The Technics brand has always been special to us. In the 80s and 90s of the last century, when it all just began, it seemed like something from the high-end realm – Technics amplifiers with glowing, almost magical dial indicators seemed like perfection and an audio dream.
Konsuke Matsushita, the legendary founder of the Japanese firm Matsushita Electric, known for its Panasonic, National and Technics brands, is one of the most prominent examples of both an entrepreneur and a cutting-edge business leader and innovator. Konosuke Matsushita was forced to quit school and go to work when he was only 9 years old. He worked as an apprentice in a bicycle shop for six years, then moved to the Osaka Electric Light Company. Konosuke Matsushita constantly tried to find and correct the shortcomings of the company’s products.
Tape recorder Technics RS 263 (1974)
At age 22, he invented an elegant new design of plug. After the boss once again rejected his rationalization proposal. Konosuke Matsushita decided to leave the company, create his own business and start producing innovative electric chucks. The starting capital he had available to develop the business was only 100 yen. This is where the legendary history of the Matsushita Electric company began in 1917. Soon Konosuke Matsushita was the owner of eight factories, and products began to be produced under the new sonorous brand Panasoni c.
Tuner Technics ST 9600 (1976)
Having literally started from scratch, by the end of his life he had secured a personal fortune of $3 billion, and the capital of the company he founded, Matsushita Electric Industrial Ltd, reached $42 billion. Retiring at the age of 80, Konosuke Matsushita was not only Japan’s richest businessman, but also, most importantly, its most revered business leader, a legend who had built a company admired around the world. He has written many articles, courses and books on the art of management. Having become a billionaire, Konosuke Matsushita was modest in everyday life and did not spend money on luxury goods. With the acquired capital, he created foundations and business schools. He also sought to improve Japan’s political system and worked on dozens of social projects.
Technics RS 671 cassette deck (1976)
One of his famous business principles: to penetrate an already established market, you need to do everything 30% better and 30% cheaper. Matsusita Electric has never released fundamentally new products. She sought to improve and reduce the cost of goods that were in high demand in the market. Its strategy was based on careful consideration of consumer needs and the search for new sales technologies. Many weak sellers and entrepreneurs give up when they are faced with a cold reception of their product by the market. A true entrepreneur never views “no” as failure. For him, every “no” only means that this method of selling does not work and he needs to look for another.
Similarly, young aspiring entrepreneur Konosuke Matsushita, after creating a new product, abandoned traditional marketing methods because they did not work for him. He approached marketing creatively and created an innovative, completely new and successful sales model for his product. In 1965, the Technics brand (Matsushita Electric Corporation) was born to create high-quality audio equipment. Main goal: successful sales on the international market and worthy competition to Japanese manufacturers such as Nakamichi.
Technics RS B66W cassette deck (1988)
In 1969, the Matsushita company, which owned the Panasonic and Technics trademarks, developed a direct drive motor for turntables: its fundamental difference from the more common engineering solution was the absence of a belt. A permanent magnet was attached to the moving part—the disk—and an electromagnet was attached to the body, which made the disk rotate at a given speed of 33 or 45 revolutions per minute almost from the start. In 1971, such an innovation (and even at a very modest price) was not on the market, but no one greeted the first Technics SL-1200 with applause. Just think, the new product is an eternal player…
Technics SL1200 MK2 vinyl player (1978)
The first 1200 went down in history only as a forefather. Perhaps because it appeared too early from a historical point of view: the first hip-hop party happened, as you know, in 1973 in the Bronx. And since then, the development of a new culture was on the conscience and honor of the DJ – he played music, b-boys danced, MCs read. True, no one outside the black ghettos of the Bronx was interested in this. Sound systems were an expensive pleasure, and who knows, the young genre would not have quietly disappeared if not for the famous blackout in July 1977, when almost all of New York was without power for two days? While Manhattan was fighting off looters, aspiring DJs and MCs were busy plundering musical equipment. And turntables with direct drive were the objects of increased attention – it was on them that, thanks to the quick start, traction of the disk and adjustable speed, it was possible not only to play records, but to do whatever you wanted with them.
Vinyl player Technics SL1200 – layout by year of manufacture
The Technics SL-1200MK2 in silver and the SL-1210MK2 in matte black hit the shelves in 1979, and on fertile ground. That year, hip-hop took the charts by storm, white partygoers ventured into the Bronx for unprecedented battle parties, and progressive DJs used a special technique for handling records – scratching, that is, quickly playing part of a track in both directions, the authorship of which is attributed to Grand Wizzard Theodor , and the breakbeat technique, when fills in tracks were used to create a new composition, this technique was used by the first hip-hop DJ in history, Kool Herc. And although the Technics SL-1200MK2 was not intended for DJs, it had everything they needed – ± 8% speed control, quartz speed stabilizer, almost instant start, a heavy case that compensated for the influence of the sound system on the needle, and durability. Rather, immortality – many turntables produced in 1979 still work for old hip-hop people. Without any repairs or maintenance. In the 80s, the Technics SL–1200MK2 went from being a turntable to being an instrument.
CD player Technics SL-P10 (1983)
The Technics SL-P10 CD player was released more than thirty years ago, in January 1983, and was one of the ten very first mass-produced CD players. This device is unique in every way. This PKD took longer to develop and put into production than any other PKD in the world. It is 100% in-house developed and consists of 99% parts produced by Matsushita Corp. According to a number of experts, in terms of the totality of its characteristics, this player is the best of all that have ever been created by man. Every detail draws attention to the uniqueness of the device. This includes a fully automatic vertical disk drive and a unique information display that displays the structure of the disk in as much detail as possible; The highlight of true Japanese industrial design is the LED on the front of the pocket, which exactly follows the movement of the laser head.
The PKD is made entirely of steel and glass. Inside it contains about seven printed circuit boards with several dozen microcircuits. The SRNN010R01 chassis consists of two drives that control laser alignment and ensure disk rotation, as well as a servo drive that is responsible for opening and closing the tray. The massive laser head performs reading using a special prism system. On one side, a laser diode feeds a beam of infrared wave into the periscope, which, when reflected, first reaches the surface of the CD, and then returns to the photo detector on the other side, after which the signal is decoded using a decoder.
First AV Receiver Technics SU-HT1000 (1997)
Now, looking back, we understand that this was not the pinnacle, but simply an almost perfect-sounding technique. But the magic of that Technics remains with us forever. Then everything changed, plastic stereos appeared and the pursuit of mass popularity began. This was the beginning of Technics’ swan song – it was not possible to compete with consumer goods, but such a policy scared away its main audience from the company and in 2010 the Technics brand ended its existence.
Music center Technics SC-HD55 (1996)
Technics’ coma lasted for 4 long years and now he is back. This time we are promised the same Technics that we liked so much: there will be no more plastic stereos and no more pursuit of the mass market. If so, then the best way to understand the company’s future is to look back at its best work. Then we will understand what it will be like, the Technics of the future. Past Technics ST-9600 Years of production: 1976 -1978 The tuner from Technics became the first truly mass-produced model, inferior in power and size to its older brother, the ST9700. It is considered one of the most successful models of the brand in history. To this day, working copies fetch big money at auctions. Technics SL-Z1000 Years of production: 1989—1995 A combination player that became one of the pinnacles of the brand, setting a new bar for audio equipment. Technics SL-Z1000 became a market hit, displacing the best-selling Sony CDP-R1 of that time. There were objective reasons for this, including a housing made of aluminum plates for head units and speakers made of Japanese oak. Technics RS-1500 Year of manufacture: 1977 Reel-to-reel recorder and player, which became the standard for reel-to-reel tape recorders for many years. First released in the mid-1980s, it remains the best in its class to this day. Technics SL-1200 Years of production: 1975-2010 The SL-1200 series has been the recognized industry standard among DJs around the world for almost 30 years. The first SL-1200 was born in 1973 and featured a rotary speed control, instant start and direct vinyl drive. In 1979, the Technics SL-1200MK2 model with a slider speed control was released, which instantly became a must-have element in absolutely any nightclub. Technics SU-HT1000 Year of release: 1997 One of the best amplifiers ever released by the Technics brand. Already in 1997 it supported the Dolby Pro Logic protocol. Future Michiko Ogawa, a former Technix engineer and part-time jazz pianist, recently announced the revival of the brand. The models that will continue the glorious Technics line are already known. The new hi-end audio system Reference R1, which includes a turntable, preamplifier, amplifier and floor-standing speakers, will hit the market very soon.
Vinyl player Technics SL1000R (2017)
The Reference R1 is Technics’ ultimate take on what audio can sound and look like. There is no talk of any mass production – it will be pure hi-end. The role of a more affordable alternative will be played by the Premium Class C700 series, consisting of a CD player and network players, an amplifier and acoustics.