HouseTechGuys Turntables Reviews Technics SL-1500C Review

This Technics SL-1500C review features a premium model from the brand’s lineup that combines classic traditions with modern improvements. The vinyl turntable has semi-automatic control, a direct-drive motor, and a built-in preamplifier for a more stable spin. It’s representative of the mid-range segment, bordering on premium. But you won’t need the extra investment unless you decide to improve the already excellent sound over time.


Technics SL-1500C features

The design is attractive and available in two colors (matte black and silver). But as I often say, weight is more important than looks. The SL-1500C turntable weighs 21.2 pounds. The diecast aluminum platter is also quite heavy at 4.5 pounds. Combined with the adjustable legs, this gives good anti-vibration stability. I even jumped next to the turntable, but the needle stayed in place. The coreless direct drive motor was borrowed from the SL-1200 and premium SL-1000R moguls, as it has proven to be excellent, showing a quiet, stable operation. It holds speed very well, and noise reduction is represented by springs and rubber.

Among the notable things I can mention is a highly sensitive S-shaped tonearm. This shape is considered optimal, as it helps the needle to get into the grooves clearly and, consequently, to capture the sound more clearly. Controls are push-button: start/stop and speed. In general, this turntable can be recommended even for an inexperienced user; it will have no problems, including its functionality.


Since the record player is semi-automatic, this means tonearm autolifting. Another aspect is designed to serve the inexperienced user or just to make life easier for even the experienced. Simply, when the track ends and you’re not near the turntable, the needle keeps moving across the record, scratching it. That said, you have to set the needle manually – a tribute to the tradition of vinyl.

As for the needle itself, the pre-installed Ortofon 2MRed cartridge is very good. It is often chosen as a replacement for lower quality ones because it combines cool characteristics and acceptable prices. That said, on the Ortofon website, you can choose to replace it with an even cooler cartridge (up to $1000) if you want to or when this one wears out. Also, the tonearm setup was not a problem; I’m sure any user can handle it.

The Technics SL-1500C has three spin speeds (33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM). I like not having to select certain records for my collection. A torque of 1.8 kg・cm accelerates a record (33 1/3) in 0.7 seconds. It’s a tribute to the direct drive that DJs love so much, but this model is intended for home use as it doesn’t have the right controls.


Technics SL-1500C sound

The Technics SL-1500C sounds great right out of the box. It keeps the sustain and speed of the record spinning for a very long time, and I didn’t notice any slowdown in the middle of a track, as is often the case with cheap belt turntables.

I really liked the built-in phono stage (Wow And Flutter 0.025% W.R.M.S.), although I don’t always recommend using an external one because even then, you’ll get more out of it than with the built-in.

The soundstage is wide, with very rich bass and great midrange, and the treble doesn’t ring out. The cartridge is very accurate; it doesn’t lose detail during playback. When I connected an external preamp and replaced the cartridge with a more expensive one from Ortofon, I realized that too much difference for most listeners; such a replacement would not make a noticeable difference. But I could hear it, so I turned on my favorite Nevermind album and sang along to Kurt, enjoying the sound of SL-1500C.

Key specs

  • Drive type: direct.
  • Operation type: semi-automatic.
  • Speeds, RPM: 33 1/3, 45, 78.
  • Phono Pre-Amp: yes.
  • Speakers: no.
  • Bluetooth: no.
  • USB: no.
  • Aux input: no.

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