Technics has announced a trio of upper mid-range hi-fi components and pledged support for the MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) High-Res Audio format.
To to launch later this year, the new SL-1200GR direct drive turntable, the Grand Class SU-G700 two-channel digital amplifier and SB-G90 floorstanding loudspeakers, which boast a newly developed Balanced Driver Mounting architecture.
Although pricing has yet to be confirmed, the record deck is expected to retail for around half that of its SL-1200G predecessor. The brand has cut costs by reducing the weight of the platter, although at 2.5kg (including the rubber mat), the SL-1200GR platter is 0.8kg heavier than that of the previous SL-1200MK5, tweaking the build and using an s-shaped low-mass aluminum arm tube.
It also introduces a variation of its next generation direct-drive system. For its turntable return, Technics developed a twin-rotor, surface-facing, coreless direct-drive motor with rotor magnets placed on both sides, eliminating the rotation irregularity of the motor, sometimes referred to as cogging.The SL-1200GR embraces the same design philosophy with a new single-rotor, surface-facing, coreless direct-drive motor. As with the SL-1200G, the SL-1200GR’s speed control system uses control technology derived from the development of Blu-ray players.
The SU-G700 integrated amp has a fully digital power amp section, rated at 2x70W (into 8 Ohms), with JENO Engine (Jitter Elimination and Noise-shaping Optimization). Build quality is high. The amplifier features a High-Rigidity Metal Double Chassis with steel-plate inner chassis, and a steel-plate outer chassis to reduce vibration and noise.
The inner chassis is made of a 1.2mm steel-plate. The bottom surface of the cabinet consists of a 2mm steel-plate. The front panel is made of a 7mm aluminum panel. As you’d expect of Technics, two large power output meters complete the look.
The Grand Class SB-G90 loudspeakers introduce a newly developed Balanced Driver Mounting architecture (pictured above). The speaker unit is mounted to a sub-baffle installed inside the cabinet, to suppress unwanted vibration. As the speaker unit isn’t mounted to the baffle on the front, it’s possible to reduce distortion from the drive unit.
Cabinet strength is boosted using a cross construction with sub-baffles, onto which the speaker units are mounted, and horizontal reinforcing panels. A separate sub-baffle is used for each speaker unit.
Inside CI was given an impressive demonstration of the new system, during CES 2017. The soundstage is smooth, detailed and supremely musical.
Technics says it will introduce MQA compatibility with a firmware update for the ST-G30 music server. Speaking to Inside CI, UK Marketing Director David Preece says the plan is to offer MQA downloads via its Technics Tracks download store at roughly the same time. He says the more economic file size of the new High-Res Audio format, has “solved a massive problem for High-Res Audio.”