Trip to Audio Vision SF to See the New Technics SL-1000R

Randolph Johnson (left) and Antonio Long (right) of Audio Vision SF chat with Bill Voss, Technics Business Development Manager/US.

This past Thursday, we took advantage of the opportunity to visit Audio Vision SF for an evening of seeing and hearing some really special products. Bill Voss of Technics USA presented the soon to be released SL-1000R, with Kerry St. James of YG Acoustics presenting the YG speakers and Mike Marko of Nordost doing cable demonstrations.

As interesting as it was to learn about the products, the big treat was to hear the system with the  SP1000R (shown above) as the source. The folks at Audio Visions are to be commended for opening up their store to host an event like this. I’ll confess that it’s been a while since we’ve visited this store, and I was amazed by the amount of inventory they have and by their vinyl selection. They are also really willing and able to set up product comparisons for potential customers, so if you live in the Bay area and haven’t discovered them, they are well worth a visit.

Becky and I headed over Thursday evening, and stopped for an early dinner at one of our favorite Chinese restaurants in the city, Martin Yan’s MY China. Even though we got there early to take pictures, there was a good crowd already and it continued to build. The crowd was standing room only when the presentation started, and the energy in the room was great all evening. In fact, judging from the crowd, I’d say Audio Vision SF already has a great following.

When I think of the classic direct drive turntable, I think of the SP-10. Technics introduced two versions of the new reference turntable earlier this year, the Technics SL-1000R and the SP-10R. They were played for the first time at a public venue at CES. I had planned to be at CES, but I didn’t get to at the last minute due to a freak accident. Instead, Bill was kind enough to send me pictures from the show and gave me lots of time on the phone to ask questions about the table. This lead to a thought piece, “Down The Rabbit Hole to See the Technics SP-10R and SL-1000R”. You can also click here to see all of the pictures Bill sent.

The SP-10R is a turntable only version of the new Direct Drive turntable that will literally drop into any custom installation or into the obsidian plinth of a vintage SP-10 II or III. The SL-1000R is a fully equipped turntable with a 10″ versions of the Technics “S” shaped tonearm with a magnesium arm tube, and built into a custom aluminum base capable of supporting up to three arms.

Bill says the main reason Technics decided to start making these new turntables was the new ability to make a core-less direct-drive motor. Bill said as good as the old direct-drive turntables were when played in a world-class system, they could have problems caused by factors such as minute speed vibration during rotation and a rotation irregularity that is known as “cogging.” They solved the cogging problem in their newly developed core-less direct-drive motors by eliminating the iron core, which is where the “cogging” occurred. He said this is why they brought out the SL-1200GEA at CES in 2016. As good as the motor in the SL-1200GEA is, just look at the picture of the difference in their size.

When it came time to hear the system, we were all ready. The most obvious thing from the very start was that I had never heard the YG Sonjas sound this good. The sound had the drive I would expect from a great direct drive or idler drive turntable. It was quite beyond anything I had heard before. Which made detail and soundstaging was incredible. The bass was equally impressive. I would love to hear this turntable in my system one day, but right now there are many preorders and it hasn’t even been released yet.

Thanks again to Audio Vision SF for such a great evening!

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