Technics SL-1200GEG: Looks like 80s, plays like heaven
The direct-drive turntable invented by Technics is still highly acclaimed by audiophiles and DJs in the form of the SL-1200 Series, and there have been many requests to revive the turntable system. Direct-drive is generally considered to be for DJ use, and belt drive is for Hi-Fi use. In the 1970s, when Technics invented direct-drive turntables, their performance and reliability were first recognised by broadcast stations. High acclaim was then received by audiophiles.
The high-precision rotation and absence of S/N ratio degradation were particularly attractive to these users. The high torque and reliability of direct-drive were recognised by DJs, and direct-drive turntables became the standard in the club scene. When developing a direct-drive motor, considerable capital investment is required for large-scale production equipment. In contrast, belt drives can be made with a little cost. Also, compared with direct-drive, belt drive was designed with the latest technology.
The view remains that direct-drive is for DJ use and belt drive is for Hi-Fi use. Originally, direct-drive offered superior sound quality. If Technics redesign the direct-drive motor and control circuitry, they will be able to create a turntable that is superior to other systems. Technics was also a leader in incorporating innovations, such as vibration-damping materials, cabinet construction, and insulators. Having inherited the DNA of Technics, they do not wish to merely make a replica of the SL-1200.
Conventional analogue turntables have problems with degradation in sound quality caused by factors such as minute speed vibration during rotation and rotation irregularity called "cogging." In the SL-1200GEG, the use of a newly developed coreless direct-drive motor with no iron core eliminates cogging. Also, the twin-rotor construction reduces the bearing load while maintaining high torque, and also reduces minute vibration during rotation. These factors enable reproduction of the warm, exquisitely detailed sound etched on analogue records. ■