Technics continues to redefine the art of vinyl playback with the introduction of the all-new SL-1200GR2 and its classy companion, the SL-1210GR2. This latest release from the renowned Japanese audio company marks the next evolution in its highly regarded GR Grand Class Turntables series, boasting a fresh drive control system and an upgraded power supply.
In the fourth generation, these turntables still maintain the use of an iron-coreless direct drive motor as this effectively eliminates “cogging,” which is the irregular rotational movement that can negatively impact sound quality.
But, the new motor control system is where the magic happens. The SL-1200GR2 and SL-1210GR2 now employ delta-sigma modulation technology to control the motor, which not only eliminates unwanted vibrations but also dramatically enhances the accuracy of the platter’s rotation.
In order to further improve the turntable’s performance and get rid of even the tiniest vibrations in the platter, Technics did something unusual but smart. Leveraging its in-house digital expertise and drawing inspiration from the proprietary technology used in its fully digital products, the company set out to address the motor control signal of the analog device.
It’s “a method of high precision 1bit D/A conversion which is part of the signal procession in Technics’ full-digital amplifiers that use our proprietary technology JENO Engine. By this approach, consequently given the name ΔΣ-Drive (Delta Sigma Drive), a perfect sine wave is generated, and motor vibrations are radically reduced,” notes Technics.
“We looked at how we have improved signal precision in our digital audio components, especially at the reference amplifier SU-R1000, which optimises vinyl analogue signals using complex digital technology.,” Frank Balzuweit, senior product manager at Technics Europe said. “It’s been our goal to take our direct drive technology and take it to the next level in terms of precision. This was achievable by reducing motor vibration through optimising the driving sine waves via the PWM signal generation using Delta-Sigma(ΔΣ) Modulation, as employed in our full-digital amplifiers.”
In addition to the enhanced motor control, the SL-1200GR2 and SL-1210GR2 turntables feature an upgraded power supply, known as the Multi-stage Silent Power Supply. This power supply combines a high-speed, low-noise component working at over 100kHz with a noise-cancelling circuit borrowed from Technics’ reference-class SL-1000R turntable. While significant changes have been made under the hood, most of the mechanical design of the new GR2 model remains unchanged, including the dual-layer aluminium chassis.
The platter also maintains its two-layer aluminium construction, complemented by heavy-weight rubber dampening or vibration control. The overall design has received a few refinements and now comes with new colour-matched components and elements for a more cohesive and visually appealing look.
If you’re eager to take your vinyl listening experience to the next level, then the Technics SL-1200GR2 and SL-1210GR2 direct drive turntables are scheduled to make their Australian debut sometime in late October 2023. Priced at AUD$3,299, these stay true to Technics’ time-honoured legacy, with the silver model retaining the name SL-1200GR2, while its black counterpart will be known as the SL-1210GR2.