Panasonic Corp. is bringing back its classic direct-drive Technics SL-1200 turntable this summer in a limited production run, music to the ears of audiophiles.
The electronics giant, headquartered in Kadoma, Osaka Prefecture, announced that it will produce 300 Technics SL-1200GAE turntables for the domestic market. Preorders began on April 12 and all units sold out that morning. Delivery will be starting June 24.
“Our main target is consumers who know the value of high-end models,” said Michiko Ogawa, a jazz pianist and director of Panasonic’s Technics Project. “We also want to come up with events that will allow young people to listen to music with good sound quality."
Technics became an acclaimed brand with turntables that used the direct-drive system, a technology developed by the company, which rotates the turntable by connecting it directly to the motor. This allowed records to be spun more accurately and efficiently than models that used the belt-drive system, the conventional method that was widely used, but tended to cause the sound to deteriorate as the belt connecting the turntable and motor began to wear.
The SL-1200 series was a hot item for Technics, selling 3.5 million units of the record player in nearly 40 years. Production came to a halt in 2010 when Panasonic decided to discontinue the Technics label, but the venerated record player is now set for a comeback after the company reintroduced the Technics brand in 2014.
The new SL-1200GAE boasts less vibration than previous models due to improvements on the location of the magnet inside the motor. It is also equipped with a digital device that corrects the rotation speed.
The suggested retail price is 330,000 yen ($3,050).