Smart cities. Smart life. Better living tomorrow. TV. Home AV. Digital imaging. Small kitchen appliances. Personal care. Ladies’ beauty. Male grooming. Oral care — these are the categories by which Panasonic Europe subdivide its product range for display at IFA 2017, where the Japanese giant occupy the entirety of the first floor of Halle 5 of Berlin’s Messe complex.
For high/er-end audio products, we look to a brightly lit corner for Technics whose display is enormous by CES standards. This sub-brand’s range of static and active displays incorporates three zones decked out like lounge rooms to show off the good, the better and the best of home audio. Here we see audio products presented in the context of real-life.
For audiophiles, the big news sits directly in front a clean white wall in three glass display cases: 1) a prototype of Technics’ forthcoming flagship turntable, the SP-10R, flanked by 2) a trio of earlier SP-10 models (from the 70s and 80s) and 3) the motors used in the SL-1200/1210GR, SL-1200GAE/G the one set to land in the all-new SP-10R; Technics’ modern-day attempt at making the best direct-drive turntable possible. Look — but don’t touch.
From the press release that accompany’s this Berlin-based teaser: “The SP-10R features a brand new, coreless direct drive motor which, in addition to the two-sided rotor drive system that was used in the SL-1200G, boasts stator coils on both sides of the rotor, for a more powerful and accurate sound.”
“The 7kg heavy platter features a three-layer structure consisting of brass, aluminium die-cast and deadening rubber, just like the platter of the SL-1200G. By optimising the natural frequency of each layer, external vibrations are thoroughly suppressed resulting in a beautifully clear and crisp audio experience.”
IFA attendees get to observe these features first hand. For this commentator, that means going deeper than a press release ever could by pulling on the coat of Region Sales Manager Jan Hilderbrandt:
Note how Hilderbrandt refers to the SP-10R as a “mock-up design model”, not once but twice. The real story is that the SP-10R is a long way from being ready. Only the basics of the platter, the motor and outboard power-supply / speed controller are done. The tonearm remains a work in progress. Pricing isn’t even close to being finalised. Expect to wait another year before seeing the SP-10R in stores.
And no, there weren’t swarms of audiophiles clamouring for a look-see of the SP-10R. It drew far fewer numbers than Panasonic’s other products, especially TVs.
Knowing that IFA isn’t an audio show for audio nerds for the mass market, Technics put a completely different audio product front and centre: the SC-C70, an all-in-one music system whose form factor is none too dissimilar to the Naim muso but adds a CD-player and nice remote control for a lot less: €700.
Wearing its mainstream appeal on its sleeve, the SC-C70 offers an extremely broad range of digital inputs: Bluetooth, DAB+, DLNA, Apple AirPlay as well as a TOSLINK input (for TV, BluRay player or games console hookup) and a USB hard drive input, both on the rear panel. The info sheet somewhat vaguely claims the SC-C70 as fully compatible with “Spotify, Tidal and hi-res audio”.
Sound comes from a pair of small 2-way loudspeakers and a mini-subwoofer whose combined output can matched to the room’s acoustic make-up using Technics’ SpaceTune™ technology.
Further information: Panasonic Europe