Technics unveils SL-1210GAE Limited Edition turntable

Cast your mind back to the summer of 2016 and you’ll no doubt remember that Technics released its Grand Class SL-1200GAE limited edition turntable to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the company forming. Now, five years later, it’s releasing the SL-1210GAE Limited Edition to honour its 55th year.

Based upon the SL-1200G that received an Editor’s Choice recommendation back in HFC 418, the updated deck marks Technics first collaboration with highly respected pick-up producer Nagaoka – which in turn celebrates its 80th anniversary this year. Specially tuned by a joint team of experts from both companies, a moving-magnet JT-120 cartridge comes bundled with the turntable (and won’t be available anywhere else). Employing a boron cantilever, it’s claimed to be designed for superior focus and improved detail.

The all-black SL-1210GAE’s 10mm-thick aluminium top panel is added to a three-layer construction of aluminium die-cast, Bulk Moulding Compound (BMC) and heavyweight-class rubber. This construction is said to provide vibration damping and comes with an anodised black brushed hairline finish that’s matched by the black of the tonearm and buttons.

Additional damping is provided by the specially developed zinc insulator ‘aGEL’ – a shock absorbing material that also featured on the flagship SL-1000R. Effectively isolating the chassis from external vibrations, it’s described as leaving music ‘undisturbed’ to preserve every fine nuance and detail of the musical signal.

Technics’ coreless direct drive motor is on hand to eliminate cogging, while its twin-rotor construction reduces the bearing load, maintains high torque and ensures the rapid stop-start action that the turntable is so celebrated for. Meanwhile, the application of motor control technology developed by sister company Panasonic for its Blu-ray players automatically switches the drive mode depending on the operational status of the motor for a high starting torque and high-speed stability during playback. The tonearm is constructed from lightweight magnesium that employs Technics’ traditional gimbal suspension construction – with the horizontal and vertical rotation axis intersecting at a single point – alongside high-precision bearings. The iconic strobe light can be turned off to allow the listener to enjoy the music without distraction in darker environments and the top panel features a hand-made badge inscribed with the unique serial number to signify that this is a 55th anniversary model. The SL-1210GAE will be limited to a release of just 700 units across Europe.

In other news, Technics also let slipped some development details about its new "reference class" integrated amplifier, expected later in the year. Check out the July issue for more details.