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Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver Review – Aesthetics in sound and design

Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver, this solution from Panasonic Corporation once again impressively demonstrates how compact and flexible state-of-the-art hi-fi solutions can be these days. The fact that we are dealing with a system of the Technics brand, which is assigned here to the Technics Premium Class Series, can be understood as a promise, because the product series of the Japanese specialist bears this name quite rightly, as we would like to reveal in the introduction as a small anticipation of our conclusion.

Speaking of which, let’s get this straight right from the start: the Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver, together with the Technics SB-C600 Bookshelf Speakers, forms the so-called Technics Premium Class C600 Series, and it has been given a very special task.

Technics Premium Class C600 Series – A gap is closed

There is no doubt that Panasonic Corporation has a remarkable range of products under the Technics brand. It is all the more interesting that the Japanese specialist has identified a gap in its product range, namely between the all-in-one systems of the Technics Premium Class Series and the individual components of the product lines Technics Premium Class C700 Series and Technics Grand Class G700 Series.

It is precisely this gap that the new Technics Premium Class C600 Series is intended to fill, as already mentioned, in the form of the Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver and its Technics SB-C600 Bookshelf Speaker, which is optimally matched to this solution. A dream couple, we can also reveal that already…

Focused on the essentials

With the Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver, Panasonic Corporation is clearly responding to a trend that has been observed for several years. For many music lovers, the most important feature of an audio solution is the best possible quality, but in many cases they are no longer prepared to invest in elaborate hi-fi chains and gear their equipment to them.

They prefer a system that is limited to a few components and a solution that can be easily integrated into the living environment.

However, the fact that a maximum of flexibility is also desired must also be mentioned; the development in recent years towards a networked world of consumer electronics, in which more and more mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets are becoming the central component for media consumption, naturally plays a significant role here.

With that said, you can probably already get a rough idea of what the Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver has to offer in terms of functionality and how it is designed, because the Japanese company Panasonic Corporation is convinced that it should meet precisely these outlined requirements in the best possible way.

Foto © Panasonic Corporation | Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver Review
Foto © Panasonic Corporation | Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver Review

Very elegant in appearance

But let’s start our detailed examination of the Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver with the most obvious, its appearance, which can clearly be described as very, very elegant.

Panasonic Corporation has always been very keen that solutions of the Technics brand present themselves as systems in the premium segment of consumer electronics at first glance, and this is of course also the case with the Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver.

The design line chosen by the developers can be described as futuristic, because it has hardly anything in common with a classic hi-fi component.

The very solidly constructed housing of the Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver, which is impeccably finished down to the last detail, presents itself as a so-called desktop audio system, so it should not disappear in a classic hi-fi rack. This is ensured by the fact that the CD drive is located on the top of the unit, which means that access must be guaranteed from above. The standby button and two other buttons for controlling the volume can also be found here.

The top plate is made of brushed aluminium, with a choice of silver or black. A good quarter of the top side, however, is taken up by cooling openings, which also lend the design a very attractive contrast.

The slightly ribbed black front is adorned first and foremost with a centrally arranged, generously proportioned display that always keeps all the essential parameters easily readable for the user and that also functions as a central control element for direct control of the unit via a sensor field. In addition, there is only one USB port and one connection for headphones. The rear panel has all the other connections, and there are quite a few of them here, but we will go into them in more detail in a moment.

Foto © Panasonic Corporation | Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver Review
Foto © Panasonic Corporation | Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver Review

Fully digital amplifier based on the Technics JENO engine

At the heart of the Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver is an amplifier that follows a very special concept, and which is virtually a classic feature of such a solution from the Technics brand.

The developers do not rely on Class D amplifiers with a familiar structure, but rather on a fully digital amplifier that uses proprietary technology developed entirely by Panasonic Corporation. The company refers to a fully digital amplifier with the so-called Technics JENO Engine, which stands for Jitter Elimination and Noise Shaping Optimisation.

From the manufacturer’s point of view, it is of great advantage to carry out the amplification solely on the digital level in order to guarantee full precision with the lowest noise and low distortion.

To achieve this, it is first necessary that all input signals are in digital form, so that analogue sources are converted into the digital world with a high-precision A/D converter with 24 bits and 192 kHz.

According to Panasonic Corporation, a critical point of fully digital amplifiers is the so-called jitter, i.e. fluctuations in the time intervals of digitally transmitted data. This jitter could lead to distortions if not effectively counteracted, and this is exactly where the Technics JENO engine, consisting of a low jitter sample rate converter and a delta-sigma converter, comes in.

Of course, the clock generator, which is the basis of the signal processing, is of utmost importance. This is also designed as a particularly low-jitter clock generator and has an extremely clean voltage supply. According to the manufacturer, the same noise suppression circuit is used as in the power supply of the Technics SL-1000R, the reference record player of the Technics brand.

Foto © Panasonic Corporation | Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver Review
Foto © Panasonic Corporation | Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver Review

Twin Power Supply Circuit System – Double power supply design

Another important point is the power supply as a whole, because this should provide the best possible conditions for all essential components, so that it was decided to use a separate power supply for the amplifier section of the Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver, which can operate completely independently of all other circuit sections and supplies two transformers. Even the wire connections to these transformers are, according to the manufacturer, optimised for lowest noise.

For the other components of the Technics SA-C600 Network CD receiver, such as the CD drive, the analogue and digital input stages and everything else, there is another power supply unit, so that here, too, care is taken to ensure that no negative influences occur between these and the amplifier circuitry, and thus to achieve the highest possible degree of clarity free of sound-damaging noise.

The Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver is capable of delivering two times 60 watts of power to speaker systems with an impedance of 4 ohms, this should be mentioned at this point. It should also be mentioned that there are solid screw terminals on the rear panel for connecting speaker systems and that an external subwoofer can also be connected via a cinch connection.

From CD and phono preamplifier to tuner and streaming

Let’s now take a look at the possibilities that the Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver offers the user, and there are truly many. Technics has developed this solution with the aim of offering the user the best possible flexibility, so that one can rely on all conceivable options that one might expect from a modern hi-fi system.

This starts with the fact that the Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver, as the name suggests and as we have already mentioned a few times, functions as an audio CD player, whereby the drive is a top loader. In addition to pure Red Book-compatible audio CDs, the Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver is also capable of playing so-called MQA CDs, which are occasionally available on the market, and which promise a significantly higher resolution with corresponding signal processing.

Another important option for many is the integrated tuner, which supports FM as well as DAB or DAB+. A connection for an external antenna guarantees the best possible reception.

For external sources, the Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver provides an analogue input in the form of a pair of RCA sockets as well as an optical and a coaxial S/PDIF interface for digital players.

The USB-B port on the rear panel deserves special mention, as it allows a PC or Mac to be used as a source, turning the Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver into an outstanding audio interface with USB Audio Class 2.0 and asynchronous data transfer.

Via a USB-A port on the front, corresponding storage media can be integrated as a source in order to play back audio data in a wide variety of formats.

Record lovers will be pleased to know that the Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver also has an integrated phono preamplifier, which is said to be a particularly high-quality solution that uses an amplifier stage or equalisation with its own power supply, has specially shielded circuits to prevent interference, and is designed for drives fitted with MM cartridge systems.

Technics SA C600 Network CD Receiver im Test 12Technics SA C600 Network CD Receiver im Test 13
Foto © Panasonic Corporation | Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver Review

Bluetooth for fast integration of mobile devices

A very important feature is, of course, the integrated Bluetooth module, which makes it particularly easy for the user to use mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets as a source. However, this is limited to the SBC and AAC codecs; codecs such as aptX or even aptX HD or LDAC are unfortunately not supported here.

Network integration for flexible streaming

Of course, the user gets the greatest flexibility when integrating the Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver into the network, for which two options are available. On the one hand, this can of course be done via cable and the receiver’s LAN interface, but also “wirelessly” via the WiFi module, which complies with IEEE 802.11ac and thus ultimately guarantees sufficiently high data rates even for streaming in hi-res audio.

To stream content via the dlna-certified Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver, the industry standard UPnP is the first choice, but Apple AirPlay 2 and Google Chromecast are also available. The Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver also supports Spotify, including Spotify Connect, and can access Deezer as well as TIDAL, Amazon Music and Internet Radio.

The central tool for streaming is the Technics Audio Center App, which the manufacturer provides for Apple iOS as well as for Google Android.

Hi-res audio DAC

Of course, we should not forget to mention the performance potential of the converter, because Panasonic Corporation does not show any weakness here. The D/A converter of the Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver is capable of processing signals in Linear PCM with up to 32 bits and 384 kHz. It also understands signals in DSD, whereby the spectrum reaches up to DSD256. It should also be explicitly mentioned that the new Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver can also decode signals encoded in lossy MQA, both for streaming and for playback of corresponding CDs.

Technics Space Tune – Optimally adapted to the room

The quality of even the finest hi-fi solution is ultimately determined by a very decisive factor that often receives far too little attention, namely the influence of the room in which the system is used.

Panasonic Corporation addresses this issue in a way that supports the user in the best possible way to deliver the best results. For this purpose, they offer Technics Space Tune, a very easy-to-use room measurement and room calibration solution, which is directly accessible via the already mentioned Technics Audio Center App.

Of course, with the Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver and the loudspeaker systems used with it, you should also give some thought to how to integrate them optimally into the room, i.e. how to guarantee the speakers the best possible operation for the full development of their sound potential. But not everything is always as optimal as it should be, and the premise, especially with compact audio systems, is that you should be able to integrate them as flexibly as possible into the living environment, instead of designing the living space around the hi-fi system.

And this is exactly where Technics Space Tune comes in, because it is supposed to guarantee the optimal adaptation to the spatial conditions and the installation site.

In the simplest case, you can determine here whether the speaker systems are to be placed “Free-standing”, “Close to the wall”, “Close to the corner” or “On the shelf”, because these are exactly the four presets that the app provides. What is exciting here is that you can set this separately for the left and right channel, a novelty on the market, because this is usually set the same for both speakers, even if it is not so in practice.

This alone compensates very well for inadequacies that simply result from the respective set-up.

The possibilities of the Technics Space Tune go even further, at least if you own a smartphone or tablet with Apple iOS, i.e. an Apple iPhone or Apple iPad. Then, with the help of the app, you can also take measurements and use them to compensate for any shortcomings in order to achieve the best possible performance quality.

However, this does not work for smartphones and tablets with Google Android, because in contrast to the hardware from Apple Corporation, the various smartphone and tablet models from different manufacturers use a wide variety of microphones, so that the developers from Panasonic Corporation cannot use a uniform reference.

From the practice

This brings us directly to our experiences with the Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver in practice, whereby we would first like to mention that for our test of this solution we naturally relied on the speaker systems of the Technics Premium Class C600 Series already mentioned in the introduction, the Technics SB-C600 Bookshelf Speaker.

Of course, the Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver could also be used with a variety of other compact bookshelf speaker systems; Panasonic Corporation quite deliberately decided to offer these separately and not alone as a package, in order to offer customers full flexibility in their configuration. It can be said, however, that the combination of Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver and Technics SB-C600 Bookshelf Speaker is a real dream team in the truest sense of the word.

This starts with the fact that these two components match each other perfectly, as they follow the same design line.

When the Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver and the Technics SB-C600 Bookshelf Speakers are placed in the living room, they make an impeccable impression; everything looks very, very chic and dignified. The feel and the handling of the receiver are also fully in line with the manufacturer’s high claim of offering a premium class solution.

Details such as the cover of the CD drive, which you gently slide aside to insert the disc and watch it turn, are all elements that delight the heart and simply give you the feeling that you have really treated yourself to something very fine.

Impressive performance

This impression is immediately reinforced when the first bars of music are played, because the sound produced by the Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver, especially in combination with the Technics SB-C600 Bookshelf Speakers, is extremely detailed, dynamically accurate and very naturally appealing.

The remarkable thing is that you have a very, very compact hi-fi system in front of you, which ultimately consists of nothing more than the extremely compact receiver (340 x 341 x 90 mm) and also very slim bookshelf speaker systems, and yet this solution performs as if it were an incomparably larger system.

It has thus obviously paid off that Panasonic Corporation packed into the Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver all the technology that the renowned Japanese company can offer in this field, coupled with decades of experience in the development of fine audio solutions.

Simple installation, simple operation

Of course, it must also be mentioned that such a solution is ready for use within a few minutes, because not much has to be installed. In the simplest case, the Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver is connected to the mains, the speakers are connected and the integration into the network is carried out. With the help of the app, you can optimise the performance according to your individual circumstances at the touch of a button, and it is also the app that, together with the remote control included in the scope of delivery, guarantees convenient, even intuitive control at all times.

The fact that you can also connect a wide variety of source devices, first and foremost a TV set, and thus do without a separate audio solution for appealing TV sound, should be explicitly mentioned. The manufacturer also points out that Technics turntables are a perfect optical match for the small HiFi chain of the Technics Premium Class C600 Series. Then there is actually nothing more that is missing for an extremely flexible hi-fi solution, from CD playback to radio, streaming in all imaginable variations, TV, and even records.

As a conclusion of our detailed test, we can highlight the following strengths of the Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver, which clearly lead to a recommendation of this solution: first of all, there is the extremely compact design, paired with a very appealing design and impeccable workmanship, the enormous flexibility, the well thought-out, simple operation, and above all, of course, the sound, which really inspires.

Prices and availability

The Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver is available from specialist dealers at a recommended retail price of € 999,- with a choice of black or silver finish.

Getting to the point

The Japanese hi-fi specialist Panasonic Corporation has packed into the Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver all the technology that has distinguished the Technics brand for years. This is especially remarkable in view of the fact that this is an extremely compact CD receiver that can easily find its place anywhere in the house and can be integrated famously into any living environment thanks to its very appealing design. The equipment with the most modern technology ensures that an enormous flexibility is achieved, but above all a remarkable sound, especially when this solution is used with the perfectly matching speakers of the Technics Premium Class C600 Series, the Technics SB-C600 Bookshelf Speaker. A solution that inspires without compromise and thus clearly occupies a top position in its class.

PRODUCTTECHNICS SA-C600 NETWORK CD RECEIVER
PriceTechnics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver € 999,-
Technics SB-C600 Bookshelf Speaker € 999,-
BrandTECHNICS
ManufacturerPanasonic Corporation
DistributionPanasonic Deutschland – Eine Division der Panasonic Marketing Europe GmbH
More about this manufacturer at HIFI BLOG

HiFiBLOG Award Outstanding

The Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver’s compact design, coupled with a very appealing design and impeccable workmanship, enormous flexibility, well thought-out, simple operation, and above all, of course, the fabulous sound, are what make it so appealing.


Foto © Panasonic Corporation | Technics SA-C600 Network CD Receiver Review

Test Environment

  • Technics SB-C600 Bookshelf Speaker
  • TIDAL HiFi
  • Apple iPhone 12
  • Apple iPad Air

[penci_review]

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Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and sempre-audio.at, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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