Technics’ Return and HDMI Integration:
Technics, a name synonymous with audio excellence, made a triumphant comeback in 2014 under the stewardship of parent company Panasonic. The introduction of the SU-GX70 marks another significant stride in Technics’ resurgence, thanks to its pioneering HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel) integration. This groundbreaking feature bridges the gap between high-quality audio reproduction and enhancing TV sound, catering to the growing demand for all-in-one audio solutions.
Purely Digital Amplification with JENO Engine:
The SU-GX70 distinguishes itself as a true digital amplifier, a departure from the more common Class D amplifiers. Unlike its analog counterparts, this amplifier operates in the digital realm, converting incoming analog signals into digital form for processing. The advantages of this approach are evident – it eliminates overshoots, distortion, and noise that can plague analog amplifiers. However, it introduces a new challenge: jitter, which results from temporal fluctuations in a digital signal. Jitter can compromise sound quality by causing inaccuracies in signal sampling and playback. Technics tackles this issue head-on with the JENO (Jitter Elimination and Noise-shaping Optimization) Engine, a proprietary technology that combines various techniques, including precise clock signal utilization, intelligent noise reduction, and optimal signal shaping. The result is an audio reproduction that boasts exceptional clarity, detail, and naturalness, mitigating the pitfalls commonly associated with digital amplification.
Inherited Excellence from Technics’ Reference Class:
The SU-GX70 inherits its amplifier circuitry from Technics’ reference-class integrated amplifier model, the SU-R1000. This inheritance extends to the amplifier’s symmetrical layout, mirroring the design philosophy that underpins Technics’ most revered audio components. The use of premium audio components, including low-noise FETs, thin film resistors, film capacitors, and electrolytic capacitors, underscores the attention to detail that goes into the SU-GX70’s construction. This meticulous fine-tuning, extending to the smallest component, contributes to the amplifier’s sonic prowess. The synergy between advanced digital technology and the finest analog components ensures that the SU-GX70 faithfully reproduces audio with unparalleled precision and musicality.
Comprehensive Connectivity and Streaming Capabilities:
The Technics SU-GX70 provides a comprehensive range of connectivity options and streaming capabilities. It offers wireless playback of high-resolution music from various sources, including smartphones, tablets, and PCs. It harnesses cutting-edge technologies such as Bluetooth, AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, and Chromecast built-in. Moreover, it natively integrates popular streaming platforms like TIDAL, Amazon Music, Qobuz, Deezer, internet radio, and podcasts, delivering a seamless listening experience. Technics is also actively working on a Roon implementation, ensuring users can continue enjoying the latest streaming innovations. The device is designed to accommodate classical audio sources as well. It caters to FM radio and DAB+ enthusiasts and offers USB-A and USB-B ports to play music from external storage or function as an external DAC. Additionally, it provides digital inputs in the form of two optical and one coaxial connection, along with two analog line-ins via RCA. An RJ45 input facilitates network connectivity, while wireless operation via WLAN ensures hassle-free access to the digital world of music.
Advanced Speaker Calibration with LAPD and Space Tune:
The SU-GX70 is equipped with sophisticated speaker calibration technologies that optimize audio output based on the characteristics of connected speakers and the listening environment. One such feature is Load Adaptive Phase Calibration (LAPD), a pioneering approach that measures the impulse response of speakers rather than using a microphone. Traditional digital amplifiers control speakers via a low-pass filter in the output stage, which can be affected by variations in speaker impedance. LAPD employs digital signal processing to adjust the impulse response of speakers, resulting in improved amplitude-phase characteristics. This meticulous approach smoothens amplitude and phase frequency response characteristics, providing more precise sound reproduction.
Intuitive and User-Friendly Control:
Technics has ensured that controlling the SU-GX70 is a user-friendly and intuitive experience. The amplifier features a central rotary control for volume adjustment and a smaller rotary control for source selection on its front panel. It incorporates a black-and-white display with a touch surface for interacting with the user interface. This combination of tactile controls and a responsive display allows quick and straightforward operation. While basic functions like source selection, volume adjustment, pause, and stop can be managed directly from the amplifier’s front panel, more advanced settings and configurations can be accessed using the included remote control. The remote control provides access to features like LAPD calibration and Space Tune setup, offering users a comprehensive set of tools for customizing their audio experience. Additionally, Technics offers the “Audio Center App” for iOS and Android devices
High-Performance Headphone Amplification:
Drawing on its extensive experience in the field of headphones, Technics has incorporated a high-performance headphone amplifier into the SU-GX70. This amplifier delivers an exceptional listening experience characterized by power, precision, and spatial depth. It caters to a wide range of headphone models, including those with higher power requirements, while maintaining audio quality and clarity. An especially noteworthy feature is the automatic deactivation of the connected speakers when a 6.3-millimeter headphone jack is inserted, ensuring a seamless transition between headphones and speaker listening. This thoughtful design enhances user convenience by eliminating the need for manual adjustments when switching between these two modes. While the amplifier performs exceptionally with headphones, it also impresses with its ability to deliver high volumes without distortion, contributing to an engaging and immersive listening experience. Whether users prefer headphones or speakers, the SU-GX70 offers a versatile and high-quality audio solution, exemplifying Technics’ commitment to exceptional sound reproduction in all aspects of the listening experience.
|Device class||Network player/streaming amplifier|
|Price (RRP)||1,799 euros|
|Price category||Middle class|
|Dimensions (W/H/D)||43 × 10 × 37cm|
|Performance||2 × 160W RMS (1Khz/|
2% THD/ 2 Ohm)
|Power consumption||Standby: 2.2W|
|Entrances||2 × optical, 1 × coaxial,|
2 × RCA, 1 × LAN, 1x phono
1 × HDMI (ARC), 1 × USB A,
1 xUSB B, 1 × antenna (DAB/FM)
|Exits||1 × RCA (pre out),|
2 × terminal/banana
Sound Performance and Versatility:
The Technics SU-GX70 stands out for its remarkable sound performance and versatility. It offers a clear, precise, and detailed sound quality that caters to audiophiles and music enthusiasts. The amplifier produces a warm and pleasant sound character with an impressive degree of musicality. It balances different frequency ranges effectively, creating a harmonious and immersive listening experience. Its ability to deliver high volumes without distortion is a testament to its power and precision, making it suitable for various musical genres and audio content.
When used for watching movies, the SU-GX70 excels in creating a captivating auditory experience. It generates a spacious and detailed soundstage that rivals the performance of traditional surround sound systems. This spatiality adds depth and immersion to movie soundtracks, enhancing the cinematic experience. The amplifier’s ability to reproduce music and movie audio with exceptional quality showcases its versatility as an entertainment hub. Whether enjoying your favorite album or diving into a blockbuster film, the SU-GX70 delivers impressive sound quality and performance.
The sound test of the Technics SU-GX70 reveals its remarkable audio capabilities and ability to deliver a high-quality listening experience. When evaluating the amplifier’s sound performance, several aspects come into play:
- Clarity and Precision: The SU-GX70 shines in terms of clarity and precision. It reproduces audio with exceptional accuracy, ensuring that every note and detail in the music is clearly defined. Whether you’re listening to intricate classical compositions or the nuances of a jazz ensemble, the amplifier excels in maintaining sonic precision.
- Detail and Resolution: The amplifier’s commitment to detail is evident as it captures even the subtlest nuances in the music. This level of detail retrieval enhances the listening experience, allowing you to discover new facets of your favorite tracks.
- Soundstage and Spatiality: The SU-GX70 creates an expansive and immersive soundstage. Music feels three-dimensional, and instruments and vocals are precisely positioned within the sound field. This spatial quality adds depth and realism to the listening experience, making you feel like you’re amidst a live performance.
- Dynamics and Livelihood: The amplifier brings music to life with its dynamic sound. Whether it’s the impactful strike of a drum, the sweeping crescendo of an orchestra, or the punchy bassline of a rock track, the SU-GX70 delivers music with liveliness and energy.
- Balanced Frequency Response: One of the amplifier’s strengths is its ability to provide a balanced response. The bass, midrange, and treble frequencies are well-balanced, ensuring that no part of the audio spectrum overpowers the others. This balance contributes to a natural and enjoyable listening experience.
- High-Volume Performance: The SU-GX70 impresses with its ability to deliver high volumes without distortion. Even when you crank up the volume to enjoy music at its loudest, the amplifier maintains its composure and audio integrity.
- Adaptability to Different Genres: Regardless of the music genre you prefer, the SU-GX70 performs admirably. Whether you’re listening to classical symphonies, rock anthems, electronic beats, or acoustic ballads, this amplifier adapts to the nuances of each genre and delivers a satisfying sonic presentation.
In summary, the sound test of the Technics SU-GX70 showcases its prowess in delivering high-fidelity audio. Its combination of precision, detail, spatiality, dynamics, and balanced frequency response makes it a versatile amplifier that caters to the discerning ears of audiophiles. Whether a music enthusiast or a home theater aficionado, the SU-GX70 elevates your listening experience to new heights, allowing you to rediscover your favorite music in stunning clarity and depth.
Innovative Load Adaptive Phase Calibration (LAPD):
Technics has integrated an innovative feature called Load Adaptive Phase Calibration (LAPD) into the SU-GX70. LAPD is a unique technology that enhances the interaction between the amplifier and connected speakers, resulting in optimized sound quality. Traditional amplifiers often struggle to adapt to the varying impedance characteristics of different speakers, leading to amplitude and phase response discrepancies. LAPD tackles this issue by measuring the impulse response of the connected speakers and applying digital signal processing to correct amplitude-phase characteristics. This calibration process smooths the frequency response and phase characteristics, improving sound quality with precise spatiality.
Furthermore, LAPD ensures that the amplifier can drive speakers effectively, regardless of their specific characteristics. Unlike conventional digital amplifiers that use low-pass filters in the output stage, the SU-GX70’s LAPD optimization offers superior control over speaker impedance. The result is a sound image with exceptional accuracy and spatial presence. When activated, this technology significantly enhances the system’s overall sound quality, making it an essential feature for audiophiles and users seeking the best possible audio performance from their speakers.
Comprehensive Connectivity and Streaming Options:
The Technics SU-GX70 impresses with its comprehensive connectivity and streaming capabilities. It is a versatile hub for various audio sources, ensuring users enjoy music from various platforms and devices. The amplifier allows wireless playback of high-resolution music from smartphones, tablets, and PCs through Bluetooth, AirPlay2, Spotify Connect, and Chromecast built-in. Moreover, it comes preloaded with popular streaming services like TIDAL, Amazon Music, Qobuz, Deezer, internet radio, and podcasts, ensuring easy access to an extensive library of music content.
Including an HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel) port is a standout feature, bridging the gap between TV audio and music playback. Unlike many high-quality stereo amplifiers lacking TV inputs, the SU-GX70 recognizes the growing demand for a single, all-in-one device that can enhance music and television sound. This HDMI ARC connection allows users to enjoy TV audio through the high-quality amplifier, eliminating the need for separate systems and ensuring a seamless audio experience. Technics’ adherence to HDMI specifications, which can send a video signal while maintaining audio quality, further enhances the user experience.
Space Tune and Speaker Calibration:
Technics has integrated two essential features, Space Tune and speaker calibration, into the SU-GX70 to optimize audio performance in different listening environments. Space Tune enables users to specify the placement of their speakers within a room, considering factors like proximity to walls or corners. This feature adapts the amplifier’s sound profile to address the acoustic challenges of the chosen speaker placement. Users can customize the settings for individual speakers, tailoring the audio experience to their preferences.
Speaker calibration, facilitated by Technics’ Load Adaptive Phase Calibration (LAPD) technology, takes the optimization process further. LAPD measures the impulse response of connected speakers and uses digital signal processing to correct amplitude-phase characteristics. When activated, LAPD significantly enhances the overall sound quality by ensuring precise spatiality and improving the frequency response. This calibration process results in a more detailed, harmonious, and immersive listening experience, making the SU-GX70 suitable for various room configurations and speaker placements.
Headphone Amplification and Versatility:
The SU-GX70 boasts Technics’ decades-long expertise in headphone technology, offering a built-in headphone amplifier that delivers exceptional audio quality. When connecting headphones, users can expect a powerful, precise, and spatially rich sound experience. The amplifier provides ample power reserves, accommodating high-impedance headphones while maintaining audio clarity and precision. Additionally, the SU-GX70 features an automatic speaker deactivation function when headphones are plugged in, seamlessly transitioning between personal listening and speaker playback.
While excelling in headphone amplification, the SU-GX70 retains its versatility by catering to a wide range of audio sources. It supports various connection options, including FM radio, DAB+, USB-A and USB-B for music playback, optical and coaxial digital inputs, analog line-ins via RCA, and a dedicated phono input for MM (Moving Magnet) pickups. These diverse connectivity options make the amplifier adaptable to different audio components, ensuring users can enjoy their preferred audio sources without limitations.
User-Friendly Controls and Interface:
Technics has designed the SU-GX70 with user convenience in mind, offering intuitive controls and a user-friendly interface. The amplifier’s front panel provides direct access to essential functions, with a central rotary control for volume adjustment and a smaller rotary control for source selection. A touch-sensitive black-and-white display allows for easy navigation and control of source-specific settings. These front-panel controls cater to functions like source selection, volume adjustment, play, pause, and stop.
The included remote control offers comprehensive control over the amplifier’s features for more advanced settings and customization. Users can access options like LAPD calibration and Space Tune to fine-tune their audio experience. Additionally, Technics offers the “Audio Center App” for both iOS and Android devices, simplifying the control and management of the streaming amplifier. The app’s intuitive interface seamlessly integrates with the SU-GX70, allowing users to control and configure their audio setup.
Classic and Timeless Design:
Technics has upheld its tradition of crafting high-quality audio components with a classic and timeless design. The SU-GX70 boasts a sleek and elegant aesthetic, with attention to detail evident in every aspect of its construction. The amplifier’s chassis is designed with solid construction, ensuring stability and durability. The available color options of silver and black allow users to choose a finish that complements their existing audio setup and personal preferences.
The front panel features a minimalist layout, emphasizing functionality and ease of use. The black and white touch-sensitive display seamlessly integrates into the design, offering a modern touch to the amplifier’s classic appearance. The combination of form and function in the SU-GX70’s design reflects Technics’ commitment to delivering both exceptional audio performance and aesthetic appeal.
Premium Build Quality and Durability:
Technics prioritizes premium build quality and durability in the SU-GX70, ensuring that the amplifier withstands the test of time. The use of high-quality materials is evident throughout its construction. The amplifier’s chassis is built with solid construction, contributing to its stability and resistance to vibrations. This robust design enhances its longevity and minimizes the potential for interference or distortion in audio playback.
The attention to detail extends to components like low-noise FETs, thin film resistors, film capacitors, and electrolytic capacitors, all of which contribute to the amplifier’s overall performance and reliability. These components are selected for their quality and impact on sound quality, showcasing Technics’ commitment to delivering an exceptional audio experience. Users can trust that the SU-GX70 is built to last and maintain its performance quality over the long term.
Effortless Network Integration:
The Technics SU-GX70 seamlessly integrates into home networks through wired and wireless connections. With an RJ45 input for wired network connectivity and built-in Wi-Fi, the amplifier offers flexibility in how users connect to their preferred streaming services and content. This effortless network integration ensures that users can easily access their favorite music and online platforms.
Technics is actively working on implementing Roon compatibility for the SU-GX70, offering users an expanded ecosystem for managing and enjoying their music collections. This commitment to ongoing updates and compatibility improvements demonstrates Technics’ dedication to keeping the amplifier current and aligned with evolving audio technologies and user preferences.
In conclusion, the Technics SU-GX70 is a standout amplifier that combines exceptional sound quality, versatile connectivity, innovative features, and user-friendly design. It offers audiophiles and music enthusiasts a comprehensive audio solution that can deliver clear, precise, and spatially rich sound across various audio sources. Its support for HDMI ARC bridges the gap between TV audio and music playback, eliminating the need for separate systems and ensuring a seamless audio experience.
Technics’ commitment to optimizing audio performance through features like Load Adaptive Phase Calibration (LAPD) and Space Tune enhances the listening experience in different room configurations. Including a headphone amplifier adds versatility, catering to personal and speaker-based listening preferences. The amplifier’s classic design, premium build quality, and network integration capabilities make it a compelling choice for those seeking a high-quality audio component.
While the upcoming Roon compatibility update and volume adjustment when switching between headphones and speakers are considerations, the Technics SU-GX70 ultimately stands as a versatile and high-performing amplifier that caters to the needs of discerning audio enthusiasts. It represents a harmonious blend of audio technology and design aesthetics, offering a premium audio experience for years.
Pros and Cons:
- Exceptional sound quality with clarity, precision, and spatial richness.
- Comprehensive connectivity options for versatile audio source compatibility.
- Innovative Load Adaptive Phase Calibration (LAPD) for optimized speaker performance.
- User-friendly controls, touch-sensitive display, and smartphone app for intuitive operation.
- Classic and timeless design with a choice of silver or black finish.
- Premium build quality and durable construction for long-term reliability.
- Effortless network integration with wired and wireless connectivity options.
- Limited Roon compatibility (upcoming firmware update).
- Lack of volume memory when switching between headphones and speakers.
The Technics SU-GX70 impresses with its exceptional sound quality, comprehensive connectivity options, innovative technologies, and user-friendly design. While it offers a superb audio experience and effortless network integration, potential buyers should be aware of upcoming Roon compatibility and the need to adjust volume settings when switching between headphones
Advantages of the Technics SU-GX70:
- Versatile Connectivity: The SU-GX70 offers many connectivity options, including Bluetooth, AirPlay2, Spotify Connect, and Chromecast built-in. It supports high-resolution wireless streaming from various devices, making it versatile for modern audio setups.
- HDMI ARC Integration: This amplifier stands out with its HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel) port, a rare feature in high-quality stereo amplifiers. It allows you to enjoy enhanced TV sound quality through your high-end audio system, bridging the gap between music and home theater audio.
- LAPD Speaker Calibration: The Load Adaptive Phase Calibration (LAPD) feature optimizes speaker performance by adapting to their impedance characteristics. It fine-tunes the audio output for improved clarity and spatiality, resulting in a more immersive listening experience.
- Space Tune Function: The Space Tune function enables users to customize the sound profile based on the placement of the speakers within the room. This feature helps overcome acoustic challenges associated with speaker placement, ensuring optimal sound quality.
- Headphone Amplifier: Technics’ expertise in headphones is evident in the built-in headphone amplifier. It provides ample power and precision, enhancing the headphone listening experience. Additionally, it seamlessly switches between speakers and headphones when a jack plug is inserted.
Disadvantages of the Technics SU-GX70:
- High Price Point: The SU-GX70 has a premium price tag, which may not be accessible to all consumers. It caters to audiophiles and enthusiasts looking for top-tier audio quality, but the cost may be prohibitive for budget-conscious buyers.
- Complex Features: While the amplifier offers many features and customization options, it may be overwhelming for users who prefer a simpler setup. Some users might find it challenging to navigate and configure all available functions.
- Limited iOS Calibration: The LAPD speaker calibration and Space Tune features are optimized for iOS devices, limiting their full functionality on Android devices. Android users may not benefit from the same level of speaker calibration precision.
- Noisy Environment Sensitivity: The HDMI ARC feature, while valuable for TV audio integration, can be sensitive to noisy environments. Occasional dropouts may occur, especially when switching input sources or turning on the TV.
- Volume Adjustment Memory: The amplifier does not remember separate volume levels for speakers and headphones. Users need to adjust the volume when switching between these playback modes manually.
In conclusion, the Technics SU-GX70 offers cutting-edge features and high-quality audio performance. However, its premium pricing and complex feature set may cater more to audiophiles and tech-savvy users who prioritize versatility and top-tier sound quality. It provides an excellent solution for those seeking a single device that seamlessly integrates music and home theater audio. However, potential buyers should consider their budget and familiarity with advanced audio features.