“Everything is new, apart from the dust cover,” says Technics CTO, Tetsuya Itani, explaining the high price tag of the SL-1200G – but a cheaper model could be on the horizon…

The new Technics SL-1200 turntable has been attracting plenty of attention since it was announced back in January. But alongside the excitement, in hi-fi and DJ circles alike, there were also plenty of raised eyebrows, mainly about the price tag.

Speaking to What Hi-Fi? at the Bristol Sound & Vision Show, Technics CTO, Tetsuya Itani, explained that the new deck was a complete redesign, requiring a brand new manufacturing process, using all new tools - and this made for an expensive turntable.

Confirming the $4000 price tag would likely translate to “a little under £3000" in the UK, Itani revealed that the price of the new SL-1200 had been a big issue for Technics, too. “The cost was the biggest problem for us, from the start of the project.

"Because the original 1210 turntables were manufactured for so many years, the manufacturing process had got to a very low cost. Now we need to invest in all the tools again, and the price now is much higher than the 1970s.”

And there’s a reason Technics had to invest all over again: none of the old tools and machines were available, having been destroyed or badly damaged. So Technics had no choice but to design the new deck from scratch. And this was no bad thing, said Itani.

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"We began to study just a few months prior to IFA, maybe summer 2014, for the new SL-1200. We learned that it was impossible [to make the same deck], as almost all the tools for manufacturing were gone or heavily damaged - only one "die" remained, and that was for the dust cover. 

“All the documents were kept, all the drafts… but it was not the Technics way. If we have a chance to start from scratch, we should. With new technology, new theory - that is this guy [the SL-1200G]. So it’s a new model from scratch. 

“Everything is new… except for the dust cover. The weight of the platter is nearly 3 times the old '1200, and we also have a new motor, which is a very important point of the new model. The feet too. It’s heavy, the old 1200 was more plastic.”

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More after the break

And Itani knows the performance needs to justifty the price tag.

“Every part is designed for better sound quality. We are thinking of course it is a 1210…. but performance wise it’s SP10 MKII level.” The Technics SP10 MK II was an expensive, heavy duty hi-fi turntable that launched in the mid-1970s.

But if you’re not ready to part with the best part of £3000 for a new Technics turntable, could there be a more affordable SL-1200 on the way? Following some nervous laughter, Itani replied: “Right now, we start thinking [about a more affordable model]. But not definitely right now. We need to study,” said Itani with a smile.

In the meantime, the limited edition SL-1200GAE is on target for a June release but the regular SL-1200G is looking at a “winter” release date. No surprise, with Technics confirming the model being shown is “still pre-production. There are a few more things to change, it will get better.”

We look forward to hearing the finished article...

MORE: Technics SL-1200G hands-on review

Comments

tommie_boi's picture

At that price they will sell

At that price they will sell none. Come on, £3000? For something with a 'Technics' name on it? In that price range they can't compete with well established brands.

ASBOgeriatric's picture

Scratchers

Scratchers that scratch DJ stylee will pay the dough, scratchers that scratch poor and/or jealous financially stylee will not.

If people are stupid enough to buy big Mercs and Range Rovers I don't even see three grand on a legendary turntable being even slightly extravagant but you watch the hate start now.

Can't help feeling this article is click bait to divide opinion and cause tear ups amongst posters. Stop

Joe Cox's picture

Ha!

I don't think we need to write anything to "cause tear ups amongst posters" Smile

David Platt's picture

tooling

I dont understand why the tooling was destroyed.Old record presses seemed to be preserved and used today..why not the  tooling for theTechnics Sl1200?As Gobbler says in "when the whistle blows.." I dont get it!

Andrej Župan's picture

Today products keep getting

Today products keep getting discontinued just to be reintroduced at higher prices with slightly updated cosmetics and bogus claims of improved high-tech. Let's be clear nothing about audio is high tech it's just price inflation through creative marketing. Companies keep selling same boxes with identical drivers for decades and audio press keeps gushing about improved SQ which simply isn't there. Seen it and heard it so many times and was disgusted in utter disbelief by b..llshit that had been fed to visitors on hi-fi fairs with speakers so tiny that hardly moved any air claiming to be "the shit" . No wonder many consider this hobby to be "of fools and horses"  and the only ones having great laugh are beneficiaries  of this naivety (audio companies and of course audio press).      

Davv's picture

Making fun with us

I loved Technics brand, but I dont like when they make fun of us: in 2008 o 2009 Technics said that it was untrue that they would discontinue the sl1200... Now they say that the dies are broken (6 years: eternity)... When you have the industry standard's fabrics, I think you take care of your "things". All of this is very disappointing from a brand like Technics, it was like an isle of seriousness in an ocean of "box sellers", but, you know, the raise of waters and stuff...