Technics, Ortofon, Jorma Audio, AudioQuest

All prices in Canadian dollars. Technics was showing some delightfully high-end stuff, in a system that included a pair of Triangle Magellan Duetto Bookshelf 40th Anniversary Edition speakers ($10,500/pair), a 150Wpc SU-R1000 integrated amplifier ($13,999), a SL-1200GR2 turntable ($2799) (expected release: April or May) with an Ortofon Black MM cartridge ($938), and a special, made-to-order SL-1000R turntable ($26,999) with an Ortofon Expression MC cartridge ($8689).

Technics demoed other products that were not in use here, including the 70Wpc SU-G700M2 integrated amp ($3999), the 40Wpc SU-GX-70 streaming amplifier ($2499), a Technics SL-1500C turntable ($1599, with cartridge), and a SC-C70MK2 Ottava All-In-One system ($1399). The cables used were from Jorma Audio and AudioQuest (various prices).

The sound was crisp, detailed, open, quick-paced, and exciting on a Qobuz-streamed FLAC file of a blues cut with voice, drums, and guitar. I also listened to both turntable setups, and while the SL-1000R package upped the refinement factor in terms of soundstage dimensionality, tonal density, and musical ease over the SL-1200GR2, my impression was that the turntables were more alike sonically than different. The demos revealed a house sound marked by clarity, explicitness, transient speed, ambient cues, and vivid pictures.

Photo: from left, absolu par Centre HiFi's Antero Linhares with Jon O'Brien of Technics