Technics logo on an SL-100C turntable

Buying a Technics SL-100C turntable in the US

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It’s been almost a year since the Technics SL-100C was announced and this model is still not available in the USA. Find out more about this model here and how you can buy one!

Technics SL-100C and SL-1500C similarities

The SL-100C and SL-1500C are pretty much identical direct drive hifi turntables (save for a few important differences), similar to the SL-1200 MK7, but without DJ oriented featuers such as a strobe light, needle light or pitch fader.

VTA adjustment works a little different from the SL-1200s. Instead of turning the base of the tonearm for on the fly adjustment, the SL-100C and SL-1500C tonarms have to be pulled up or pushed down by hand. This may have been necessary to allow for implementing the auto-lift mechanism (just a lift, these are not semi-automatic turntables).

The SL-100C and 1500C both have a hinged dustcover, unlike the SL-1200 MK7, which comes with no hinges (and no simple way to install any).

Technics SL-100C and SL-1500C differences

While these turntables are very similar, as the SL-100C is based on the SL-1500C, there are a couple of differences:

  • The most important: the SL-100C does not have a phono-preamp. You have to use an external preamp. This is not a problem for many users, as it allows to choose a phono pre that is a perfect match for whatever cartridge one is using. The SL-1500Cs preamp is spec’d at a 56 kΩ / 390 pF, which makes it tricky to find modern catridges that would be a good match.

  • The 100C comes with a AT-VM95C phono cartridge, while the 1500C has an Ortofon 2M Red. Both cartridges can easily be upgraded, but the VM-95C has an extremely affordable upgrade path and can be upgraded to the popular AT-VM95ML with a simple stylus change (read more about the AT-VM95ML here).

    AT-VM95C cartridge on a Technics SL-100C turntable

  • The SL-1500C is available in two color ways: silver and black. So far the SL-100C only comes in black, but with silver tonearm and buttons for a nice contrast.

    Contrasting silver buttons on a black Technics SL-100C turntable

  • No auxiliary weight is included with the SL-100C.

Buying the Technics SL-100C from Europe

Importing a Technics SL-100C from Europe is as easy as it gets. It’s available on Amazon Germany (link: Technics SL-100C on german Amazon), which allows orders from the United States of America.

Amazon’s shipping rates are very affordable and the exchange rate is really amazing these days, so this is a great opportunity to buy gear from Europe!

The model sold in Europe works fine on the US power grid, as it is spec’d for 110–240 V, 50 / 60 Hz – no voltage transformer required. All you need is a power cord compatible with American outlets.

What if I get a faulty turntable?

Although the SL-100C is a great record player, defects and faults are not unheard of. Luckily, returning the product in case of an issue is not a problem when buying from Amazon. I heard they even reimburse the shipping costs.

Cartridge upgrade for Technics SL-100C

While the stock cartridge is easy to upgrade, some may want to invest in an even better one. The Audio Technica AT33PTG/2 is a moving coil cartridge that should be an excellent match.

Which alignment protractor for a Technics SL-100C turntable?

The stock alignment on this model (which is identical with the alignment used on the SL-1500C and SL-1200 MK2 and following versions) is based on Stevenson with JIS groove specifications. Technics specifies the offset angle as well as the overhang and effective length, so it’s easy to generate a custom arc protractor for a perfect match: Technics SL-100C cartridge alignment protractor

If you prefer a 2-point protractor, this should do the trick: 2-point protractor for Technics turntables

Of course it’s not necessary to stick with the stock alignment. If you prefer other alignment strategies such as Baerwald or Löfgren, simply set the protractor generator accordingly. It’s probably best to stick to JIS or DIN groove specs for alignments that require a lot of overhang.