Those with deep pockets may be especially interested in the Anniversary Edition
Funny how things pan out. When Japan's Matsushita Corporation (the parent company of Panasonic, which in turn is parent company of Technics) released the Technics SL-1200 turntable in 1972, it didn't have DJs in mind at all. The 1200s rock-solid build was meant to minimise vibration, its direct drive was to minimise wow and flutter, and its pitch control was to correct microscopic fluctuations in turntable speed that affect music's pitch and tempo. It was aimed, in a nutshell, at audiophile classical music and jazz buffs.
It just turned out to be ideal for DJing, and remained the industry standard deck for nearly 40 years. When Panasonic announced it was killing off the 1200 and its SL-1210 sister in 2010, it felt like the end of an era.
But all things are cyclical, and right now there's a much-hyped vinyl revival going on, with HMV selling a turntable a minute over the Christmas period and the black stuff even showing up in Tesco. So as most of you are no doubt aware by now, Panasonic's chosen this week's CES technology show in Las Vegas to announce the rebirth of the SL-1210.
The new SL-1200G has essentially the same feature set as its predecessors, but adds some new features aimed at the hi-fi/audiophile market, including a microprocessor and sensors to eliminate 'cogging' (another phenomenon linked to turntable speed fluctuations) and the ability to play 78rpm records. But if you're feeling flush, there's also the SL-1200GAE, an Anniversary Edition model that comes in a magnesium case and will set you back... considerably more than the standard model, though a price for either has yet to be confirmed. The latter version is limited to 1200 units, but somehow we imagine Technics will be shifting a few more of the SL-1200G than that!
Welcome back, old friend... we've missed you.