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Technics' affordable SL-100C record player is finally available to buy in the US

Technics SL-100C an affordable, entry-level turntable
(Image credit: Technics)

Technics is finally launching its entry-level SL-100C turntable in the US over 12 months after it was first released in Europe. 

As part of the brand’s game-changing SL range of decks, the SL-100C inherits many features of the popular Technics SL-1500C, which was itself a reinvention of the legendary SL-1200. Both models have the same iron-coreless direct-drive motor designed to avoid issues such as cogging and speed control, as well as a version of the company’s long-running S-shaped aluminium tonearm.

One of the key differences between the two is the price. At $1000 (£799, around AU$1737), the SL-100C is cheaper than its What Hi-Fi? award-winning predecessor by $200.

To achieve this affordable, entry-level price point, the SL-100C loses the phono stage of the SL-1500C and is also fitted with a different cartridge; in this case, Audio-Technica’s VM95C complete with a conical stylus plus an aluminium cantilever and coil.

The SL-100C features a high-rigidity cabinet and a high-damping insulator to help minimise vibrations. At the same time, Technic’s in-house developments in platter design are carried over with a two-layer structure combining deadened rubber and aluminium. 

First launched in 1972, the SL-1200 quickly won fans amongst DJs and audiophiles for its durability, ease of operation and powerful torque, selling 3.5 million units. The SL-1500C followed in 2019 with many of the same traits but aimed purely at domestic hi-fi-enthusiasts without features such as strobe marks on the platter, stylus lamp and pitch control.

In a statement about the latest iteration of the SL turntable, Bill Voss, the US Business Development Manager for Technics, said, “With the ongoing success of the multi-award-winning SL-1500C, the new, more affordable SL-100C is poised to take the lead as the most desirable $1000 coreless direct drive turntable on the market. 

“The SL-100C keeps the key performance attributes of the SL-1500C to reach a wider audience and is a welcome addition to the Technics Premium Class.” 

The SL-100C will be available in the US on Amazon (opens in new tab)from August 19th and on Technics’ website (opens in new tab), though the latter is currently showing stock as sold out.

MORE

Our pick of the best record players

Check out our five-star Technics SL-1500C review

Read our interview with Tetsuya Itani: The history of Technics by the man who helped shape it

Mary is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi? and has over a decade of experience working as a sound engineer mixing live events, music and theatre. Her mixing credits include productions at The National Theatre and in the West End, as well as original musicals composed by Mark Knopfler, Tori Amos, Guy Chambers, Howard Goodall and Dan Gillespie Sells.