Nestled on a dedicated desk in my office are two Technics SL-1210 turntables (an Mk2 and Mk3, oddly enough). I love them, and they've been going strong for 20 years. But times progress, as does technology, and now Technics has really ramped things up with the announcement of the SL-1210GR2 model and an all-new direct-drive motor system.
Interestingly enough, Panasonic, which owns Technics, pulled the plug on its SL-1210 and SL-1200 series back in 2010, only to rekindle the series in 2016 after a hiatus. Since then we've seen plenty of new models, such as the Mk7, while the altogether more audiophile-focused GR model is the one being upgraded with a 2023 second-generation version.
So what's the all-new direct drive system all about? Technics claims it can dampen motor vibrations through "use of a PWM signal generated by Delta-Sigma(ΔΣ) Modulation" – and while that may sound like Elon Musk's next child's name, it's apparently "a method of high precision 1bit D/A conversion using Technic’s proprietary full-digital amplifier technology, JENO Engine."
From my perspective, having been spinning tunes on vinyl and digital vinyl systems for nearly 25 years, having a direct-drive motor is imperative for a strong, torquey platter rotation that's accurate. Admittedly over the years my older-generation SL1210 models do fluctuate a little, so Technics' new technology will no doubt add absolute precision to delivery and timing.
Technics' claims don't stop there, though, with plenty of other technology to ensure the cleanest delivery during vinyl playback. There's a new "magnetically powered frequency generator (FG) speed detection system" with a very low noise floor to ensure no cross-over in low-frequencies. The power supply also featured a noise cancelling circuit that "by injecting the reversed-phase current of the actual noise, enables exceptional signal-to-noise ratio."
In terms of visuals, the SL-1200GR2 (silver) and SL-1210GR2 (black) is otherwise a very familiar, classic tale. However, "new colour matching of all parts and elements" creates a more unified look for a turntable that'll look as good in a living room or on a dedicated AV desk, as it would in a club for a DJ set.
So, yes, the Technics SL-1210GR2 sounds like the turntable of my dreams. But those dreams may have to stay on hold for a while, as with a price of £1799.99 per unit, I'm unlikely to have the spare £3,600 knocking about to buy all-new replacements when the product goes on sale this October...