A DJ legend becomes immortal: Farewell Technics 1200 :(
In the same week the world heard about the demise of one analogue great, the Sony Walkman (no I didn’t know they were still making it either), the global DJ community saw final confirmation of the sad, but seemingly necessary, cessation in manufacture of the legendary Technics SL-1200 (aka 1210) series turntable, the clear DJ’s favourite and industry standard deck for almost four decades. The latest model (amongst some other minor Technics products) have been officially discontinued. The parent company, Panasonic Japan, announced after several recent rumours, that due to dwindling sales (down to 5% on sales 10 years ago) and parts supply issues (they say spares and warranty will still be available).
Originally introduced in the 70’s as a HiFi turntable, it quickly gained favour amongst DJs for it’s rock solid design, stability, good resistance to vibration, high torque and adjustable pitch control. The MK2 rode high for years, and in the face of strong, young rivals (and argueably still stronger in terms of torque and features) the company finally introduced some much needed tweaks in latter years (added in various versions up to the outgoing Mk6).
Many DJs, even digital and CDJ peeps, hold great reverence for the 1210, having been seen in every DJ booth worth it’s salt. I’ve used them countless times over the years, they have certainly never let me down. I personally chose a different route when it came to buying my own decks (I’m a Vestax man, I prefer them) but Technics have always had my respect.
It is a shame to see such an icon of DJ lore come to pass, but the industry should not be surprised. Professional vinyl use (played on whatever brand of turntable you might favour) has long been in decline, despite the brilliant tie-in with Digital Vinyl Systems, famous international scratch competitions and (still) huge following from dyed-in-the-wool vinyl users (old school types) and abusers (scratch DJs).
But, times change. We all know a DJ’s output is what’s important, despite what gear he/she uses.
Actually, to say farewell is premature. Current owners of Technics and turntables will continue to rock them for many years to come (they already last for donkey’s years, parts are everywhere plus cottage industries still exist for specialist repairs and mods), DVS software rocks and vinyl still has a place in the DJ world. I love my digital trickery, but handling vinyl still feels special.
Technics never die, they just hit the deck. Get it? lol. No? Ahem…