Vinyl lovers: Panasonic is releasing a 55th anniversary special edition Technics record player

It’s inspired by the iconic SL-1200 turntable and only 1,000 units will be sold!

Image: Panasonic

In 1965, the Matsushita Electric Industrial Company, better known around the world as Panasonic, released the first product under the Technics brand. It was a simple compact speaker system. Five years later, Technics introduced the thing that would make it a household name among audio fans: the world's first direct-drive turntable.

The Technics SP-10, along with the SL-1200 in 1972, transformed the at-home audio experience. These record players had a motor attached directly to the platter, unlike previous devices that used belts to spin the vinyl. Belt-drive systems caused vibrations and wore out over time. The SL-1200 was efficient, compact and robust – ideal for the burgeoning hip-hop scene. It even had a dial to control the rotation speed — meant to smooth out any irregularities for the listener — that became the perfect creative tool for DJs.  

The Technics SL-10, released in 1979, had the same dimensions as a standard LP jacket and used a needle that moved in a straight line across the record instead of a swinging arm. The machine was so innovative and sleek, one was given to the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

This year, to celebrate its 55th year as a brand, Technics is producing a special turntable inspired by the iconic SL-1200. Dubbed SL-1210GAE, this limited-edition record player sports all kinds of top-of-the-line features. According to Panasonic, it is "wholly made in Japan by skilled artisans' hands, with a significant level of hand-made processes to ensure the highest quality possible."

Each unit comes adorned with a distinct anniversary badge that includes a unique serial number. A specialty zinc insulator gel "effectively isolates the turntable from external vibrations, ensuring completely undisturbed music reproduction while preserving every fine nuance and detail within the musical signal."

Upholding its innovative reputation, Technics implemented motor-control technology from Blu-ray players to precisely control the speed and stability of playback.

All these features, plus the fact that only 1,000 will be made, ensure that the SL-1210GAE won't come cheap. It has a price tag of almost $5,000!


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BigE 29 days ago
I truly miss affordable vinyl. Always the best sound.
SashaPayneDiaz 30 days ago
I have a Technics SL-7 model direct drive turntable that I bought in the late '80's.....still works just fine.
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