Technics Turntable, used by Grandmaster Flash

Technics Turntable, used by Grandmaster Flash

<< >>
Usage conditions apply

This Technics brand turntable was made by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., in Japan. It is a SL-1200 MK2 model, originally released in 1979 as a high fidelity record player for the average consumer, and was soon adopted by radio and club deejays. This model also became very popular with early hip hop deejays and was used by hip hop pioneer, Grandmaster Flash.

Grandmaster Flash (Joseph Saddler), was born in Barbados in 1958. Growing up in the Bronx, he was influenced by his father’s massive record collection. As a teenager, Grandmaster Flash first experimented with DJ equipment and became involved in the New York DJ scene while attending daytime technical school courses in electronics. The innovations and techniques developed by Grandmaster Flash established him as one of the pioneers of hip hop and deejaying.

Object Name
date made
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 45 cm x 37 cm x 8 cm; 17 23/32 in x 14 9/16 in x 3 5/32 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Grandmaster Flash
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Entertainment
Cultures & Communities
Music & Musical Instruments
Popular Entertainment
Electronic Musical Instruments
Highlights from the Culture and the Arts Collection
Places of Invention
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


The Technique 1200 was the standard turntable of its day for club dj's. I performed in a niteclub for over 13 years and used these turntables at every niteclub except one. I probably worked at forty niteclubs. These were the workhorses of the industry. Other manufacturers tried to copy the design but did not put in the same durable components. Some will argue they were not the best sounding turntable, but their longevity was without parallel. I have four of these turntables: two are the early model and the other two were purchased in the mid eighties. (The dust covers changed over time) I have all four still and they work thirty years later.

Add a comment about this object