Streaming or CDs? Yes. That’s the message from Panasonic this CES season as it introduces us to the very attractive Technics SA-C600 super integrated amplifier. The story here is primarily one of connectivity. The SA-C600 is a single box designed to maximise the number of ways in which we can enjoy music playback.
A top-loading CD player is augmented by an internal network streamer offering support for Spotify Connect, Apple AirPlay 2 and Google Chromecast Built-in. All but Chromecast offer gapless playback. Technics’ own app then adds menu options for Deezer, Amazon Music and Tidal (with full MQA support). Then there’s Internet Radio, DAB and FM.
Going back to physical connections, a TOSLINK socket permits TV and games console hook-ups. Computer owners can connect their Mac or PC into the USB-B socket. The more slender USB-A socket is for storage devices. Technics’ smartphone app will handle playback there. On analogue inputs, we get line-level and MM phono. Oh — and we shouldn’t miss the subwoofer output.
I think I spy a 3.5mm headphone socket on the front panel but this unit’s main intent is to ‘just add loudspeakers’. The SA-C600’s amplification circuit is proprietary, digital and based upon Technics’ JENO engine. JENO? “Jitter Elimination and Noise-Shaping Optimization”. However, the sleight of hand in specifying the unit’s output power as 60wpc into 4 Ohms could trip up less tech-savvy buyers — the industry standard is to state an amplifier’s power output into 8 Ohms.
App-controlled boundary compensation allows us to optimise the complete system’s sound according to loudspeaker placement: freestanding, wall, corner or shelf. Technics call this SpaceTune and at the time of writing it is iOS only.
The SA-C600 will begin shipping in February 2022 and will sell for US$999.
Further information: Technics