Technics SL1200GAE in the Test

The turntable of the technics 1200/1210 series became legends. With DJs, as well as under HiFiisten. Six years after the production stop now comes a new – high-end limited edition. How the modern reincarnation of Technics SL1200GAE in the test?

If there is a Hi-Fi unit, from which generations of non-HiFiisten have always dreamed it was the DJ Technics SL1210 turntables. Even contemporaries, who generally distant are the technique affinity or reverie, are visited at least once a school or uni-party during her youth, where an intermittent in the rhythm of the bass or the dancing mob or jumping cheap turntable has sent the mood in the basement. And the uncrowned king of the cage is one who 1210 can conjure a real Technics, which provides evidence of its reputation as the toughest DJ Twister of all time at the latest.

But in 2010, it was quiet and silent to the player, who had found his way into many living room over the decades. Without further ADO, the technics parent company ceased production in the coming age of streaming. That drove the used – and new-old-stock prices sharply. There were good technical arguments for a new edition in addition to the analog-boom: the direct drive with electronic time correction provided already in 1972 with the first generation unmatched tracking values and even the rumble distances have been surpassed since then by half-ton mass candidates.

As the little children

So was indeed the entire editorial staff in joyful anticipation of the inconspicuous-looking package that contained the limited edition reissue of the plate screwdriver. The new answers to the name SL1200GAE and confused the viewer in optical terms for a brief moment: Yes, the arrangement of the function elements, the operation, the shape, that everything is a typical 1200. On the other hand: Appearance, colour and feel so ever not fit to a DJ tool. The light brushed aluminum (the top plate is milled from a full 10 mm-thick piece alloy), the noble brass color plate, the significant surfaces: it is pure high end and makes the extra charge for the anniversary model to a NOS DJ Twister subjectively entirely moderate.

Concentrated technology

The positive impression continues, if you take a closer look at the end sound decisive elements: who applies a turntables, of which there are now no longer too many on the market, first, of course the engine. After removing the engine cover of the 1200 are also why very few producers of such drives venture: the DC motor with ten external stator coils and an iron core-free twin rotor inside is built directly on a circuit board and would an exhibition of German engineering for weight – uh, to face – stand.

This also applies to the motor controller, the full digital works and should be service even via USB port and updateable. So no wonder also that advertise the designers with torque, acceleration and brake values in the owner’s manual, demonstrating the uniqueness of this drive: in 0.7 seconds, he moved the plate from a halt to constant, quartz controlled 33 revolutions per minute.

But not any plate! The triple sandwich alone weighs 3.5 kg (without mat, of course), which was redesigned for the SL1200GAE: the base plate is an aluminum die-cast element non-magnetic, top with a brass finish – both! – and below was optimized with a Sorbothanlage. The transmission from the motor plate on the aluminium main dish is done using three pins that lossless transfer especially the electronic braking.

Similar production quality were the technics engineers even when the arm exercise: so the GAE version received the s-shaped curved arm with a cold drawn magnesium instead of an aluminium tube. A gimbal, which intersect the vertical and the horizontal axis by two ball bearings outside virtually in a point and at the same time guarantee a perfect reinforcement against unwanted rotation and tilting, keeps him on track. Who wants to mount other cartridge than the Ortofon DJ needles on the headshell with standard half inch screws measure and Technics own arm connector unit, will appreciate the 6 mm adjustable arm height.

Listening test: On start/stop we go

Operation is simple, the adjustment of the SL1200 even very easy. The childlike joy, when the blue strobe light and the white lamp light up and pressing “Start/stop” brings a massive plate in the time of Eyelash shock on a nominal number of revolutions, brings a smile to the lips, which have dreamed in the youth of a career as a DJ not only those. The latter will explore first even technically feasible – Yes, one has the new “2 x”-button, the pitch range on +-16% extended. The HiFiist press the “reset” button instead and enjoyed the perfect speed.

So first real disco sounds found their way on the 1200 in the stereoplay editorial subscribed otherwise privately on classical and rock: Sly and the family stone with “I want To Make You Higher” reference Benz ACE brought real 1970s feel about the Pickup: fast, tight, ultra accurate, with jagged rhythms. Unfortunately lacked the party also untenrum Foundation, and the heights remained some nobel intellectually, why the editors tried a number of pickups. Two MMs remained – an old rule following – finally hang in the ear.

At first the color strong, extremely harmonious and fundament – Audio Technica AT450E, which gave Kellee of Patterson’s “Maiden Voyage” a timeless, charming and inimitable density club atmosphere. The technics acted here even at the finest jazz sounds like a rock in the surf and brought every shade with musical Verve heard and sounded not a bit thin.

As well with the slightly audiophilere gold ring 2400, which gave exactly the tough deep bass and impulse Nick caves “Push The Sky Away” and Peter Gabriel’s “intruder”, the generations of DJs on the technics 1210 so loved.

Conclusion

The new edition is a technically and sonically high sovereign drive that lets the pure DJ usage far behind and properly audiophile sounds, but calls for strong dynamics and tiefbass – game partners. Only: Technics-fans should be as fast as of June like the rhythms of the SL1200GAE – the Special Edition is limited to 1200 and could be quickly sold out.

 

Gallery

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technics_sl1200gae_7 – DAR__KO

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