Wednesday, September 7, 2016

See the new Technics turntable being made

Written by Mark Settle — Oh how the DJ world rejoiced when the first inklings of a return of the iconic and ubiquitous Technics 1200 hit the news feeds. And then the actual product appeared in its limited edition form, with an audiophile aimed price tag of around six times that of the original. Clearly, despite Technics leaning on the somewhat accidental DJ heritage of the original, the new SL-1200GAE was not aimed at your average DJ’s wallet.

But there was hope in the shape of a non-limited edition called the 1200G. But hopes were soon dashed when the price tag was rumoured to be the same. Wait… what?

Coming in at £2700, the limited edition turntables were soon snapped up by eager collectors. I know two people who have them, and as far as I know, both will remain boxed as an investment. Canny lads.

So why is this turntable quite so taxing on your fragile bank balances? The straight answer (aside from the ease with which audiophiles will throw cash at new shiny) is that it’s all new tooling, and that is very expensive indeed, especially when dealing with precision electronics. And the low volume runs make return on investment hard.

Actual human uses actual eyes to quality check a new Technics turntable. I suppose he could be an android though right? Japanese manufacture is seriously advanced these days.

But perhaps the above video demonstrates rather more clearly just how much goes into manufacturing a turntable of this level. The lack of robots and reliance on skilled engineers and technicians goes a long way to explaining things. This isn’t a consumer electronics sausage factory by any stretch of the imagination. And as the video shows, the new Technics are being made on the machines that made the old ones.

Ultimately £2700 is still too much for DJs, and you’re fooling yourself if you believe for a single moment that Technics designed these for us. Yes we can use them, but spending north of £5K on a pair to spin DVS offers nothing over what is already out there. You won’t a better DJ, just a poorer one.

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