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The Technics SL-100C has been available in Europe for over a year and many vinyl afficionados have been waiting impatiently for a US relase. The wait is finally is over now! Starting August 19th 2022, it can finally be bought from Amazon.com.
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).
- 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.
- No auxiliary weight is included with the SL-100C.
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.