Analog high-end amplifiers, still very popular today, can look back on a rich and long history. Digital amplifiers, on the other hand, still have great potential for further development, as the rapid technical progress of recent years has made better and more accurate signal processing possible. Since most music is played digitally nowadays via CD and streaming, Technics believes that digital amplifiers should also be used for the playback of these. In addition, devices such as analog-to-digital converters (AD converters), which enable high-precision digital signal processing of analog music sources, seem to rise in popularity.
Starting in 2014, Technics has set itself the goal of further optimizing digital amplifiers. The technical innovations developed and researched since then are now being used in the new reference class amplifier SU-R1000.
Lovers of analog records are an important target audience for Technics. The SU-R1000 is thus equipped with the Intelligent Phono EQ, which uses specially developed digital technologies to generate an ideal equalization curve. By perfectly matching the pickup and phono equalizer, the channel separation and frequency response are supposed to be optimized and the sound quality should be increased. This is supported by a special calibration vinyl record, delivered together with the amplifier.
In order to eliminate the influences on the music signal caused by digital jitter, Technics has developed a completely new jitter reduction circuit. Aiming to prevent errors during conversion to a PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) signal, Technics has implemented a brand new converter assembly that is designed to perform this task without damaging the dynamic range.
To ensure that the impedance characteristics of the output-side low bass filter do not influence the frequency representation, as is the case with conventional digital amplifiers, Technics developed a feature that enables the amplifier to measure the phase and impedance characteristics of the connected loudspeakers and optimize them accordingly. In contrast to conventional amplifiers, the aim is to achieve a flat frequency response – both in amplitude and phase – which is supposed to result in a sound reproduction with extremely precise spatiality.
Technics' newly developed ADCT (Active Distortion Cancelling Technology) feature extracts and eliminates distortions in the power output stage caused by voltage drops and electromotive effects of the connected loudspeakers. It detects differences between the loudspeaker output and the JENO output and corrects the digital output signal. According to the manufacturer, this is intended to ensure powerful loudspeaker operation while at the same time enabling the typical positive characteristics of a digital amplifier, such as low noise, sharp sound images and a wide sound ambience, regardless of the types of connected loudspeaker.
The SU-R1000 uses a switching power supply system to provide a stable supply of the voltage and current required by the digital amplifier. The Advanced Speed Silent Power Supply is said to have eliminated the modulation noise that often affects the sound quality when using conventional switch mode power supplies. Separate power supply units for the analog and digital circuits in the preamplifier stage were also implemented, and the right and left channels of the power amplifier are each supplied with power by their own unit.
The following applies to a digital amplifier: the more precise the clock, the higher the sound quality. Often, however, there is a disturbing noise when the clock generator is powered. For this reason, the SU-R1000 is equipped with a battery-powered clock generator, which eliminates this noise and thus enables a more differentiated sound image.
The Technics integrated amplifier SU-R1000 is available starting November 2020 at a price of around 7,310 Euro (current MSRP) in Germany.