The Technics SL-1000R Reference Class turntable was launched in 2018. It has received critical acclaim from several leading magazines with the terms such as “game changer” and “the apex of vinyl playback” being used.
As you would expect, build quality is exceptional. No compromise has been taken in its construction, in fact the deck weighs in at approx 40kg so a two person lift. It comes in a a beautiful Birch plywood shipping crate and demonstrates Technics attention to detail. The deck effectively comes in two versions, the Technics SL-1000R is the full turntable package. The SP-10R is the motor unit and power supply. The SP10-R allows people who want to experiment with their own plinth and arm combinations to do so and is backward compatible with older Sp-10 motor units.
The Technics SL-1000R should be paired with a high end MC cartridge such as the Ortofon MC Windfeld, Anna, SPU, Dynevactor, Te-Kaitora or XV1-S/T.
The SL-1000R is the big brother to the new SL-1200G Grand class deck which is also available from DNA audio. Both offer excellent class leading performance at their price points.
The motor that forms the heart of the direct drive turntable is based on the coreless direct drive motor that was developed for the SL-1200G launched in 2016, and further improved. The double coil twin rotor-type coreless direct drive motor that was newly developed for this purpose had coils on both sides for 12-pole, 18-coil drive, with high enough torque to drive the heavyweight-class platter (approximately 7.9-kg). Offsetting the coils on both sides 60 degrees improved the rigidity of the substrate, suppressing fine vibrations and reducing self-inductance. These improvements achieved stable rotation of 0.015% wow and flutter or less, which is considered to be the measurement limit. Also, the thrust bearings supporting the heavyweight-class platter use a special engineering plastic to provide both high rigidity and reliability.
Suppressing Unwanted Motor Vibration
The motor that was developed for the SL-1200G served as the platform for the direct drive motor. The double coil, reinforced thrust bearings, and a chassis with increased rigidity achieved a stabilised motor with low centre of gravity. By positioning two stainless steel weights with high rigidity and high specific gravity at the bottom of the chassis, the rigidity and low centre of gravity are maintained. These thorough measures to prevent unwanted vibration help to achieve overwhelming rotary precision and improve S/N.
Heavyweight-class Turntable Platter
The turntable platter positions tungsten weights, which have an extremely high specific weight and are difficult to process, on the outer periphery of a 10-mm-thick brass weight. The brass weight is laminated onto the aluminium die-cast, giving the platter a total weight of approximately 7.9 kg and an inertial mass of approximately 1 ton･cm. A deadening rubber for eliminating unwanted vibration is also attached to the rear surface to form a 3-layer construction and achieve high rigidity and excellent vibration damping characteristics.
Separate Control Unit
The control unit is separated from the main unit to suppress the effects of unwanted noise on the main unit. In order to achieve a power supply circuit that provides good regulation for high torque, a switching power supply is used. To reduce the noise reaching the pickup, the switching power supply is equipped with a unique technology that provides a voltage supply with minimal noise by a newly developed “unwanted noise reduction circuit”. Also, to minimise the noise even during communication, a highly reliable system that resists the effects of external noise is used for communication between the main unit and the control unit. These thorough noise-reduction measures achieve the world’s highest-level S/N.
Minute Adjustment and Indication of Rotations
This turntable supports not only LP (33 1/3 rpm) and EP (45 rpm) analogue records, but also SP (78 rpm). Rotation (rpm) can also be set down to two decimal places (maximum ±16%) from the control unit. The OLED display is also capable of displaying rotation with accuracy down to two decimal places, so the user can both hear and see extremely precise rotation.
To enable the tonearm to precisely track the record’s rotation, Technics has traditionally used the static balance, S-type universal tonearm with a lightweight, high damping magnesium tonearm pipe. The gimbal suspension construction tonearm uses high-precision bearings. Highly skilled Japanese craftsmen handle all assembly and adjustment to achieve a high initial-motion sensitivity to precisely trace the grooves cut into the records. OFC is used for internal wiring, so the music signal relayed from the cartridge is not dampened and the musical energy cut into the record is not lost, thereby producing highly vivid sounds.
The tonearm base, to which the tonearm is mounted, is strongly integrated with the turntable part. Comparing the turntable base part with the tonearm mounting construction, the relationship of the tonearm bearings, turntable bearings, and needle position is always constant, providing a structure in which the vibration caused by the rigidity of the turntable base materials has minimal effect, and the tonearm performance is maximized. An optional tonearm base can also be purchased, enabling, in addition to the standard tonearm, an existing short or long-type tonearm from SME or Ortofon to be mounted (up to three including the standard tonearm).
A gold-plated 5-Pin DIN terminal is used, enabling the user to select the desired PHONO cable. An integrated, machined, high-rigidity aluminum housing also suppresses external noise from reaching the pickup.
A Rigid Cabinet and High Damping Silicon Insulator
The cabinet has a 2-layer construction consisting of BMC (bulk molding compound) and a 30-mm-thick aluminium top panel. The turntable part is a 3-layer construction comprising BMC, aluminium die-cast, and a 25-mm-thick aluminium top panel. This gives the system a construction of 5 layers of different materials to ensure sufficient rigidity. The insulator that supports the cabinet is a special silicon rubber that combines high vibration damping characteristics and long-term reliability. Reinforcement with a cylindrical tube made of a microcell polymer absorbs vibrations in the horizontal direction. These parts are contained in a zinc die-cast housing with high specific gravity, for isolation from external vibrations.
Direct Drive Turntable System
Brushless DC motor
33 1/3, 45, 78 rpm
0.39 N・m / 4.0 kg･cm
Wow And Flutter
0.015 % W.R.M.S.
Brass and aluminium diecast combined
Diameter : 323 mm
Weight : Approx. 7.9 kg (including turntable mat)
Universal Static Balance
From the tonearm pivot to the stylus : 254mm
From the tonearm pivot to the spindle : 239mm
Tracking Error Angle
Within 1° 48′ (at the outer groove of 30 cm (12″) record)
Within 0° 30′ (at the inner groove of 30 cm (12″) record)
Arm Height Adjustment Range
0 – 15 mm
Stylus Pressure Adjustment Range
0 – 4 g (Direct Reading)
Applicable Cartridge Weight Range (including Headshell)
15.9 – 19.7 g (without auxiliary weight)
18.8 – 23.6 g (with small auxiliary weight)
22.5 – 26.3 g (with middle auxiliary weight)
26.0 – 31.0 g (with large auxiliary weight)
PHONO (Din Jack) x 1 *Straight Type Cable Only
AC 110 – 240 V, 50 / 60 Hz
Approx. 0.05 W (Standby)
Dimensions (W x H x D)
Main Unit 531 x 188 x 399 mm
Control Unit 110 x 84 x 350 mm
Main Unit Approx. 40.2 kg
Control Unit Approx. 2.1 kg
Operating Temperature Range
0° to +40°
Operating Humidity Range
35 % to 80 % RH (no condensation)
Turntable, Turntable mat, EP record adaptor, Balance weight, Auxiliary weight(Small)(Middle)(Large), Overhang gauge, Screw set for turntable, Detachable handle, Hex wrench, Insulator attachment, Dust cover, AC main leads, Owner’s manual