CES 2019: Technics unveils SL-G700 Network SACD player

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by Andy Bassett Jan 8, 2019 at 5:17 PM

  • The Technics SL-G700 is a new player that covers most of the digital audio media available today, from traditional CD and SACD to the latest Hi-Res Audio file formats and streaming services.
    As music sources become more fragmented for most people, so the ability to bring all these disparate sources together for ease of access becomes more important. The SL-G700 has been designed to pull music in from just about anywhere - phones, computers, streaming services, NAS drives and even in good old CD format - and then play it at the highest quality possible.

    High-quality Sound Design

    The SL-G700 uses a four-section construction with partitions between the circuit blocks to minimise interference. This approach also give the chassis rigidity which helps reduce the vibration of electrical parts, thereby suppressing any deterioration in sound quality.

    Since the GL700 features a disc drive for CD playback (and hence, moving parts) there is a triple chassis structure to ensure accurate reading and to prevent the vibration from transmitting to the outside of the mechanism. Moreover, the SL-G700 has a stable, aluminium die-cast disc tray with high vibration-damping.

    The quality of the power supply is extremely important for high-fidelity sound reproduction. Power supply noise and supply stability directly affect the quality of sound reproduced from audio signals, particularly for analogue audio output. Technics has therefore equipped the SL-G700 with a dedicated power supply unit for analogue audio output.

    As with the power supply, the D/A circuit is also important for analogue audio output since it recreates the original analogue waveform from a digital source, such as a CD. The D/A converters in the SL-G700 are isolated for the left and right channels, again reducing interference. Moreover, the power supply for the clock employs an original Battery Driven Circuit System to achieve high-accuracy D/A conversion.

    For the analogue audio output side of operations, the filter circuit located after the DAC determines the quality of the sound. The SL-G700's filter circuit has undergone detailed fine tuning, such as the increase of operating current, to improve the response, S/N ratio and distortion rate.

    By using an audio system clock circuit which is entirely isolated from any noise or fluctuations in the mains supply, interference which would adversely affect sound quality, can be reduced. Additionally, the audio system clock is supplied from an Ultra-Low Jitter Clock Generator.

    Other methods to minimise noise include switching off certain operations during playback of music which are not necessarily required, but can themselves create noise - such as those used for display, analogue and digital interfaces. Technics have introduced the Optimally Activated Circuit System which allows these various digital modules to be stopped to minimize the noise generated when music is playing.

    Generally, the analogue output signal (Balanced/Unbalanced) and headphone output signal are generated by the same D/A circuit. The SL-G700 is equipped with a dedicated D/A circuit for headphones which is independent, and this complete separation of the analogue output from the headphone output has eliminated the mutual interference between the two circuits that serve different purposes. In addition, each circuit has received the most suitable sound tuning. As a result, both outputs provide maximum performance.

    Furthermore, the SL-G700 is equipped with an operation optimisation system that automatically turns on the JENO Engine (Jitter Elimination and Noise-shaping Optimisation) when a pair of headphones is connected. This eliminates the adverse effect of the analogue output on the sound quality when headphones are not connected.

    Accessing digital audio media

    The SL-G700 can deal with a wide range of audio formats from a large number of sources and is equipped with an MQA decoder. When this Master Quality Authenticated decoder is turned on, MQA files and MQA-CD are fully decoded for playback. It also features a dedicated SACD/CD playback mode. In this mode, all power supplies except those to the circuit blocks necessary for SACD/CD playback are shut off, thus improving the quality of sound from the disc media.

    In an effort to 'upscale ' audio quality, Technics say that the digital signal processing in the SL-G700 is capable of expanding the bandwidth and bit depth and can convert 44.1-kHz/16-bit music data recorded on CDs and lossy compression audio sources such as MP3 up to Hi Res signals of up to 192 kHz/32 bits.

    Finally, the SL-G700 supports Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Apple AirPlay, while also being compatible with streaming services, such as Spotify, TIDAL, and Internet Radio, and functions such as Google Chromecast and Google Assistant.

    Price and availability TBA.

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