Scott C is a DJ, Producer, and Music Consultant from Montreal.
I’ve known him since high school and always respected his cultural and technical knowledge and skills. He’s gained some renown as a DJ and remixer, and I decided to enlist his help in the quest to understand the importance of Technics turntables in the history of DJing. Here’s the interview. Thanks Scott!
1. What was the technology in turntables prior to the Technics? How was the Technics different?
The only other turntable I had come in contact with prior to the Technics 1200’s was my parents “stereo-credenza”.This was a common piece of furniture in many people’s houses between the 50’s and 70’s and my parents were no different. It was basically a wooden hutch with a flip-top so you could access the record player, and this is where I listened to any and all records before I ever thought of becoming a DJ. I did have one other turntable, but it was a lesser model Technics with rolling dial pitch control. The 1200’s were heavy, well built, stopped on a dime and would not stop turning no matter what you did with the platter – the complete opposite of every turntable I’d seen up until that point.
2. How did Technics come to dominate so thoroughly? Who were the competitors?
Technics simply introduced a thorough, quality product that was built to last, and it stood the test of time like a champion. I have no idea who the competitors were, because I never saw any. We were always able to make the distinction between a turntable for “listening” and a turntable for “DJing” and the Technics was the standard for DJing. Later in the game, around the year 2000 or so, Gemini, Stanton and a few other gear companies were finally able to introduce their own cheaper versions of the Technics 1200, but none of them even came close. That’s not to say people didn’t buy the cheaper, dodgier versions either, because they did. There’s more choices now that Technics has taken an official bow.
3. What was going on in the 2000s that led to the announcement of the stopping of the line?
No idea. Obviously sales would have tapered off through the years with the advent of CDs, the iPod, and then Serato, Traktor and Torq leading to a steady decline in demand. It’s long been touted as the quintessential piece of DJ equipment, but the way people DJ has also changed making it easier for anyone to play and mix music using any one of a plethora of control interfaces, midi and a laptop. You no longer need Technics 1200’s to be a DJ.
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