- Technics SL-10
Although the SL-10 was not the first linear-tracking turntable (the
Marantz SLT-12was, in 1964) nor the first fully automatic linear-tracking deck (the Bang and Olufsen had this convenience in 1972), it was the first of its kind to feature direct drive, itself a Technics innovation dating back to 1969 with the SP-10 Mk I. It, along with its fully programmable stablemate the SL-15, also was able to penetrate the consumer electronics market much more effectively than any preceding it and spawned a wave of imitators throughout the 1980's, along with many derivations by Technics itself.
Unlike many of the inexpensive copycat designs that followed it, the SL-10 was not made of lightweight plastic but instead was cast out of aluminum and weighed 6.5 kilograms. Designed as an "engineering statement" product (but also one intended for volume sales), the SL-10 was unlike any turntable before it. Its chassis was the same size as a regular LP album jacket and its styling was rather severe in its nature, doing away with the large plinth, visible tonearm and general bulk associated with conventional radial-tracking turntables that the public had been familiar with up to that point. In an effort to extract very high sound quality from the SL-10 (which, like many linear-tracking turntables did not use a standard 0.5-inch cartridge, but a P-mount instead) it came equipped from the factory with the Technics EPS-310MC moving-coil cartridge, one which is regarded by many as being the finest cartridge ever made by Technics, with some going as far as to consider it one of the best cartridges ever made overall. Due to the low output of a typical moving-coil cartridge, the SL-10 included a built-in, bypassable step-up preamp to allow it to be used with standard phono inputs on amplifiers, although many audiophiles prefer to bypass this preamp and use a higher-quality outboard unit. The SL-10 was also capable of being powered by an external DC power adapter if using the standard AC power supply was undesirable. The motor was also quartz-locked, providing consistently accurate rotational speed.
Another feature of the SL-10, and perhaps its most striking, was its unique ability to play a record on its side, standing up, upside down or mounted to a wall. This was achieved by the SL-10's internal disc clamp, which held the record to the platter firmly when the lid was closed, thus allowing the tonearm to track the record without issue. Optimum sound quality, however, was achieved when the unit was placed flat. The disc clamp also improved sound quality and tracking ability, particularly on warped records by pressing the disc flat against the platter and reducing induced vibrations.
Bang and Olufsenlinear-tracking turntables before it, the SL-10 used an optoelectronic sensor to determine disc size and track location, allowing almost CD-like controllability. Instead of having to lift the tonearm and carefully position it over the track gap preceding the desired track, one could simply press the 'next track' button until the desired track was selected and tonearm would automatically lift, move over and drop. It could even automatically detect whether a record was designed for play at 33 or 45 RPM, and had a built-in pop-up adapter for 45 RPM 7" singles.
"Replacement Cartridges": The original Technics EPS-310MC moving-coil cartridge was designed to be replaced in whole. You can not remove the needle/stylus for replacement. The original cartridge is no longer available as new on the market. Older original cartridges are not considered reliable for usage today due to degradation of the moving coil. You can use almost any cartridge designed for P-mount/T4P turntables. Most online recommendations are for either [http://www.audio-technica.com/world_map/
Audio Technica] or [http://www.ortofon.com/ Ortofon] .
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