TOKYO (TR) – Panasonic announced this week it will be bringing back its Technics line of turntables, five years after it discontinued the very popular line.
The new turntable, which should reach stores next year, went on display at the IFA trade fair in Berlin, which started on Friday.
However, the new record player is only a prototype — in fact, just a black platter atop a silver deck — and Panasonic has yet to decide how it will look when it reaches the market.
“At present, we cannot comment whether this new turntable would be a specialist product or one for the general market,” Yayoi Watanabe of Panasonic’s public relations department told The Tokyo Reporter.
Early information suggests that the new machine could become a standard for the modern vinyl DJ, just as its SL-1200 series was for the last generation.
The new deck’s marquee feature is a motor that improves sound by making rotation smoother.
“In conventional analog turntables, sound quality degradation caused by tiny vibrations of the motor and rotational speed fluctuations has been a major challenge,” the company said in a news release. “To overcome this challenge and assure smooth, highly-stable rotation, Panasonic has developed a new direct drive motor and redesigned high-precision motor control technology.”
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of the Technics brand. In that time, the name became synonymous for reliability in the DJ community. Panasonic relaunched the brand in 2014, but had until now stayed away from its most vaunted product line.
“Demand for analog turntables has been on the rise in recent years as music aficionados once again find the value in the sound of analog records, mainly in the North American, European and Japanese markets,” Panasonic says.
The announcement of the launch comes a year after another popular brand, Vestax, vanished from the market.