Technics Amps and Speakers

I had heard she was talented pianist. I had seen her in photos before, but I never expected the beautiful and statuesque director of Panasonic Technics, Michiko Ogawa, to greet me in person at the door of Technics' CES showroom.

What I did expect was that the sound quality of the new Technics C700 series components would be exceptional—and I was not disappointed. I hope it's a new theme or at the very least a smart new marketing ploy—but suddenly several companies' "trickle-down" products sound as good or better than their more expensive "statement" offerings. These new Technics C700 components are a perfect example of this phenomenon.

Based on technologies used in their Reference Series, the new "Premium Class" fully digital SU-C700 stereo integrated amplifier ($1600), the ST-C700 network audio player ($1100), the SL-C700 CD player ($1100), as well as (my favorites) the SB-C700 loudspeakers ($1700/pair), all played music with a type of charm and precise authority, that I would expect to cost several times the modest $5500 complete system price.

Everything about the all white SB-C700 loudspeakers declared meticulousness, intelligence, and quality. The DSB-CV700 showcase a super high-gloss white finish that not only covers the convex cabinet panels (which are 42mm thick at their apexes) but works as a stiffener to suppress cabinet resonance. The Coaxial drive unit consists of a 6.3"/160mm flat woofer with a triple-layered sandwich structure made of high-rigidity carbon fiber skins with an aluminum-honeycomb core—and, an aluminum-dome tweeter with a neodymium magnet. Michiko played a CD of one of her own recordings. The sound made me smile and desire review samples of these exceptional loudspeakers.

daveinva2's picture

It's great to see a big Japanese company back in the game with good quality products. I am fascinated by the speakers. There is a lot of technology there that is new to me. If I had to guess if they could pull that design off and have a good sounding speaker, I'd say no. But based on the review, apparently they did pull it off.

jgossman's picture

It's hard not to read that and see the products and think of the SL1210 and 1310. They always made gear that was comparable and in some cases better that either Sansui or Nakamichi. I agree it's good to see that Sony is not the only Japanese mega-corp involved in Hi-Fi. Kudos to Panasonic to return.

maelob's picture

As a kid growing in the 80's Technics brings back good memories, I remember my uncle's tower speakers and receiver, I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I guess that was the beginning of this hobby for me. Glad to see them back.

Joseph Cohen's picture

I congratulated the designers on a job very well done. I would not have been surprised had they quoted a $5000 price tag. The sound was organic, detailed and relaxed.

corrective_unconscious's picture

I just can't imagine it would be a good value if you stop and think about other speakers you can purchase for $5000.

But sure, a company could easily charge that much for such a pair of speakers.

WJ ARMSTRONG's picture

TERRIBLE reviews of both the new SB-C700 speakers & SU-C700 amp in the latest issue of What Hi-Fi Magazine (UK). Have to say that from experience, although not a bleeding 'Hi-End' publication, their reviews are pretty much spot-on. Definitely bad news for Technics.