Technics Grand Class System

Technics Grand Class System

Technics are back and they mean business.  The relaunched SL1200 series of turntables, for which Technics has become an iconic brand for many, are grabbing all the headlines.  Turntables were of course on display at the Sound & Vision Show this year but so were some of the new electronics and speakers from Technics.  Dynamic Headroom paid a visit to the Technics room for a listen.

Technics Grand Class SB-G90 speakers

Technics Grand Class SB-G90

Recently launched (so recent in fact that they aren’t even on the Technics website yet), the SB-G90 floor standing speakers belong to the Grand Class range.  On display in gloss black finish, the SB-G90 sounded ok.  The music wasn’t loud enough and not quite to my taste (always a tricky thing for vendors to get right to be fair).  No pricing information is available so I can’t say if they are good value.  However they belong to the Grand Class range so a high price tag is to be expected.

A baffle design called Balanced Driver Mounting Architecture is used which suppresses vibration and therefore reduces distortion. Acting as a single point source for sound, is the combined tweeter & mid-range driver, in a similar vein to Kef’s Uni-Q or Tannoy’s Dual Concentric drivers.  A pair of bass drivers sitting below complete the line up.

Technics Premium Class SU-C700 integrated amplifier & Grand Class SU-G30 network audio amplifier

Technics Premium Class SU-C700 amplifier

Providing the music to the speakers was the Technics Premium Class CU-C700 and Grand Class SU-G30 network audio amplifier.  The CU-C700 amplifier looks great in my opinion, as I always have a soft spot for VU meters (although the volume knob looks weird sitting at the top middle).  When the SU-C700 was originally released, its fair to say that it got ripped apart by the hi-fi press.  As ever, take press reviews with a pinch of salt and try to have a listen yourself.  Technics have designed their components to all work together, mixing and matching with other vendors is not recommended.

Sitting on the middle shelf (and doing nothing at that point in time) was the SU-G30 network audio amplifier.  Retailing for £2800, this unit is an “all in one” combining preamplifier, power amplifier, network player and DAC.  The amplifier section puts out 50W into 8 ohms and also includes a moving magnet phono stage.

The SU-G30 packs a lot of technology in such as JENO (Jitter Elimintation and Noise-shaping Optimisation), GaN-FET driver, LAPC (Load Adaptive Phase Collaboration) and PFC (Power Factor Correction).  That is a lot of acronyms!  It is a product designed for the digital age and applies this advanced technology to get the best out of the medium.

Technics Grand Class ST-G30 music server

Technics Grand Class SU-G30 Network Audio Amplifier

On the bottom shelf was the rather unassuming Grand Class ST-G30 music server (£850).  This is a CD ripping device with a built in 512GB SSD (solid state drive).  The unit is controlled via an app where you can edit tags, control importing & ripping and modify settings.  Track metadata is automatically downloaded and files are stored as lossless FLAC or WAV.  Essentially this replaces the PC / Mac / NAS that many of us use for home streaming.  Storage capacity is increased by replacing the stock SSD with another hard drive.

 Technics SL1210GR turntable

Technics SL1210GR turntable

The black SL1210GR, priced at £1299, sat on the top shelf.  The GR model technology trickled down from the SL1200G but uses a less capable motor and less sophisticated tone arm.

Also on display at the side of the room was the silver SL1200G and SL1200GR turntables.  From a distance they look identical but when you get up close the finish of the SL1200G looks much nicer.  The aluminium top plate looks more special thereby increasing pride of ownership.

Technics SL1200G

Technics SL1200GR and SL1200G

 

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