CES 2018: Technics introduces SP-10R and SL-1000R turntables

Panasonic’s CES press conference largely reiterated what we already learned about its upcoming 2018 OLED TVs and Ultra HD Blu-ray players. But since the Technics brand's revival in 2014, the annual affair hasn't been complete without a Technics announcement - and this year is no different.

In 2017, the resuscitated Technics brand brought the SL-1200GR turntable to market (at almost a third of the price of the legendary SL-1200G), and this year it's launching two new models, the SP-10R and SL-1000R.

That’s right, Technics hounds will soon have four turntables to choose from.

The SP-10R, which was previewed at IFA last August and is being described as the company's "most premium turntable ever", features a coreless direct-drive motor that Technics claims has enough force to rotate the platter with very low-speed irregularities.

Its platter is weighed down by a 10mm-thick brass weight, which is directly bonded onto the aluminium die-cast platter and gives it a total weight of 7.9 kg.

A rubber layer attached to the rear surface of the platter is also used to further dampen any unwanted vibrations.

That’s just one of the noise-reduction measures Technics has employed here. Others include separating the control unit from the main unit, and equipping the switched mode power supply with unique technology that provides a voltage supply with minimal noise via a newly-developed ‘noise reduction circuit’.

The SP-10R plays at 33 1/2, 45 and 78rpm, and the rotation can be viewed on its OLED display.

The shape and fixing positions of the SP-10R have been designed to allow for complete backward compatibility, so the SP-10R is entirely interchangeable with previous SP-10 Series models.

That means owners of the SP-10MK2 and SP-10MK3 turntables can upgrade to the SP-10R but continue using their base and tonearm. The control unit is also the same shape and size as the SP-10MK2 power unit for easy replacement.

The SP-10R is expected to launch in spring for an eye-watering $10,000.

The Technics SL-1000R, meanwhile, adds the base and tonearm for the complete turntable system, doubling the damage when it comes to price.

It features an S-shaped tonearm, with a magnesium tonearm tube chosen for its low mass and damping qualities. For rigidity, the base comprises a dual-layer construction of BMC (bulk moulding compound) beneath a 30mm-thick aluminium top panel, while the turntable part on top of that is made of an additional three layers of BMC, aluminium die-cast and a 25mm-thick aluminium panel.


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Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10+ years in the hi-fi industry, she has reviewed all manner of audio gear, from budget amplifiers to high-end speakers, and particularly specialises in headphones and head-fi devices. In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.