Since it’s introduction in 1979, Technics 1200 MKII turntable – also known as the ‘Mark 2s’ – has become a staple in DJ culture and an invaluable piece of audio technology. The Technics 1200 MKII, released by Matsushita under the brand name Panasonic, was one of the first successful DJ friendly direct-driven turntables, and has solidified its place in music history and club culture as one of the most iconic turntables of all time.
The original 1972 1200 turntable did not have a DJ friendly pitch controller design, this was introduced in the next version aka 1200 MKII.
The 1200 MKII featured a number of technological advancements which allowed it to quickly become a fan favorite amongst the DJ community. The direct drive design featured a motor connected directly to the turntable’s spindle, enabling fast start up speeds unlike the belt-driven models of the time. Additionally, the 1200 MKII featured a high torque motor which provided increased torque for improved speed stability and accuracy. The result was a DJ friendly turntable, with superior sound performance, making it a preferred choice for professional DJ’s as well as audiophiles the world over.
In addition to the above, the Technics 1200 MKII also featured several innovations which helped revolutionize the club industry. The turntable’s high torque motor allowed it to maintain its speed even when the needle was pushed, dropped, or scratched across the record, which gave DJ’s new techniques for creating sounds the vinyl. Additionally, the direct drive design allowed for accurate pitch control, i.e. speed up or slow down a record, enabling two records to be ‘beat matched’ introducing true 2 record mixing for the first time. This consistent speed adjustment, was necessary for many of the new mixing techniques which were being pioneered by DJs (in other words this turntable invented ‘mixing’).
The Technics 1200 MKII has also become notable as one of the longest-running turntables in production. Even after its initial production ceased in 2010, it was re-introduced in 2016 to overwhelming success (although the new builds leave a lot to be desired + very, VERY expensive). This is due in part to its timeless design, but also its continued popularity in the DJ community as a reliable piece of audio technology.
Nearly 50 years after its introduction, the Technics 1200 MKII continues to be an indispensable piece of technology in DJ culture and an iconic piece of music & club history. Its timeless design, reliable performance (it’s built like a tank, well the original ones are not the new MK7s…), and innovative features have made it a staple in the vinyl industry and a go-to choice amongst audiophiles and professional DJ’s alike. The Technics 1200 MKII truly is a piece of audio tech that stands the test of time.