Published Oct 29, 2010Despite the obvious revival of vinyl records in the last decade or so, DJ culture has relied less and less on actual wax with the rise of MP3-based DJing software like Serato. While at-home vinyl listeners have caused a lift in the sales of turntables, high-end DJ models have experienced declining sales. As such, Panasonic is allegedly planning to discontinue its beloved line of Technics turntables.
This is not the first time the future of Technics has been in question. In 2009, Resident Advisor reported a similar story that the legendary turntable brand would be discontinuing its Technics 1200 and 1210 lines. Panasonic contacted RA, insisting that wasn't the case. Now RA points to a Japanese press release from Panasonic [via AudioBeef], which, when translated, reads as follows:
Regarding our analogue turntable products, we have to inform you of our decision to terminate the business within this year, regrettably. Here are the reasons which made us reach this conclusion.
1. Since beginning of last decade, our sales of turntables have been decreasing drastically. They're almost one-fifteenth of the sales ten years
2. Many key parts are no longer available as some of our suppliers stopped production or discontinued their businesses. Also, there is the risk that some key parts' availabilities might stop suddenly, and these parts are only being produced for our turntables. In that case we cannot produce the products that we have taken orders for already.
We cannot help discontinuing production in advance in order to avoid the worst case scenario.
From the loose translation to the less-than-reliable sources, it's hard to know how trustworthy this press release is, especially the part that says they plan to "terminate the business." Fortunately, Panasonic representatives further clarified the future of Technics with the Tokyo Reporter. Reps explained that nothing has been decided for the future of the Technics brand itself, but the Technics 1200 line will be discontinued.
"Panasonic decided to end production mainly due to a decline in demand for these analog products and also the growing difficulty of procuring key analog components necessary to sustain production," the company explained. More specifically, Panasonic said it was shutting down production on the Technics SL-1200MK6 analog turntable, the SH-EX1200 analog audio mixer, and the RP-DH1200 and RP-DJ1200 stereo headphones.
This news comes just days after Sony announced that it was discontinuing the Walkman. If there's anything those pesky hipsters are good for, however, it's insuring that outdated technology doesn't go anywhere if they don't want it to. Take Polaroid film, for example, which recovered from obsolescence thanks to some wads of cash from Urban Outfitters and its bohemian clientele. Perhaps Technics and the Sony Walkman will have a similar fate.
UPDATE: Just like the last time we got word of the 1200s being discontinued, the news is now up for debate. But we all knew that was coming, right?
UPDATE 2: Well, maybe Panasonic is axing Technics turntables after all.