Technics SL-1200 is a series of direct-drive turntables originally manufactured from October 1972 until 2010 and resumed in 2016.
Originally released as a high fidelity consumer record player, it quickly became adopted among DJs, thanks to the direct drive, high torque motor design, making it suitable for pushbutton cueing, beat-mixing and scratching.
The quartz-controlled high torque motor system enabled records to be mixed with consistency and accuracy and to this day the “Tec 12’s”, or “Wheels of Steel” remain extremely popular with audiophiles. More than 3 million units were sold and it is widely regarded as one of the most durable and reliable turntables ever produced.
In the autumn of 2010, Panasonic announced that the series was to be discontinued, however, in 2016 they announced the SL’s return in two models named “Grand Class” – which are now available.
At the London Science Museum, a Technics SL-1210 is on display as one of the pieces of technology that have “shaped the world we live in”.