A campaign was recently launched on Change.org to get the Technics SL-1200 series back in to production.
In 2010 Panasonic announced that they would be discontinuing the production of the Technics SL 1200 series due to dwindling sales and fewer suppliers of the parts. The iconic turntable, which has been hailed as 'most important musical instrument of the last two-and-a-half decades', is a favourite amongst analogue enthusiasts and an industry standard for DJing. Since being discontinued they are gradually becoming a collectors item. The London Science Museum even have a set on display as one of the pieces of technology that has shaped the world we live in. With the campaign having gained over 12,000 supporters so far perhaps Panasonic will listen and return to the market.
Pioneer teased earlier in the year that they would be releasing their own turntable, no doubt aiming to adopt the better characteristics of Technics with some improved tweaking. Whether they will or not is still to be confirmed. At Musikmesse 2014 they exhibited said turntable with no serial number or information, so it seems at the moment they are checking if their is demand there. On some forums their has been chat about them using lasers rather than a needle to read the vinyl although this is purely speculative. Price wise this wouldn't make sense as the asking price for a laser turntable is about $15,000. A more likely speculation is that they will include MIDI features on the turntable.
Will any of this become true? Not sure. But with DVS and turntables becoming a common DJ set up and the cost of Technics rising, DJs are on the look out for a sturdy affordable turntable.
On a side note... Have you seen the limited edition gold Technics?
Panasonic produced a limited number of these in two editions; one batch in 1997 and again in 2004. Apparently there were 10,000 made of the first edition which were completely gold (above). For the second edition there were 3,000 made where they replaced all of the metal parts with 24-karat gold. The first edition was the prize given to the winner of the DMC World Championships for a few years, not sure if this is still the case. A pair of these will set you back about £3,000 on eBay.
By Russell McMahon