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Thursday, August 31, 2017
Panasonic - Technics Audio and Video Products at IFA

Panasonic will exhibit its latest products and technologies at IFA 2017, including TVs, BD players, LUMIX cameras and the SP-10R direct-drive turntable by Technics.

The 77-inch model from the EZ1000 OLED TV series will be unveiled for the first time, and the full lineup of 4K Ultra HD OLED/LCD TVs will be on display.

Panasonic exhibits a set of smart speakers that let listeners enjoy all kinds of music in high quality just by talking to them through Google Assistant, an AI-powered voice agent. Voice control aside, the speakers with a stylish design deliver high quality sound thanks to Panasonic's exclusive audio technology.

The RP-HTX80 wireless headphones are featuring a retro design with four color variations integrate Panasonic's latest acoustic technology in their large 40 mm drivers.

With a planned firmware update, the LUMIX GH5 will allow for taking 4K HDR images using Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG). HLG opens up a new way of enjoying imaging by making it possible to capture bright skies and reflections with more natural gradations and details that was difficult to achieve before, and to enjoy viewing these images on a big screen like Panasonic's 4K HDR TVs.

Technics audio lineups will be demonstrated with different sounds and music in three real-life settings. The section will feature a novel music entertainment style presented in Technics' new all-in-one music system, OTTAVA f SC-C70. Visitors can also find a prototype of the SP-10R direct-drive turntable Panasonic aims to commercialize in the summer of 2018, along with the history of direct drive motor advancements and the past SP-10 series.

The OTTAVA f SC-C70 is an all-in-one music system that handles a wide range of music sources, from CD to network audio. The compact, all-in-one system is an integration of Technics' latest technologies, and offers a rich and powerful three-dimensional sound in a high quality design with smooth operability.

Panasonic will also exhibit a development prototype of a direct-drive turntable with the world's top-level S/N (signal-to-noise) ratio and rotational stability. Panasonic will accelerate the further development of the technology toward the market launch of a production version, the Technics SP-10R, in the early summer of 2018.

Demand for analogue records has been rising in recent years not only among audio enthusiasts but also among young people who are accustomed to digital products. In 2015, which was the 50th anniversary of the Technics brand, Technics took on the challenge once again to develop new turntables that would redefine the term "direct-drive turntable" by combining traditional analogue technology and digital technology. The SL-1200GAE/G released in 2016 and the SL-1200GR released in 2017 were highly acclaimed the world over. Technics continued to address the development of turntables by maximising and advancing its accumulated technologies and know-how in pursuit of the creation of turntables with the world's highest performance.

The development prototype turntable has the following features:

1) A coreless direct-drive motor featuring a new structure

  • In addition to the two-sided rotor drive system adopted by the coreless direct-drive motor used in the SL-1200G, the new motor features stator coils on both sides of the rotor, instead of only on one side. This produces more than twice the torque of the SL-1200G.
  • The increased rigidity of the platter connection eliminates minute vibration caused by shaft rotation.
  • The surface that contacts the rotating shaft is made from a super engineering plastic with excellent resistance to heat, friction and wear. The bearing is made of high-rigidity stainless steel to offer outstanding strength and durability.

2) Platter weight increased for more stable rotation

  • The platter features a three-layer structure consisting of brass, aluminium die-cast and deadening rubber, just like the platter of the SL-1200G. By optimising the natural frequency of each layer, external vibrations are thoroughly suppressed
  • The platter weighs about 7 kg, which is more than twice as heavy as the platter of the SL-1200G. It boasts a maximum inertial mass of approximately 1 ton-cm² to ensure steady and stable rotation.

3) Newly developed, ultra-low-noise power supply

  • Technics has newly developed an ultra-low-noise switching power supply by making full use of technology accumulated in the development of digital amps. Compared to a power supply unit using a transformer, the new power supply unit better suppresses the generation of noise, such as humming (a low-frequency component corresponding to the power supply frequency) and vibration.
  • The power supply unit is completely separated from the main turntable unit, thus preventing the transmission of noise components to the turntable unit, which processes very small analogue signals.

Technics is working diligently toward launching the Reference Class analogue turntable, the SP-10R, in the early summer of 2018 as a high-end product of the Technics Hi-Fi audio brand. The SP-10R will be interchangeable with systems using the SP-10MK2 (released in 1975) or SP-10MK3 (released in 1981) which had been evaluated highly by broadcasting stations and other professionals and are still used by many audiophiles. Technics also plans to market a full turntable system that includes the tonearm and other components.

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