The Technics 1210 is back for 2019, the new SL-1210MK7 being the first DJ turntable from Panasonic-owned Technics in around a decade (it will be the SL-1200 in other regions).
Dressed in an all-black matte design, the MK7 has black buttons and a black tonearm, while the platter illuminator can be switched from red to blue colour. The deck is built from die-cast aluminium to keep external vibration issue to a minimum.
As has always been core to the SL-1210 series the MK7 is a direct drive turntable. However, the new motor is coreless (there's no iron core in the stator), which Panasonic says helps avoid 'cogging' for a more accurate and stable rotation without any speed slip-ups.
Pitch control is the +/-8% standard digital control as found in the MK5, including the +/-16% '2X' adjustment switch. Rotations of 33rpm, 45rpm and 78rpm are supported (the last by pressing both 33/45 buttons together).
High torque is a must for this DJ line, with the MK7 said to match the response of the MK5 model, which set the benchmark many years ago. With the MK7, however, it's possible to adjust the torque response and braking speed through four levels – although you'll need to remove the platter and flick some switches beneath. This is potentially useful if you want rapid stops or slower pitch-down to static when hitting the start/stop button.
In addition there's a new reverse play function. You know, just so you can hear those satanic messages in Black Sabbath played backwards (the techno remix, but of course).
The SL1210 MK7 will also feature detachable phono and power cables to avoid damage, meaning they can be replaced should there be an issue.
Having re-introduced the SL-1200 in 2016, it's perhaps not a total shock to see Panasonic and Technics re-invest in the SL-1210, but it's definitely a pleasant surprise. An additional SL-1500C model, without the pitch control and targeted at a hi-fi audience, will also be available.
There's no final word on price or release date just yet, but it's anticipated to be in the £899/€999/$1200 ballpark.