Technics marks 50 years of SL-1200 turntable with limited special edition
Panasonic followed the relaunch of the Technics brand in 2014 with a high-end reworking of a DJ favorite in 2016. Now to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the SL-1200 turntable, Technics has launched a limited special edition.
The direct-drive SL-1200 made its debut in 1972 and was quickly a dual-deck club DJ staple, while hip-hop artists began to scratch vinyl in a good way. Versions continued to be produced right up until 2010, when brand owner Panasonic cited a decline in global demand for its decision to cease manufacture.
However, despite being written off as a dying format, sales of music on vinyl started to pick up again. And after bringing back the Technics brand in luxury audiophile guise at the IFA 2014 expo, Panasonic revealed an brand-new Grand Class turntable a year and a bit later. More recently, the design returned to its DJ roots with the SL-1200MK7, and it's this model upon which the limited 50th Anniversary Edition is based.
Only 12,000 units will ship globally, with the occasion marked by the inclusion of a golden-tinted anodized tonearm, special badging up top and an celebratory slip mat.
The SL-1200M7L also boasts a high-rigidity cabinet and damping insulator to help shield the system from music-spoiling vibrations – "even during harsh operating conditions." Starting torque and brake speed can be adjusted for more control, as can pitch, and there's a reverse play function that will allow home users to potentially discover hidden messages in songs played backwards or just allow DJs more flexibility. And Technics has included a high-brightness LED stylus light for precision placement in dimly-lit venues.
The 50th Anniversary Edition turntable series is up for pre-order now available in seven funky colors that "reflect the street culture that continues to inspire generations of DJs." Only 12,000 units will be produced in total, and each carries a US$1,099.99 price tag. Shipping expected to start in July.