The Technics room at CES was a lot more than just turntables this year, but the big news was definitely making waves on the analog front. A new reference turntable SP-10R ($10k) and the turntable system SL1000R ($20k) are front and center of many an audiophile’s aspirational wish list.
The new SP-10R boasts a coreless direct drive motor connected to an aluminum die cast platter with embedded tungsten weights in a 10mm thick brass top. Its colored bright, its heavy, its claims vibration damping characteristics and low wow and flutter – everything you would expect from a high-class kinda guy. The SP-10R is intended to be dropped into existing SP-10 setups and comes without a tonearm or plinth. First time owners will be optioned up to the SL1000R full system which is designed with a control unit that is separate from the main chassis and optional base extensions to attached up to three tone arms (as shown above). Internal construction of the SL1000R consists of 5 layers of different materials that help with both rigidity and vibration and all matter of unwanted interference.
There were indeed three tone arms mounted with three different carts at the show, one of which donned the soft red glow of DS Audio’s optical option. The setup consisting of a full run of the company’s reference series sang sweetly from the far side of the room sourced from the SL-1000R. Miles Davis Kind of Blue hit all the right notes with traditional audiophile tones that rang clear and true across the medium-sized room in the Venetian suite.
In a separate, adjoining room Technics was showcasing a new all-in-one unit called the Ottava SC-70 ($1k). The relatively small box utilizes DSP and a JENO engine to produce high fidelity sound to the built in speakers. It utilizes a bi amp configuration to a 3-way speaker implementation (2cm/8cm/12cm). The DSP is capable of optimizing the sound with preset EQs that adjust for both placement near walls and corners.
Connectivity leaped high onto the audiophile wagon with DSD, Airplay, DNLA and surprisingly… CD playback. There is even an FM/AM terrestrial tuner if you want to go truly old school. On board streaming services include Spotify and Tidal, but no full MQA unfolding just yet. That option could happen with a firmware upgrade in the future if things work out, but will not be available on launch.