Oh - I wish I never saw this. For me, it is the final and decisive nail in the coffin with Technics inscription on it.
I DO understand that manufacturers have to make ends meet, that they are in buiness because of business and not because of proving the right cause .
Technics did , more than anyone else, push the limit of the possible. If anyone of you harbour the notion of Technics being "an inferiour Japanese brand producing mass consumption plastic junk" - think again. And think HARD . Because your high pitched snobbery inclined nose is likely to get bloody after seeing the facts. In almost any audio category, Technics used to have a product there at least with rhe best of them; in quite a few, they were producing the pinnacle of the very best that was ever available. Just google what SE-A1 was/is - the list goes on, almost without an end.
But turning scientific and technical supremacy in $ is another matter. As late as 1996, Technics introduced one of its best creations, the RS-AZ 6/7 casette deck.
It is one of the handful of cassette decks capable of sound quality of which an average high heeled audiophile is absolutely unaware that so high SQ can be coming from cassette, let alone a Technics. Nakamichi "snobs" - it is up there, if not better - at least with the metal tape. And it DOES smoke anything else I have ever heard in the bass, including any reel to reel recorder ever produced.
Its service manual has some 60 pages. There IS more electronics in this deck than on average in entire high end systems. It IS hard to align an analog recorder, it has to be done manually on the assembly line - to each and every sample. To sum things up - it is a reserch and development, materials and labour intensive product.
Technics found, the hard way, they can sell CD players "with comparably to the RS AZ series deck almost nothing in it " much better than cassette decks. Despite cassette deck being tour de force design and CD player(s) being mere "also runs" in comparison.
After all is said is done, I do understand why Matsu****a phased out the Technics name around Y2K. But disgracing the memory of the people that in the past did contribute so much to the state of the audio art by introducing the SL-700 with the Technics badge on it - that is a straw too far.