UPDATED: Now with video that pretty much confirms what I’d worked out.
Investigative journalism is traditionally in the vein of shaking the grapevine to see what falls out, and then following up leads. But in the digital age of stuff being posted on social media, it’s often a matter of digging into websites to almost brute-force find hidden pages, or in my case using Photoshop to forensically uncover otherwise hidden details. So when Technics posted a mysteriously dark image in their Instagram channel relating to their previously announced Technics7th event, it was a clear case of letting curves and levels do the investigative work.
First port of call — get the largest version of the image I could find, which yielded a regular Instagram 1080×1080 image to work from. And a few tweaks with a combination of levels, curves, and other tools at my disposal soon uncovered a heavily compressed and thus highly pixellated image of a turntable. But is it a new turntable or an old one?
The first obvious clue is the colour of the lighting scheme. The lights on new Technics are blue, but on this image the buttons and power light are reddish, harking back to the heritage of the SL-1200 for DJs. So is this just an old turntable?
I think not. There are a few clues in the rest of the image. The blindingly obvious giveaway is the pitch button — it only appears on new 1200s. So it’s clearly a current generation rather than old model.
The colour scheme is different though. As I tweak the levels, it feels like this model is dark, but it could just be a 1210. But I’m looking in particular at the buttons. If this was an image of a silver 1200 that was processed to be darker, the text on them would still be dark. But the text is light, telling me that the buttons are actually dark. And when I compare this to the rest of the body and the brightness of the platter highlight, this looks like a different colour scheme to what we’re used to.
There is something reminiscent of 2015’s blue/gold dress malarkey about the colour scheme, especially with the image processing already taken place at Technic’s end. But I’m quietly confident that my deductions are accurate.
So going out on a limb, this looks to have the warmer lights of a classic SL-1200/1210, but is very much in the colour scheme of the new 1210GR, but darker still. There are certain differences — the anti-skate dial and tonearm screws contrast heavily with the tonearm mechanism, and look to be shiny rather than black. The tonearm also looks to be shiny chrome rather than the matt finish.
A couple of further observations — the back corner where the 45 adaptor sits is deliberately darkened. Also, there’s a sharp line on the front panel. Both of these anomalies are probably just the combination of lighting and heavy image compression, but I notice these things when the rest of the image isn’t as hidden as perhaps it could be. It’s as if they’re hidden on purpose. No, that is not a CD drive wedged into the front face.
UPDATE: The new video posted at the top shows that there definitely isn’t a CD drive in it.
OR IT MIGHT BE NOTHING
Obviously, I’m excitedly looking for things that might not even be there, and this could just be one big red herring on the part of Panasonic to throw us all off the scent. But my gut is twitching and telling me that a new SL-1210 mk7 will be announced (and logically a 1200 too), one that is quite specific to the needs of DJs. I would assume that cables would be removable too, and ideally the squidgy audiophile feet of the 1200GR changed for something more friendly to the routine abuse of DJs, especially turntablists.
Just to pour petrol on the rumour bonfire, it turns out that Technics has a stand at NAMM, strategically placed bang opposite Pioneer DJ, slap bang in the heart of the DJ section. That’s going to be a heavily trafficked spot at the show without a doubt.
Just seven days to wait, to find out if there’s anything coming for DJs at all. If the grapevine word I’ve gleaned is true though, I suspect we’ll all be a little happier next week.