In three of the four Januarys since 2016 Technics announced a new version of the rebooted SL-1200: the G/AE in 2016, built and priced (€3499) for audiophiles; the GR, in 2017, whose pricing (€1499) crosses into DJ territory; and in 2019 the MK7, aimed squarely at DJs, albeit it at a higher price (€899) than many expected. We can now travel down the range to see price drop in accordance with ‘table weight: 18kg to 11.5kg to 7.6kg.

Each SL-1200 is a direct-drive design, featuring a pitch slider for playback speed variation, a strobe light for visual confirmation of speed stability and a target light to illuminate where the stylus meeting the record’s surface. What we don’t get is a factory-fitted cartridge or internal phono stage.

With Technics’ newly announced SL-1500C (€999) we get to see what an SL-1200 might look like once shorn of its DJ-focussed bells and whistles. The SL-1500C is a plainer-looking SL-1200GR – no lights, no pitch control, different construction materials – but lands with a factory-fitted Ortofon 2M Red cartridge that plays into an in-built (but bypassable) MM phono stage.

The SL-1200GR is made in Japan, the SL-1500C in Panasonic’s Malaysia factory. Ditto the SL-1200 MK7, which completed the trio of statically displayed models shown by Panasonic EU at Norddeutsche Hifi-Tage 2019.

In this video (not a review), regional sales manager Jan Hildebrandt shows us the audiophile-explicit SL-1500C next to the SL-1200GR, as well as the SL-1200 MK7’s party trick:

Further information: Technics