At one point in time, it felt like the ubiquitous Technics SL1200 MK2 was to be an evergreen piece of hardware. Launched in 1972 and unchallenged by none, it saw little to no revisions over its lifespan. With the sophistication of digital mixing exponentially ramping up over the millennium, it ceased production in 2010.
Perhaps ill timed, vinyl has seen a renaissance in recent years and the old giant has stirred out of its slumber. 2016’s audiophile grade Technics 1200G was prohibitively priced, out of reach of the very audience it served for decades. This week has seen Technics begin to tease their MK7 revision of the turntable, pitching directly at the “DJ audience”.
While the revisions are iterative, the quality of life additions are appealing. The direct drive motor has been revised with its Coreless Direct Drive Motor Technology, offering greater reliability and stability in playback. The feet feature suspension and cushioning to counter the effects of vibration in a loud playing environment, lessening the need to go to the extremes of mounting the turntables on concrete blocks with halved tennis balls.
Pitch control goes to the range of +/- 16%, smoothly operation with no “click” around 0%. The stylus light has improved brightness for low light conditions and, possibly most appealing, the audio cables are now modular, allowing for easy replacement with wear and tear. The 1200MK7 also features a matte-texture black body and black parts (buttons and tonearm), presenting an attractive, refined appearance.
SL-1210 MK7, which is sold in Europe and the UK, will cost £899 and €1000 while the SL-1200 MK7 will retail for $1200 (the decks are identical apart from the name). They will be available in May.