Is there any name more synonymous with the turntable and records than Technics? Numerous other manufacturers – old and new – cater to the resurgence of vinyl. But Panasonic’s audio imprint remains the de facto standard by which DJ and audiophiles swear by, in no small part to the design, performance, and durability of the retired and recently revitalized, Technics SL-1200. The audiophile wing of the Japanese company has yet another blast from the past, this one an even more luxe reinterpretation of audiophile chic: the Technics SP-10R.
The original Technics SP-10 introduced in 1970 remains a historical hallmark in the timeline of audio gear history – the very first direct drive turntable – one that evolved into two subsequent models that improved each of its predecessors (the third in the trilogy, the Technics SP-10 MK3, shipped with its own hulking obsidian plinth).
Slated for an early summer 2018 release, Panasonic’s “most premium-to-date turntable” was presented as a prototype at IFA, but specifications made available underline some details, including a new coreless direct drive motor, two-sided rotor drive system, and a new ultra-low-noise switching power supply to suppress inviting any unwanted vibrations or sounds.
The SP-10R isn’t just a conceptual nod to the past. Panasonic in fact engineered their new flagship turntable with backward compatibility in mind; the SP-10R will reputedly work interchangeably with all systems compatible with its two predecessors, the Technics SP10MK2 (1975) and the SP-10MK3 (1981).
A price tag wasn’t yet made available by Panasonic in Berlin, but don’t expect anything less than a figure reserved for only the most dedicated and deep pocketed audiophile when Summer 2018 arrives.