Japanese Whispers - Technics is Back in Force
The recent reappearance of Panasonic’s premium Technics hi-fi brand in Australia has warmed the hearts of many audiophiles, and the company is now rolling out more new and interesting products. The range coming to these shores is said to be specially tailored to Australian Technics enthusiasts and includes some tasty hi-fi separates at a range of prices.
Headline news is the arrival of the company’s flagship SL-1000RE-S direct drive turntable system. This costs a cool $32,999, and has a legitimate claim to be one of the finest vinyl spinners on sale right now. Also arriving is the $4,949 Technics SL-G700E streaming SACD/CD player, the $2,749 SU-C700EG-S integrated amplifier and SB-C700AEB-W loudspeaker system, priced at $3,099. A spokesman says these are developed “for absolute harmony in terms of pure, accurate sound as well as looking stylish together.”
The Technics SL-1000RE-S turntable system follows in the footsteps of the classic SL-1000 of the late nineteen seventies, incorporating the latest SP-10R quartz-locked, direct drive motor unit in a bespoke plinth with a specially developed 12” tonearm. The deck has the best version of the company’s latest-generation coreless direct-drive technology, spinning an extremely heavy 7.9kg platter. A breathtaking wow and flutter figure of 0.015% is quoted, which is on the edge of what’s measurable.
The bespoke base allows up to three tonearms to be fitted at the same time. The supplied S-shaped tonearm has a magnesium arm tube, precision bearings and OFC internal wiring. The heavy plinth is of multi-layer construction to reduce resonance, combining a 30mm aluminium top panel with a lower BMC (bulk moulding compound) section.
As with the classic SP-10 mk3 that came before it, the SP-10R motor unit that forms part of the SL-1000R has a separate control unit. This houses the deck’s switching power supply and offers speed control – 33.33, 45 and 78RPM – with variable pitch. Adjustable motor torque lets users fine-tune the servo action to best suit their listening taste. Look out for a comprehensive StereoNET review of this exciting turntable soon.
The SL-G700E, so-called ‘Grand Class Network and Super Audio Player’, is a highly versatile mid-priced digital front end that streams audio, AirPlay 2 and Bluetooth, as well as spinning old school SACDs and CDs. The StereoNET Applause Award-winning machine exhibits fine build quality and real attention to detail as far as the audio electronics are concerned. The cast aluminium disc tray is an especially nice touch, in a world of DVD-ROM based plastic disc loading mechanisms. Native DSD playback is offered, as is MQA – plus a High-Res Remaster feature that upsamples lower resolution sources to 32-bit, 192kHz. A dedicated headphone stage with its own discrete DAC completes the feature-packed spec list.
The SU-C700EG-S integrated stereo amplifier sports fully-digitised processing that, Technics says, “delivers a pure and accurate signal to the speakers”. It boasts a high-rigidity aluminium cabinet and white LED illuminated level meters. Matching this is the SB-C700AEB-W bookshelf loudspeaker, with its flat coaxial two-way drive unit and highly finished gloss-white cabinet that’s been carefully designed, “to achieve the live music experience”. The components will be available in-store from July via selected Technics audio specialist retailers.
David started his career in 1993 writing for Hi-Fi World and went on to edit the magazine for nearly a decade. He was then made Editor of Hi-Fi Choice and continued to freelance for it and Hi-Fi News until becoming StereoNET’s Editor-in-Chief.