The Technics SL-1200 Turntable Is Back, And It’s Been Upgraded


Panasonic today announced the return of the Technics SL-1200 turntable – long the standard for DJs.

With the new turntables, their goal is to “is to redefine the direct-drive turntable reference.”

The SL-1200G Grand Class Direct Drive Turntable System is an updated version of the classic, and will be made available in two versions:

  • The aluminum-cased SL-1200; and
  • The magnesium Anniversary Edition SL-1200GAE, which is is limited to a run of 1,200.


Here’s what they have to say about the new Technics turntables:

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.

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 reference.


  • Twin-Rotor Surface-Facing Direct Drive Motor
  • Direct Drive Motor Controller
  • High Sensitive Tonearm
  • Brass-Top Turntable Platter
  • Insulator
  • Heavy Aluminium Top Plate
  • Turntable Speeds: 33 1/3 rpm, 45 rpm, 78 rpm
  • Variable Range Pitch: ±8%, ±16%
  • Terminal: Phono Output x 1 / SIGNAL GND x 1

Availability is expected to be Summer 2016. Official pricing is to come.

18 thoughts on “The Technics SL-1200 Turntable Is Back, And It’s Been Upgraded

    1. But is it really better than the Stanton STR8-150? The STR8-150 has more torque than the 1200s and more feature (pitch up to +/- 50% with key lock, reverse, start/stop speed option).

      1. I’m having a pair of STR-150 and while it’s pretty good, in my opinion build quality isn’t quite there. Even when it weights like an elephant. And I hate that blue color! ????

        1. I am serious. I have both a 1200 and a STR8-150 side by side, and even if the buttons on the STR8 are a little flimsier. I got the STR8 about 7 years ago so it seems pretty solid and I prefer it to the 1200 for its torque and features.. but I do hate the blue leds.

  1. At last! All these years I’ve been hoping to find a beautiful turntable like my old Technics I had back in 1978 and here it is! Since my turntable passed away of old age, many years ago, my vinyl collection has lied dormant and I feel a re-awakening coming soon 🙂

    I’m definitely getting this beauty as soon as it comes out! I love the modern design!

    1. You can buy an excellent condition used Technics SL1200MKII for about $4-700 on Craigslist / eBay etc. This new one will be $1500-ish –

  2. still no built in ground? and no new tonearm system, that doesnt skip either left or right side all the time and hums half of its life?
    sorry but they’ve missed the most important parts. why buy a new one, if the old models are merely the same?

    1. If you look into this a little more you will see that it might look similar to the older version but it is now quite a different turntable. Have a look at the construction details of the plinth. The arm is magnesium in the expensive version. This will make a difference to the sound quality. The arm bearings will be different too. Just don’t try and figure out the old school japglish translations, “high sensitive tonearm”

      1. i believe its a lot better, of course. but it wouldnt be such a biggie, if they’d finally find a solution for the system/cartridges to sit tightly, without hum and LR issues. and the ground is an issue, i cant think of one of any turntable we had over the past 25 years that had an intact ground cable (i use to work in a venue, we had a lot ;))

  3. We need a new black 1210 version. I never liked the silver finish.

    Like many analog synths I massively regret selling my original 1210s mk2. Thankfully I kept all of my vynl

  4. Hold on.. Technics has only officially released (with a quite poorly written article) on their own website (Nobody uses “belt drive turntables”!) the limited edition SL-1200GAE Model.

    I’ve been using 1200’s since the mid 80’s. DJ’ed for 20 years with them. Mine still work perfectly. This new 1200-GAE model is an “Audiophile” version, limited to 1200 units so I’m guessing $1500-2000 each and they will sell out in a week if those low production numbers are correct.

    There’s no new “G” Model released as of this posting.

    You can still buy a very good to perfect working condition used SL1200MKII or MK5 locally or on eBay for $400-750 each.

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