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Technics reveals all-black SL-1210GAE limited edition turntable

Technics SL-1210GAE
(Image credit: Technics)

Technics is celebrating its 55th anniversary the only way it knows how – with a new turntable, the Technics SL-1210GAE. It's a limited edition model, with only 1000 units set to be made available worldwide. Due on sale in June, it's priced at £3999 (€4719 / AU$6999).

The Technics SL-1210GAE of course has some exclusive features to mark the occasion, such as an all-black design, a special badge with inscribed serial number, upgraded insulation and, for the first time, a specially-tuned Nagaoka MM cartridge.

Based on the SL-1200G, and following in the footsteps of the limited edition SL-1200GAE from 2016, the new SL-1210GAE has a 10mm-thick aluminium top panel complete with an anodized black brushed finish. The buttons and tonearm also have the same all-black finish for a striking design.

Technics SL-1210GAE

(Image credit: Technics)

The SL-1210GAE is made in Japan and has the top panel inscription to prove it, with each deck marked with a unique serial number to signify it's a 55th anniversary edition.

This special edition turntable borrows technology from the flagship SL-1000R, too, with a specially developed zinc insulator, which features a soft gel-like material called aGEL, that aims to further isolate the turntable from external vibrations.

Tokyo-based Nagaoka is this year celebrating 80 years of producing cartridges and turntable accessories, so seems a fitting partner for a Technics anniversary turntable. The SL-1210GAE is supplied with a JT-1210 moving magnet cartridge that was specifically tuned by a joint team of engineers from Technics and Nagaoka. 

The JT-1210 employs a Boron cantilever and is designed to deliver superior "focus and detail", and will only be available with the SL-1210GAE.

Technics SL-1210GAE

(Image credit: Technics)

Technics SL-1210GAE

(Image credit: Technics)

And, proving that it's sometimes the little things, Technics has also included the ability to turn the strobe light off and included the case that was missing on the SL-1210MK7

Elsewhere, the SL-1210GAE shares the same properties of the SL-1200G, from the 'coreless' direct drive motor, which works with high-precision rotary positioning sensors to help reduce any unwanted interference, to the four-layered cabinet construction, which includes a 10mm thick aluminium top panel.

The platter itself is a three-layered construction, with the a gleaming brass-top plate, heavyweight aluminium die cast core platter and a solid rubber coating covering its entire rear surface. All in the name of rigidity and vibration damping. 

Elsewhere there's the high-precision motor control based on tech from the company's Blu-ray players, which aims to keep rotation stable, as well as a lightweight magnesium tonearm and of course high-quality terminals.

If you like the look and sound of the new Technics SL-1220GAE Limited Edition turntable, you'll have to move fast when it's released in June. There are only 1000 units, with 700 of those going on sale in Europe.

Joe Cox

Joe is Content Director for Specialist Tech at Future and was previously the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across print and online for more than 15 years, writing news, reviews and features. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung, reported from CES, the Bristol Show and Munich High End for many years, and provided comment for sites such as the BBC and the Guardian. In his spare time he enjoys mixing vinyl and cycling.