Technics Introduces Appx. "half-priced" SL-1200 GR Direct Drive Turntable
The new SL-1200GR gets to the approximately $2000 price point mostly by replacing the magnesium tone arm with one of aluminum and by replacing the motor with one of a less complex design, the details of which are best covered in an upcoming review of the SL-1200G. The platter is somewhat lighter, and there are other changes made around the margins, but otherwise, in terms of features and functionality the two turntables are identical.
However, while skeptics, like the New York Times' knucklehead reporter who covered the 1200 in the paper's business section and got the price wrong of the SL-1200G while misunderstanding the new design's significant upgrades, AnalogPlanet readers understand the significance of "a new motor" and the other aspects that resulted in last year's re-introduced SL-1200G.
Both of these SL-1200s are essentially hand-built in Japan. Watch for the SL-1200G review soon on AnalogPlanet. As I remark in the video, Technics' choice to maintain the original SL-1200's industrial design is a double edged sword: skeptics and knuckleheads think the new 1200 is the same turntable as the old one with a jacked up price, while ditching the classic look would have resulted in a loss of tradition and continuity. i think Technics was correct to keep the classic architecture and significantly upgrade the design and build quality.