Battery backup vs. generators, the excellent Technics SA-C600 Compact Network CD Receiver (Week 33, 2023)

Sound Advice
By Don Lindich

Week 33, 2023

Q. You recently wrote about a power pack for use when camping or during emergencies. Does it generate its own power, or does it have to be charged first? I was a bit confused after reading about it in several places. It seems to me that it does need to be charged from an external source before use.

-K.L., St. Paul, MN

A. The Lumopal 300 is a rechargeable power pack, and it comes with an AC charger. If you fully charge it and then top it off once a month it should be near 100% capacity whenever you need it. You may be able to find a solar panel capable of charging it as well, as solar panels paired with these large battery packs with AC outlets are becoming increasingly common.

Technics Compact Network CD Receiver SA-C600: The Technics SC-C70 All-in-One Music System is one of the most popular audio products I have ever reviewed in this column. I described the high-tech SC-C70 as providing the big sound of a full-sized, high-end audio system, but from a single component that oozed quality and luxury. Readers were as enthusiastic as I was and filled my inbox with praise for the product. Component audio system fans can now celebrate as well, as Technics has brought the brilliance and performance of the SC-C70 to a new product that serves as the heart of a high-end component system.

The $1,099.95 SA-C600 incorporates a full-featured 40-watt amplifier that uses Technics’ high-end digital amplification technology, a CD player, and a network player. Multiple external inputs are provided, including a moving magnet phono input. I saw the SA-C600 at the 2023 AXPONA show and was able to review one for 30 days afterwards. The SA-C600 is exactly what those wanting great sound but with a small form factor are looking for. It drives speakers with tremendous clarity and precision, aided by the room correction technology that uses your phone to optimize the sound to room acoustics. There is far more to tell about the technology and capability than I can in a 600-word weekly column, so if you want to learn more details I suggest visiting the Technics website.

It may seem to be a stretch to make the case to the average consumer that an $1,100 component represents an excellent value, but I can easily do so with the Technics SA-C600. A top-notch receiver with a phono input and advanced room correction technology can easily cost $1,000. A top-notch network player can easily cost $1,000. A top-notch CD player can easily cost $1,000. The SA–C600 gives you all three of these components, melded into a single chassis with luxury styling and construction quality, for $1099.95.

If you want to build a system around the SA-C600 you will need speakers, and a good place to start is the $1,099.95 SB-C600 speakers from Technics, which are sonically and visually matched to the SA-C600. Working our way down the price scale, you could also use the $950 Focal Theva No. 1, and I spent a lot of time with the SA-C600 connected to the $599.98 SVS Prime Bookshelf and it is a fantastic combination. The $279 Emotiva Airmotiv B1+ are an excellent match under $300. Given the excellence of the SA-C600, it is worth starting with modest speakers to get your foot in the door with the goal of upgrading to better speakers later. The quality amplification and room correction of the 600 will bring out the best in any good speaker that you use with it. Just check the power requirements to ensure it is a match to the amplifier’s power output.