Technics 1200 revival: Facts, figures, and a realist’s view



technics 1200 1210 graphs

No matter what your opinion is on the issue, if you’re a DJ you can’t help but follow the various discussions about the resurgence of vinyl and the return of the turntable. As an old-timer myself (my first 12” was Pretty Tony – Fix It In The Mix), I can’t help but harbor romantic feelings about the turntable. After over 25 years DJing, it’s still the interface I’m most comfortable using.

But I am also a realist. And having worked as a Product Manager, I understand a little about what goes into developing and manufacturing a product. It’s in that spirit that Mark asked me to write a little bit about the reality of this phenomenon. So with that said, let’s dig in…

PROFIT JUSTIFIES EXISTENCE

Any business exists to make a profit. The bigger the company, the more important that cardinal rule is. In the context of our discussion, the companies involved make a profit by manufacturing and selling hard goods (DJ equipment). Building a product is expensive, so quite a bit of research goes into justifying that product’s existence before it’s given a thumbs-up to proceed. This research is one of the primary functions of a Product Manager. It’s not enough to have a good idea. You need to have a good idea that also has the potential to recover its development costs and turn a profit for the company. No one can predict with 100% accuracy how a product will do, but the more research done the better. So let’s look at the market and do some of that research here and see what a company like Panasonic would be getting into to put the 1200 back on the market.

WHY KILL THE 1200 TO BEGIN WITH?

When a company decides to stop offering a product for sale, it’s called SKU rationalization. The company takes a look at each product it offers and considers things like how it is selling, how much profit it is generating, what it cost to develop in the first place, what it is costing the company to support, etc. Another factor to consider, especially with a complex product like a turntable, is the cost of tooling and the condition of the tools. For those of you who are unfamiliar, think of tooling as the specialized parts created to manufacture a given product. So for instance, let’s say a product has an injection molded case. That case is made by squirting melted plastic into a metal form. That form has to be made specifically for that piece, cut out of a block of solid metal. A lot of engineering goes into the design of that form to ensure that plastic flows properly through it. It’s crafted with care (sometimes by hand), and eventually it wears out and must be replaced.

Knowing this, one of the first things we can assume about the decision to stop making the Technics 1200 turntables is that the tooling was likely at the end of its life. A company wouldn’t decide to kill off a product that they had just invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into. And if a company decides to kill off a product forever, they wouldn’t normally decide to keep the tools required to build that product in storage somewhere just in case. So it’s a safe bet that the tools required to build the 1200 are mostly gone.

THE BUSINESS CASE

Next we need to look at the condition of the market at the time the decision was made to stop production. Hopefully this will give us more insight into their reasoning. I’ve put together a few charts that will help illustrate the data. Please note that all data provided here is based on US sales only.

First let’s look at unit sales. I’ve gone back to 2007 and plotted the bigger DJ product categories against time.

DJ Industry unit sales Technics

I’ve colored the turntable (in green) and controller (in red) categories so they’re easier to see. This chart makes it pretty clear that the market was moving away from “traditional” equipment and towards controllers beginning at the end of 2009.

Now let’s look at dollar sales.

DJ Industry dollar sales Technics

We can see the same jump in controller sales here that we did in the unit sales chart. Looking at this data, it’s easy to take away 2 things. The most obvious one is that sales were shifting away from “traditional” DJ gear and towards controllers. The other was that controllers were becoming the primary category for holiday sales (that little “heartbeat” tick in both charts represents the sales bump from Xmas).

These 2 charts do a pretty good job of explaining at least some of the reasoning behind the decision to stop production of the Technics 1200. The next chart shows average sales price in each product category. I like this chart because it gives you a visual representation of where each category exists in the pricing spectrum – sometimes this can be very different than your “gut feeling”.

DJ Industry average price Technics

You can see here that the average price of a turntable has gone down almost $100 from a high of around $250. And surprisingly, the controller category has a higher average selling price of around $400 and stays pretty flat (even with the explosion of lower priced products like the Mixtrack).


Finally, let’s take a look at the sales of Technics turntables specifically – without the noise of the other products.

DJ Industry Technics sales figures US

This paints a pretty clear picture. You have declining sales, an obvious shift in the marketplace, and limited potential to justify the higher selling price. With over 3 million turntables sold and a typical lifespan of over 10 years, the used market is also working against new Technics 1200 sales.

While we’re crunching numbers here, let me touch on a smaller but still important part of the equation – media. A lot has been said lately about the resurgence of vinyl, and on the surface it’s not wrong. According to Nielsen SoundScan, vinyl sales are up over 30% representing over 6 million vinyl units sold. Vinyl hasn’t had this volume of sales since the 80’s, and that sounds like a lot until you look at the bigger picture. There were 1.26 billion digital track sales in 2013. Billion. And that’s down from 1.34 billion units sold in 2012, most likely because of the introduction of new compelling subscription services like Spotify and Beats Music. Since we’re looking at this through the eyes of a DJ, you must also keep in mind that the majority of new vinyl releases are not “DJ friendly”. They’re mostly limited vinyl re-releases meant for collectors. So unless Pink Floyd and Pearl Jam are in your regular rotation, this revival is largely irrelevant to you. (Some additional reading on this right here – Ed)

BUT WHAT IF?

So now that we understand some of the factors that contributed to the decision to stop production of the Technics turntable, let’s look at what it would take to start production back up.

Given the information we’ve already covered, I think it’s highly unlikely that Panasonic would retool for the 1200 and go back into full production. It wouldn’t make much sense, as they would likely never recoup their investment. Even if they took the opportunity to do a redesign and cost the 1200 down, it’s still a difficult proposition when you look at the market overall.

It’s easy to imagine Panasonic spending upwards of $1M dollars getting everything in place to begin making the 1200 again. Let’s also imagine that they were able to build in $200 profit into each unit. Panasonic would need to sell 5000 units just to pay for the venture. That might not sound like a lot, but it’s massive in today’s controller-rich environment. And they would expect to amortize the tooling over its lifetime – let’s call that 5 to 7 years. What will the DJ market look like 7 years from now?

Still, there are other options Panasonic might choose…

technics spare parts

SPARE PARTS

A limited edition run of 1200s might be worthwhile if Panasonic could keep production costs down. Instead of going into full production, they might choose to create a run of product out of existing spare parts. I imagine Panasonic has a decent stockpile of parts for the 1200, and final assembly could either be taken on by Panasonic themselves, or done in emerging markets where labor costs are lower. The upside of this option is that the end user will be getting a 100% genuine Technics 1200. The downside is that it relies on a limited pool of spare parts, not only resulting in a small run of product but also depleting available parts for existing owners.

turntable assembly line

The Garrard factory back in the day. Having shut down in 1979, this pretty much rules them out for Technics

HIRE A FACTORY

Another option might be for Panasonic to contract an existing factory to build the 1200. There are several factories out there that are already making DJ centric turntables, so they are familiar with any challenges associated with their manufacture. There’s little threat of intellectual property theft, since the 1200s have seen years of scrutiny already. Panasonic would simply contract an existing OEM/ODM and stamp their name on the finished product. The upside of this option is that it would be able to satisfy any demand for any length of time. The downside would be that it might not be built to the same quality users expect.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

So you’ve heard me blather on about stats and figures. I want to hear your side. Not all companies do everything based solely on how much profit they’ll generate, and it’s possible that Panasonic is one of those companies. The Technics 1200 has been a critical element of dance culture. It’s responsible for defining the process of DJing, and setting a standard by which all other DJ products are judged. Doesn’t a product that venerable deserve a new lease on life if the market will allow it?

Or is it a fool’s errand to try to revive a product that is tied to a dead medium? Go into most modern clubs, and you’re likely to see 1200s being used as a table for someone’s controller and laptop – or stacked in a corner in various states of disarray. A new generation of DJs already exists that have never touched a vinyl record. Having slipped from its apex predator status, should we let the turntable go the way of the dinosaur?

Sound off below.

  • Richard ‘Richie T’ Talmage

    Google ‘vinyl sales’ and click images. You will see a huge increase after technics stopped production. That, in itself combined with sound quality and an increasing amount of people not only ‘hearing’ but also ‘feeling’ the difference will vastly help Panasonics decision to re-release. Here in the UK, since 2005 the turntable has actually been considered a Musical Instrument by many, and with the help of organisations such as the Musicians Union, who now have DJs as part of their membership options this can only be good news.

    The thing is – you can cut upto +12dB onto vinyl (albeit with nice fat grooves) – however any digital recording is limited to a glass ceiling of 0dBFS. This is why people use harsh compression to max out their music for loudness, making it trashy. Look for a youtube video called ‘Bob Katz – Loudness war and peace’ – he is a world renowned mastering engineer and explains all.

    • Ed

      But wouldn’t that have to do more with production. Even the early 90′s trance and electronic music would most likely have been recorded to DAT (digital) before pressing to vinyl.
      Modern production styles totally smash the compressor / limiter not leaving much dynamics at around -4db RMS in worst cases. Pressing this to vinyl won’t make it sound any better.
      Early 90′s electronic music was much more dynamic and benefited from the slight compression that pressing to vinyl would provide.

      • John Shersby

        Very good point. If you bought a track on vinyl in the 90s, even some dodgy white label effort, it will have gone through at least some kind of mastering process. A new track on beatport may well have come direct from the artist’s laptop, having never seen a mastering engineer along the way. Mastering is a dark art that few people, even producers, are experts at.

        • nem0nic

          That’s another great point I didn’t consider.

          • Justin

            Sadly, the market rules over everything in our society, and this wouldn’t be the first time affordability trumped quality. Betamax, anyone?

            • nem0nic

              In most buying decisions it’s not the quality that matters most to consumers. In the case of Betamax, the biggest reason that format failed with consumers is because VHS tapes could record for nearly double the length of a Betamax tape (over 2 hours – enough to hold a standard movie). So home users were willing to trade a few lines of resolution for the convenience of being able to record a movie off HBO without needing 2 tapes.

              In the professional market, Betamax won because it offered superior quality and was the broadcast standard for years.

              • Justin

                The same piracy argument could be made for MP3s. They became super popular because they were compact in an age before widespread broadband, and they were supported by the iPod. Now their market dominance reigns supreme. People go on about FLAC and OGG, but honestly, no one outside huge audio nerds like us are going to spend the extra HD space to maintain a collection like that, especially when (I believe?) iPods don’t play them.

  • Motivat

    In some ways the key selling point for Technics is also why their sales aren’t as robust as controllers. Their build. They were made to last and take a near beating. Controllers require an upgrade almost every couple of years … In order just to manage the latest innovations in dj software. That means they are essentially ensuring their own future sales. I own 3 Mk II turntables that will probably outlive my controllers several times over.

    If Panasonic was going to re enter the market, I’d love it but they would need to revisit how they are marketed in todays world – perhaps leaving the fight to be not so much about what controller to use, but what mixer to use with your turntables.

  • butkizz sazs it ol

    I don’t think it will come back. I remember there was a enviromental reason technic stopped selling the old 1200mkII and only made the newer version because of laws and polution. Nobody buys new technics. You can find them secondhand everywhere. Technics got something loke porsche 911: it keeps value, won’t wear out and is loved worldwide. But, Porsche sells new 911 clones. Nobody wants a new technics sl1200 with a lot of BS on it. Midi pads? USB port so you can play mp3? a screen to watch video’s? Doesn’t make sense. Forget it, love what is out there, it will be out there forever.

    • aw81

      I think a lot more people would be interested if technics had midi pads and usb built in.
      Maybe not enough to justify production still but it would certainly catch the eye of practically every turntablist I’ve ever met.

  • Matthew Dean Batten

    I can agree with most of your points and hear what you saying but companies don’t just throw away tooling at the end of their life cycle that’s just not true. Tools can be repaired and reused this is why the cost so much because they are built to last.

    • nem0nic

      Tools DO wear out. They DO get replaced. And if a product reaches it’s end of life, tools DO get destroyed. It happens.

  • sinjintek

    All I can say at this point is that while I’ve literally seen hundreds of people across several groups express their delight at the prospect of a reintroduction of the SL-1200 series turntable, I can count on one hand the number of people who have clearly said they would actually BUY a new set. Granted, there are sure to be many I haven’t witnessed and others who might be interested at a future time, but I have sincere doubts that Panasonic would see the level of sales needed to adequately support the endeavor.

  • David De Garie-Lamanque

    very interesting article! it paints a sad picture of the non-viability of reviving the SL-1200, but that’s reality. having studied in industrial design, i also have an idea of how much it costs not only to develop a new product, but to fabricate all the injection moulds/tooling and that part is ridiculously expensive! so considering the target market for new SL-1200′s are a handful of nostalgics (no offense, there’s nothing wrong with being nostalgic, i am one as well), it doesn’t justify the cost… :(

  • aw81

    What I don’t get about this whole “bring back technics” debate is why we need them back?
    The first thing anyone says about them is how legendary the build quality is and a quick eBay search reveals lots of second hand units in good condition…
    It seems obvious that starting production again isn’t going to be profitable enough and given that the turntable is practically bomb proof why don’t the handful of people that want them just buy second hand?
    Don get me wrong, I’d love to see them on sale again and would never give up my vinyl ever but times have changed and the industry has moved on…

    • Jeremy

      Spot on.

  • Richard ‘Richie T’ Talmage

    people say ‘keep with the rimes’ – so lets do that. As mentioned – google ‘vinyl sales’ click on images, look at the graphs. Fuelled by more true analogue synths being manufactured, there is only one way to capture this on the music scene. Becuase if you digitalise it, it becomes a mere sample, that of a vst.

    With more true vinyl coming on the market there is no need for midi. – infact midi controllers are a dead end, as the term ‘midi’ stands for ‘Musical Instrument Digital Interface’ – Controllers are not musical instruments. CD mixing is wearing out because people are moving to controllers – but – many are turning to analogue and sticking with it.

    Having been asked by Moni to deal with the UK side of the petition to bring back the technics 1210 (see http://chn.ge/1qI1lZF ) I can confirm that talks are already in place with UK distributors to place large orders. More venues are asking for technics turntables (as an installer i get a fair few requests) and instantly they notice the difference in sound quality when a vinyl is played.

    So basically – digitall DJing has started to kill itself, and people need something new – which already existed. The novelty of mixing vinyl will never wear off, and as more artists seek labels who press onto vinyl (theres quite a few) they know that they will get a better share of royalties, as hard copies are protected by a much higher royalty percentage.

    As for travelling with vinyl, Organisations like the Musicians Union here in the UK even have arrangements with the Department of Transport for their members to take heavy items (musical instruments) as hand luggage on air travel, and that includes a big bag of vinyl :) – Mind you, it was never a problem in the past. People managed, and they continue to do so.

    • nem0nic

      The problem with what you’re posting is that it totally ignores a lot of facts.

      First of all, you’re painting vinyl as a cleaner medium than digital, and this is completely false. You’re also mixing up poor mastering practice with the medium itself, which is also at best misleading. There are a LOT of things a mastering engineer must do to a track that is going to be pressed to vinyl that have a negative impact on audio quality. Not only are a high and low cut filter applied to the audio track, but a limiter must be applied to the high end to reduce the possibility of distortion. Then your audio is run through an RIAA EQ curve (the “phono” amp on your mixer or TT applies the reverse of this curve). There are also numerous distortions that are often introduced through the various mechanisms involved in vinyl playback (needle quality and alignment, tracking force, groove and needle pollution, record damage, vibration from amplified playback, etc). And finally, let’s remember that every playback negatively effects the quality of the vinyl.

      Also as I covered in the article, any talk about a vinyl resurgence MUST be put into perspective. Yes, 6 million releases is record-breaking. But in the overall context of over a BILLION digital units sold, it’s nothing. I won’t belabor this point by covering the decimation of the distribution base for physical media, the closing of record pressing facilities, the shift that’s taken place in retail to maximize return on retail space, etc.

      There are legitimate arguments to try and preserve vinyl’s heritage. But let’s get our facts straight. You should be focusing more on the performance aspect of vinyl, not red herrings like audio quality.

  • Dizzy

    If they brought back Technics turntables this is what the fanboys would say… “They brought back Technics turntables, yaaay! Am I going to buy a pair? No! I already have a pair”. Newsflash: Panasonic is not about to take a loss so you can rejoice and NOT buy turntables. Move on!

    • Mark

      lol

    • Jeremy

      Exactly. This is what I don’t understand about people arguing for the return of Technics. Clubs have them already and the DJs that love them that much already have a pair as well. It just gives weight to why they were discontinued, sad though that is.

  • LoopCat

    It’s probably wishful thinking that they are going to retool and make them, but I think everyone would be surprised how much they would sell if they do.

    As the second hand market gets more and more trashed there’s more of a demand for them. Lots of audiophiles like them for project decks and are not keen on a second hand DJ set.

    In regards to the price of them, people are willing to pay a premium because that’s all they want to use. I think a higher price than the competition is almost an advantage for them in an marketing image sense (although matching the price would see them sell at huge numbers but will never happen).

  • AuralCandy.Net

    I have an easy solution to the problem that would put the matter to rest once and for all.

    Panasonic should first come up with A) minimum production amount B) unit price it would require for them to make it profitable and, well, be arsed to begin with. Then Panasonic should set up a fixed-funding crowd sourced campaign to raise the capital. Kickstart of Indiegogo should do nicely.

    What this means is that people sort of deposit payment for a turntable, and if there are enough people willing to pay the asking price, the units will be manufactured. If the campaign does not meet its target, the payments will be returned.

    This would really force people to put their money where their mouth is. Either you really, really, really want a Technics turntable, or you’re just sad to see them gone for nostalgia’s sake.

    • gusset scratch

      like the saying goes: money talks, facebook petitions aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.

      the majority of people who want techs either have them already or can easily source them second hand, it’s not as if they’re particularly rare items.

      at the core of the matter i think a lot of older djs feel threatened by the reduction in status and cachet that techs deservedly carried in their heyday. the idea that a younger generation might have cheaper gear and more accessible music in a technically superior format doesn’t sit well with someone who has invested a significant part of their identity in dj and vinyl culture.

      source: 1210 owner, ex-vinyl collector, dvs user.

  • symatic

    depressing but realistic…. I think people still put value on quality though – as your section on how midi controllers hold their price at around $400 seems to show – so even though it would be a niche product, i think there is still a market for a turntable that is built really well, is serviceable, and sounds good.
    I think people will get sick of poor quality kit that only works for a year and needs firmware updates and so on. Rane seem to do pretty well from having high quality products.
    is there any law that stops people making spare parts for technics now it’s discontinued?

  • Manolo Hoozn

    All valid points. Just one thing that looks a bit weird to me:
    Are those stats regarding the “DJ Category Unit Sales” and the “Average Price per Category” using the same data pool? Im asking because Ive never ever seen a DJ Turntable for less than 100USD. I mean, even the Vestax Handytrax is sth like 150USD, and I cant think of anything cheaper that has at least a pitch fader.

    • nem0nic

      All data used to generate those charts is from retail sales in the US. I know when you see an average TT price of $100 it can be confusing – but remember that this is an average of ALL turntables sold. Lots of turntables are available for under $100 USD, and it makes sense that more of them are sold than $1200 products.

      • Manolo Hoozn

        Sure. But…
        1) There are not thaaaat many turntables that have a street price way below 100 USD (which would be necessary for an average price of 100 USD, e.g. for every Technics that is sold you’d need more than 20 decks for 50 USD to get to an average of roughly 100 USD). In fact, I cant think of any turntable that sells for less than 100 bucks, except for some low level hifi decks. Even the urban outfitters’ Crosley crap costs sth like 100 quid.
        2) Given that these 100 USD are in fact the average price of all units sold in the US, are those units the same units that are part of the 1000-3000 turntables from the “DJ Category Units”? Or do these numbers only represent the actual “DJ Units”, i.e. decks with replaceable system and more than just a 33 and a 45 button?

        • nem0nic

          There are many $100 turntables being sold in the US at MI retailers. The figures in the chart represent an average of ALL the turntables being sold at MI retailers. Audio Technica sells several around the $100 price point.

          • Manolo Hoozn

            Again, youd already need a shitload of decks that sell for way less than 100 USD to make up for only one single “pro” deck – even if its just a Reloop (400-800 USD) – in terms of the average price. And not every turntable is a “DJ turntable”.

            Thus my initial question: Are those roughly 15.000 (I guess, since I take those numbers as monthly stats) “DJ(!) Category Units”, that were mentioned in the sales records, the very same units that lead to an average price of 100 USD, because – as I said – I never heard of any DJ (!) turntable for less than 150 bucks.

            • nem0nic

              And again, this is ALL TURNTABLES SOLD by the MI retailers. Not all of them are what you would consider DJ worthy, but their sales count in the category nonetheless.

              • thedjally

                Do you have raw data (aka can we filter out the consumer TTs?) I’m just curious what the chart would look like if we did.

                • nem0nic

                  The chart would look like it looks like now. The data doesn’t include products by companies like Pro-jekt that sell strictly into the consumer realm. It comes solely from Musical Instrument retailers, and is comprised of the products they sell in their stores (like Guitar Center).

                  For years now, the biggest selling turntables in those stores hasn’t been the $500 – $700 DJ targeted turntable. It’s been the $99 Audio Technica special they blow out at Xmas.

                  • thedjally

                    thank you nem0nic, I didn’t realize consumer only brands weren’t being included.

  • filespnr

    the “resurgence in vinyl” is only because playing records is simpler than understanding a software. there is no intimidation factor or learning curve. if a company, like behringer, stanton, or numark wants to make Money..they should listen to the one person who sees thafutur very clearly. it is not turntables. it is integrating the dj/vj experience with something that the regular person already knows. this has been done successfully, on a niche scale, already with phones.
    people love dvrs, rokus, chromecasts, etc. a device marketed as as “remote control” and able to search the internet by reading the closed captioning, is what will bring ALL people to dj/vj world.
    there’s a mountain of money sitting in my brain, if anyone is interested

  • jaytwoeight

    I think that they need to remake the SL-DZ1200 as a reliable controller surface for DVS as well as a standalone player which supports USB drives (not CDs or SD cards).

    If they do this and price them around $1K they will start displacing CDJs immediately. That’s their ticket to sales, not the original turntables.

    The only challenge is that to have them be a standalone player they would need to partner with a software company for the music library management. They could do that with Beatport Pro.

  • delaware

    Roland discontinued the 808 way back, then a few decades later a new version came out combined with a 909. I’m sure one day there will be a limited edition Tech 12 coming out with some added features, maybe another company will buy the rights and parts then it will be released under a new brand name but with the technics supervision and approval lol.

    • Jay Filbert

      Actually, a company has, and that’s Stokyo. The price is ridiculously high, but it’s nice. :)

      • delaware

        it looks like a customized MK5 rather than something they manufactured themselves , its not that expensive (about 720 euro) but the shipping will be, the phono cables look sweet, thanks for mentioning, always nice to see that the deck is still alive :)

        • Jay Filbert

          Anytime. :) Yea Technics are nice, and it’s cool seeing them alive, despite being given life through a different company. After all, there is a very good reason why they are used by 90% (something like that) of the turntable-based DJ population.

      • Mark

        I don’t think rights have been purchased.

        “BUILT from MINT to Top Grade USED SL-1200 MK3D-5 turntables from Panasonic, JAPAN” (Stokyo website)

        • Jay Filbert

          Well that’s assuring. haha I’m glad I go for non-Technics turntables (nothing against I just like looking beyond), which transitions me to the question for you Mark: How is the Vestax PDX-D3S Project going?

        • Oddie O’Phyle

          no rights have been sold as of press releases I’ve read and Stokyo is refurbishing using “quality used parts”.

    • Mark

      New version is HEAPS cheaper, and digital. But, certainly popular.

  • The_KLH

    I love this discussion and reading people’s passion for Technics TTs. I hope that the passion never dies and the history of DJing is remembered and revered. Still, there are alternatives to Technics TTs. I wonder if sales of the Hanpin-based TTs have grown… because if they have then there’d be a basis for bringing back Technics TTs. Otherwise, this discussion is academic.

  • Curious

    This is a ok article but it seems biased given the site it is on. Let us not forget that DJ Worx makes $ by advertisement and product placement so it seems as though Mark has succumbed to payola and panders to controller manufacturers.

    Why would DJ Worx support turntables when they would shun their advertisers. Deny it if you must but I worked in field just the same and know that this happens.

    • http://djworx.com/ Mark Settle

      1. Banners are placed by advertisers based entirely on their marketing activity.
      2. There is a Reloop RP-8000 turntable banner running right now.
      3. Vestax and Stanton also advertise, and they make turntables, but right now they’re not promoting them. If they were, you’d see their turntable ads.
      4. When Pioneer and DJ Tech release their turntables, I’m sure you’ll see banners for them too.
      5. We hire out space on our site to DJ technology companies. We’re not even aggressive about it either. What goes in the space they take is entirely down to them.

      That’s how advertising works here.

      • Mark

        …and Numark

      • Curious

        We don’t believe you. You need more people…honestly Mark I’ve read your site for a long time. You have been pushing midi controller Mania for quite some time bro. At least that’s what it appears.

        • pepehouse

          I don’t agree and I’m usually very critic, this is the one of the 3dj blogs that I visit less and you know why? Because is the most inclined to talk only about gear and that bores me because MUSIC is my only passion not the Tools I need to use to Play it but because of that I see that this place only tells what it’s happening in the market and now it’s sadly about controllers also it’s the most “journalist” style just like the good press only informs never endorse as others blatantly do Mark doesn’t sell anything he talks…well he doesn’t sell anything really :)
          About the adverts a hosting and a domain with quite a tragic is not free neither cheap.

        • http://djworx.com/ Mark Settle

          We are DJWORX, a site covering all styles of DJ technology, and have been since the explosion of DVS and controllers (we missed CDJs – sorry). We cover more turntables than anyone else and are active sponsors of DJ battles, and indeed host scratch events at our studios. If we did nothing but scratch DJ technology news, the site wouldn’t exist, for the very same reasons that Technics went under. Can we get back on topic now?

          • One Warrior Nation

            Technics did not go under. Panasonic stopped production of the turntable. Be more careful with the choice of words. Wonder how much your opinion is based on facts or lobbying by these brands with their agenda. They have turned DJ culture into a joke with their gizmos and midi controllers which are basically McDonald’s Big Mac’s. They taste good when you eat them but are bad for your health.

            You can’t post credible reviews, while receiving money from the same brands you are reviewing.

        • thedjally

          Been with the site since it was scratchworx, and was (almost) exclusively for the scratchheads. Sure things have changed with the times, but I honestly dont think you can find a better resource for DJ news and reviews anywhere.

          On top of that, if you had read the bulk of Mark’s work, you’d see that he’s still occasionally caught bemoaning the need to shoehorn 1001 features in every product, and will still wax-poetic about the simpler times when he encounters products that do one thing; and do it well.

          Not that DJWorks is perfect as there is always room for improvement but I truly feel your attacks are unjustified at best, and factually incorrect at worst.

      • Oddie O’Phyle

        hardware companies look for sites with a high hit ratio and look for deals based on CPM.

  • mastahanksta

    I’m glad I had a big part in shifting the DJ industry to controllers.
    Although I love my Technic 1200′s from 1985 I have to push the medium forward to align with the music Industry.
    Controllers are big now and I’m able to pretty much do everything I was doing on my Technics 1200′s back in 1986.
    Now its time to get rid of them laptops and make controllers with integrated iPad docks like the NUMARK IDJPRO and the reloop Beat Pad.

    • delaware

      what a joke, i heard people in 1986 scratch better than what you are doing now, so i can imagine you need controllers as the turntable was never your thing

      • mastahanksta

        Turntables were the only thing back in 86.
        I still use them to this day for scratching.
        But I don’t need them for weddings ,clubs or gigs where I only have to play music.
        Turntables were training wheels for DJs
        I can scratch on any device check out my YouTube channel.
        http://www.mastahanksta.com

  • sammsousa

    i definetly think they should make them again…first of all it would be huge for clubbers all around, vinyl is definetly coming back!! not only vinyl but more oldskool music stuff, things like analog synth, analog desktop mixing desks, etc. and i think that even looking at just the numbers like its mentioned, selling 5000 units IS easy..the main market for the 1200s are djs and clubs…so every one of them that wants 1200s will obviously buy a pair! and…2500 people atleast, would definetly buy them…im shure!

    • nem0nic

      Selling 5000 turntables is NOT easy. That would represent over 2 years of sales in the case of Technics. And that’s back when TT sales hadn’t totally dropped off the cliff.

      • Mark

        Not to mention that 5000 units was just the break-even point, IF Panasonic could build $200 profit into each unit.

  • Kickstarter

    Note to whomever. Panasonic has nearly 60billion in assets quite sue they don’t need a kickstarter.

    • AuralCandy.Net

      You totally missed the point. The reason to use crowd sourcing is not to raise capital, it’s a definitive pre-order system to determine wether there is a a marker for SL-1200 or not.

      It doesn’t matter how much money Panasonic has, they’re not going to throw away money unless they know they’re going to make a profit. The whole question to solve here is wether people would actually still buy SL-1200, or are they just moaning for “the good old days”. Then again, the fact that SL-1200 was discontinued already answers that question.

      • BuyakShot

        No you missed the point. The turntable lasted over 30 years in production. Name how many other products have done that.

        You wannabe DJ’s with your button pushing are but a grain of salt on beach.

        • AuralCandy.Net

          Seriously, what the hell are you talking about. Are you on crack or something? It’s like you are having a completely different conversation with yourself.

          First of all, I never intended to diss SL-1200 in anyway. It’s an excellent product – that’s why I’ve purchased it. I won’t even bother to comment your retarded “push button DJ” accusation which is based on nothing more than your deluded imagination, inability to read and tendency to make idiotic assumptions.

          This article and debate was never about wether the SL-1200 is a good product, because it obviously it. This is about is there market for it or not. Are you finally getting it, or should I draw a picture?

        • EL3MENT

          The turntables have lasted 30 years because for years there has been no innovation. To claim that nowadays there is still a product that lasts for 30 years is a utopia just because there are innovations that occur every day …

  • pepehouse

    Don’t forget that the dj trend will fade one day and then when the boring people move to something else the sales on everything but specially controllers will also fade, then only the real standart and useful products will remain …maybe there’s a chance to see less crazyness and ridiculous and useless products and something as good and valuable as a 1200 but I really doubt it,ll be a turntable as we know it.

    • Oddie O’Phyle

      lol… they told us it was a tend in ’96 and I’m still here. At that point, it’s not a tend, it’s a lifestyle. Ask my daughter, she’s been a junglist since she was 3.

      • pepehouse

        It’s not a trend for me either I’m at this since the beginning I mean the mainstream popularity that it has reached now, it will fade as always and I’ll be so glad not to hear what they call EDM anymore

        • Oddie O’Phyle

          I hate the term “EDM” too. It’s as ignorant as when people tried to group techno, experimental techno (what is now minimal), rotterdam/ terrorcore, house, ambient/down temp and jungle together and called it “dance club music” or electronica because they couldn’t understand that there maybe more out there.

  • wolfwristman

    Unpopular as it may be, recorded music in any format – reel to reel, cassettes, vinyl, CD, minidiscs, digital has been around for a miniscule amount of time in our history. Go back 170 years or so and try ringing your hands about the demise of a turntable playing recorded music and you’d be locked up in an asylum.
    Like it or not fellow DJs, we’re riding the crest of a recently formed wave…at some point this may all fall away to something new or perhaps nothing at all. With every step that recorded music becomes a cheap and easily disposable unit, the closer we become to being obsolete – along with whatever tech we choose to play it on.

  • http://djworx.com/ Mark Settle

    The logic of a resurgence in vinyl sales as a reason for Technics to start up again is flawed. Surely people already have turntables already if they’re buying a lot more vinyl. How does more vinyl sales mean a bigger market for turntables?

    • ᅠᅠᅠ

      Because they break.
      Except the 1200, which is the problem.

      But joking aside, vinyl sales don’t happen in isolation. Why would people buy vinyl if they didn’t already have a turntable? Well, why would they buy a turntable if they don’t have any records to play? The two things go hand in hand. Increasing vinyl sales *do* include people who are buying vinyl for the first time. Whether they are getting the turntable at the same time, shortly before or shortly after doesn’t really matter; they’re going to need one. With turntables and record collections becoming more prevalent at people’s homes again, more “vinyl virgins” are, and are going to, get into it.

  • Pingback: Great article about Technics 1200′s | DJ E.L. THE CROWD PLEASER

  • b

    I think it all depends in what form they will bring back the sl1200.
    If they make a hybrid tt, that has a screen and usb and some sort of timecode functionally so that you can play tracks of a usb key with a special timecode vinyl that will be awesome..maybe partner up with ni and bring traktor dj into the deck.
    Just dreaming..but if cdjs can do it…why not tt’s?

  • Tel

    There’s one thing not mentioned here and that what turntables are built for…vinyl . As vinyl sales are on the increase year on year for the last 5 years .where are these people going to get there decks from ?
    I would like to see technics do a small run as I need a new pair as mine are 27 years old now.

    • nem0nic

      That’s covered in the article.

    • http://djworx.com/ Mark Settle

      Let’s see… Vestax, Numark, Reloop, Stanton, DJ Tech, Audio Technica, maybe Pioneer, plus some audiophile brands that come to mind. And let’s not forget that there are millions of 1200s in circulation already, plenty of which come up on eBay all the time.

      But referring you to my previous point – do you think people are buying all this new vinyl without having anything to play it with already?

  • Boogs

    I’m certain less than 1% of the people that signed for this petition would actually pick up a NEW Technics deck even if they picked up production again. The market so hugely flooded there is no need to a new deck. Add the fact that newer models were generally frowned upon with issues like strange pitch behaviour etc., people usually favored the older builds. You can get every sparepart imaginable for those decks, there really is no need to buy a new Technics deck in 2014. For regular listening/HiFi needs, other companies have their piece of the pie already, decks thjat are generally worse than a 1200 but somehow Pro-ject and all the other entry level deck manufacturers convinced people of their products.
    Regarding the vinyl bubble, a lot of people that started buying records again will already have a turntable or they’ll go for some alternative which are more than plenty about. I can’t believe there are still so many disillusioned people around that actually think vinyl sales are relevant again.

    • ᅠᅠᅠ

      Exactly. There is a vinyl resurgence, many kids getting into it who were born way after vinyl disappeared from the mainstream market. But they weren’t, and wouldn’t be, buying Technics, because they cost twice as much as competitors’ tables. The audiophiles and vinyl DJs, I guess that’s where the Technics’ quality works against them. People loved them because they were built so well. That’s why most people who wanted a 1200 never had a problem finding a used one in excellent condition.

  • Gangi

    Small run is really possible. Or every artist should freak out to the vinyl side and produce their music not only on web…..

  • DJ Gerard

    Can’t we just pay in advance on one of those websites that pitches an idea and if enough money is raised we get our turntable?

  • DJ Gerard

    Also does it have to be a record player?,can’t it just be a 33rpm spinning after?

    • DJ Gerard

      spinning plate I mean not after

  • Deft

    djworx killed the turntable. You heard it here first.

    • http://djworx.com/ Mark Settle

      This could be one of your “DEATH TO (insert product here)” slogans.

      • Deft

        Indeed. Also, anyone who believes skratchworx / djworx increased coverage of controllers has caused the decline of the turntable should take a look at some other spurious correlations. Perhaps in fact the increased coverage of controllers is because that is what the manufacturers are making and selling.

        • delaware

          what drugs did you take to assume that?

          • Professorbx

            Its facts. For every 1 turntable released there are probably 20 controllers. The only new (high-end) turntables released in the last TEN YEARS are the Stanton Reloop RP-8000/7000, the Stanton Str8-120/150, the Super OEM turntable that everyone puts out under their own branding, the DJ Tech SL1300 and the TTX1.

            If DJWORX was to “balance” things in your eyes, they would be putting out a revolving circular of the same few reviews, maybe with a “1/3/5/7 years” later section, just so we know if the honeymoon period is still on.

            • http://djworx.com/ Mark Settle

              So you’re saying I should fire up skratchworx again and have the easy life of posting once every 3 months? If I spread the load across the team, I’d only have to get out of bed once a year!

              • Professorbx

                The 3rd review on Skratchworx was the one I did for the Technics MK5g. Maybe I can do a followup review? Maybe Mark can gussy it up for a DJWORX repost? (Fixing the typos while he is there of course).

                • delaware

                  that thing never needed a review, it was build in JAPAN for crying out loud hehe

                  • Professorbx

                    So was the Canon G10, which famously had lens failure if you looked at it wrong.

            • delaware

              what’s your point? for every record being released there are 100 CDs and mp3s. Does that make me want to buy a CD/MP3? nope..i rip them for free and i buy records.

              There are plenty turntables to choose from when youre a DJ, much more than 20 years ago, and there are much more records available to buy than 20 years ago so i have no complaints about these toy controllers flodding the market…let people buy toys all they want..itsup to them..and its up to me to keep my analog set-up :)

              • Professorbx

                Actually, there are NOT more turntables. I don’t know if you remember back in the day, but we had way more options from Gemini, BST, GLI, Lineartech, along with Stanton, Numark and Vestax. They may not have been as good, but they were high end and released regularly. There were enough SKUs to fill up pages and pages in the Upstairs Records catalog. So, again, my point is this-DJWORX covers current news because it is a NEWS site. It had one of the first (if not the first) RP8000 reviews on the web. This was the only turntable release this year however. Should DJWORX refrain from posting reviews because they are not turntables? How would you propose to balance things? If there is no turntable news to post, and DJWORX has posted all the news related to turntables available (and check the SKRATCHWORX archives for all those extra turntable reviews from the past), then what should they post in its place, Mr. Keepitreal News Editor extraordinaire?

                • delaware

                  there are much better turntables out there than in 94 when you don’t include the Technics 1200..really what did we have in 94? Gemini was crap, Numark was crap, even Vestax was crap, you only had 1 choice and that was the 1200.

                  Right now these OEM decks come very close and do the job well and there are like 10 different companies that have released them..i even bought 2 of them but went back to technics.

                  Im not sure what youre ranting on about but i never said DJ Worx should only review turntables, am i missing something here? I read all kinds of “non-turntable” related reviews and never comment on them but do enjoy them. To actually buy a digital DJ device will never happen for me, i never even considered buying the SL-DZ 1200 when that thing came out, i never jumped on the digital bandwagon as im not a sheeple :)

                  rant on, i still don’t see your point

                  • Professorbx

                    Quality aside, you had more choices. This is fact. Also, Numark and Vestax turntables were actually pretty damned great, as was the Gemini PT series.

                    I’m just annoyed at insistence that it makes fiscal sense to release a turntable again when the real facts don’t back it up. A legion of hipsters and audiophiles are not going to buy enough, and 90% of DJ’s who would have bought a 1200 have one already. I would venture a guess that a large portion of new turntable sales (STR8-150s, RP8000′s) are to people who are “upgrading”, not new buyers.

                  • Mutis Mayfield

                    And dvs?

              • Professorbx

                Also, how in the hell are there more records to buy? Son, I was buying 12inch singles of the latest cuts on the regular, and always had the latest songs. Now, if I were to go back to vinyl only, I would be stuck playing re-issues of the same damned tracks that I was playing when I first started to DJ, only even less so because most of them never made it to the re-issue. It doesn’t help me at all that there are tons of new vinyl releases when the extreme majority is 180gram issues of Pink Floyd, etc. Great, I can buy a re-issue of “Ready to Die”. It can go in the pile of my Notorious BIG singles that I purchased when they first came out.

                • delaware

                  i can’t keep up with the records available now, while 20 years ago i had to rely on 3 or 4 import stores that sold “dance” music, right now i simply don’t have the money to keep up with the new and 2nd hand releases. It really is true that there is much more available and the net played a big part on that. But still there are shops out here that do good business on vinyl even though i prefer ordering online. I actually just ordered 20 records from Philly, i cannot imagine buying so much in 94, i prob bought 4 a month back then. Good times i’d say for a vinyl purist :)

                  • Professorbx

                    So, the fact that you ordered 20 pieces of wax means that things are better? My job is literally traveling the world, and wherever I go that has a record store, I buy wax. I also live in LA, where there are some of the last few “Real” record stores like I grew up with. The difference between back then and 20 years ago however, or even 10 years ago, was that I used to walk out with arms filled with the latest singles, and now I walk out with arms filled with used or re-presses of the same damned tracks I was buying back then. You could not DJ a club today with vinyl and play a 2 hour set of the latest bangers. You can totally be an old-school DJ, but thats the thing, it would peg you firmly as a throwback. If you want to be a nostalgia DJ only, awesome. I still DJ old-school sets now and again (which is funny as it is the same sets I was DJing when these songs were new), but if I were to go off of what I could spin on vinyl, I would be ONLY an old school DJ. I’m sorry, I don’t really feel like announcing to the world that I’m an old man, nor do I feel like pandering to an audience as a nostalgia curiosity when most of these people weren’t even alive when the songs I’m playing (and that I owned when they first came out) were released.

                    • delaware

                      i couldnt have bought those records 20 years ago simply cause i had to rely on just a few stores and the rest sold CDs..and the stores that sold vinyl didnt have the records i wanted..right now i can choose to buy every record i want.

                      club “bangers” is another word for the latest teenage garbage and i would not want any of that fast food throw away nonsense on vinyl, matter of fact most clubs don’t require a real DJ anymore, they would be fine with anybody on an ipad or iphone pressing the latest songs for the girls to dance to.

                      Once again good times for vinyl enthousiasts, both new and second hand plenty available.

                      For those needing 1 million songs or more to be a happy DJ i have 2 words: spoiled brats

        • http://djworx.com/ Mark Settle

          Deft – this is for you: http://www.tylervigen.com

          • Deft

            To be fair – my suggestion that the correlation between number of DjWorx articles about controllers and actual controller sales was spurious is not correct. More like DjWorx articles are a lagging indicator of the dj market (i.e. it reflects what is going on in the marketplace). Nice site though.

      • Kenneth Reid

        Any idea how I can get in touch with the guy who wrote this article? Great read but was hoping to find out where the sales stats came from.

    • Jared Helfer

      We just want it to have a proper burial. Everybody keeps trying to bring it back to life.

      It’s sad, really.

      • http://djworx.com/ Mark Settle

        Bloody hipsters buying vinyl. Why can’t they move onto 8 track or wax cylinder? Juno needs to get on that pronto.

      • Deft

        I have been thinking hard for the last few days and the only thing that I truly believe will save the turntable is if someone, perhaps, combines it with a CD player. Like some kind of hybrid device that is the best of both worlds.

        • Jared Helfer

          Wait… so I can play CDs AND records at the same time? Like, in one device? In the words of a man far greater than I could ever dream to be

          http://x2.fjcdn.com/comments/MFW+education+_02afa4bfad44cd8d4ecefc7677c998c3.jpg

          • Professorbx

            Someone quick, tell Gemini and Numark-they have to get on this and re-release their dream machines! A device that plays both compact discs AND long play records? This is the stuff that dreams are made of.

            • http://djworx.com/ Mark Settle

              It’s the holy grail of DJing and it’s all down to Deft. Bye bye controllers – CDs and vinyl are back, but this time together.

              • Angling-Setups-Since-Ean-does

                So this means Pio eff-up their DDJ-SZ controller on purpose, because they will release a hybrid of their CDJ-and Turntable model? Will they at least have these clever anglers? So this is the reason nobody writes about the “problem” of the DDJ-SZ then…

              • Jared Helfer

                Oooh, think of the possibilities. You’re playing a scratch record AND a CD of loops and scratching them AT THE SAME TIME.

                SCIENCE!

                • http://djworx.com/ Mark Settle

                  We’re not ready. Or worthy. Better men than will have to lead the way with that next level voodoo.

          • Knights of the round table

            Nah forget that, the guys that buy, plays and listen to vinyl, just want the tts, not a hybrid like Gemini.

            Here in Sweden the used sales of vinyl skyrocket, its fun to see all the people buying and trading records that are 30-40 years old and in prestine condition.

            Mny dj s do this as well, as there is no shortcut to the perfect sound!

      • Knights of the round table

        The next TT line that gets produced should be called “Frankenstein!”

    • The Setup-Angler

      You got the angling devices, which allow you to better show your controller (angle it towards the crowd). These just don’t work on turntables. That was the final nail in the coffin. Because I mean after all if you can’t “angle” your setup toward the crowd, they can’t see the magic. And this has always been the problem of turntables (compared to CDJs and CunTrollers). People don’t get what these Vinyl-DJs are doing. It’s not enough complexe for a drug-infested brain who dances better than Crazy Legs. I would choose Ean Golden over any Turntablist (like DJ Shadow). Ean is producing his own music is dj-ing and remixing it live…So get with the times and don’t be sore. I myself plan to incorporate glowing-gloves along with a Controller (the controller is incorporated into a plastic-sex-doll around the area of the female sexual organ). I’ll be then button-bashing the CunTroller on the doll and will win the DMCs of the Controllers…Irony off

      • Knights of the round table

        Noting woows a crowd more then real TTs, CDJs are ok, but a computer and a controller, “laughingstock”

  • Pingback: If you want turntable art, this is it | Sunnylicious

  • Adam Majoros

    It is clear: simply bring back the classic 1200 is a stupid idea!
    Anyone would do this probably makes the longest investment on the world.

    The only possiblity could be to make an mk6 version.
    Same build quality, stronger motor, user replaceble S /straight tonearm, led lights.
    Midi buttons, reverse switch and a gapless, advanced pitch controll is a must, but not as were made on the m5g.

    Most likely it should be made of carbon to cut back the 12+Kg weight.

    But if its not built like a tank, the fans not buy them, and if it is, noboby buys more than 2 of them.
    Build sell use brake recycle must be happen to make any product profitable.

    If it not happens than they stop building them, as they did with the 1200′s too.

    This kind of ‘lack of buying’ brought the end of communism also.
    There are refrigirators, washing machines, etc. in our country that were made 40-50 + years ago, still working and bomb proof!

    • Mutis Mayfield

      Or something new which fills some gaps… ;)

    • Knights of the round table

      Yeah, i agree, why buy something that is really good and quite cheap, and change it out for shit, that sound crap, but get alot of space and are easy to carry. like ipods, computers and mp3z.

      It sound soooo good “irony or sarcasm” your choice!

    • actuallyguy

      Actually, there was a mk6 released in Japan only…

  • Pingback: Technics 1200 revival: Facts, figures, and a realist’s viewUniqueSquared Pro Audio Blog

  • Pingback: Pressing plant expansion = vinyl off life support? - DJWORX

  • Pingback: POLL: Future turntables – basic or with bells on? | Sunnylicious