What is it, friends?
A man looks at the cherries in blossom,
And there is a long sword on the belt!
Some time ago, 20 years ago, I was delighted by my friend's audio system. It was a 4-block Technics with large speakers. It was equipped with everything: cassettes, CDs, radios, EQs, and much more. At that time it seemed fantastic to me. Ever since they say that a lot of water had gone away, I was seriously into audio. But I have never met Technics on my way. Therefore, I took the opportunity to get acquainted with the modern products of this company with special interest.
I will start with some facts about the company. Technics is a trade mark for audio equipment production, owned by the Japanese corporation Panasonic. It was founded in 1965. The brand quickly gained wide popularity in the world, primarily due to sales of vinyl turntables with direct drive, invented by the engineer Shuichi Obata. The SL-1200 turntable became a landmark for the industry. Naturally, the company's range of products was not limited to this, but included amplifiers, receivers, tape recorders, CD players and speakers. Of course, the legendary brand did not pass by our country. Many people can remember high quality power amplifiers and receivers with Dolby Pro Logic system, which were popular in 1990s. In 2008 Panasonic made the rebranding, stopping the production of Technics brand as the final chord in the form of Quartz Synthesizer DD Player SL-1200MK6 vinyl player.
6 years later, when it seemed that Technics had already remained in the legends of vintage equipment, Panasonic remembered the old brand, deciding to return it to the market. Moreover, jazz pianist Michiko Ogawa, who was directly involved in the development of Technics products, was appointed to head the newly created division.
Recently, Techics announced its return to Russia with the introduction of several new components. Today we have in our review Technics SL-G700E universal player. What is this device?
At a glance you will learn Japanese classics - the design is laconic, the lines are strict. We feel it. The body and buttons leave tactile sensations of a quality thing. The control knob works with pleasant elasticity. The overall impression of reliability is complemented by such a detail as an aluminum disc receiver. The Technics SU-G700 amplifier with arrowhead volume indicators, which is worthy of a separate narration, gives the system its complete appearance.
From the front it seems that we have a regular CD player. There are not so many control buttons. There is a USB connector and a headphone output. However, SL-G700E produces "horns" of Wi-Fi antennas - you understand that the device is not so simple. On the back side there is a wealth of switching. Optical and coaxial inputs and outputs, USB, Ethernet network connector and, of course, balanced and unbalanced analog outputs.
And what is inside? The heart of this device is a digital-to-analog converter based on a modern Asahi Kasei AK4497 chip. A drive for CD and SACD playback on a three-layer aluminum chassis. Digital filling, responsible for receiving audio in a variety of formats and from a variety of sources - whether network, streaming service or conventional flash drive. From wireless, in addition to Wi-Fi, there is also Bluetooth. I, as the owner of the famous "combine" OPPO BDP-105 was very pleased to see such a rich and even wider range of player features.
So, install Technics Audio Center application depending on your mobile gadget system with Google Play or App Store. Connect to your home Wi-Fi network and... done! The program allows you to fully control the player. Moreover, after you understand its interface, it is already difficult to imagine how you can live without it. Choose files on a flash drive or download music from Tidal from your smartphone screen - it is convenient and habitual, being in any room to control the audio system. By the way, the player has a built-in digital volume control. And this means that you can do without the preamplifier. Even an integrated amplifier is not necessary - you can do without a power amplifier.
To start some intrigue, I decided to listen to the bundle of Cambridge Audio Azur 851C and RME ADI2 DAC, which proved itself in the testing of ELAC Vela 409 speaker systems. And then on the same music material - the hero of this review.
What can be said. I expected that the difference would be small - "plus or minus", but from the first chords it became clear that the Japanese is much more interesting.
At first I listened to the CDs - A.Piazzolla's records (Astoria, A.Piazzolla, Fuga Libera, 2006), metal ballads (Legend Rock Ballads volume 2), three tenors (Best of The 3 Tenors, Decca, 1990), brass band (exemplary orchestra of the Federal Border Guard Service of Russia, records 2000-2002). ), works for violin and piano by David Oistrakh (volume 3, Chacon in G Minor, 2003, MEL CD).
Technics plays clearer, more transparent. Dynamics - much better. Scene - well built in width.
It was interesting to compare records from CD and Tidal streaming service.
It was a good coincidence that Vivaldi's album by Giuliano Carmignola (Concerto in G minor, RV 331, Deutsche Grammophon, 2006), available on CD, is available at the service. It often happens that the streaming service is inferior to the recordings on optical media. But not in this case. Content from Tidal pleasantly surprised - the sound has become juicier, warmer, feels a little less detailed and slightly shifted to low frequency range.
And all this together created a very pleasant impression. Gave an unambiguous preference to streaming service.
Then it was time to play the files from the flash drive. I listened to the most diverse content - vocal parts of A. Vedernikov, brass band of the Catherine Palace, E. Presley, A. Romirez's Creole Mass, Rammstein, the third part of L. Beethoven's Moon Sonata performed by M. Pletnev and many others. It was difficult to stop. Everything here is similar to the emotions received from playing it from the streaming service.
The device proved to be a universal fighter, showed its wide possibilities. In its price niche will make a good competition.
Returning to haikai, chosen as an epigraph to this article, I want to note that behind the strict design of the device lies the second essence - a wonderful multi-format device, which can and will be for many the main source of home audio.
Test system cosists of:
CD transport - Cambridge Audio Azur 851C
DAC - RME ADI2 DAC
Player - Technics SL-G700E
Amplifier - Technics SU-G700
Комплект кабелей — Nordost Explorer №2
Review author: Vyacheslav @Staudio