Technics SL-1200GR ‘Budget’ Turntable is Overpriced


DJs and vinyl lovers have had a romance with the Technics 1200 since its debut back in 1972. But in 2010 parent company Panasonic said sayonara to the turntable, leaving legions of brand fanatics in the lurch. Last year Panasonic announced it was restarting production of its famed decks and introduced the pricey Grand Class Technics SL-1200G for around $4,000. It also set out to market the turntable to audiophiles as opposed to the brand’s core following of DJs, emphasizing that only 20 are assembled a day, with most of the work done by hand.

The return of the SL1200 continues to be met with skepticism, and for quite good reason. Yesterday Panasonic announced at CES the forthcoming release of a lower-price successor, the SL-1200GR. While the unit offers various upgrades to the original model (see specs below) and is a more affordable option than its predecessor, the asking price of around $2,000 still seems like a deal breaker, mainly because second-hand 1200s can be bought for around half the price.

With many other quality turntable options now on the market, it will be interesting to see how this “budget” model fares among the brand’s core following who are slowly and steadily turning its back on Panasonic.


Technology for Rotational Stability
• Coreless Direct Drive Motor
• High-Precision Motor Controller

Construction for Vibration Tolerance
• High-dampening Turntable Platter
• Rigid Cabinet Construction
• Silicon Rubber Insulator

High Quality Parts
• High Sensitive Tonearm
• Gold–plated Detachable Terminals

Technics Definitive Design
Inherited SL-1200 Series

Turntable Section
• Type: Direct Drive Manual Turntable
• Turntable Speeds: 33 1/3, 45, 78 r/min
• Adjust Range: ±8%, ±16%
• Starting Torque: 2.2 kg・cm (1.91 lb-in)
• Build-up Characteristics: 0.7 s. from standstill to 33 1/3 r/min
• Wow and Flutter: 0.025% W.R.M.S.
• Rumble: 78dB (IEC 98A Weighted)
• Turntable Platter: Aluminum die-cast
Diameter:332mm (13-5/64″)
Weight:Approx. 2.5kg (5.5 lb) (Including rubber sheet)

Tonearm Section
• Type: Universal, Static Balance
• Effective Length: 230mm (9-1/16″)
• Overhang: 15mm (19/32″)
• Tracking Error Angle:
Within 2° 32′ (at the outer groove of 30cm (12″) record)
Within 0° 32′ (at the inner groove of 30cm (12″) record)
• Offset Angle: 22°
• Arm Height Adjustment Range: 0 – 6mm
• Stylus Pressure Adjustment Range: 0 – 4g (Direct Reading)
• Head Shell Weight: Approx. 7.6g
• Applicable Cartridge Weight Range:
[without auxiliary weight] 5.6 – 12.0g (14.3 – 20.7g (including head shell))
[with auxiliary weight] 10.0 – 16.4g (18.7 – 25.1g (including head shell))
• Cartridge Mounting Dimension: JIS 12.7mm, interval
• Head Shell Terminal Lug: 1.2mmφ 4-pin terminal lug

• Audio Output: PHONO (Pin Jack) x 1, EARTH TERMINAL x 1

• Power Supply: AC120 V, 60 Hz
• Power Consumption: 11 W (Approx. 0.2W (Standby))
• Dimensions (W x H x D): 453 x 173 x 372 mm (17-27/32 × 6-13/16 × 14-21/32 inch)
• Weight: Approx. 11.2kg (Approx. 24.7lbs)

Darren Ressler

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