New York -- Technics marked its 30th anniversary with the launch of its DVD-Audio lineup at a special event here. Several of the components are already shipping to dealers, while the rest will roll out between now and the end of August.
Sibling company Panasonic also announced several DVD-Audio products, shipping from this month through November. (See TWICE, June 26, p. 1.)
Helping the two Matsushita subsidiaries celebrate their product launches was Warner Music executive VP Jordan Rost, who talked about the impressive sound quality possible with DVD-Audio. He declined, however, to reveal which software titles would be available, how much they would cost, and when they might be released.
The DVD-A10 DVD-Audio/Video player, slated to ship this month with a $1,199.95 price tag, features a new digital-to-analog converter that gives the player the ability to distinguish levels of sound using 24-bit quantization rather than the 16-bit maximum for CDs. The player incorporates both Dolby Digital and DTS decoders.
Technics developed Variable Gain Control Amplifier technology for the preamp. Instead of the conventional method of attenuating the input signal and then applying fixed gain again, VGCA uses a feedback circuit to adjust the amplifier's gain for attenuation.
The SA-DA10N and SA-DA8N receivers, both shipping in August for $799.95 and $599.95, were designed to take advantage of the full range of DVD-Audio. The company also pointed out that these receivers will complement a DVD-Video system.
The SB-T300 tower speakers, shipping now for $599.95 a pair, were designed by Technics specifically for DVD-Audio. They have a frequency range of up 70kHz, which is 30kHz higher than most Technics speakers.
The SB-AFC300 speaker, shipping now for $149.95 per unit, is rated at 200 watts maximum input.
Accompanying these products are several from Panasonic. The DVD-A7 DVD-Audio/Video player will start shipping this month for $999.95. It also has the Digital-To-Analog converter featured in the Technics DVD-A10, and it incorporates Dolby Digital and DTS decoders.
Expanding its line of portable DVD players, Panasonic introduced two portable DVD-Audio/Video players: the DVD-LA85, which has an LCD display and weighs 1.3 pounds, and the DVD-PA65, which does not have a display and weighs in a 0.7 pounds.
The LA85 will have a $1,599.95 price tag, and the PA65 will be $699.95. Both make use of a five-hour rechargeable battery pack, which is optional with the PA65. The LA85 has a 7-inch diagonal widescreen LCD monitor and front-firing stereo speakers.
On the same day, Denon announced plans to ship its first DVD-A/V player in July at a suggested $1,199. The DVD-3300 incorporates built-in 5.1-channel Dolby Digital and DTS decoders and component video outputs.