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Amplifier Technics SU-VX720 review

In the beginning there was Class A+, then there was NewClassA, NewClass A with Linear Feedback and Computer Drive followed by Class AA and Digital Direct Drive. This season’s variation on an increasingly hackneyed theme is MOS Class AA, whereby Technics’ tried-and-tested circuit has been spiced-up with a sprinkling of FETs (field effect transistors).

Otherwise the ?250 Technics SU-VX720 is a bundle of joy, bristling with bass, treble and balance controls, loudness, subsonic and stereo/mono options. Genuinely useful features include the motorised volume knob, and an independent record-out and input selector for MM/MC, three line sources and two tape decks. This is accessed via Technics’ system remote control which can also override the main selector and re-route tape, tuner and CD inputs via a series of local relays.

Incidentally, Class AA is rather similar to the current dumping principle employed by companies such as Quad and Deltec. Here a low-powered voltage amp determines the linearity of the amplifier as a whole while rugged current dumpers provide the muscle, the two being linked via a resistive bridge network. In this instance MOSFET’s rather than bipolar transistors are employed in the low-distortion voltage stage.

Sound quality

Undergoing the blind listening tests, this amp earned itself a mixed reaction. Some listeners appreciated the open, dynamic and expansive nature of its sound. It was able to reproduce difficult brass and string tones without hardening up, for example. Other listeners, by contrast, thought this was a rather ‘loud’ sounding amp, a loudness that influenced both the perspective and body of different instruments, such as the woody timbre of a violin.

But then Tracy Chapman’s acoustic guitar was clearly reproduced, and the entire piece applauded for its clarity. ‘The voice sounds more human but the sentiments still reekof self-pitying, guilt-ridden middle-class American angst’ offered one listener by way of explanation. Indeed.

However, others interpreted the sounds as slightly rough and forward, and Prokofiev’s Symphony was described as ‘a big sound trying to emerge from a constricted space’. The Paganini LP also lacked a sense of perspective with the violin and piano huddling in close proximity—a marked contrast with the very real distance commonly associated with this recording.

Conclusion

Flexible, powerful and, in material terms at least, very good value for money, nevertheless, the ambivalent feelings generated by the sound quality take recommendation.

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