Outstanding products still exist. The way Technics recently re-engineered the motor of their SL-1200G Direct Drive turntable is one shining example. Nowadays, Direct Drive motors are used everywhere and Technics could have bought one in. Or they could have asked Hanpin of Taiwan or a Chinese supplier to do 'em a cheap deal on a big order. Instead they have designed entirely their own dedicated turntable motor, platter and all else using the latest materials and technologies, all built in Japan.
We had to be impressed at Hi-Fi World. Our measurements revealed a performance unmatched elsewhere. What more could you ask for than one of the world's top CE companies to apply this much investment and dedication to a hi-fi turntable. Unsurprising then that the Timestep Technics SL-1200GR should receive one of our World Awards for 2017. Simply outstanding.
Similarly, Chord Electronics could have taken the easy and obvious route to producing digital replay products, but instead they took the hard way, designing the crucial digital-to-analogue convertor chip in-house. Few companies in the world are able to do this and – better – our measurements show that Chord's convertor is ahead of almost all others. Outstanding is the only way you can describe such successful effort. No wonder Hugo 2 gains a World Award for 2017.
And finally, on the issue of unique and outstanding technologies dedicated to the art of high quality audio reproduction I come to Martin Logan and their fabulous XStat electrostatic loudspeaker panel. Loudspeakers remain the most contentious subject in audio, but where most manufacturers put drive units in boxes, Martin Logan offer a solution that's quite different. Their Classic ESL9 was a stunning product that moved the art of audio ahead in 2017. Again, here's a unique and technologically outstanding product that fully deserves a World Award for 2017.
I hope you enjoy our annual World Awards issue that brings you the best of what you can buy and enjoy today – and may be classic tomorrow.