Following weeks of rumours and speculation, Panasonic has confirmed that their Technics brand of turntables has been discontinued.
The Osaka-based technology company sent out the following statement yesterday:
Panasonic has confirmed that it ceased the production of its Technics-branded analogue turntables this autumn.
After more than 35 years as a leading manufacturer of analogue turntables, Panasonic has regretfully taken the decision to leave this market. However, Panasonic will continue to sell headphones under the Technics brand.
We are sure that retailers and consumers will understand that our product range has to reflect the accelerating transformation of the entire audio market from analogue to digital.
In addition, the number of component suppliers serving the analogue market has dwindled in recent years and we brought forward the decision to leave the market rather than risk being unable to fulfill future orders because of a lack of parts.
Panasonic employees who have been working on the analogue turntable range have been redeployed elsewhere within Panasonic – many of them continuing to work in Panasonic’s Audio Video Business Unit.Resident Advisor recently spoke with JC Faxas, the main DJ Buyer for Guitar Center Inc, the biggest distributor of Technics products in the United States. Based on meetings with Technics' vice president, he confirmed much of Panasonic's statement, especially that a shortage of essential parts was the key factor in their decision. "Panasonic had been using some of the same parts manufacturers for over 40 years and most had gone out of business, so it would be very difficult and expensive to get some of those parts in production once again."
But after working directly with Technics for over a decade, Faxas also thinks the brand could have survived if Panasonic valued it more highly. "In my opinion, if Technics was a stand-alone company and not part of Panasonic, then there would be sufficient business for the company to continue. I feel that Technics has always been pocket change to Panasonic, whose upper management never took the DJ business seriously. The question now is whether a manufacturer will step up with a suitable alternative since there will never be a true replacement."