Ever since Panasonic announced that it was discontinuing the Technics SL-1200 turntable series, DJs, vinyl purists, and beatmakers all cried and hugged each other. Okay, maybe that didn't happen, but it was definitely a sad day to see that the 1200 turntable was no more. I never would have thought that Panasonic would have stopped making them because they were so popular - but that's the key word - "were". Rise Of The Technics SL-1200 The first 1200 that ever came out was way back in 1972 and was a very good turntable, but it was also an upgrade from the previous 1100 model. Then in 1979, that's when they introduced the 1200 MK2 and it forever changed DJ'ing and Hip Hop. It quickly became THE turntable for Hip Hop and if you wanted to be a DJ, those were the turntables that you had to get. Anything else and people would most likely laugh (or feel sorry for you). This went on for years until the digital age, which quietly sent DJs underground and back to their bedrooms where they as well, slowly started DJ'ing less and less due to the popularity of MP3's, computers, phones, and tablets. The Decline of Vinyl Vinyl has been around for a very long time, and just like the turntables, people became less interested in it because of the digital age. Why should you go to a store and look for an album when you can download an MP3 from your phone while you're eating a sandwich? That, plus the laziness of most, combined to steadily make vinyl sales plummet. However, vinyl never actually went away because the DJs never really left. Sure, DJs have upgraded their gear so that they now have controllers, tablets and laptops, but a lot of them still prefer the use of vinyl whenever possible. This kept vinyl in some old mom and pop stores, where DJs and of course, diggers, could find that hidden gem. Even online stores were still around, where you could easily buy your vinyl from there since a lot of record stores in fact, closed. The Vinyl Resurgence Something has changed though, and surprisingly, it's largely due to the younger generation! A lot of the younger crowd has taken a huge liking to vinyl and everything that goes with it. They look at vinyl and turntables and novelty items, but also something that they can truly enjoy, for example, the cover art. When downloading MP3s, you can get the album cover with it, but it's really not the same as having an actual cover to look at and feel. In fact, it's the entire vinyl item itself that is intriguing. Being able to go to a record store and buy a vinyl album, then go home, open it up, and admire the artwork, liner notes, and then take out the vinyl and put it on the turntable, is much more appealing than simply downloading an MP3. Sure, the novelty might wear off for them after a few years, but I think it goes beyond that. Vinyl purists are loving the fact that many old albums are now being re-issued, such as the entire Beatles collection, and in fact, a lot of new music is being released on vinyl too! This is great for consumers, as well as the record labels, who won't have to worry so much about people downloading albums illegally. Statistics show that vinyl sales have steadily increased from 2008 until 2011, where roughly 3.6 million vinyl albums were sold. 2012 is predicted to be even higher, but you also have to take into account the smaller record stores that don't report to SoundScan, so those sales don't show up officially. The Technics 1200 Comeback Call me optimistic, but if the vinyl popularity continues to rise, I can see Panasonic going back into the business of making the Technics 1200 turntables again. I, along with many others, would love to see this happen but we just don't know. The reason why everyone loves the 1200 is because it's built like a tank. Yes, some other turntables on the market have a higher torque, or may have a straight tone arm, which some claim lead to less skipping, but it's the fact that the Technics 1200 is so solidly built, plus it's a Hip Hop classic. You have to look at it as the SP-1200 of turntables. The Ensoniq SP-1200 is a classic sampler that may lack of a lot of bells and whistles that modern samplers boast, but it's the build, sound, and popularity that makes it so unique. Therefore, the same thing goes for the Technics 1200. It's solid, is great for playing records, and for scratch DJs that want to just tear shit up. Nothing beats a 1200. Conclusion So will Panasonic start making the Technics SL-1200 turntable again? That's anyone's guess, but as long as vinyl sales keep rising, keep your fingers crossed because you never know. What do you think?