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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 is Hi-Fi and Audio editor of What Hi-Fi?, and has been part of the team for almost eight years, with her current position preceded by roles as a staff writer and news editor. During that time she has been fortunate enough to travel the world to report on the biggest and most exciting brands in hi-fi and consumer tech (and has had the jetlag and hangovers to remember them by). In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching horror movies and hunting for gluten-free cake.