Technics launches first Reference Class integrated amp
When Panasonic rebooted its Technics brand after a six year hiatus in 2014, its focus was very much on the audiophile listener. After releasing a bunch of turntables, amps, all-in-one systems and more, the luxury hi-fi company has now revealed its first Reference Class integrated amplifier.
Like the SE-R1 power amplifier introduced at IFA 2014 in Berlin, the SU-R1000 integrated amp embraces digital technologies "to deliver ultimate sound quality to customers." Although Technics recognizes that most high-end amplifiers are analog, it states that as far as sound quality improvement technologies are concerned, there's nowhere left for analog to go. But digital still has "great potential for rapid development."
Working alongside the Load Adaptive Phase Calibration and Jitter Elimination, Noise-Shaper Optimization technologies that debuted in the SE-R1, which deliver flat amplitude phase frequency and eliminate jitter and noise, Active Distortion Canceling Technology has also been introduced. This gets rid of distortion from the power stage of the circuitry that's caused by the speaker's counter electromotive force. The result promises powerful performance with a low noise, crisp sound and expansive soundstage, whatever speaker types are connected.
There is signal-to-noise ratio improvement too, thanks to a new switching power supply system comprising four independent units. To eliminate modulation noise caused by other switching power systems, the Advanced Speed Silent Power Supply technology fixes the switching frequency and applies a noise regular late in the stage for a highly responsive power supply that "brings out the best performance from the digital amplifier."
The unit's internal clock is powered by a battery instead of the power supply, in yet another effort to eliminate noise, while a high-speed gallium nitride FET driver is used to ensure "outstanding linearity regardless of the sound level."
Though much of today's music consumption is digital, vinyl has been making a consistent comeback in recent years so the SU-R1000 comes with a dedicated phono input, though this makes use of a digital technology for EQ accuracy, improving cartridge crosstalk and frequency enhancement.
For those interested in a deep dive below the surface of what's on offer here, there's more info available via the source link below and the product launch video on the Technics Facebook page.
Technics is targeting a price of €8,000 (about US$9,500) for the Reference Class SU-R1000 integrated amplifier, with November penciled in for availability.
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I recall when Technics delivered good sound at an affordable price...something that made them very popular in the 70's.
The only remaining Panasonic devices in our house - other than Eneloop batteries - are a microwave oven, an electric shaver, and a Plasma TV.