In a move that will surely bring a tear to many an eye in the DJ community, Panasonic last month announced that it was discontinuing production of analog products within its Technics brand – most notably its iconic line of turntables. Technics turntables are renowned for their quick start-up and reliability, thanks in part to a Direct-Drive turning mechanism that used magnets instead of a belt drive, and have become the turntable of choice for DJs the world over.
In a letter to stockists of Technics turntables, Panasonic put the decision down to the decline in global demand over the past decade, with sales of analog decks just five percent of what they were 10 years ago. The company also cited the increasingly difficulty task of procuring key analog components used in its analog products as another contributing factor. Panasonic says it will continue to support its analog Technics products for spare parts and warranty purposes.
Amongst the Technics lineup, none is likely to be as missed as the Sl-1200 turntable. Upon its release in 1972 it quickly became adopted among radio and club DJs, and subsequent models, starting with the MK2 released in 1978, became the most common turntable for DJing and scratching. More than three million units have been sold since its 1972 release and it is widely regarded as one of the most durable and reliable turntables ever made – in this age of planned obsolescence, something that may have also contributed to Panasonic’s decision.
If you’ve got a Technics turntable gathering dust in a cupboard somewhere, it might be worth pulling it out and dusting it off because we’re betting they’re going to attract a bit of interest amongst vinyl aficionados on eBay once Panasonic’s existing stock is exhausted.