Technics to Preview New Reference Class Turntables

Technics is teaming with Value Electronics to preview the Reference Class SP-10R and SL-1000R turntables it unveiled in January at CES.

Value Electronics is hosting an open house/listening party on Saturday, May 19 from noon to 5 p.m. at its Scarsdale, NY showroom. Bill Voss, U.S. business development manager for Technics, will be on hand to demonstrate and discuss the SP-10R and SL-1000R direct-drive turntables, which are expected to sell for around $10,000 and $20,000, respectively, when they are released this summer.

The turntables will be showcased as part of the Technics Class R1 Reference System featuring the SE-R1 stereo amplifier, SU-R1 network player/preamp, and SB-R1 tower speakers.

Hors d’ oeuvres and cheese will be served with wine and assorted beverages. Visitors are encouraged to bring favorite records to “hear what’s really in those grooves.”

The latest additions to Technics’ Reference Class series of audio components, the SP10-R and SL-1000R turntables are “designed and engineered for ultimate analog vinyl performance,” according to Technics, the hi-fi audio brand Panasonic introduced in 1965. The SP10-R is based on the SP-10, which was the world’s first direct drive turntable when it was introduced in 1970 and went on to become the go-to turntable for broadcast stations.

Technics sees the appeal of direct drive technology as its ability to eliminate degradation in sound quality caused by rotation fluctuation and minute vibrations between the motor and transmission mechanism. With the new models, this is achieved in part by offloading the controls and power supply into an outboard module.

The SP10-R, which excludes a tonearm, features a double coil twin rotor-type coreless direct-drive motor with coils on both sides for 12-pole, 18-coil drive, and high enough torque to drive its brass-weighted 17-pound platter. Technics says the result is stable rotation with “excellent vibration damping” and no more than 0.015 percent wow & flutter. The table was developed to be interchangeable with previous SP-10 Series models, including the SP-10MK2 and SP-10MK3.

The SL-1000R features an S-type universal tonearm with a lightweight, high damping magnesium tonearm pipe. Its gimbal suspension tonearm uses high-precision bearings and is assembled and adjusted by highly-skilled Japanese craftsmen to ensure precisely tracking. For added rigidity, the tonearm base is integrated with the turntable. The tonearm bearings, turntable bearings, and stylus position are designed to remain constant, “providing a structure in which the vibration caused by the rigidity of the turntable base materials has minimal effect.”

dommyluc's picture

...I wonder if there is anyone out there who can calculate how many dollars that is per clicks and pops.
Still waiting for my $7500 Beta Reference Class VCR. The contrast and color is so much "warmer" and "more natural" than 4K video!

anmpr1's picture

This is no doubt a well engineered product. The "freedom from cogging" thing is a likely a solution to an issue no one ever had a problem with. The new tonearm does not appear to be nearly as sophisticated as the old EPA models (although if Technics refrains from using synthetic ruby bearings, the new arm won't be as fragile).

The price they are asking is through the roof, but I guess on low volume, hand made items, that's how it is, these days. It's not as if radio stations will be buying a lot of these, like the old SP10 models. So production costs won't be amortized out that way.

Given the price of some "high end" turntables, and given what you will get for your dollars, it's probably not a bad value. FWIW, I have an SL-1100A I bought in 1975 that is still running like new. I bought an SL-1200 Mk5 when they were discontinuing them with the idea that the 1100 would eventually, die, but it hasn't. So I would expect these new ones to last a couple of lifetimes.

Rich67's picture

Once again we have someone solving problems no one ever complained about. I'm still using my now 35+ year old Series 20 turntable with the PA-1000 arm. No problems yet. I am about to replace my Sumiko Bluepoint with a Bluepoint Special after 10 years of use. These tables certainly look pretty. I'll bet they can sell at least a dozen.

anmpr1's picture

...if you ever decide to sell, you will probably get more for your Pioneer turntable/arm than you paid for it, back in the '80s.