“Our intent is to redefine the direct-drive turntable reference…”
One of the worst kept secrets in the industry has just been officially announced by
Panasonic Technics —> The 1200 is back.
Panasonic, probably noticing the traction that Pioneer was getting with their 1200 knockoff, has declared a 1200 for the new millennium. Not simply a reissue or retread of the classic wheels of steel in some new packaging, the new 1200, dubbed the SL-1200GAE, will reportedly arrive this summer in 50th Anniversary Limited Edition badging.
» All New Design for Redefining the Direct Drive Turntable
» Twin-Rotor Surface-Facing Direct Drive Motor
» Direct Drive Motor Controller
» High Sensitive Tonearm
» Brass-Top Turntable Platter
» Technics Definitive Design
» Heavy Aluminium Top Plate
» Turntable Speeds
— 33 1/3 rpm
— 45 rpm
— 78 rpm
» Variable Range Pitch
» 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
Panasonic is hedging their bets and targeting the new 1200 “Grand Class” towards both audiophiles and DJs. In the “Prologue” section of their hype website, they address the needs of both markets, while touting some new technology in their Direct Drive system. Panasonic states that they have designed a new motor to eliminate cogging, which causes unwanted vibrations during rotation, as well as new circuitry for precisely controlling the motor baked from their Blu-Ray players.
Here’s what we can tell you now…
Coreless Direct Drive Motor
Conventional analog 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 stability.
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 specialised high-precision balance adjustment equipment for each and every item after the turntable is assembled. Turntables that have undergone adjustment are labelled with a sticker reading “BALANCED” to indicate that adjustment has been done.
Three-layered Turntable Platter
The turntable has a three-layered construction with a rigidly combined brass and aluminium diecast platter. With a deadening rubber covering its entire rear surface to eliminate unnecessary resonance, thereby achieving high rigidity and vibration damping. This delivers smooth rotational stability and inertial mass surpassing the SP-10MK2, the direct-drive turntable standard used by broadcast stations worldwide, as well as having more than twice the inertial mass of the SL-1200MK5.
Four-layered Cabinet Construction
A hairline-processed, 10-mm-thick top panel of immaculate aluminium has been added to the previous three-layered construction of aluminium diecast, BMC, and heavyweight-class rubber on the SL-1200MK5. This four-layered construction combines high rigidity with a high quality finish and feel.
High Sensitive Tonearm
The tonearm employs lightweight magnesium which has a high damping effect, with cold drawing improving the characteristics of the material and achieving the high-precision required. In addition, high initial-motion sensitivity is attained by employing the traditional Technics gimbal suspension construction with 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.
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.