Dead spin: Panasonic discontinues Technics analog turntables

Technics SL-1200MK6
Technics SL-1200MK6

TOKYO (TR) – Fans of vinyl were dealt another blow when consumer electronics company Panasonic announced earlier this month that it would be discontinuing the analog products within its Technics brand, most notably the legendary line of analog turntables.

On October 20, the company said that it was winding down production of the Technics SL-1200MK6 analog turntable, the SH-EX1200 analog audio mixer and the RP-DH1200 and RP-DJ1200 stereo headphones due to challenges in the marketplace.

“Panasonic decided to end production mainly due to a decline in demand for these analog products and also the growing difficulty of procuring key analog components necessary to sustain production,” the company said in statement issued to The Tokyo Reporter.

Last year, Japan’s last remaining vinyl pressing plant, owned by the production company Toyo Kasei, produced around 400,000 discs from its multifloor factory in Yokohama’s Tsurumi Ward, a far cry from the industry’s peak of 70 million four decades ago.

Panasonic said that sales of analog decks today represent roughly 5 percent of the figure from ten years ago. At present the company has no plans for putting analog turntables back on the market.

The SL-1200 series turntable, which enjoys a massive following in the DJ community, had been in continuous production since 1972. Since then 3.5 million units have been produced, making the brand’s purple and gray logo (“Technics” written twice) an icon in clubs.

The turntables are acclaimed for their quick start-up and reliability, achieved through its durable Direct Drive turning mechanism (via magnets, as opposed to being belt-driven) and its heavy 12.5-kilogram base (composed of what is known as the Technics Non Resonance Compound), which isolated the platter so as to reduce feedback and the chance that the cartridge would jump.

Japan’s DJ community was abuzz, notably on the social-networking site Twitter, following the announcement. Tatsuo Sunaga (dubbed “The Record Chief”) said in an email that the announcement was unfortunate.

“I’ve been using these products for around 20 years and rarely suffered a breakdown,” explained Sunaga, who is a club DJ, spinning jazz up and down Japan, and the author of “I’ll Take That Record!” — a chronicle of a three-year vinyl-buying spree. “This type of excellence is something not seen globally, and I think the fact that one doesn’t need to purchase subsequent models as being the reason for forcing the move.”

But even if turntable manufacturers targeting top DJs continue to shrink their output, Sunaga sees those who prefer analog today as being too obsessed with the format to allow it to become extinct. “I don’t think analog users will lose interest,” he said.

Regarding the Technics brand itself, nothing has been decided other than the discontinuation of the mentioned products, the statement said.

Update: Here is a third-party letter from Panasonic announcing the discontinuation of Technics analog turntables.

Comment On This Article

53 Responses to "Dead spin: Panasonic discontinues Technics analog turntables"

  1. 6   October 29, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    I’ve dj’ed for 10 years and never found a better brand of turntable. These are the Rolls Royce of turntables. They retain their re-sale and never break down. What a shame that has led to their demise. I sincerely hope someone steps in as techniques are the foundation of an entire culture of dj’ing/battling.

  2. Senne   October 29, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Are there any verifiable sources for this article? This story appears in the media every couple of years and has proven untrue so far.

    • CJ   October 30, 2010 at 8:38 am

      If anyone wants to see the statement from Panasonic contact me through the site.

  3. Xan_akz   October 31, 2010 at 12:54 am

    PLEASE DO NOT FINISH IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    You are killing the Dj image,your turntables are the bestl turntables we have in the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Сергей   October 31, 2010 at 5:40 am

    Самый лучший проигрыватель всех времён и народов.пожалуйста не сворачивайте свою деятельность.
    Развивайте…..

  5. DeeJ   November 1, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Very sad.
    Thought not used directly in our music,
    our studio enjoys one for all our vinyl sampling/listening:

  6. Ryan Whiteoak   November 2, 2010 at 5:13 am

    If all those fake djs would never have started spinnin’ cd’s and stayed true to vinyl, we would have never seen the demise of the 1200’s, let’s take care of those relics that we all have in our homes and studios, mine are in the coffin in my home studio. Been rockin’ with the same set for over 14 years !!! LONG LIVE WAX !!!! Keep it alive for the next generation. ONE, Ryan.

  7. RJ   November 2, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    its official, all analogue turntables are discontunued. sad day in DJ history.

    offical letter we recieved is here.
    http://studio-lights.com/blog/technics-discontinued-1200-turntable.htm

  8. David brown   November 4, 2010 at 7:43 am

    It was inevitable! The pioneer cdjs are just as long lasting though so not a major problem that I can see.. I bet people cried when the black and white TV stopped being manufactured aswell..

  9. DjkillaSharj   November 6, 2010 at 8:57 am

    Someone needs to step in and not discontinue these products. I had mine for more than 5 years and my 1200’s are still in perfect shape. In the long run if they were to crap on me I would buy the new technics because they are reliable and a great product. I could never use another analog turntable besides technics 1200’s. Pioneers cd j’s Are not the same at all they suck. JAPAN DONT DO IT U ARE MAKING A HUGE MISTAKE.

  10. Main   November 12, 2010 at 6:42 am

    This is the worst possible thing that could happen to dj culture. The cdj is for wannabe pussy djs. Real djs do it with 12 inches! I cringe anytime I see anyone “djing” and not using technics 1200’s. They should be standard issue for any serious dj. If you are a dj and don’t own a pair(or 3) do the world a favor and demand some technics! If enough people demand them someone might just buy the manufacturing rights! Shit how much would that cost? I might try to buy them and produce them myself, there is still money to be made off these badboys!

  11. DJ Fat   December 4, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    I bought 4 brand new in the 80, and 2 of then haven’t been opened yet. I was going to sell them, but HELL no!
    R.I.P. 1200’s

  12. dj.diesel   January 22, 2011 at 2:16 am

    eles são muitos indiotas vendencaros tenquelevar na cabeça!!! lindas mk2 technics?

  13. Gary   May 12, 2011 at 4:55 am

    Please reconsider this grave decision! An excellent and superior product like the SL 1200 may NEVER die!!! Panasonic, you owe this to all vinyl lovers whom supported you for decades!

  14. Greg   February 10, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Hey All…this has been coming for quite some time :( unfortunately times are beginning to change in the dj world as there is a decade of young people that have never paid for music so they dont realise any different so therefore they aint gonna pay to play vinyl while they can download music for free…it surley is the end of iconic era with panasonic”technics….alot of djs still use them but the real mcoy image is no more to be….i dj’d on and off for the las 10 years using technics 1200/1210’s and wen gave the cd’s a shot it just didnt do it for me…but i still have my technics mgs in their flightcases and will hold onto them till the day i die…..i may buy a pair of cd dex in the near future but jus to make some money if i intend to play out again…i dont like but its the only way forward wen it comes to money …..if they started makin vinyl and technics free of charge im sure the vast majority wud be spinnin record and the wheels of steel wud be at the helm again!