Technics SL-1210GAE Limited Edition


Technics has making a “wide variety of epoch-making audio products” since 1965, this year, Technics releases the SL-1210GAE Limited Edition direct drive turntable to commemorate the 55th anniversary of the brand. This special model is based on the Grand Class SL-1200G turntable and features a full black colour scheme. The SL-1210GAE will be available from June 2020 and limited to only 700 units throughout Europe. The price will be £4,000.

The SL-1210GAE’s 10mm-thick aluminium top panel sports an anodized black brushed hairline finish while the operation buttons and tonearm are the same colour to create a uniform appearance. The turntable is wholly made in Japan with a significant level of hand-made processes to ensure the highest quality possible. The top panel features a special badge, inscribed with a unique serial number to signify that it is a 55th anniversary model.

A zinc insulator features αGEL, a soft gel-like material with excellent shock absorbing properties which is also used on the SL-1000R reference turntable. The high-density zinc die-cast housing offers “superb” vibration damping characteristics and long-term reliability. The new insulator “effectively isolates the turntable from external vibrations, ensuring completely undisturbed music reproduction whilst preserving every fine nuance and detail within the musical signal”. Turning off the strobe light allows the listener to concentrate more effectively on the music, especially in dimmed environment.

In developing the SL-1210GAE, Technics collaborated with Nagaoka, a highly-respected manufacturer with a global reputation for record styluses and pickup systems. The SL-1210GAE is supplied with the moving magnet (MM) type JT-1210 cartridge that was specifically tuned by a joint team of engineers from Technics and Nagaoka. The JT-1210 employs a boron cantilever and is designed to offer superior performance in focus and detail in comparison to other moving magnet cartridges.
In the SL-1210GAE, the use of a coreless direct-drive motor (with no iron core) eliminates the ‘cogging’ that afflicts many turntable motors. Also, the twin-rotor construction reduces the bearing load whilst maintaining high torque, and also reduces vibration during rotation.

The application of motor control technology developed for Blu-ray devices, and switching the drive mode depending on the operational status of the motor achieves a high starting torque and high speed stability for optimum playback.

The turntable features a three-layered construction with a brass top-plate, an aluminium die cast core platter and a solid rubber coating covering its entire rear surface to eliminate unwanted resonance. This delivers smooth rotational stability and high inertial mass surpassing the SP-10MK2 (the direct-drive turntable standard used by broadcast stations worldwide), as well as having more than twice the inertial mass of the SL-1200MK5.

When the weight distribution of the turntable is uneven, excess vibration or noise occurs during rotation, which causes degradation in sound quality. To counteract this, the balance of the turntable is adjusted at the factory by using specialised high-precision balance adjustment equipment after the turntable is assembled.

The tonearm employs lightweight magnesium which has a high damping effect, with cold drawing improving the characteristics of the material and achieving the high-precision required. In addition, high initial-motion sensitivity is attained by employing the traditional Technics gimbal suspension construction with the horizontal rotation axis and the vertical rotation axis intersecting at a single central point, as well as high-precision bearings using a cut-processed housing.


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