"I think it's beautiful that we all contributed to this cultural movement of hip-hop, though some unwillingly, from the engineers to the marketing guys to the DJs, that's how instruments change history when they're taken out of the original context.. Just like how the Hammond
organ was designed for church music and Leslie
speakers came along to jazz things up, or when distortion was introduced to the electric guitar, and so on. The invention of mixing breaks and scratching transformed the idea of music as we know it, and it owed a great deal to Technics SL-1200s
, which was only meant to be a high-end record player for audiophiles." - That's DJ/producer/musician and occasional contributor to the Amoeblog Shing02
talking to me recently on his clearly passionate feelings towards the Technics SL-1200 turntable and its importance to DJ and hip-hop culture. His admiration for the Technics turntable is so great that, along with fellow SL-1200 fanatic DJ $HIN
, Shing02 recently unveiled the webpage Wheels of Steel: Technics SL-1200 series folder icons
dedicated exclusively to that beloved DJ instrument that a few years ago, to the shock of many DJs,
ceased being manufactured.
As both a fan and practitioner of hip-hop Shing02 says that he cannot but hold deep respect and love for the Technics SL-1200. It was this feeling of awe for the turntable as to why he and DJ $HIN decided to set up the the icon series dedicated to "one of the most impressive runs in modern design achievements
." The icons in the image above were each assembled from dozens of pictures found online, and reflect every model upgrade including function, buttons, lights, and finish. The website also outlines the history of the model which began back in 1970 when Japan's Matsushita Electric
(later to become Panasonic Corp.
) introduced direct-drive turntables (SP-10
), updating and upgrading the model throughout that decade. It was in 1972 when they introduced the SL-1200 MK1
. The website notes how the 1210
series was the European counterpart to the 1200s as well as how the company continued to manufacture many direct drive models before the MK2
in 1979 which would go on to become "the de facto industry standard
." The following three decades of models resulted in only minor alterations in design. The very last model would be the MK6 Technics SL-1200
model in 2008. Two years later, in October 2010, the company ceased all production of the beloved turntable. Below is my conversation with Shing02 about the turntable and the new icon series whose future updates will include interviews with some retired Technics engineers.
What made you guys decide to do this icon series dedicated to the 1200's?