Technics SL-1000R turntable/arm Lab Report

Two years ago Technics' SL-1200GAE turntable set the standard for rumble and speed accuracy – benchmarks that are inched forward again by this flagship 'Reference Class' SL-1000R. Speed accuracy is, quite frankly, beyond the limits of accuracy using any test record because there are finite speed and W&F errors built into every disc. So the SL-1000R returned the same absolute speed accuracy of 0.006% (albeit –0.006% here in place of the SL-1200GAE's +0.006%) but with a further 'sharpening' of W&F down to a peak 0.02% – 0.01% for wow and for flutter [see Graph 1]. What this graph also reveals is the reduction in noise off the LP, with a through-groove figure of –75dB (DIN-B wtd). This is a full 5-6dB (or half the noise) obtained from some other high-end decks we've tested, so there's clearly merit not only in 21st century direct drive but also 20th century rubber mats...


Wow and flutter re. 3150Hz tone at 5cm/sec (plotted ±150Hz, 5Hz per minor division)


Cumulative tonearm resonant decay spectrum, illustrating various bearing, pillar and 'tube' vibration modes spanning 100Hz-10kHz over 40msec

In common with Technics' first S-shaped tonearm, this latest iteration is remarkably free of debilitating resonances despite its detachable headshell and ostensibly complex arm lift and rest, spring-tension bias adjust, double-axis gimbal bearing and adjustable height control. In practice the cold-drawn magnesium tube looks to have a diffuse bending mode around 95Hz with higher-Q harmonics deferred to 200Hz and 300Hz, all of which are at significantly lower amplitude than competing designs. The scatter of resonances between 1-2kHz might come from the headshell collar and lift lever but they are very short-term [see Graph 2]. The custom gimbal bearing proved both free of play and measureable friction (<5mg, both planes) while the downforce calibration was accurate to within <±5%. In every respect, this is the ultimate plug-and-play vinyl solution! PM

Turntable speed error at 33.33rpm: 33.33rpm (–0.006%)
Time to audible stabilisation: <1sec
Peak Wow/Flutter : 0.01% / 0.01%
Rumble (silent groove, DIN B wtd): –74.9dB
Rumble (through bearing, DIN B wtd): –74.1dB
Hum & Noise (unwtd, rel. to 5cm/sec): –59.9dB
Power Consumption: 6W (<1W idle)
Dimensions (WHD) / Weight: 531x188x399mm / 40.2kg
Price: £20,000

Panasonic Corporation
Osaka, Japan
Supplied by: Panasonic UK, Berks
0844 844 3899