The name Technics was introduced as a brand name for premium loudspeakers marketed domestically by Matsushita in 1965. The name came to widespread fame with the international sales of direct-drive turntables. In 1969, they introduced the SP-10, the first direct-drive model for the professional market, and in 1971 the SL-1100 for the consumer market. The SL-1100 was used by the influential DJ Kool Herc for the first sound system he set up after emigrating from Jamaica to New York. This latter model was the predecessor to the SL-1200 which, as the upgraded SL-1200 MK2, became a widely used turntable by DJs. The SL-1200 MK2 was a robust machine and incorporated a pitch control (or vari-speed), and kept the speed constant and the speed variability low, thus making it a popular tool with DJs.
The SL-1200 continues to evolve with the M3D series, followed by the MK5 series in 2003.
Originally created by Panasonic to show off their high-end offerings, by the early 1980s Technics ended up offering an entire range of equipment from entry-level to high-end.
Matsushita retired the Technics name almost completely in the early 2000s (decade). Currently, it is used on the 1200 series turntables (discontinued in 2010), and digital pianos, thus limiting their dealerships to music/pro audio stores.