Update: Technics SL-1200 To End Production; Serato Wins

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technics turntable

Technics SL-1200 turntable going the way of the Dodo bird? Indeed. Panasonic announced Last week, first reported by the Tokyo Reporter, that they’d cease production of the Technics turntable, because of  “a decline in demand for these analog products and also the growing difficulty of procuring key analog components necessary to sustain production.”

Wow. In short order, Tony Curtis, the Sony Walkman, and the Technics turntable. Icons do fall.

Since 1972, nearly 4 million SL-1200 turntables have rolled out of audio shops and created a culture.  But with sales of analog decks just 5% of what they were 10 years ago, Panasonic terminated production. The Tokyo Reporter also reported that the last Japanese vinyl pressing plant produced 400,000 pieces last year—down from 70 million four decades ago.

“The product is only coming through Europe ,” says Randy White from Washington Music.  “It’s a big disappointment  if Technics-Panasonic just goes away like a thief in the night. . . I grew up on 1200’s. I have personally owned four different models. [At the store] I have sold probably over 1,000 units.”

Price-wise, the Technics 1200s really went away a long time ago. White points out that the price of the Technics has nearly doubled—he says the average for one is $800, and we’ve seen prices as high as $975.

“I get a call every day from someone looking for them at the old price. The club and mobile scene has moved on. I still have a pair left in the store in a secret place. These units were signed by Qbert and Grandmaster Flash at the DJ Expo. Those units aren’t for sale.”

Other DJs were more skeptical.  “They told me the same thing when I bought mine 12 years ago,” says DJ John Lockley.  “I’ll believe ‘This is the last they’re making’ when I see it.”

Or don’t see it.

All hail Serato, and other digital DJ software. Serato recently announced its major sponsorship of the 2011 DMC. Starting next year, DJs in the competition will be allowed to use Scratch Live in the six minute competition and the team finals.