Analog in 'decline' but Technics not dead

The ease of producing and listening to digital music could very soon kill off the turntable, but reports of high profile brand Technic's demise is "premature".

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Ty Pendlebury is a journalism graduate of RMIT Melbourne, and has worked at CNET since 2006. He lives in New York City where he writes about streaming and home audio.
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Ty Pendlebury
2 min read

Despite the recent explosion of interest in analog turntables, the ease of producing and listening to digital music could very soon kill demand, but industry experts say reports of high profile brand Technic's demise is "premature".

Technics not dead
The Technics SL-1200 will be with us for some time yet. (Credit: Panasonic)

A fake "press release" made the rounds late last week saying production of Technics turntables would end in February 2010, and the local head of Technics DJ for Panasonic was "quoted" as saying Australian stock would end in March.

Long regarded as the epitome of DJ equipment, the Technics 1200 and 1210 series turntables have been rumoured to be going out of production, but this has been denied by the local arm of head company Panasonic.

Panasonic's Ian North has denied the reports, and says while he is still waiting on clarification from Japan news that sales would end in March was "premature".

"We are still supplying our dealers and we still have stock coming in," North said.

However, North said that there has been "a decline in the analog market" due to the popularity of computer and CD mixing solutions.

"I wouldn't say that analog is dead but there's a lot of digital products on the market that can do the same thing," North added.

Ryan Hochkins of DJ equipment retailer DJ Warehouse likened the Technics turntables to a Ferrari because people bought them as a brand name.

But Hochkins said problems with local distribution meant that the turntable was never the company's highest seller.

"There's always people who come in and want to buy Technics whether they're at the price they are at now or the price they were at two years ago, but it was never easy for us to get them," Hochkins said.

Hochkins said CD players now made up the majority of the company's sales, while software and hardware made up 20 per cent and turntables only made up to 10 per cent.

Panasonic used the "Technics" brand name for all of its hi-fi equipment until 2002, when it transitioned to Panasonic for most products.