Technics SL-1200 goes out of production

I have various friends in the Japanese music business, and one of them (CEO of a dance-club in Tokyo) just received a notice from Panasonic KK, to the effect that the venerable SL-1200 is at long last going out of production.

The relevant contents of the correspondence from Panasonic loosely translate as follows:

We (Panasonic) launched the SL-1200 series of analog players in 1972, and have continued to sell them to the present. Based on DD (Direct-Drive) technology, the compactness and high performance of the SL-1200 series has won it many long-term adherents.

Despite this, unit sales have diminished year by year, also it has become more difficult to maintain the production system and continue procuring the required components. Simply put, sustaining production has become an ordeal.

With that in mind, we regretfully announce the end-of-life for the following products:

SL-1200 MK6 analog player
SH-EX1200 analog audio mixer
RP-DH1200 / RP-DJ1200 stereo headphones.

You can see a webpage of similar content here (but in Japanese)

It's a sad day, but all good things eventually come to an end...

kind regards, jonathan carr
I am a Panasonic Dealer, My rep tells me that she would have a problem getting one for me. If there is an interest out there and you come across one, get it while you can.
Jonathan, in light of recent similar rumors that proved false, I read your post with skepticism until I saw it was from you. But the announcement does not say that the entire series has been discontinued. It says only the SL-1200 Mk6 has. It doesn't say anything about the SL-1200 Mk 2 or the SL-1210 Mk 5. I wonder if those other tables are included by implication. If so, it certainly puts an end to something of a legend.

I asked some of my acquaintances at Panasonic about some of the previous rumors, and was told (at the time) that they were false. This one unfortunately appears to be genuine.

I have been under the impression that the MK6 was the only SL-1200 remaining in production. I seem to recall that the former manager of SL-1200 production told me that all other models were no longer viably (economically) for Panasonic to produce. In fact, I think that the MK6 was a final attempt by Panasonic to make the SL-1200 profitable again, or at least avoid losing money. Usually, the large Japanese companies prefer not to increase pricing on an existing model, and will address any pricing imbalances with the launch of a new model.

At any rate, if my recollection of what I was told is correct, all non-MK6 SL-1200s available through dealers would be from existing inventory. But that's just my recollection, and I would be very happy if at least one of the SL-1200 variants remains in production.

I will try to look into the situation a little more (don't have much time these days since I am in the middle of a major move), and will update if there is anything new to report.

If anyone else has any useful information or input, please feel free to comment.

best, jonathan
I just picked up a SL1200MK5. My source in the biz said it was not true. He they would have issued a press release, but none has ever been produced. More here say. I think it is more of attention grabber by Panny. Or to try to test the waters and see if any interest spiked up. who knows. It is funny that it does not sell as well. Since it was built as HI-FI TT. I have a buddy with a TT that he paid 10k(don't recall the name) for it and it collects dust cause he uses his classic SL 1200 upgraded by KABuas. It would be a sad day if they did discontinue the line.
How does the MK6 differ from the MK5, other than being produced for a different market?
You guys are better than me, I'm a buyer, I do a million dollars a year with Panasonic (TV's), Just emailed my rep and said I wanted a table for myself-any model. She emailed back and said "I'm sorry, we don't have anymore turntables anywhere"
This is what I do for a living guys, either my Panasonic rep is lying to me, or maybe they are just not selling tables in the U.S. anymore or others are getting bad info
about them being available.
I can't get one.
Well, I have my rep a beat down wanting a straight answer on this. I should be use to feeling stupid by now, but after all the hoopla about trying to get one of these, it seems that she was lazy and didn't really check it out. I pushed and she thoroughly checked it out. Here is her answer.... THIS IS FROM PANASONIC:
The product guy at HQ says we are constrained which sounds to me like we're not making very many or we're getting very little inventory in each month but they are still "current" products. A co-worker says she sold our inventory to Guitar Center since they do a lot of turntable business with us. She says we are out. So, we can order one and see if we can get it for you but you may end up canceling if you wait too long. I'm sorry there aren't more clear details. Inventory is very limited and in very high demand,but I'm not sure we are actually still producing the product.
There you go, Clear as Mud.
I'll try to refrain from posting without all the facts.
Strange. I wonder why demand is decreasing. I keep reading about the vinyl comeback.
I didn't get from her that demand is increasing, but they keep production to a minimum and demand is often higher than production... Especially when one player comes in and buys their limited production out. She does say that models are still "current".. Panasonics price sheets have the 1200mk2, the 1200mk2pk, 1200mk5, 1210mk5 and 1210m5g as current models.