As I wrote in my report on AXPONA 2017, Technics has released their new SL-1200GR turntable - a more affordable turntable with much of the sound quality of the heralded SL-1200G (in my opinion the greatest value in turntables). Incorporating a single-rotor, surface-facing, coreless direct-drive motor, the new SL-1200GR actually has most of the performance of the "G". Like the twin-rotor coreless motor used in the "G", the "GR" motor also eliminates cogging - thus providing smooth, even drive of the platter. Instead of the magnesium alloy arm used on the SL-1200G, the GR has an aluminum, high-sensitivity tonearm. The heavy platter has two layers - die-cast aluminum and rubber (for vibration damping). Basically, one can confidently suggest that the GR comes quite close to the overall performance of the now-famous SL-1200G, but it costs less than half as much - $1699! An incredible value............
Now, we are just beginning to receive the all-black version of the GR , the SL-1210GR! The same performance as the SL-1200GR, but black.
Stop by soon to audition the new "GR" turntables from Technics. They're terrific examples of the high quality, yet affordable lineup of components offered by Technics and Glenn Poor's Audio Video.
The new Technics Grand Class G30 Series is one of the best sounding solid state systems that we have ever heard. Consisting of the ST-G30 Music Server and the SU-G30 Network Audio Amplifier, this is Technics' response to the growing popularity in network and wireless audio systems. Both of these components have been built like audio jewelry, and optimized from the ground up. The music server was designed with comprehensive noise reducing measures, along with new proprietary technologies like Bit-Perfect Ripping and a custom made SSD with enhanced vibration resistance. The output signal to the Network Audio Amplifier is transferred through a Low Noise USB Transfer to achieve data transmission with minimal sound degradation.
The Network Audio Amplifier has also been built from the ground up, and shares technologies with Technics' reference level R1 series. It features their JENO Engine (Jitter Elimination and Noise-Shaping Optimization) which suppresses jitter distortion. Jitter is caused by the mis-timing in the master clocks used in D to A conversion. Technics has created a clock generator in the noise-shaping system to reduce jitter in the low frequencies and has added a high precision sample rate converter for suppressing jitter in the high frequencies. This product also features a Gallium Nitride FET Drivers allowing for extremely low resistance, enabling the construction of a high power amp using a single push pull configuration. All of these technologies work together to create an extremely clear and linear amplification. Furthermore, the LAPC (Load Adaptive Phase Calibration) that's available on the amplifier allows for the system to analyze the impedance and frequency amplitude-phase characteristics of the speaker that it's connected to. Additionally, the new SU-G30 supports TIDAL Spotify Connect, vTuner, and now MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) technology. It also performs equally well with analog sources, and has a very quiet, dynamic phono section.
The ST-G30 and the SU-G30 are regularly priced at $4999.99 and $3999.99, respectively. However, there is currently a factory authorized, limited time offer that allows us to sell them as a system at an unbelievable price! Call, or, better yet, come into the store for more details!
The Dynaudio "Special Forty" is an aptly named loudspeaker, representing forty years of business for the Danish firm, Dynaudio. What makes it so special? First of all, the fact that Dynaudio has chosen to sell their 40th Anniversary speaker at the very affordable price of $2,999 came as a big surprise, given that the company makes speakers ranging from $800 all the way to $115,000 per pair. Don't be fooled by the relatively low price, though, because the "40" is a phenomenal performer, and it looks as good as it sounds!
One of the classic attributes that has always attracted me to Dynaudio is that they make all their own speaker drivers - tweeters, midranges, and woofers. Thus, they have control of the whole process, including cabinet and cross-over construction. This has been the case from the beginning, and some of the biggest names in the world have, at one time or another, incorporated Dynaudio drivers in their speakers. One of the first times I learned about Dynaudio was back in the 80's when Duntech incorporated Dynaudio drivers in their reference "Sovereign" model - still used by some of the top mastering studios in the world. The Sovereigns required drivers that could work effortlessly over uncharacteristically wide bandwidths because the design employed first order (6db/octave) filters. This was critical because only first order filters allow for phase linearity in a multi-way speaker system, and that was part of the magic of the Duntechs. Unfortunately for the many companies wanting to use the Dyn drivers, Dynaudio eventually made a strategic decision not to sell their drivers to other companies, preferring instead to keep their proprietary designs for use in their own branded products. To be sure, there are copies coming from a number of companies, but there is only one Dynaudio. The Special Forty is the culmination of all that they have learned about speaker design - and in an affordable, gorgeous, compact design.
Dynaudio created new, purpose-built drivers for this incredible, compact 2-way. The tweeter is a new version of the classic Esotar2 high frequency driver, dubbed the "Esotar Forty". The range covered by this tweeter easily exceeds typical soft dome designs. It also has the ability to easily handle high sound pressure levels. The mid-bass driver in the 40 is equally special, incorporating Dynaudio's signature over-sized voice coil for low distortion and high power handling ability. Again, it's frequency and power response is shocking, allowing the incorporation of 1st order filters in both directions (high and low pass) - thus making the "40" virtually phase linear!
Oh, and by the way, the 40's are gorgeous! You have to see them in realtime and space to appreciate their beauty.
I could go on and on about these special speakers, but I really want you to come in Glenn Poor's Audio Video, and audition the Special Forty. You will be blown away! I guarantee it.
When we first became interested in GoldenEar Technology as a brand for our store, there had already been a "buzz" about the brand as representing terrific value. I spoke to Sandy Gross (GoldenEar's founder) a couple of years ago while we were both attending the Munich HiFi Show. I've known Sandy since late 1976 when he visited my store in downtown Normal (IL). I'll never forget Sandy getting two large boxes from the trunk of his car, and carrying them in so we'd have to give them a listen. The speakers were the Polk 10's, and Sandy, co-founder of Polk Audio, was at the beginning of his career as a successful "speaker guy". Needless-to-say, we became a Polk dealer, and sold hundreds of Polk loudspeakers over the next ten years. Therefore, it was no surprise that his latest venture, GoldenEar, has become so successful. We brought in GoldenEar earlier this year, and are glad we did. Virtually every model they make, is a great value, and competitive with much more expensive speakers.
The rumor that Sandy and his team were working on a true "industry reference" loudspeaker - one with extremely linear frequency response and dynamic range - became a reality this year in the form of the Triton Reference. Before our first pair arrived, I read Anthony Cordesman's review of the T-Ref in the September issue of "The Absolute Sound" magazine. Tony is a very thoughtful, reserved individual who is not known for waxing overly enthusiastically about products he reviews. On the contrary, he never goes crazy about a product. In other words, when AHC (as he's known in the HiEnd world) highly recommends something, it's worth checking out. To say that he likes the T-Ref is a gross understatement! Read his review for the whole story.
Selling for less than $10K, the "T-Ref" is truly the embodiment of Sandy's goal to produce a world reference loudspeaker system that sells for a fraction of the price of other products in its performance class. From the first recording we played, it was blatantly obvious that the Triton Reference is a product that is destined to be a classic! They've been on display now for almost a month, and they seem to get better each time we play them. There's an ease to their ability to play any scale of music with extremely low distortion, and the fact that you can listen from way outside the "sweet spot" makes them easy to enjoy from anywhere in a room - or even in another room.
Take a break when you're able, and come in for a listen. Bring some of your favorite music, sit down and prepare to be blown away - at any volume level. The GoldenEar Triton Reference is capable of doing it all - any type of music, played at any level.
Oh, and by the way, they are also beautiful..........
This year, Glenn Poor’s Audio Video exhibited at AXPONA for the first time, partnering with Technics. AXPONA is this country’s premiere hi-end audio show, and, fortunately for us, is held every spring in Chicago. Unlike the giant Consumer Electronics Show, held annually in Las Vegas, AXPONA is a consumer show so you don’t have to be a manufacturer or a retailer to attend. AXPONA is a funfest – with live music events and demonstrations of some of the finest gear in the world.
The Technics/Glenn Poor’s Audio Video room featured three different systems - two of which featured Technics turntables. Both turntable models employed Ortofon’s brilliant 2M Black cartridges. The reference-class SL-1200G was the prime source for one of the systems, while the (soon-to-be released) SL-1200GR sourced the new “Grand Class” amp and speakers. Originally slated to sell for between $2000 and $2500, the “GR” was announced at AXPONA to sell for $1,699! Based on the extraordinary SL-1200G, the new “GR” is destined to be the best selling turntable/arm combination in the history of Glenn Poor’s! Its motor, like that of the “G”, is a cogging-free, coreless direct-drive design that sets a new standard in its price class. The resulting sound achieved feeding the also soon-to-be-released SU-G700 integrated amp ($2500) and SB-G90 loudspeakers ($5000/pair) was beautiful, and, like what we’ve heard with the more expensive “G” system, performed way beyond its price class.
Without getting into too many boring technical details, suffice to say these new Technics components are working examples of what can be achieved if a large company decides to commit its considerable resources to the execution of high quality designs. So far, Technics is batting 1000!
Ron, Craig and I had a great time at AXPONA, and were happy so many of you came by to say “hi” and listen. We recommend the experience, and expect we’ll all be back next year.
Loudspeakers come in a variety of prices, shapes and sizes, employing a wide range of technologies. The majority of loudspeaker manufacturers use “piston-type” drivers (cones and domes), and employ various cabinet loading techniques. Others, such as Magnepan and Quad, move air with a film-like diaphragm over a large surface area. The “Maggies” are magnetic ribbons and “quasi-ribbons”, and are noted for their speed and open, natural sound quality. The Quad ESRs are electrostats that use charged panels – thus requiring power supplies connected to AC. Like the Maggies, the Quads are extremely fast and open sounding. There are a number of examples, too, that use ribbon tweeters with cone drivers, as well as companies that combine electrostatic panels with cone woofers. At our store, we show almost all types with the goal being the same for each - the natural reproduction of music.
I’ve never been too dogmatic as to which “type” is superior as there are great products in each of the aforementioned categories. I’ve already mentioned Magnepan and Quad, and both of these companies’ products are at, or near, the top of my list. In fact, I own examples of both – much to the consternation of my wife, Ann, who has a much more practical outlook on most things than I do. Nonetheless, I rationalize the importance of all my speakers. Like everyday life, value judgments are personal and sometimes irrational. For instance, I love my Avantgarde Duos, although there is no place for them in our home. Thus, they reside at our store. The same goes for my Magnepan Tympani IVa’s, etc., etc., etc.. You get the picture – it’s a good thing we have a store to keep my speakers that are currently “unemployed”.
The speakers that are on display at Glenn Poor’s Audio Video are all speakers I would personally own. There are currently thirteen different speaker manufacturers represented in our showrooms, with most manufacturers being represented by a number of different models. Even so, it’s easy for me to recommend any of them. The choice comes down to budget, how they’re to be placed, and, most importantly, how they sound to the person who will own them. Like everything we carry, the speakers chosen by our customers represent a personal decision. We want our clients to buy products they’ll enjoy for many years – whatever the price range. That’s why we carry so many brands and choices. We want to give our customers the opportunity and variety of products to make good value judgments – without any pressure from us. And, we want to give our customers an environment that allows good choices to be made.
Come visit us at our Champaign store in the Old Farm Shops, bring in your own music, relax, and just listen. I guarantee you it will be fun.
Every so often a product comes along that exceeds the expectation of what is possible in a given price class. Such is the case with the new Technics incredible SL-1200G direct-drive turntable.
The production rollout in America was several months later than had been originally anticipated, which is typical of hi-end audio products. We were anxious, however, having read a couple of reviews from highly respected journalists who had received advanced samples. The word was out that this new 1200G was beyond special, but rather a true “reference-class” product - competitive with respected products many times the Technics suggested price.
We received our first unit in September, 2016 (after a long wait), mounted the new Hana SL cartridge, and started listening. To say we were surprised at its performance is a huge understatement! It was immediately obvious that the SL-1200G set a whole new performance standard in its price range – and way beyond. Finally, a direct-drive turntable, with the speed accuracy inherent in such designs, but with the open, beautiful, yet natural, sonic characteristics of much more expensive belt-drive rigs. It became clear that a closer look was required to understand why this new Technics sounded so good………………
Cosmetically, the new 1200G mimics the look of previous generations of Technics’ SL-1200 tables.
But the looks are all that the new SL-1200G has in common with its predecessors. It is literally new from the ground (the feet) up. The Technics design team set out to make a true reference table and arm, and this goal required all new everything. From the non-cogging (think continuous), coreless direct-drive motor, to the tri-layered platter (brass, die-cast aluminum and rubber), to the incredible magnesium alloy tonearm, to the four-layer cabinet/plinth, to the height-adjustable isolation “feet” – the Sl-1200G goes way beyond anything we thought possible in its price class.
If you’d like to learn more details about the SL-1200G, read Michael Fremer’s detailed review on his “Analog Planet” site. You can also go to the Technics website for technical details.
Or, if you just want to look at and listen to the new SL-1200G, come into Glenn Poor’s showrooms in Old Farm, and get an up-close, personal audition. You’ll be amazed.