The Best Turntable of All Time Is Back
We’ve all been there.
The mood relaxed, the lava lamps lit, “Do You Feel Like We Do” spinning on the record player. It’s the moment right before Frampton is about to start melting ears off with his talkbox … and then the unthinkable happens.
The record skips.
Let it never happen again, care of Panasonic, who just announced a 1,200-unit run of the Technics 50th Anniversary Grand Class SL-1200GAE followed by a non-limited reissue of the Grand Class 1200G. That’s two entirely new, heavily upgraded versions of the classic SL-1200, the machine that was essentially ground zero for turntable DJs in the ‘80s and ‘90s and called “the most important musical instrument of the last two-and-a-half decades” by NPR’s Tom Terrell in 1998.
Both editions will prevent any potential vibrations or skipping caused by the direct-drive motor or the record’s rotation (called “cogging”) by using high-precision rotary positioning sensors guided by a microprocessor-controlled system. It’s more than a slight upgrade over the quarter trick.
Recommended pairing: Frampton Comes Alive!, released 40 years ago today.
Technics has announced the new 1200Gs are going to be made completely “from scratch” and cost $4,000. The company had to completely change the manufacturing process and components it is using for the new tables — only the dust covers will be made the same way — and the new price is a reflection of that.
“Because the original 1210 turntables were manufactured for so many years, the manufacturing process had got to a very low cost,” says Technics CTO Tetsuya Itani. “Now we need to invest in all the tools again, and the price now is much higher than the 1970s.”