Thursday, September 3, 2015

Panasonic to Revive Technics Turntables

Written by Takashi Mochizuki — Responding to longtime calls by fans and disc jockeys, Panasonic Corp. said it is reviving Technics turntables–the series that remains a de-facto standard player supporting nightclub music scenes.

The new analog turntable, which would come with new direct-drive motor technologies that Panasonic says would improve the quality of sound, would be released sometime between April 2016 and March 2017, the Japanese electronics company announced on Wednesday.

Panasonic last year relaunched the high-end music brand that was discontinued in 2010 as a part of the Japanese company’s strategy to unify its corporate brands. Since its birth in 1965, the brand earned a good reputation for its accurate playback of original sound, attracting music aficionados, especially in Japan and Europe.

But fans were disappointed at the announcement made at the IFA show in 2014, because announced players and speakers were compatible with the hi-res format that technically offers higher music resolutions than regular CDs. Panasonic, at that time, didn’t confirm any plans about the SL-1200 turntables.

Since the first SL-1200 in 1972, Technics made 10 models for the product lineup. Despite the last new product release of SL-1200MK6 in 2007, the turntable retains high popularity among professional artists, and even rival audio-equipment companies have made turntables that resemble the SL-1200 series.

More and more music services have become stream-based. But the analog music industry still remains profitable, though no rapid growth in the future is likely. Pioneer Corp., another famous disc jockey-equipment manufacturer in Japan, last year sold the business to U.S. private-equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. for $550 million to focus on areas with more growth potential.

Along with the turntable announcement, Panasonic also announced new Technics products, including a speaker set, network audio and also headphones.

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