Panasonic Discontinues Technics Analog Turntables

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This is the saddest day ever. Why? Because we just found out that starting a little over a week ago, Panasonic decided to par down and then stop production on SL-1200MK6 analog turntable, the SH-EX1200 analog audio mixer, and RP-DH1200 and RP-DJ1200 stereo headphones due to "challenges in the marketplace." Panasonic issued a statement to The Tokyo Reporter saying: "Panasonic decided to end production mainly due to a decline in demand for these analog products and also the growing difficulty of procuring key analog components necessary to sustain production." Waaah!

When you take a look at numbers such as these, you can't really blame them though: sales of analog decks today are roughly 5% what they were 10 years ago, while on a related note, Japan's last remaining vinyl disk pressing plant pressed a tiny 400,000 disks last year, that number comparing to their peak 40 years ago at 70,000,000 disks a year.

The SL-1200, which I'm pretty sure I've got sitting in the basement of my mom and dad's house, has been in continuous production since 1972, during that time having sold 3.5 million units. I've got another record player here, and have never had to go back to that one. Why? Because record players just don't break. Especially Technics.

"I've been using these products for around 20 years and rarely suffered a breakdown," explained Tatsuo Sunaga, DJ and author of "I'll Take That Record!" "This type of excellence is something not seen globally, and I think the fact that one doesn't need to purchase subsequent models as being the reason for forcing the move." Makes sense, doesn't it? Capitalism is harsh.

[Via The Tokyo Reporter]