tonearm employs a lightweight material (aluminum for the SL-1200G and magnesium for the SL-1200GAE) which has been cold drawn to improve the characteristics of the material and increase the dampening effect.
In addition, high initial-motion sensitivity is attained by employing the traditional Technics gimbal suspension construction with the horizontal rotation axis and the vertical rotation axis intersecting at a single central point, as well as high-precision bearings using a cut-processed housing.
Four-Layered Cabinet Construction
A hairline-processed, 10-mm-thick top panel of immaculate aluminum has been added to the previous three-layered construction of aluminum die cast, Bulk Moulding Compound (BMC) and heavyweight-class rubber of the SL-1200MK5. This four-layered construction combines high rigidity with a premium finish and
High-Level Balance Adjustment
When the weight distribution of the turntable is uneven, excess vibration or noise occurs during rotation, which causes degradation in sound quality. Therefore, the balance of the turntable is adjusted at the factory by using
specialized high-precision balance adjustment equipment for each and every item after the turntable is assembled. Turntables that have undergone adjustment are
labeled with a sticker reading "BALANCED" to indicate that adjustment has been
Coreless Direct Drive Motor
Conventional analogue turntables have problems with degradation in sound quality caused by factors such as minute speed vibration during rotation and rotation irregularity called "cogging." In the SL-1200GAE, the use of a newly developed coreless direct-drive motor with no iron core eliminates cogging. Also, the twin-rotor construction reduces the bearing load while maintaining high torque, and also reduces minute vibration during rotation. These factors enable reproduction of the warm, exquisitely detailed sound etched on analogue records.
High-Precision Motor Control Technology
The application of motor control technology developed for Blu-ray devices, and switching the drive mode depending on the operational status of the motor achieve a high starting torque and high speed
The use of brass-milled and gold-plated phono terminals and ground terminals prevents degradation in sound quality while enabling the easy attaching and detaching of cables. Also
the use of metal shielding construction inside the case reduces the effects of external noise.
When developing a direct-drive motor, considerable capital investment is required for large-scale production equipment. In contrast, belt drives can be made with a little cost. Also, compared with direct-drive, belt drive was designed with the latest technology. The view remains that direct-drive is for DJ use and belt drive is for Hi-Fi use. Originally, direct-drive offered superior sound quality. If we redesign the direct-drive motor and control circuitry, we will be able to create a turntable that is superior to other systems.
Technics was also a leader in incorporating innovations, such as vibration-damping materials, cabinet construction, and insulators. Having inherited the DNA of Technics, we do not wish to merely make a replica of the SL-1200.
In other words, our intent in this development is to redefine the direct-drive turntable
Released Later This Year
To celebrate the launch of this new Technics SL-1200 development, the Technics 50th anniversary limited edition Grand Class SL-1200GAE will be available from summer with a limited serial number plate and restricted global quantity of
1200 pieces while the Grand Class SL-1200G will be available in late 2016.
All New Design for Redefining the Direct Drive Turntable
Terminals: Phono output signal and ground
Twin-Rotor Surface-Facing Direct Drive Motor
Direct Drive Motor Controller
High Sensitivity Tonearm
Brass-Top Turntable Platter Insulator
Heavy Aluminum Top Plate
Turntable Speeds: 33.3, 45, and 78 rpm
Variable Range Pitch: +/-8 and +/-16%
Dimensions: 17-27/32" x 6-11/16" x 14-21/32" (WxHxD)
Weight: 39.7 lbs.
---> Back to CES 2016 Press
Center by Enjoy the Music.com.
Previous CES Show Reports
2016, 2015, 2014,
2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008,
2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003,
2002, 2001, 2000,
1997, and 1996.