To Doug Schneider,
Thanks for the great article on The Record Centre. Coincidentally, I was on the phone with John Thompson earlier in the day before reading your article in the evening. As a 35-year career public servant, the only thing I take offense to (and a mild one at that) is the suggestion that most of us are performing mind-numbing work and have lost our enthusiasm for the work. I guess it depends on where you work and most importantly, on your manager(s)!
On a more serious note, I am glad to see that The Record Centre has become the latest high-end hi-fi shop in the city, while also keeping the average audio consumer in mind. I have not visited the store for some time and I only discovered they were selling Technics Grand Class gear while I was researching the SL-G700 CD/SACD player. I am mostly interested in this model because of its streaming capabilities. The disc playback is a nice bonus, making it a valid upgrade for my venerable, still-functioning Simaudio Moon Eclipse CD player. Online reviews have been quite positive on the overall performance of the SL-G700 and I was wondering if at $3800 it competes with standalone streamers or DAC/streamers (like the Moon 280D) in that price range.
You’re not alone in taking offense to my comments about Ottawa and a lot of the work that goes on here—writer Diego Estan, who also lives in Ottawa, was a little upset. But only a little.
With that out of the way, I’ll jump straight to the Technics player to answer your questions as best as I can. I can’t guarantee you’ll like the sound. I haven’t listened to the Technics SL-G700, but looking at the information that Technics provides for it, I’d imagine it sounds very good—it’s based on the newest AKM DAC chipset design and the designers appear to have taken great care with the analog circuitry and power supply. In addition, it plays both SACDs and CDs, which might be handy because playback of both disc types is still popular with audiophiles. It also should provide an upgrade on your Simaudio Moon Eclipse, which must be close to 20 years old! The Eclipse was a great CD player when it came out, but digital playback technology has advanced a lot since then.
As you pointed out, the SL-G700 also has a built-in streamer, although I’m not sure how well it will work for you. For any streaming component, a lot depends on the usability of the software that has been implemented. To know how enjoyable it will be to use, you really have to try it out. But I do recommend you try the SL-G700—it looks like a very good digital component for the price, and I am sure John Thompson can find a way to make that happen for you. . . . Doug Schneider