Hands on: Technics SL-1200G review

This turntable will definitely turn heads

What is a hands on review?
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Our Early Verdict

We have waited a long time for Technics to update its classic 1200 series turntable range - thankfully it has been well worth the wait.

For

  • Beautiful design
  • Fantastic updated features
  • direct drive functionality.

Against

  • Expect this to be one pricey turntable.

This is a flash hands-on review to give you the chance to see what the product is all about as soon as possible. Stay tuned as we'll expand and upgrade this review very shortly with more info.

Vinyl made an impressive resurgence in 2015, with the format selling more copies last year than the 25 years before it.

Whether it's a backlash to the clinical digital music supplied by Spotify or just millennial hipsters looking for an alternative way to look cool and interesting, sales of vinyl have increased - as has, unsurprisingly and annoyingly, the price of a record.

Alongside this record resurgence we have seen a number of brands re-establish themselves in the turntable market. The latest and by far the most anticipated is Technics.

Technics SL 1200G

Now a subsidiary of Panasonic, the audio firm teased back in September 2015 at IFA that it was launching a new version of its classic SL-1200G turntable. Skip to CES 2016 and the iconic turntable has finally been shown off.

Unfortunately, we have yet to take the SL-1200G for a, ahem, spin but we have seen it up close and it's a beautiful product.

The SL-1200G is an intoxicating mix of the old and the new. Given this is the 50th year of the Technics brand, it is honouring the original design but has added some brilliant flourishes under the hood. It has replaced the direct-drive system with a new coreless direct-drive motor that's powered by a twin rotor.

According to Technics, this cuts right down on any fluctuations in the rotational speed of the turntable. And if that wasn't enough, there's also a microprocessor in-built to make sure the rotations are as precise as they can be.

Technics SL 1200G

All of this is encased in an aluminium and brass top plate that comes with a heavy rubber bottom to make sure there's no shake at all. Size wise, the SL-1200G measures 453mm x 170mm x 372mm and it will play 33rpm up to 78rpm.

Technics wants to make sure the SL-1200G makes a big impact when it is released later in the year and is offering two versions of the turntable.

Technics SL 1200G

Coming later in 2016, there will be a non-limited edition Grand Class SL-1200G turntable. If you can't wait that long, then a limited edition SL-1200GAE model will be made available in the summer. There will only be 1,200 of these released, so you'd better be quick if you want to purchase one.

Given this is a reference, audiophile product you will need deep pockets too. How deep? Technics isn't saying, but given the premium price of vinyl at the moment you are probably already spending quite a bit for your obsession.

Technics SL 1200G

Early verdict

The Technics SL-1200G is a stunning bit of kit that harks back to the original and still best turntable. This isn't just a copy, though - the innards have been rebuilt to create a turntable for audiophiles. Vinyl bandwagon jumpers need not apply.

  • CES 2016 is in full swing - here's what's been launched so far.

What is a hands on review?

'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.