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Technics SL-G700 Mk2

Technics SL-G700 Mk2

We need to talk about Technics. Technics is a premium audio brand within a huge consumer electronics corporation. It has the resources and wherewithal to make first-rate products in every branch of high-performance audio. And its products—including everything from loudspeakers to amps and digital front-ends—are extremely well-engineered. They are good-sounding devices ideal for high-end domestic use. Yet, in the public domain, Technics is still ‘that DJ turntable company’. Products like the SL-G700 Mk2 are given less consideration than they deserve.

Let’s set the record (no pun intended) straight. If the SL-1200 turntable and its kin had never existed, everyone would praise Technics for its excellent SL-G700 Mk2. They would say how it single-handedly navigates the modern digital audio landscape. OK, so if the SL-1200 had never existed, the chances are that Technics would have stayed on the back burner. But, the fact remains the SL-G700 Mk2 is one of those rare-for-2024 products that can both play CD/SACD discs and is very good at local and online streaming too.

No favours?

Of course, Technics does itself no favours by making the SL-G700 Mk2 look almost identical to its predecessor and making both products look like ordinary—if heavy and well-built—disc spinners. But it’s so much more than that.

Technics SL-G700 Mk2

Once you get past the disc drawer on the front, you begin to see an impressive spec sheet. More accurately, you look for absences on the spec sheet… and keep looking. OK, for the pedantic, it doesn’t support multichannel Blu-ray Audio because it only has two channels. It also doesn’t support DVD-A because it’s not 2002 anymore. It also doesn’t have an HDMI port because it’s a resolutely audio-oriented device. The HDMI pathway still has video content. Everything else (including Chromecast on-board, MQA and MQA disc replay, streaming across Bluetooth or through a network connection, AirPlay 2… the works) is ready to rock.

Strict rules of fairness

In fairness, the original Technics SL-G700 sported many of these functions. And while we are staying under strict ‘in fairness’ rules, some of the motivation for making an SL-G700 Mk2 comes down to the non-availability of chips in the wake of the AKM factory fire. However, Technics adopted the ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade’ maxim to its fullest effect here.

Technics switched to an ESS9026PRO digital converter in the SL-G700 Mk2, but it’s used novelly as befits a company that returned to the drawing board with this one. The ESS chip runs in balanced, dual mono mode but also uses a custom-designed filter (which, when speaking to the people at Technics about, my transcription software saw as ‘philtre’, suggesting the SL-G700 Mk2 is filled with medieval love potions). This filter derivates the load-adaptive phase calibration concept used in Technics amplifiers instead of a simple low-pass filter. Technics also discusses a ‘Coherent Processing’ system where a pre-process minimises amplitude and phase deviations of incoming digital signals. This could be classed as a pre-DAC filter or ‘philtre’ as my software says. Perhaps it is a love potion, after all…


Technics has been clever with the SL-G700 Mk2 in several other ways, all of which pull in aspects of product design from elsewhere in the company to make a better product. For example, it uses a switch-mode power supply from elsewhere in the Technics stable but raises its operating speed from 100kHz to 300kHz, so it has no impact at digital audio frequencies. It also comes with active (phase-inverting) noise cancellation for the same reasons.

Technics SL-G700 Mk2


Some in the audio world break out in hives at the thought of a switch-mode power supply in anything to do with hi-fi. However, Technics has been making these supplies for the longest time and doing so based on a barrage of listening tests. The company claims its switch-mode power supply is at least as good as – and in many respects better than – a well-made analogue linear PSU in terms of noise and accuracy.

That’s hard to test on a finished product, especially if you are not inclined to send back a review sample that looks like it was used in several seasons of Game of Thrones. As such, we’ll rely on our own listening tests… and found it to be a faultless and blameless component within a very good player. And while part of that falls to the discrete output stages, the power supply provides a good deal of that performance.

Chonky Lad

The Technics SL-G700 Mk 2 weighs over 12kg, which puts it somewhere between ‘chonky lad’ and ‘absolute unit’ regarding disc player mass. It’s put on about 100g between the original and Mk2 versions, so, like its exterior design and construction, you would be hard-pressed to tell them apart. As so many makers hide minimal internal changes and sonic improvements with big changes to the chassis, the fact Technics has done the exact opposite bodes well for its performance.

One of the big changes between the SL-G700 and SL-G700 Mk2 is the speed of operation. The original was a little ‘glacial’ in use as if it was constantly multitasking, but in its latest guise, either it has more firepower in the processing department or better code. So, when you press the ‘eject’ button, it thinks for less than half a second before ejecting a disc.

Technics SL-G700 Mk2

Getting the network side up and running requires using Google Home thanks to that Chromecast backbone. Then use the ‘Technics Home Center’ app for iOS or Google. This is a good basic app (especially for phone users), although it lacks the more advanced functionality of some of the best. As so much of how we interact with network players revolves around how the app works, I’d like the Technics to have something with the slick interface and flexibility of AURALiC’s Lightning App. Let’s put this into perspective, though; the app is still good and a major improvement on anything used five years ago, except Sonos.

Sound quality

In a way, there are two reviews in one here, joined in common sound quality. First, the CD and SACD player side. The operation is good, although it requires the remote handset instead of the app. It works with majestic grace, matched in its sound quality, detailed, refined and effortless. When it comes to dynamic range, it’s more about shade and texture than scale and bombast.

It’s not that the SL-G700 Mk2 is undynamic; the SL-G700 Mk2’s a punchy and rhythmic sounding player and with enough energy and drive to pump out the title track from Infected Mushroom’s I’m The Supervisor [YoYo] to make you want to play loud and proud. It also kicks along with a great sense of rhythm. However, where the SL-G700 Mk2 is at its best is when it is playing something where musical elegance is paramount because it brings out that grace and space that is so often the preserve of the high-end.

Technics SL-G700 Mk2

A similar conclusion could be drawn with the streaming side, although, if anything, the streaming section is perhaps still more elegant and refined. I used the same track three ways; ‘Animales Hambrientos’ by Bebe [Cambio de Piel, Warner Spain]. This is useful because I don’t speak Spanish, so I can focus on vocal articulation. Rather than let my brain fill in the blanks in English words. It’s also an exceptional recording. I have it on CD, my home server, and most streaming services. The sound from all three was remarkably close. The disc player was the most expressive and immediate; arguably, the online services came last. The gap was close, though; closer than many can achieve.

Cohesive agility

There’s lots to like about the Technics SL-G700 Mk2’s sound. It tries hard not to have a sound of its own! It’s an agile and cohesive-sounding player. It can also deliver potent bass lines when called for and the deftest touch when required. The problem with describing sound quality in written terms is that it sounds like two different aspects of performance. However, Technics is adept at tying the sound together beautifully.

This is an excellent performer by Technics. It’s the perfect bridge between disc playing and streaming, doing both with equal grace and force. That ‘disc and streaming’ solution usually needs at least two boxes. Those that pull both together usually do so at great cost or by compromising the overall performance. The SL-G700 Mk2 doesn’t compromise!

Technical specifications

  • Type Network Streaming CD/SACD player
  • Disc formats Super Audio CD (2 ch area only), CD, CD-R, CD‑RW
  • Digital inputs Coaxial Digital × 1, Optical Digital × 1, USB-A × 2(Front/Rear), USB-B ×1, LAN 100 Base-TX, 10-Base T
  • Digital outputs Coaxial Digital × 1, Optical Digital × 1
  • Analogue outputs 1× pair RCA unbalanced, 1× pair XLR balanced, supports variable level output
  • Digital audio formats Super Audio CD (Single/Hybrid 2ch)/CD Playback, Network Supports to High-res Digital Audio Files Including MQA, MQA-CD Playback, Chromecast built-in™ Works with Google Assistant, Spotify Connect, Amazon Music, Deezer, TIDAL, Qobuz, Internet Radio, AirPlay 2, Bluetooth (AAC, SBC)
  • WiFi IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4 GHz/5 GHz Band
  • Digital precision PCM, to 32-bit, 384kHz, DSD to 11.2MHz
  • Frequency Response Super Audio CD: 2 Hz to 50 kHz (-3 dB)/CD: 2Hz to 20 kHz (-3 dB)
  • Dynamic Range Super Audio CD, balanced: 110db (IHF-A)/unbalanced: 110db (IHF-A) CD: balanced: 98db (IHF-A)/unbalanced: 98db (IHF-A)
  • Signal/Noise Ratio Super Audio CD: balanced: 121dB/unbalanced: 118dB, CD: balanced: 121dB/unbalanced: 118dB
  • Dimensions (W×H×D) 430 × 98 × 407 mm
  • Weight 12.3kg
  • Price £2,899.99




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