Friday, November 27, 2009

Rumour: R.I.P. The Wheels of Steel?

WOW, what the? Does hip-hop facing another loss? It seems so, dear god, bless mine to keep on spinning for ever and ever!! Technics 1200, since 1972. R.I.P. the a major element of Hip Hop!

The DJing community and the greater dance music scene mourns the loss of a clubbing staple today. No, Steve Aoki hasn’t hung up his record bag, but rather news has emerged that iconic turntable manufacturers Technics will be stopping production on their universally loved Technics 1200s and Technics 1210s.

In a statement re-posted on dance board Global Hardstyle, the company behind the production of the Technics turntables Panasonic announced that they would cease the manufacture of Technics turntables in February next year, citing an increasing decline in sales as the motivation behind the line’s demise.

The Australian arm of Panasonic issued a similar statement today, expressing their disappointment that the brand’s 35 years-and-running legacy was to be put to bed.

“It is a sad day today but due to low sales globally in analogue turntables a decision to stop production has been made on Technics Turntables,” Panasonic spokesman Ian North explained. “For Australia this means we will receive our last shipment in March.”

Since the name Technics, pronouced 'techniques', was launched in 1965 for domestic premium loudspeakers, they have set the standard for high end audio equipment. In 1969, they introduced the SP-10, the first direct-drive model for the professional market, and in 1971 the SL-1100 for the consumer market.

The SL-1100 was the predecessor to the SL-1200 which, as the upgraded SL-1200 MK2, became a widely used turntable by DJs. The SL-1200 MK2 was a robust machine and incorporated a pitch control (or vari-speed), and kept the speed constant and the speed variability low, hence why it was adopted universally by 99% of all DJs and clubs.

One thing that is clear is that the digital rollercoaster is showing no signs of slowing down. Technics have been the industry standard for over 35 years with this turntable and the SL-1200 is synonymous with the DJ culture. It has been released and re-released over 9 times with different models and numerous other manufacturers have tried to compete with this deck, but above all, the Technics SL-1200 & Technics SL-1210 are the undisputed number one deck in the world.

I can’t find a copy of the statement on any of Panasonic’s region sites, nor their Technics pages. It’s also unclear what the news means regarding the production of mixers and headphones under the Technics brand.

Recent years have seen a rise in the popularity of digital mixing systems, which either use CD or completely digital MP3-style mixing rather than classic vinyl. These setups are generally easier to transport, less prone to damage and allow for more flexibility in post-processing.The question that pops into my mind is, is this a mean viral marketing stratergy to boost global sales of their turntables? Either way its tragic to hear this news! If you dont own a pair of these iconic tutntables I strongly reccomend you do.


UPDATE: Rumour is false. They will only take the MK5 of the New Zealand market.