Justin Lovelace (aka Terminal Optic) is probably the only man who can say he has gotten up close and personal with the turntables of international DJs Afrika Bambaataa, Erick Morillo, and Carl Cox. After close to 20 years specializing in the repair of Technics DJ & consumer products, Optic – owner of the famed New York-based company DJ Pro Audio, Inc. and the last known Authorized Service Technician for Technics in the US – has announced that he is leaving the repair business to focus on his family and his event production, audio/visual rental and installation businesses.
It has been only two short months since fans of vinyl were dealt a heavy blow when, on October 20th, Panasonic announced that it would be discontinuing the rest of their Technics product line, including the legendary SL-1200MK series turntables that are a staple in clubs and bars around the world.
When asked about his history with the brand, Optic explains, "I've been fixing Technics products for close to 20 years, focusing mainly on the DJ line. All in all, I've probably worked on well over 50,000+ Technics DJ & Non-DJ Turntables."
When DJing was at its peak in the 1990s, Optic was taking in at least 50 turntables a week for repair, modification, or refurbishment. He has had major DJ touring artists ship their turntables from as far away as Japan, Norway, and Russia to be customized and modified according to their specs. Optic has worked on Pioneer, Rane, Denon, Crown, Urei, Bozak, and countless other brands, but he says Technics was one of the best built brands on the market.
"It was fun, and all of these years, I survived mainly on word of mouth recommendations. 50,000 some odd turntables later, let's just say I've had my share of Technics to last a couple of lifetimes! Throughout the years I've also trained some great technicians, so if you're ever in the market for a turntable repair, I'm sure you'll come across one of my guys in the field."
Panasonic's announcement on October 20th marks a sad day for the DJ community, says Optic. "I guess you could say we are Technics junkies and now that it's being phased out, it seems like the end of an era."
When asked if Technics will remain an important part of his life, Optic laughs. "Yes, of course! I just can't seem to get away from it. Mainly because in my current business, we still rent Technics DJ Turntables and other gear for all sorts of social, private and corporate events. Plus, we still sponsor many DJ Battles based in New York, like the DMC Battles, AirPlay Battles, and Roc Raida's (RIP) DJ Gong Show. Lastly, I'm working on a project, DJ Pro Lab, to bring my knowledge of repairs to the general public - giving the people the power to repair their own equipment. So yes, I'm still working with them. "
Moving forward, Optic says he plans to concentrate more of his time and effort on his audio/visual rental business, Pro AV Rentals, as well as his event production and installations businesses. He says, "I have many things brewing which will add much more value to the DJ world. So stay tuned, even though Technics is out, I'm not."
About Pro AV Rentals
Pro AV Rentals is New York's premier rental company specializing in DJ, audio, video, lighting and staging equipment. With over 20 years of experience, ProAVRentals.com provides support for thousands of industry functions, social events, conferences and concerts throughout New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.