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Technics SL-1500C Turntable Review

Technics SL-1500C Turntable Review

➳ The Technics SL-1500C, first introduced in 2020, is a Hi-Fi / high fidelity listening model based on the legendary Technics SL-1200 DJ turntable. As people who have been following our story know, the SL-1200 is undoubtedly our favorite turntable. It is one of, if not the most reliable turntable on the market. Made in Technics' own factory in Japan (now Malaysia), all the parts (minus the cartridge) are custom-made and unique to the SL-1200. The sum result is a substantial, smooth running, beautifully designed piece of audio equipment.

1.0 Similarities Between the SL-1500C and SL-1200 Series

  1. Technics signature direct drive motor → Rather than a belt-drive, the SL-1500C uses a magnetically driven system. This provides higher torque, is more consistent,  and requires less maintenance. 
  2. S-Shaped tonearm → This design is another Technics signature. This precision part allows for several adjustments including anti-skate and height adjustment.
  3. Heavy steel platter with rubberized bottom → In addition to the direct drive motor, the key to 1500C's smooth operation is the heavy platter (weighs over 4 lbs). The underside of the platter features a dense rubber material which helps absorb unwanted distortions.
  4. Die-cast aluminum body → One of the most striking features of the SL turntables is its mass and solid feel. This is primarily due to the die-cast aluminum / ABS composite body. The (2) materials work in balance to achieve that feel.
  5. Details + Finish → Everything about the SL Series is thought-out and perfected. There isn't a weak spot. The dustcover hinges are metal and spring-loaded. The custom, height-adjustable feet also help to absorb unwanted vibrations. The buttons and controls have a great feel. The painted finish is high-end and durable.
1.1 → The recently re-designed SL direct drive motor
1.2 → the SL's signature S-Shaped tonearm. we like the headshell system because it's easier to swap cartridges.
1.3 → the underside of the platter features a dense rubber material to absorb unwanted distortions
1.5 → the details include metal, spring-loaded dustcover hinges; vibration absorbing feet

2.0 SL-1500C Differences - What Makes This A Listening Turntable?

  1. Includes a built-in preamp → this allows you to plug the turntable directly into any AUX input; this feature can also be bypassed
  2. Auto tonearm lift feature → raises the tonearm at the end of the record (this feature can be disabled); preserves cartridge stylus life
  3. Includes a pre-mounted Ortofon 2M Red Cartridge → the industry standard entry-level hifi cartridge
  4. Tonearm height control is a lift and lock system (vs. SL-1200's rotational system)
  5. Adds 78rpm speed in addition to standard 33/45rpm speeds
  6. No speed / pitch control (a DJ feature)
  7. Platter does not have strobe speed marking, no strobe light (one of the SL-1200's main features, not needed here because there is no pitch control)
  8. No DJ light
  9. Power button vs. power switch
  10. Price → the SL-1500C's $1199 price point (vs. SL-1200MK7's $999) probably reflects that the SL-1500C includes a built-in preamp (the MK7 does not), and includes a 2M Red Cartridge (the MK7 does not come with a cartridge). 
2.1-2.2 → 1) output for external phono preamps 2) preamp output 3) turns auto-lift on + off 
2.3 → the pre-mounted Ortofon 2M Red Cartridge; its stylus is easily upgradeable with 2M Blue or 2M Black stylus
2.4 → the SL-1500C's new tonearm height adjustment system

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