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Technics SL-1200G Review & Comparison With SL-1200GR

Because of everyone who submitted type suggestions on the Technics SL-1210GR evaluation. It has confirmed to be certainly one of our most popular articles and I needed to comply with up with the subsequent mannequin within the range, the SL-1200G. I want to thank Doug Brady Hi-Fi for serving to to make this evaluation potential. I bought the turntable on evaluate here at considerable expense, however they have been generous enough to offer some discount to help me convey you this evaluation. I don’t earn any commission from this point out or any resultant subsequent purchases, however really feel it is just truthful to offer credit score where it’s due.

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Sl 1200g Prime View Lid Down

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The SL-1200G (and restricted version SL-1200GAE, restricted to 1200 models) was for a short time the flagship product of the newly relaunched Technics model, launched in 2016 to great acclaim and pleasure from many, myself included. It relaunched Technics and with it the legendary SL-1200 collection of direct-drive turntables, famed throughout the world for their rugged reliability, faultless dependability, class-leading velocity stability and naturally top-notch sound quality. Whether you sit within the Technics camp or choose to consider the advertising hype surrounding the various (arguably inferior) audiophile choices that (somewhat successfully) tried to trounce the Technics throughout its heyday, there isn’t a denying the 1200G’s heritage.

And yet most of that heritage reappears in appears alone, as the SL-1200G and all the next are ground-up re-designs with solely an analogous aesthetic paying homage to the prior generations. This has confirmed a controversial determination by Technics with many praising the brand new ‘tables engineering, but nonetheless many questioning why a turntable that definitely appears awfully just like a 1970s design should demand a hefty premium. In fact, regardless of the basic seems and usefulness, not one of the new Technics fashions bear any resemblance to prior fashions. And in addition to the mud cowl, they share no elements, as having produced over three million models the tooling was too worn to continue manufacturing anything from the previous SL-1200 lineup.

A Floor-Up Redesign

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Sl 1200g Prime View Lid Open

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The Motor

The design of the SL-1200G starts with a brand new 9-Pole, coreless DC motor with twin surface-facing rotors. The cordless motor permits extraordinarily clean and precise rotation while eliminating cogging, which is a rotational irregularity that may typically be felt (or heard) as small detents or ‘bumps’ when the everlasting magnets interact with the stator coils. The coreless motor dispenses with the iron core onto which the coils are ordinarily wound. As an alternative, overlapping flat-wound coils oppose the face of every magnet, here in a twin-rotor configuration. The twin-rotor configuration places permanent magnets in a sandwich design with the coreless stators above and under, thereby minimising bearing load and thus further minimising noise and vibration. The motor is totally maintenance-free owing to new self-lubricating impregnated metallic bearings.

The coreless motor also brings substantial enhancements in acceleration and deceleration, low electrical inductance, smoother rotation and minimal electromagnetic interference, which is particularly fascinating when the motor is positioned immediately beneath a phono cartridge. Coreless motors also can react to voltage modifications a lot quicker than a standard motor and are more electrically efficient in operation.

In actuality, cogging within the Technics direct drive turntable is a massively overblown situation and is a phenomenon utilized by many business ‘experts’ proponents of different merchandise to deter customers who might otherwise think about a direct-drive turntable. While it’s definitely true that earlier generations of Technics can exhibit cogging to a point, it is so minuscule as to be irrelevant and it definitely ought to be inaudible. Objective proof as to the audibility of cogging in the previous era 1200 is thin on the ground. Any eccentricities within the document, platter, bearing and other key elements will far outweigh any ailing effects brought on by the minute levels of cogging within the Technics motor, previous or new.

These nevertheless, are all areas on which the SL-1200G improves, and vastly so. The platter is a triple-layer composite of rubber, die-cast aluminium and brass, and is dynamically balanced for good rotational stability and high inertial mass surpassing the SP10 MK2. It’s topped by a mat in delicate rubber, comparable in seems though thinner than earlier than. The platter is inert, with a knuckle wrap producing a lifeless ‘thunk’ even with out the mat. There might be no claims of excessive ringing right here.

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Sl 1200g Prime View Of Platter No Mat

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With a brand new motor and platter design comes up to date electronics. Borrowing drive know-how from Panasonic’s Blu-Ray gamers, the 1200G is now managed in software with a exact reference clock and optical rotary positioning sensors beneath the motor with the crucial hole precisely set on the manufacturing unit.

The Plinth

The cupboard is a four-layer development comprising a hairline processed and immaculately finished 10 mm aluminium plate atop die-cast aluminium shell, BMC (bulk moulding compound, just like TNRC) insert and a heavy forged rubber base. This leads to an acoustically inert cupboard with distinctive vibration management and wonderful isolation from external influences. The opening lot weighs 18KG with the platter. And although the previous Technics felt battle tank strong, the new machine takes that feeling to a brand new degree.

To further improve isolation, the turntable sits upon four ft of die-cast zinc with silicone insulators which absolutely isolate the turntable in three dimensions, making it all however resistant to the consequences of exterior vibration and feedback. The ft of the limited version SL-1200GAE used a slightly totally different silicon composite, but whether or not any distinction might be heard between the two is debatable.

The Arm

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Sl 1200g Shut Up Of Arm

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Now we get to the arm, which is another matter of controversy. Some say that the arm is vastly inferior to the remainder of the deck, and ought to be instantly disposed of for an audiophile-approved alternative. There are arm boards already available on the market for this, made easier by the truth that the size of the arm mount are very similar to that of the previous SL-1200.

This is audiophile nonsense at its best, and so is the declare typically made that the arm is identical as that of the SL-1200M5G. In addition to aesthetics, the arms have little in widespread. The gimbal bearings are more exact than ever earlier than with a brand new cut-processed bearing housing and friction ranges of an infinitesimal zero.5MG. And though it might look typical, the S-Formed arm tube is manufactured from ultra-lightweight cold-drawn magnesium (or a low proportion alloy at the very least), chosen for its pure damping properties which make it a great arm tube materials.

Anti-skate continues to be by way of a spring adjusted by a dial graduated in zero.1 gram increments, monitoring drive is about by a standard Technics counterweight and the arm continues to be static balanced which means that the centre of gravity is on the axis of rotation, and so the tracking pressure will stay consistent because the arm tracks document warps or vinyl of varying thickness.

The straightforward reality of the matter is that the arm fitted to the SL-1200G is extremely competent. In truth, it is as good a bit of engineering as the rest of the turntable. It can match properly with a wide range of cartridges and has a impartial, trustworthy sound that’s true to the source materials and the cartridge used. It is my opinion that altering the arm will only tailor the sound to realize a desired tonal colour, or to raised go well with a specific cartridge, and gained’t supply an improvement on the superb unit already fitted lest you spend many occasions the cost of the deck on the arm itself.

Also retained are the detachable headshell, optionally available auxiliary counterweights and the helicoidal VTA adjustment. My solely minor gripe right here is that the lowest point to which the arm might be set is larger than the older fashions, and signifies that the arm can’t get low sufficient to be parallel with a report when utilizing a cartridge shallower than 17 mm or so. This isn’t a dealbreaker and is definitely rectified by shimming the cartridge or putting in a thicker mat. I exploit an LP Gear HD headshell with an AT33PTG/II, and shimmed the cartridge using a spacer reduce from 3 mm acrylic which introduced the cartridge to the right peak to take a seat parallel with the VTA on the zero position. And apart from, adjusting the VTA is merely adjusting the stylus rake angle, which modifications with tracking drive. So if the monitoring drive is right, VTA adjustment isn’t as important an adjustment as many would really like you to consider.

The provided headshell intently resembles that which Technics have been supplying for decades, for which there are numerous clones readily available for very little cash. The headshells provided with new models nevertheless included gold-plated contact pins and adjustable azimuth by way of a tiny screw underneath. It does feel a bit flimsy given the worth and high quality of the deck and is the only boxed accessory that I might recommend you think about upgrading from the get-go.

Only the cueing mechanism appears to have been cheapened considerably. It works perfectly nicely however feels more flimsy than earlier than with extra play in the carry platform itself. It’s nonetheless absolutely adjustable although by way of a screw on the cue platform and is manufacturing unit set to Eight-13 mm of raise.

Wiring is OFC copper and terminates in brass-milled, gold-plated phono sockets beneath the arm. There’s a ground bolt too and an IEC socket for energy, which means the SL-1200 is no-longer tethered to its cables. Respectable RCA and floor interconnects, along with an IEC lead are provided within the box.

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Sl 1200g Front View

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The Power Supply

The SL-1200G makes use of a switch-mode power provide versus the linear power provide and transformer as used in the fashions that got here before. This has several benefits, not least the fact that any electromagnet interference that would affect the cartridge is eliminated. It’s also quiet. Silent in reality. My listening to is particularly sensitive at excessive frequencies and I can usually hear the wining and different numerous operational noises of all but the easiest switch-mode energy supplies. I hear nothing from the Technics; not a wine, not a whistle, not a hiss, nothing. This can be a perfectly properly executed switch-mode power provide that’s more than as much as the job of powering the turntable’s electronics and allowing them to perform at their greatest.

A standard upgrade performed to older Technics models was the alternative of the inbuilt energy supply with an exterior unit. This was finished to remove the hum brought on by the transformer which could possibly be picked up by the stylus.

That is demonstrated in the under clip, recorded from a Technics SL-1210 MK2 utilizing an Audio-Technica VM95SH shifting magnet cartridge, with the turntable switched on and the stylus placed in a groove mid-way throughout a stationary report.

Notice the high ranges of noise brought on by the phono stage (which is an particularly quiet (89dB) model) and the recording hardware which was a studio-grade interface with ultra-low noise input and converter levels. Observe too that I had to normalise the file to enable you to make out the noise in any respect. What this exhibits is that in reality, this noise is to date under the floor noise of a report that it is inaudible in regular use. And provided that it is inaudible when an SL-1200 is utilized in a reside setting with big sound reinforcement methods, it is extremely unlikely that it’ll ever be a problem in a domestic surroundings. However, a switch-mode energy provide as discovered within the SL-1200G has no hum in any respect and eradicates this difficulty completely.

Some, nevertheless, don’t agree. There are various ‘upgrade’ power supplies marketed for this turntable already, claiming to supply lowered noise and higher sound high quality. Objective proof to help these claims is unsurprisingly thin on the ground. Suffice it to say that the facility supply installed in any of the brand new SL-1200 fashions is greater than enough. For my part, any alternative will both be of no benefit and should even degrade the efficiency while also compromising the appears and the turntable’s compact type issue.

In The Field

The 1200G is provided with documentation, power, RCA and floor cables and a mud cowl with pre-attached hinges. You’ll additionally discover the superbly machined aluminium 45 adapter and the primary counterweight together with the headshell, two auxiliary weights, some cartridge fasteners and an overhang gauge. And we will’t overlook the platter itself together with its traditional rubber mat. Briefly, the 1200G comes with every part it’s essential to begin enjoying data, in addition to the cartridge and amplification in fact.


Setup is nothing out of the ordinarily with the exception that the platter should now be bolted immediately to 3 pillars on the motor. That is finished with three included slot-head bolts and leads to a really rigid and firm interface between platter and motor.

You possibly can then set the cartridge within the headshell using the included overhang gauge. I coated the difficulty of Technics tonearm geometry in nice detail in each my SL-1200GR and Unique SL-1200 evaluations so I gained’t reiterate that here. Suffice it to say that there’s nothing fallacious with the geometry Technics intend, and the overhang gauge is a wonderfully sufficient software to align your cartridge offering you employ it with care. You’ll be able to verify your overhang by measuring the space between the stylus tip and the rubber washer on the rear of the headshell which ought to be 52 mm exactly.

Monitoring pressure and anti-skate settings are exactly as earlier than, with the rear weight being calibrated to inside 0.04 grams of accuracy. The 2 included auxiliary weights can be used along with the primary counterweight to add more mass behind the arm which allows for heavier cartridges or heavier headshells. The two auxiliary weights can be combined together to provide you additional flexibility.

Initial Impressions

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Sl 1200g Close Up Of Start Button And Selector Knobs

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The 1200G might be instantly acquainted to any customers of Technics’ prior turntables. Every little thing works as one would anticipate with some notable additions. A simultaneous press of both velocity buttons now switches to 78RPM. There’s a pitch control with a selectable adjustment vary of ±8% or ±16% by way of the button above the fader. A couple of extra choices providing wider ranges can be a welcome addition for those enjoying 78s, and will presumably be carried out in a software program update. A reset button locks the velocity to exactly 33.3, 45 or 78RPM and disables the fader, which like later generations of the ‘old’ 1200 has no detent on the central ‘zero’ position.

The beginning/cease button is each bit as chunky as before, and there’s the basic start/stop pillar with inbuilt strobe lighting. The 1200G has blue lights a a lot, though the pop-up goal mild is white. The best way the target mild slowly rises from the plinth when the release button is pressed could be very pleasing indeed and all controls lend to the turntable’s premium feel. In contrast to many high-end offerings, this can be a turntable that basically does inspire not solely satisfaction of possession but in addition confidence in its engineering and long-term dependability. It feels strong, maybe even more-so than the fashions of previous; lots of that are still operating perfectly after several maintenance-free many years.

That hefty motor gets the platter in control in just zero.7 seconds with three.3KG/CM of starting torque. Technics don’t give a spec for operating torque however the deck feels significantly extra ‘torquey’ than the older era. This is in automated mode where the turntable will management the beginning and braking velocity, as well as the torque achieve mechanically. Do you have to want to experiment with these settings, a change beneath the platter permits you to put the turntable in guide mode and regulate these parameters by way of potentiometers also situated beneath the platter. These settings will doubtless attraction principally to these using the turntable’s in a DJ or manufacturing state of affairs the place back-cueing or beat matching is necessary. Hi-fi customers can depart the deck in auto mode as I do, the place it should ensure the most effective performance with out intervention.

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Sl 1200g Shut Up Of Slider, And Headshell

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There’s a USB port underneath the platter into which you’ll be able to connect a USB flash drive to improve the SL-1200G firmware. As of the time of this evaluate (June 2018) there are not any upgrades out there, however this can be a welcome nod to the Technics’ longevity. I want to see some further functionality; for instance holding the Begin button to disable the lighting, the aforementioned pitch ranges, or maybe even a 16RPM choice although I admit solely a very small minority would find a use for the latter.


I haven’t offered a velocity accuracy measurement for the SL-1200g as those measurements are restricted by the accuracy of the check data themselves. All check data could have a level of error nevertheless marginal, and I don’t own a check report where the margin of error is significantly low as to acquire an correct illustration of the SL-1200G’s efficiency. Nor do I set any retailer by the check outcomes from smartphone apps which claim to measure platter velocity using the accelerometer of the system placed on the rotating platter. It’s because the load of the given system can have an effect on the platter stability and thus the velocity itself, not to point out the attainable impact on any velocity sensing and correcting mechanisms. And apart from, these measurements too rely upon the accuracy of the accelerometer, the analogue to digital conversion contained in the gadget and naturally the controlling software itself. Take such measurements, and any claims based mostly on them, with a pinch of salt.

Nevertheless provided that the SL-1200G is sweet enough to point out the deficiencies in my batch of check data, quite than it being the opposite approach spherical, we will conclude that the velocity accuracy of the SL-1200G is outstanding and will fortunately show its high priced competition the door, except Technics’ flagship SL-100R.

Weighted rumble (DIN-B) measures an equally excellent -73.46dB which again is reference degree by any commonplace.


The sound of the SL-1200G is troublesome to explain as in essence, it is impartial in tone, and the sound you hear is subsequently that of the report itself. This can be a good factor. Through the years some audiophiles have been led to consider that the turntable is an important element in the audio chain. In fact that is nonsense, with an important element being the speakers and the turntable and perhaps the amplification vying for second place. The job of the turntable is to permit the stylus to trace the groove as precisely as potential and to impart no sonic character of its own, though reproducing faithfully the content on the disc. This the Technics does extraordinarily nicely and any flavouring to its sound will largely rely upon the cartridge you employ.

There are a number of characteristics nevertheless that can be described. Firstly, the SL-1200G is quiet. And once I say quiet, I really do imply quiet; silent, virtually CD-like. Audiophiles typically speak about ‘black backgrounds’, a cliche meant to describe the revealing of micro element that is the results of a system whose sign to noise ratio, or the level of musical sign as compared to the extent of any background noise generated by the system, is especially high. All elements will impart a degree of noise into the playback. Most amplifiers hiss, though arguably some more than others, and the phono stage could have a degree of noise because of the excessive amounts of achieve required to boost the level of the phono cartridge. Often the turntable itself, and the surface noise of the document are the most important contributors, but the SL-1200G helps to shut the gap significantly with a low degree of through-groove noise that may take you aback whenever you first hear it.

It’s unsurprising then that the second characteristic of the 1200G is micro element. These are the tiny, virtually imperceptible details in a bit of music which might be more typically felt than heard. The scrape of a finger on a fret, for instance, the rustle of sheet music or the pedals on a piano. The Technics doesn’t convey these to the forefront (because it shouldn’t), nevertheless it does let you hear further into a monitor and thus uncover ranges of micro detail which are fairly shocking from a vinyl disc.

Velocity stability is in fact impeccable. There isn’t a wavering in pitch and there’s a solidarity and power to the sound of the 1200G that makes it both an correct yet extraordinarily pleasurable pay attention.

SL-1200G Vs SL-1200GR / SL-1210GR

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SL-1200GR turned on prime view

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Many have requested whether or not there is a vital distinction between the SL-1200G and SL-1200 / SL-1210GR. The reality is that the two turntables do sound comparable in some areas but vastly totally different in others. The SL-1200G is notably quieter, gives a lot better imaging, much more detail and its sound is more uncoloured than that of the 1200GR, not that the sound of the 1200GR is particularly coloured in comparison to equally priced rivals. The two do sound comparable when it comes to pitch stability and naturally each are velocity accurate. I suppose one of the simplest ways to explain the distinction in sound is that the SL-1200G is a extra ‘confident’ sounding turntable, more authoritative with a larger sense of scale and dimensionality which actually does add to the general musical picture.

Build quality of the SL-1200G can also be better, not that the GR provides trigger for grievance on this area. Each are better built than most rivals, however the SL-1200G actually does feel every bit the premium product that it is. Perhaps the most important distinction in really feel is within the arm, the place the 1200G has a lightness and fluidity to its movement that’s in contrast to any of Technics’ earlier models. It needs to be stated although that both are exceptional turntables, and do you have to select to own both model you’ll have your self an outstanding piece of kit which can present musical enjoyment for many years to return.

Summing Up

The SL-1200G is doubtless a triumph of engineering. Like the SP10 within the late ‘60s, the SL-1200G has raised the bar and set new efficiency standards that should redefine expectations for what high-end vinyl playback must be. The SL-1200G brings genuine engineering advancements to a remarkably reasonably priced (within the context of hi-fi) worth level. Have been the 1200G the product of a boutique manufacturer bearing a British or American badge, it might probably come at a price of several occasions its going worth, and yet whether or not the design and execution would come close to what a big manufacturer reminiscent of Panasonic can achieve is questionable.

This is not the turntable for many who favour the fragile construct, coloured sound, old-fashioned aesthetics or infinite risk for tweaking as so typically seen in the mid to high finish. This isn’t a turntable that may require any number of ‘upgrades’ to sound its greatest.

This can be a turntable bought on performance, fairly than advertising hype or model bias. This can be a turntable for many who need to take heed to music, fairly than hi-fi. It’s a turntable for many who need a turntable to color an correct sonic image, fairly than one splashed with excessive colour. This can be a turntable for many who want excessive construct quality, and a turntable that may run upkeep free for many years to return. This can be a turntable that approaches the bounds of what vinyl as a medium can supply. And as such, it’s perhaps the final turntable many would wish.

It is my view that within the ‘70s and ‘80s, the Japanese particularly have been making nice headway in advancing the vinyl format. With developments in pc control came higher drive techniques and state-of-the-art tonearms. Yet the prominence of sure names (primarily British) offering fashions based mostly on designs that even then have been many years previous, and naturally bias in the press, ultimately led to the well-documented decline in vinyl to the point where the format very almost disappeared completely. Developments in vinyl have grown steadily since, however one does should marvel where the format can be now if things had been totally different. As I stated in my SL-1200GR evaluation, it is my hope that this time around we will put the snobbery behind us and as an alternative recognize that one of many largest names in vinyl replay is again on the scene, and making every effort to supply its best products but. The SL-1200G is a masterpiece. You owe it to yourself to listen to one.