Technics is celebrating 50 years of the SL-1200 DJ turntable in the best possible way, with the release of a new, limited edition deck: the SL-1200M7L.
Based on the SL-1200MK7, which was released in 2019, the new turntable has a host of special features, will be available in seven colours and is going to be a Limited Edition.
The SL-1200M7L features a gold, anodized tonearm, a special badge complete with an engraving of the unique serial number, a slipmat with a gold-coloured Technics logo and a one-off 50th anniversary sticker.
The M7L marks a significant milestone not just for Technics but for DJ culture. The first SL-1200 was released in 1972, just two years after Technics’ first direct drive turntable, the SP-10. There was no market for DJ decks at the time – Technics was ahead of the game. But as Tetsuya Itani, Technics’ CTO, explains, the birth of dance music and the art of DJing was just around the corner, and the industry quickly embraced the SL-1200.
“In the mid 1970s, disco culture was born and DJs began using the SL-1200 with their own style,” says Itani. “This is because the direct drive design has a quick start-up in terms of rotation and is suitable for scratching. Technics engineers at the time were quick to notice this and, listening to the requests of DJs, released a model especially for DJ use - the SL-1200M2, released in 1979.
“The design changed significantly from the original SL-1200, with a new cabinet and increased insulation to withstand floor vibrations and high sound pressure from speakers, plus the crucial pitch control. The SL-1200M2 was quickly accepted and became the de facto standard for DJs.”
Crucial to this industry adoption was the direct drive mechanism. And of course, Technics put their own spin on things. Itani: “The specialty is that the motor uses a stator without an iron core. Technics developed the iron-coreless motor for eliminating the so-called “cogging” – minute vibrations due to the change of magnetic polarity during the rotation process, which are harmful to the overall sound. By minimising the gap between the stator and the rotor, and thanks to advanced coil winding technology, Technics can maintain high driving torque whilst keeping an audiophile performance, all thanks to the iron-coreless technology.”
While loved by DJs, the SL-1200, and the new limited edition SL-1200M7L, also put sound quality first, sharing design features and technology with the company’s hi-fi record players, such as the SL-1000R, SL-1500C and SL-1200G range.
The M7L features the coreless direct drive motor with powerful torque, S-shaped tonearm, pitch control and reverse play function. There’s a highly rigid cabinet and high-damping insulator, along with a two-layer platter and improved vibration damping.
As Itani says, high fidelity sound was, and remains, at the core of the company’s products. “In 1965, when the Technics brand was founded, the market for “high-fidelity” was still very young and the scope for sonic improvements was vast. Thanks to the big engineering resources of Matsushita Electrics, the company behind Technics back then, the Technics engineers always strove for technological excellence and innovation in order to leverage sonic performance to the next level.”
And that remains as true as ever with the latest limited edition turntable, the SL-1200M7L. And you can’t miss it, thanks to those seven limited edition colours: black, red, blue, white, green, yellow and beige.
The Technics SL-1200M7L will be available for pre-order from selected retailers on April 7th for shipment beginning in June, priced at £899.