The original Technics SL-1200 turntable is legendary among DJs. They were the Wheels of Steel that were so beloved by turntablists in the early days of hip-hop, so one can just imagine how heartbroken audiophiles were when Panasonic discontinued the brand back in 2010. Well, the Technics 1200 is back, right here at CES 2016. The new SL-1200G and 1200GAE are bigger, and promise to be better than any of the turntables that came before them.
Heavier means better sound without vibrations
The new Technics 1200s were announced yesterday, and I got to see the Limited Edition SL-1200GAE up close on the convention floor. First things first: the new Tec 12s are huge. Weighing about 40 pounds, they're considerably heftier than the original models, which usually weighed just south of 27 pounds. (You can thank the thick layer of aluminum in the body for that.) That girth, I'm told, helps keep the turntables as stable as possible. Meanwhile, the magnesium tonearm and three-layer turntable help resist vibrations from the motor as much as possible, resulting in exceptionally high-quality sound. (Though if you like vibrations from you record player, you might come away a little disappointed.)
Everything else about the 1200GAE is consistent with its older forebears, just tweaked to be a little bit better. It still has the high torque DJs love for scratching and beatmatching. And it still looks great — this really is a classic reborn. The Technics 1200GAE is available for a limited run later this summer for about $4,000. The cheaper 1200G will hit stores later this year.