Last year at IFA Berlin, Panasonic announced the revival of its storied Technics brand, one of the great names in hi-fi. One year later, the Technics lineup is expanding with new high-end and compact products designed for the spendthrift audiophile.
In a surprise last-minute addition, Technics also announced the return of its iconic direct-drive turntable. The original Technics SL-1200 turntable was lauded as the best in the market, but was retired in 2010 after 38 years of production.
These components appeal to a specialty consumer, positioned on the high to very, very high end of the price spectrum. The newly announced Grand Class Series builds on last year’s R1 series, and includes the SU-G30 Network Audio Amplifier and ST-G30 Music Server.
The music server appears to be the hardcore hi-fi enthusiast’s solution for finally divesting from an aging CD collection. The ST-G30 features a specially stabilized CD drive and “bit-perfect ripping” technology to transfer CDs to a solid-state hard drive.
If you're looking for a more compact solution, the Ottova SC-C500 Hi-Fi system shrinks much of the same technology to bookshelf size. It includes a CD player, high-res network audio, USB and USB-DAC connectors, and smartphone audio sourcing. The SC-C500 is expected to hit shelves in 2015, at an estimated €2,000 (about $2,250).
No pricing has been announced for the rejuvenated turntable, Grand Class Series SU-G30 Network Audio Amplifier, ST-G30 Music Server, or the Ottova SC-C500 Hi-Fi system.