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Technics (brand)

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Title: Technics (brand)  
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Subject: Panasonic, Phonograph, Technics SL-10, Mercury Prize, DMC World DJ Championships
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Technics (brand)

Native name
Industry Electronics
Founded 1965 (brand revived in 2014 by Panasonic)
Headquarters Kadoma, Osaka, Japan
Key people
Fumio Ohtsubo, president
Products DJ sets, headphones, synthesizers, turntables
Parent Panasonic Corporation
Slogan Ideas for Life.

Technics (テクニクス Tekunikusu) is a brand name of the Panasonic Corporation, a company that produces a variety of electronic products.


Under the brand name Technics, the company produced a variety of hi-fi products, such as turntables, amplifiers, receivers, tape decks, CD players and speakers for sale in various countries. It was conceived for a line of high-end audio equipment to go against such companies as Nakamichi, but most of its home products have been rebranded as Panasonic starting in 2002, except in Japan and certain other areas like the former Soviet Union, places where the brand holds considerable appeal. DJ equipment, electronic pianos and Micro Hi-Fi Systems are some of the Technics products currently being sold in the USA and Europe. On 3 September 2014, Panasonic announces that Technics brand is coming back, many people however are wondering if the legendary SL1200 will also be reborn [1]


The name Technics was introduced as a brand name for premium loudspeakers marketed domestically by Matsushita in 1965. The name came to widespread fame with the international sales of direct-drive turntables. In 1969, they introduced the SP-10, the first direct-drive model for the professional market, and in 1971 the SL-1100 for the consumer market. The SL-1100 was used by the influential DJ Kool Herc for the first sound system he set up after emigrating from Jamaica to New York. This latter model was the predecessor to the SL-1200 which, as the upgraded SL-1200 MK2, became a widely used turntable by DJs. The SL-1200 MK2 was a robust machine and incorporated a pitch control (or vari-speed), and kept the speed constant and the speed variability low, thus making it a popular tool with DJs.

The SL-1200 continues to evolve with the M3D series, followed by the MK5 series in 2003.

Originally created by Panasonic to show off their high-end offerings, by the early 1980s Technics ended up offering an entire range of equipment from entry-level to high-end.

Matsushita retired the Technics name almost completely in the early 2000s (decade). Currently, it is used on the 1200 series turntables (discontinued in 2010), and digital pianos, thus limiting their dealerships to music/pro audio stores.

The SL-1200 model is often considered as the 'Industry Standard' turntable equipment of the DJ industry. Its supreme torque and robust build make it a frequent choice for club venues as standard, eliminating the need for DJs to transport their own equipment.

In 1972 Technics was the first to use an autoreverse system in a cassette deck (Technics RS-277US).

In 1973 Technics was the first to use a three-head recording technique in a cassette deck (Technics RS-279US).

In 1976, Technics introduced two belt-driven turntables for the mass market, the SL-20 and SL-23. The principal difference between the two models was the addition, in the SL-23, of semi-automatic operation and an adjustable speed control with built-in strobe light. They offered what were, for the time, technical specifications and features that rivaled much more expensive turntables, including well-engineered s-shaped tonearms that featured both tracking weight and anti-skate adjustments. At the time they were introduced the SL-20 and SL-23, which sold for $100.00 and $140.00, respectively, set a new performance standard for inexpensive turntables.[1]


Technics audio products
SU-C01 Stereo Preamplifier (1979) 
Typical receiver c. 1980, SA-202 
SU-Z980 120W Stereo Amplifier and ST-Z980 AM/FM Tuner (mid 1980s) 
  • SX-601 Ace Tone (precursor of Roland Corporation).
    After the 1970s, this product line was branded "Technitone" as a brother brand of Technics, and newer electronic musical instruments were branded Technics.
  • EAB-1204 loudspeakers (1965) — a premium loudspeakers, later renamed to SB-1204. It was also nicknamed "Technics 1", and referred as the origin of Technics brand.[2]
late 1960s - early 1970s
  • SP-10 Direct Drive Turntables (1969) — first direct-drive model for the professional market
  • SL-1100 Direct Drive Turntables (1971) — for the consumer market
  • RS-277US Autoreverse Cassette Deck (1972)
  • RS-279US Three-heads recording Cassette Deck (1973)
mid 1970s
  • SA-8500X The biggest quadraphonic receiver Technics ever built with integrated CD4 demodulation
  • RS-858US quadraphonic 8-track player/recorder
  • SH-3433 4-channel Quadraphonic Audioscope
late 1970s
  • RS-1500/1700 series of open-reel tape decks;
  • SA-100/400/600/800/1000 receivers
  • SL-1600,SL-1700,SL-1800 Direct Drive Turntables
  • SL-1300MK2, SL-1400MK2, SL-1500MK2, SL-150MK2(No Tonearm) Quartz Synthesizer Direct Drive Turntables Professional Series
  • new class A Amplifier series launched featuring inter alia SE-A3 / SE-A5 High Output Power Amplifiers
  • SU-C01, SU-C03, SU-C04 amplifiers (a "concise" line of home audio consisting of amplifier, tuner and cassette deck) [3]
  • SB-F1, SB-F01, SB-F2 and SB-F3 monitor speakers (2-way, sealed casing, aluminum box speakers) [4]
  • SY-1010 Analog Synthesizer (1977)[5]

Much of the following information comes from They are a great source for Technics information or for needed manuals.
9000 Professional Series: A series of stack-able, or rack mountable, units included the SE-9060 Amp, SU-9070 Pre-Amp, SH-9010 Equalizer, SH-9020 Meter Unit and ST-9030 Tuner. These "Pro Series" components replaced the earlier SE-9600 Amp, SU-9700 Pre-Amp and ST-9300/9600/9700 Tuner that were deemed too large. The 9000 Pro Series was introduced because of demand for smaller, quality components.
The European version of the Pro Series had a different faceplate than the US version: 18" vs. 19". Because of the narrower faceplate, the European version required special rack brackets to be rack mountable. The brackets came with the European version of the SH-905ST Professional Series rack. The only difference between this rack and the US version was inclusion of those brackets. As a result, the brackets are ultra rare and even the rack was sold in limited numbers in the USA.
SB-10000 Loudspeaker. Top of the line Technics speaker at a cost of $12,000 USD. They featured a tweeter made of Boron. A used pair sold for $32,050 USD around 2010 in Germany.
SE-A1 Amp. Top of the line Technics amp at a cost of $6,000 USD.
SU-A2 Pre-Amp. Top of the line for Technics at a cost of $8,000 USD.
SB-E100 and SB-E200 Loudspeakers. These were both designed with the SB-10000 in mind. The SB-E100 looked like the 10000 with the bass enclosure turned on its end with the mid/tweeter section mounted on top. The SB-E100 was made of MDF with Rosewood veneer. The SB-E200 was made of Rosewood and, while more similar in design to the SB-10000, it was virtually the same as the SB-E100 except for the bass box configuration and solid wood. The SB-E100 was designed to sit on the floor while the SB-E200 could sit on a table or pedestal. The SB-E100 had slightly better specs than the SB-E200 due to construction. Neither of them were released for the US market.
RS-9900US Tape Deck: Top of the line tape deck at the time and quite at home with the 9600 Series components listed above. It was a two piece behemoth that sold for $2,000 in 1977-78.
RS-M95 Tape Deck: This deck replaced the 9600 in the same way as the 9000 Professional Series components replaced the 9600. It was much smaller, less expensive ($1400) and had better specs than the RS-9900US it replaced, resulting in better sound.

early 1980s
  • SU-V3,V4 V5, V6, V7, V8, V9 Stereo Integrated Amplifiers
  • SE-A3MK2 SE-A5 SE-A5MK2 SE-A7 Power Amplifiers and SU-A4MK2 SU-A6 SU-A6MK2 and SU-A8 preamplifiers
  • SV-P100 digital audio recorder (using VHS tapes). Also available as the SV-100, a stand-alone PCM adaptor requiring a separate VCR;
  • cassette decks with dbx noise reduction
  • SB-2155 3-Way Stereo Speakers [1982]
  • SL-D212 Direct Drive Turntable [1982]
  • SU-Z65 Stereo Integrated Amplifier [1982]
  • SH-8015 Stereo Frequency Equalizer [1982]
  • ST-Z45 Synthesizer FM/AM Stereo Tuner [1981]
  • RS-M216 Cassette Deck [1982]
  • direct-drive linear tracking turntables SL-10, SL-15, SL-7, SL-6, SL-5, and SL-V5 (vertical)
mid 1980s
  • Technitone E series (1983) — one of the earliest PCM sampling organ in Japan.
  • SX-PV10 PCM Digital Piano (1984) — one of the earliest PCM sampling piano in Japan.
  • SY-DP50 PCM Digital Drum Percussion (1985)[6]

1990s: The two subs listed below (SST-25/35HZ) along with the SST-1 Loudspeakers, weren't intended for home use but are quite at home there as long as you have room for them. Use in a small room can result in drywall damage and a fish tank should not be in the same room. They were actually intended for large venue such as theater, ballroom or outdoor use. Both were passive sub-woofers that came with a separate amplifier. SST-25HZ Super Bass Exciter(Sub-Woofer). Top of the line Technics sub, cost when new is unknown. SST-35HZ Super Bass Exciter(Sub-woofer). Cost was $2500 in 1991 USD. SST-1 Loudspeaker. Cost was $2000 in 1991 USD. These were meant to be mated with the SST-25HZ or 35HZ sub-woofers.

  • hi-quality power amps, Mainstream receivers, Dolby Pro Logic receivers
  • SX-KN series electronic keyboards, including the arranger keyboards KN3000, KN5000, KN6000 and KN7000, competing with the same market as the Yamaha Tyros
  • SX-WSA1 Digital Synthesizer (1995) — utilizing Acoustic Modeling synthesis (PCM sample + physical modeling resonator)[7]
Technics musical instruments
National SX-601 Electronic Organ (1963) 
SX-PV10 PCM Digital Piano (1984) 
SX-PR902 Digital Ensemble Piano 

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ (not for sale) — The brand name "Technics" was formed in the conversations between Naraji Sakamoto (audio product designer of Panasonic) and chairman of Kawamoto Musen (a home electronics dealer in Nipponbashi, Osaka).
  3. ^ Technics C01 on The Vintage Knob
  4. ^ Technics SB-F1 on The Vintage Knob
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
historical products
  • — other older Technics products site in Japanese.
  • — information about older Technics products
  • — Technitone Electronic Organ database including history and models

External links

official sites
  • General Technics DJ home page
  • Technics Musical Instruments home page
  • Technics Hi-Fi Audio
  • The Exclusive Online Audio Museum "TheVintageKnob" with Technics Audio Products History (1960-2000)
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