Technics we all know from the iconic SL-1200 record player. A model that was introduced in 1972 and is still being manufactured today. Although, of course, there have been design changes. But did you know that the Japanese Technics – part of Panasonic – also has speakers in its product range? Perhaps you did, but chances are you didn’t know this yet. Time for a review of the Technics SB-G90. A 4000 euro per pair model
Although Technics is best known for the SL-1200, the brand once started in 1965 with a … yep … loudspeaker. However, the brand only broke through with a direct-drive turntable: the SP-10. This was the first table that allowed professionals to scratch and back-spin without the whole thing breaking down.
Its successor – the SL-1100 – was widely adopted by hip-hop artists, as it proved to be very sturdy. But enough about turntables. Here we are going to discuss the SB-G90 floorstander.
Big and heavy
The first thing that strikes us when we unpack the Technics is the weight. With 32 kilos on the scale, this floorstander is not easy to put in place. Also the size – 30 x 110 x 38 cm – makes it not a speaker for a small attic room.
Of course that weight comes from the thick cabinet (which has been neatly finished and is smoothly varnished!). And that’s a good thing, because a thick, heavy cabinet prevents resonances. And that in turn prevents annoying distortion. Whether it also worked, you can read in the measurements we took. Spoiler alert: the distortion of this SB-G90 is very low!
In the thick cabinet, three – actually four – units are processed. These are solidly disconnected and firmly screwed into the cabinet. At the top we see a coaxial unit with the metal dome tweeter in the middle and the midrange around it. This concept is also known from KEF and TAD, among others. These brands also have some shared history.
The philosophy of a coaxial unit is that it can be the perfect point source. If sound comes from one point, it feels more natural to us (there are no phase issues). So a coaxial unit has to make that happen. A brand that goes very far in terms of implementation, is, for example, Cabasse.
Under the coaxial unit, are two 16cm woofers. They pick up from about 32 Hz (-10 dB). The bass reflex port is at the rear. So a little distance from the wall is desirable. Especially considering the bass pressure that this Technics can realize.
So you have been able to read that this Technics is a big heavy, 3-way bass reflex speaker. So far so good. The nominal impedance is 4 Ohms and the continuous load 100 watts. 200 watts peak. That’s more than enough for many a living room. It takes about 40 watts to get it going. We estimate that a tube won’t go very well, but who knows with a heavier 300B it might work, considering the efficiency is still about 88 dB. That’s not super high, but it’s not low either.