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Technics

Technics was introduced as the brand name for Panasonic's audio equipment in 1965. It has produced a range of hi-fi products including amplifiers, receivers, tape decks, CD players, and speakers. Of course, it's most known for its turntables, specifically the SL-1200, which remained an industry-standard even between 2010 and 2018, when the model was out temporarily of production.

The reason for the initial success of the Technics SL-1200 was its direct-drive motor. Previously, turntables had a motor attached to a belt, which would in-turn power the spinning platter. This gave the turntable a slow start-up time and belts would often break from excessive backspinning or scratching. The direct-drive motor, invented by Panasonic engineer Shuichi Obata, solved this problem, the company launched the SP-10 in 1969.

The SL-1100 followed in 1971, and the SL-1200 a year later. The turntables were adopted by early hip-hop artists such as DJ Kool Herc, Grand Wizard Theodore and Afrika Bambaataa. The Technics SL-1200 MK2 dropped in 1978 and quickly become the most popular turntable in the world. Its engineering legacy can be easily seen, as it has set the standard for the design and layout of just about every DJ turntable since. It speaks to these models' durability that many from the 1970s are still in use today.

Photo credit: Helena Lopes

Close up of a Soundcraft digital audio mixer
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