VU meters. They give us something to look whilst listening to music. Who wouldn’t want that? Technics clearly do — and according to the Japanese company’s European arm, showing at IFA 2018 in Berlin, so do their customer base.
Consumer demand is reportedly why Technics’ latest integrated amplifier – the SU-G700, 2 x 140wpc into 4 Ohms – sports two large VU meters on its front panel. Above those, an OLED display announces input selection which runs the gamut from analogue to digital: line-level analogue, MM phono and coaxial/TOSLINK/USB to feed the amplifier’s internal DAC.
Perhaps most impressive of all is the price. Technics’ SU-G700 integrated amplifier is available via its dealer network for €2000.
With OPPO exiting the disc/network player market, consumer demand no doubt sits behind the genesis of Technics’ similarly attractive SACD/CD player that also functions as a network streamer. The as yet unnamed model, on display at the Berlin Messe as a prototype, adds Bluetooth to its Ethernet, WiFi and USB inputs. Support for UPnP (USB or LAN), vTuner radio and Google Chromecast Built-in are all set to feature in the final version.
Sharp eyes will notice the TOSLINK/coaxial digital inputs as well as a similar complement of digital outputs sitting next to unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR outputs.
Full MQA support is also part of the deal; my best guess being that this new player will not only decode and render MQA files arriving via its network inputs but that it will also read the MQA CDs presently being released in Japan.
Technics say we can expect to see this SACD/network player arrive in-store sometime in Q2 2019 and that it will sell for approximately €2500.
Impressive that big name manufacturers like Panasonic/Technics still see value in silver discs, especially CDs. Despite falling sales, CDs form the bedrock of digital audio playback. SACDs are little more than a sideshow for all but the most committed digital audiophile.
Further information can be seen and heard in the video below, included here as a reminder that not everything in the hi-fi world takes place in English, especially at a trade show in Germany: