Technics SL-1500C Turntable Review & Comments

Coulson

Well-known Member
I grew up wishing I could afford a couple of SL12's but things change. Still I still love the idea of them and because of that I don't like this turntable at all, especially the way it looks. It's not classic, it's frumpy!. If I was still into all of this I would have a couple of SL12's for work/play and maybe a Rega for listening.

Mostly irrelevant I know, but that's how strongly I'm tied to this range.
 
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TarPot

Well-known Member
Thanks for the review, Ed. It's come at a perfect time as I'm "kicking the tyres" on this deck.

I've been using a 1960's Lenco with a Linn basik arm for the last ten years, which I've liked very much. But I've recently wanted a set and forget deck.

I'm currently playing with a Audio Technica LP5 with an Audio Technica AT-VM95ML with the HS6 headshell and am extremely impressed with sound quality and with it's ability to track spot on until the end of the record. Something my Lenco struggled with (no doubt down to my set up of it and cart/stylus). I'm running the LP5 through a Rega Fono MKIII.

But the LP5 feels a bit cheap and I wanted the ease of use of the LP5 with something with a bit more quality.

Would using my Audio Technica AT-VM95ML on the Technics be better than the 2M Red? I'm personally very impressed with the AT.

How would the Rega Fono compare to the built in phono stage of the Technics?

Any thoughts here would be much appreciated.
 

The Nightfly

Active Member
Does every piece of HiFi equipment have to have a 9 rating?

Wouldn't it be better and more informative if something that was average amongst it's piers received a 5, not forgetting that it's statistically impossible for everything to be above average ;)
 

bogart99

Active Member
Very interesting the point regarding pitch controls. Going back to my old Garrard 401, with SME 3009 arm, I never used the pitch control at all. I could never discern any difference, except at the instant of altering the control. Often wish I had not sold it, even if for only the monetary value
my god some are pricey now!
 

Coulson

Well-known Member
Very interesting the point regarding pitch controls. Going back to my old Garrard 401, with SME 3009 arm, I never used the pitch control at all. I could never discern any difference, except at the instant of altering the control. Often wish I had not sold it, even if for only the monetary value
my god some are pricey now!
The SL range are/were for DJs where (before computers made it easy) you could use it for matching BPMs between records on two or more decks. Hence the pitch controls.
 

MovieFan60

Well-known Member
Bought one of these at the weekend (the silver version) haven't set it up yet but this review has certainly confirmed I made the right decision with my purchase!
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
Does every piece of HiFi equipment have to have a 9 rating?

Wouldn't it be better and more informative if something that was average amongst it's piers received a 5, not forgetting that it's statistically impossible for everything to be above average ;)
It would be if we tested everything but we don't. I will write 48 product reviews for AVForums this year. As I don't enjoy issuing a kicking to stuff (the only person who could do that with the flair it needed was A.A Gill), I pre filter what we look at. I take the view that these 48 slots are better served bringing good product to people's attention but I appreciate that viewed without this context, that might not be obvious.
 

Khazul

Well-known Member
Does every piece of HiFi equipment have to have a 9 rating?

Wouldn't it be better and more informative if something that was average amongst it's piers received a 5, not forgetting that it's statistically impossible for everything to be above average ;)
The comment seems to be aimed purely at the sound and I would agree over the years that at a price point, you can always find a more pure sounding turntable (if in a suitable environment).

But as an overall package that is always good at its price point, very well made, reliable and seems to be a lot more tolerant of its environment in terms of still being able to deliver a great sound despite its environment rather than because of it, they have always been my turntables of choice. The only thing I would switch my current SL1210 for would probably be another better technics turntable, but as these are already very good - I don't really see that much gain to be had without spending silly money, so even blind without ever having even seen one of these never mind actually auditioning it properly, I would be really surprised if it didn't get a good score as then technics would have badly messed up compare to their usual product quality.

@Ed Selley - interesting you mention the 2m blue as a favourite. I personally think the bronze is the sweet spot of that range and is (to me at least) a worthwhile upgrade form the blue. I think you need the cartridge rather then just the stylus to get the most from it however as I believe the red and blue share a cartridge as do the bronze and black.
 

boabis

Active Member
It would be if we tested everything but we don't. I will write 48 product reviews for AVForums this year. As I don't enjoy issuing a kicking to stuff (the only person who could do that with the flair it needed was A.A Gill), I pre filter what we look at. I take the view that these 48 slots are better served bringing good product to people's attention but I appreciate that viewed without this context, that might not be obvious.
Can you review one of those Chinese knock-off Dansette turntables with built-in speakers?

“The speakers are made of tin foil and the tracking weight will destroy your 45s. Only a recommended badge”
 

IntelliVolume

Well-known Member
Being into music (and vinyl) my whole life and eventually owning a mobile DJ business (many moons ago -- late '80s into the early '90s; I still have all my 12" singles from that time!) I was one of the fortunate turntablists that got my start on dual 1200s and a Numark mixer in the middle. Once I lost interest in the DJing and "grew up," all my equipment -- including the 1200s, Numark mixer, professional Kenwood integrated amp and Becker speakers, along with lighting and fog effect gear -- was sold (MAJOR mistake) and life went on.

From there on out, I fell victim to the "CD craze," like everyone else, building my disc collection and leaving my vinyl to collect dust in the milk crates I used to keep them in when DJing -- and they stayed in those crates through several moves, including a cross-U.S. relocation. Fast-forward to a few years ago when the "vinyl resurgence" took hold, and I, like many others of my ilk and age, began to "rediscover" my LPs, 12" singles and 45RPM/7" singles, treating them to organizational storage (the singles arranged by genre and then by title of song alphabetically and the LPs arranged by genre and then alphabetized by band/artist name, on two different sides of a closet in the home I'm in now) and purchasing perhaps the most popular affordable deck since the beginning of this resurgence, Audio-Technica's AT-LP120-USB. Since that time, I have given deep cleanings to most of my vinyl and re-discovered some of the magic I had forgotten about lost in those richly-shining grooves of yesteryear...

In getting back to the point of my post in context of this Technics review, I, like many others across the world, were ECSTATIC when I learned Panasonic was going to re-introduce the SL1200 -- I mean, THAT'S the turntable I wanted, hands down. When I discovered how much they were charging for them -- $4K U.S. at the time -- I couldn't get one; that was way outside budget for a freelance writer, unfortunately. I have been happy with my "1200 clone," the AT-LP120, save for some minor quirks like a broken pop-up stylus light (the lamp burned out on me after a few weeks of usage out of the box) and an onboard preamp I don't use (plus that idiotic USB feature; when are they going to drop this already in favor of superior sound?) as well as a kind of "ringy" platter (want to replace the DJ-esque felt slip mat with a thick rubber one).

Why do I bring this up? I would love to get another Technics, as I feel like that's the brand "to aspire to" if you're not going super-high-end with a turntable, and now I read that the 1500 has been launched...I like it, though I would miss the strobe markings/light and the overall appearance of the DJ-esque decks like the LP120/1240 and its Hanpin clones.

Again, though, Panasonic has included a built-in phono preamp in this thing, and I'm wondering if this would, in any way, hinder performance to the point that the 1500 wouldn't sound much different than my LP120 running an Audio-Technica AT95e...

Any thoughts?
 

Stinger69

Active Member
Being into music (and vinyl) my whole life and eventually owning a mobile DJ business (many moons ago -- late '80s into the early '90s; I still have all my 12" singles from that time!) I was one of the fortunate turntablists that got my start on dual 1200s and a Numark mixer in the middle. Once I lost interest in the DJing and "grew up," all my equipment -- including the 1200s, Numark mixer, professional Kenwood integrated amp and Becker speakers, along with lighting and fog effect gear -- was sold (MAJOR mistake) and life went on.

From there on out, I fell victim to the "CD craze," like everyone else, building my disc collection and leaving my vinyl to collect dust in the milk crates I used to keep them in when DJing -- and they stayed in those crates through several moves, including a cross-U.S. relocation. Fast-forward to a few years ago when the "vinyl resurgence" took hold, and I, like many others of my ilk and age, began to "rediscover" my LPs, 12" singles and 45RPM/7" singles, treating them to organizational storage (the singles arranged by genre and then by title of song alphabetically and the LPs arranged by genre and then alphabetized by band/artist name, on two different sides of a closet in the home I'm in now) and purchasing perhaps the most popular affordable deck since the beginning of this resurgence, Audio-Technica's AT-LP120-USB. Since that time, I have given deep cleanings to most of my vinyl and re-discovered some of the magic I had forgotten about lost in those richly-shining grooves of yesteryear...

In getting back to the point of my post in context of this Technics review, I, like many others across the world, were ECSTATIC when I learned Panasonic was going to re-introduce the SL1200 -- I mean, THAT'S the turntable I wanted, hands down. When I discovered how much they were charging for them -- $4K U.S. at the time -- I couldn't get one; that was way outside budget for a freelance writer, unfortunately. I have been happy with my "1200 clone," the AT-LP120, save for some minor quirks like a broken pop-up stylus light (the lamp burned out on me after a few weeks of usage out of the box) and an onboard preamp I don't use (plus that idiotic USB feature; when are they going to drop this already in favor of superior sound?) as well as a kind of "ringy" platter (want to replace the DJ-esque felt slip mat with a thick rubber one).

Why do I bring this up? I would love to get another Technics, as I feel like that's the brand "to aspire to" if you're not going super-high-end with a turntable, and now I read that the 1500 has been launched...I like it, though I would miss the strobe markings/light and the overall appearance of the DJ-esque decks like the LP120/1240 and its Hanpin clones.

Again, though, Panasonic has included a built-in phono preamp in this thing, and I'm wondering if this would, in any way, hinder performance to the point that the 1500 wouldn't sound much different than my LP120 running an Audio-Technica AT95e...

Any thoughts?
In the review I think Ed says something along the lines of the built in preamp being up there with a separate preamp in the region of £200. I would imagine that it would be a very nice upgrade to the LP120's preamp.

Andy
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
In concept I like the turntable - latest technology, all new tooling, complete redesign while maintaining familiar aesthetics. But the price seems a bit steep, from what I can gather about £1000 UK and about $1399 USA. In that price range there are a lot of turntables to choose from.

And given that they dropped all the features that are only of use to DJs, shouldn't the price be significantly lower than the DJ version? I think the SL-1200MK7 has a suggested retail of about £1200. So, all those extra electronics in the DJ-Version are only worth £200?

Though on a quick search I did find the SL-1500C from Peter Tyson for £899, so perhaps my price objections are not a strong as implied.

Technics SL1500 Turntable

I'm sure this is a good turntable, and probably far more suited to the Home Market, but the prices on all the new Technics turntables seems a bit excessive, though as the product is out a while, the price seem to be coming down, and they do seem to be selling a lot of them, so obviously the Technics fans don't object to the price.

Again, I suspect very good turntables, and give that I found one for £899, my objection to the price has softened considerably; not gone but certainly softened.

They are all certainly sharp looking turntables.

Steve/bluewizard
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
The list price is £899 as noted at the top of the review. The SL-1200GR is £1,300 and the SL-1200Mk7 is £799 which, considering it includes neither cart nor phono stage, makes the 1500 look pretty solid value.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Does every piece of HiFi equipment have to have a 9 rating? ...
Just to be clear, I'm not a moderator and I'm not an official AVForum Reviewer, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

There is an element of context to reviews. To illustrate a £500 "thing" that receives a rating of 9 is not the equivalent of a £5,000 "thing" that receiver the same rating of 9.

Then the same principle can apply to "what the Thing does". A rating of 9 to a full featured amp is not the same as a rating of 9 to a very minimalist amp of the same price. They each do different things, and are rated relative to other things that do the same thing.

And not all things receive an across the board rating of 9, I've seen 7 and 8's, and I'm pretty sure I have seen some 10's.

Then we have the context of the Review. Does a scale of 10, to the Reviewer, mean 5 is average, below 5 below average, and above 5 is above average? That is certainly one valid perspective, but not the only conceivable perspective.

Still if the Mods or Review want to respond, I will certainly defer to their opinions.

And you are certainly entitled to your opinion on the matter.

Steve/bluewizard
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
The list price is £899 as noted at the top of the review. ....
If it is there I'm not seeing it and I scanned the Review 3 or 4 times. The best I could find was "...under £1000...". Still, we have established that the actual selling price is £899, which doesn't seem that bad, if this the type of turntable appeals to you.

EDITED: OK, I see it now. I did a page search for 899, and it is right under the top photograph in a green bar on the right. Sorry I missed that.

I wish they had left the Strobe and given a minor speed trim. Though I suspect the motor are very accurate, and doesn't really need those features. Still, the strobe looks cool.

Steve/bluewizard
 

Khazul

Well-known Member
Why do I bring this up? I would love to get another Technics, as I feel like that's the brand "to aspire to" if you're not going super-high-end with a turntable, and now I read that the 1500 has been launched...I like it, though I would miss the strobe markings/light and the overall appearance of the DJ-esque decks like the LP120/1240 and its Hanpin clones.
There is the SL1210 Mk7 if you want DJ features, but still pricey if you want a pair of them. I think I paid around 500 each for my pair of 1210 mk5 decks new (without cartridge). I learned my lessons of the past and didn't sell when I quit DJing this time round :)
 

IntelliVolume

Well-known Member
In the review I think Ed says something along the lines of the built in preamp being up there with a separate preamp in the region of £200. I would imagine that it would be a very nice upgrade to the LP120's preamp.

Andy
Oh, I don't use the preamp in my LP120, Andy; it's bypassed so I can use my stereo receiver's onboard amp...
 

IntelliVolume

Well-known Member
There is the SL1210 Mk7 if you want DJ features, but still pricey if you want a pair of them. I think I paid around 500 each for my pair of 1210 mk5 decks new (without cartridge). I learned my lessons of the past and didn't sell when I quit DJing this time round :)
No, I'd only be buying one for the home two-channel system...

My days of turntablist skills are in the past.
 

jan2897

Member
Does every piece of HiFi equipment have to have a 9 rating?

Wouldn't it be better and more informative if something that was average amongst it's piers received a 5, not forgetting that it's statistically impossible for everything to be above average ;)
I would have loved a Technica SL1200
Does every piece of HiFi equipment have to have a 9 rating?

Wouldn't it be better and more informative if something that was average amongst it's piers received a 5, not forgetting that it's statistically impossible for everything to be above average ;)
I would have loved a Technica SL1200 but as finances at the time were tight I purchased a Lenco Quartz L-3807 and although it's obviously not in the same league as the Technics it looks exactly the same, being a Chinese copy and for my elderly ears is more than acceptable. When I was much younger my dream turntable was a Linn Sondek LP12 but they were far too expensive for me to afford at the time. I've purchased a replacement stylus for my Lenco from AliExpress which cost less than £20 and was purchased purely to see what difference it makes to the sound. This cheap stylus has in fact received excellent reviews so I am looking forward to seeing what difference it makes.
 

Josias1975

Novice Member
I am using an SL1210MKii for my vinyl needs. I have a pair since my few years of trying to DJ. I bought them around 1998 and they still work like a dream. Has anyone got any recommendations on a suitable cartridge and stylus for hi-fi listening? I have only just started using it as part of my stereo set up but still have the Stanton cartridge in it.
 

TarPot

Well-known Member
I got the SL-1500c yesterday and am very happy with it.

I wasn't too impressed with Ortofon, so fitted an Audio Technica AT-VM95ML. Much better.
 

Popolos

Novice Member
Would using my Audio Technica AT-VM95ML on the Technics be better than the 2M Red? I'm personally very impressed with the AT.
Definitively
I've recently acquired a SL-1210Mk2, equipped it with an available 2M Red. Then changed to the VM95SH. It performs way better.
 

Timbo21

Well-known Member
I wonder if Technics will be able to make a straight platter on this one with no warps.

That's something they have struggled with on the G & GR.
 

jjgreenwood

Well-known Member
Just to be clear, I'm not a moderator and I'm not an official AVForum Reviewer, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

There is an element of context to reviews. To illustrate a £500 "thing" that receives a rating of 9 is not the equivalent of a £5,000 "thing" that receiver the same rating of 9.

Then the same principle can apply to "what the Thing does". A rating of 9 to a full featured amp is not the same as a rating of 9 to a very minimalist amp of the same price. They each do different things, and are rated relative to other things that do the same thing.

And not all things receive an across the board rating of 9, I've seen 7 and 8's, and I'm pretty sure I have seen some 10's.

Then we have the context of the Review. Does a scale of 10, to the Reviewer, mean 5 is average, below 5 below average, and above 5 is above average? That is certainly one valid perspective, but not the only conceivable perspective.

Still if the Mods or Review want to respond, I will certainly defer to their opinions.

And you are certainly entitled to your opinion on the matter.

Steve/bluewizard
I understand your post but I don't think I've ever seen sound equipment hammered by someone marking it less than 6, perhaps maybe what hifi when the new technics equipment was first launched. I think the poster has a relevant point as most Hi-Fi high marks are awarded to pretty much all new product these days.

Part of the problem is this functionality you refer to. Hi-Fi is supposed to be the quest for high fidelity and not the feature dump and a corresponding mark.

I get that this is much harder these days with all the new tech. I really don't feel like we get the true picture in these reviews though. For example is a Marantz ND8006/PM8006 combo better than a naim uniti atom for high fidelity sound? There isn't anywhere on the web that can answer that question. As Ed has reviewed the Naim and not the Marantz are we to assume it is?

I also suspect marketing and availability of product samples plays a large role in these questions.
 

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