Panasonic brings back Technics

The iconic brand has been reborn a year before its 50th anniversary

Panasonic has resurrected its Technics brand, which was used for the company’s Hi-Fi audio gear, and much loved DJ gear, from 1965 until 2010. A note on the Technics.com Web site lists the brand as being ‘reborn’, and tells users that they can look forward to a ‘new era of lossless audio’. The move seems to be timed to drum up some interest before the 50th anniversary of the brand is celebrated next year.

Technics launched its first product, a two-way speaker called the Technics 1, in 1965, and then followed in 1970 with the world’s first direct-drive turntable, the SP-10. Even today, the brand is still well known for its direct-drive turntables, with variants of the SL-1200, which was first launched in 1972, being a particular favourite among DJs. It’s known as ‘industry standard’ equipment for vinyl spinners in clubs around the world due to its build quality, pitch control, and consistent high torque motor.

The resurrection of the brand comes as the interest in higher quality music enjoyment is said to be gaining steam. Vendors such as Sony already have high-resolution audio players catering to users who are audio enthusiasts and audiophiles, and the Technics brand will be leaning in the same direction with its own products. In a presentation at IFA in Berlin, Technics said that even though 'it took a break' it 'continued to develop technology related to decoding and reproducing high-resolution audio data' through its Blu-ray players.

High-resolution digital audio offers a truer sound than regular (high quality) MP3s and CDs, due to the audio being reproduced with more samples per second (up to 192kHz) and digitally processed using more bits (up to 24-bit) in order to more closely replicate the curve of analogue audio.

In a video posted to the Panasonic video portal, Technics has stated that this high-resolution audio trend is the motivating factor in the brand’s relaunch, and that it wants to provide users with ‘a new level of audio experience’.

The products seen in the video include a network audio player, and a stereo amplifier that adjusts the sound phase according to whatever speakers a user has attached to them, something which Technics believes is a world first. A key design feature of the new products is analogue controls for the volume and selectors, with other controls designed to ‘blend in to system’.

The first Technics-branded Hi-Fi systems will be released in Europe in December 2014, with other parts of the world following at a later date.

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Elias Plastiras
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