TOKYO (TR) – DJs, put your hands in the air.
The Technics 1200 series of direct-drive turntables will be reissued in May, seven years after the legendary line was terminated.
In an announcement issued on Tuesday, Panasonic said that it will release the SL-1200GR on May 19, priced at 148,000 yen. Annual production is estimated at 1,200 units.
According to Panasonic, among the improvements in the new turntable are a direct drive motor that provides stable rotation and reduced vibration; high rigidity and vibration tolerance due to a sturdy housing and a double-layer platter; and an aluminum tone arm with better sensitivity and traceability.
3.5 million sold
Since launching the SL-1200 in 1972, the company has shipped approximately 3.5 million units. With direct-drive motors for superior sound quality, the SL1200 became synonymous for reliability in the DJ community.
Decades later, however, sales started to slump along with the decrease in demand for vinyl records. In 2010, Panasonic discontinued the line due to “a decline in demand for analog products,” a Panasonic representative told The Tokyo Reporter.
In 2015, Panasonic announced that it would be bringing back the SL-1200 in an updated edition. A prototype of a new version of the SL-1200 line was on display at the IFA trade fair in Berlin in September of that year. In 2016, the SL-1200GAE was released in a limited edition to honor the line’s 50th year.
Surge in vinyl sales
The revival is due to a surge in vinyl sales. “In recent years, the demand for analog records has increased,” the company said in the announcement issued on Tuesday. “It not only men in their 50s who love music and are familiar with records, but interest among young people, aged below 40, who are touching records for the first time is spreading.”
According to the Recording Industry Association of Japan, approximately 102,000 albums were sold in Japan in 2009. In 2015, the industry shipped 662,000 copies on sales of 1.175 billion yen, roughly 3.5 times that of a decade before.