Technics has made it very clear that — as the model numbers indicate — the SL-1200GR is very similar to the recently released SL-1200G. The changes made have helped the brand cut costs, while also keeping its metallic monster of a direct-drive player operating at a high level.
First off, the SL-1200GR’s coreless direct-drive motor, has moved from a dual rotor to a single rotor, cutting costs significantly, while still allowing for low distortion to spin your wax, according to the reps we spoke with. When done correctly, direct-drive turntables can have advantages over belt-driven models — namely the improved signal to noise ratio, meaning you’ll hear more music and less hum — and the SL-1200GR’s solid construction is palpable in person. In addition, Technics replaced the SL-1200G’s pricey magnesium tone arm with one made of tubular aluminum.
The turntable still uses a die-cast aluminum platter complete with ribs to improve the rigidity, though the latest one shaves off the brass plate of the SL-1200’s triple-layer design for a dual-layer. The new platter is also heavier than that used on many previous models, which helps to reduce vibration. Cutting down on vibration is important for a turntable, but it isn’t the only crucial characteristic. The SL-1200GR also uses metal shielding inside the case, helping to cut down on external noise.
While many lower-end and even midrange turntables use a short cable built into the unit, Technics has taken a smarter approach with the SL-1200GR, including phono terminals that allow you to use your own cables. These terminals are gold plated for optimum sound quality, and a ground terminal is included as well. The table also offers a removable power supply, allowing you to upgrade your IEC cable if you so choose.
The final change to the SL-1200GR is a dual-layered plinth rather than the four-layered version of the SL-1200G. All that being said, the two models look virtually identical in person, and while we have no doubt the SL-1200G is the superior model, you’re not giving up much with its sibling, and you’re also keeping a whole lot of extra green in your pocket.
For more information on Technics’ sterling new SL-1200GR, and other products, see the company’s website.
Updated 1/7/2017 by Ryan Waniata: This post has been updated from the CES 2017 conference with newly disclosed information, a first look, and a video.
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