The Technics SL-23 is a common and very cool belt-drive deck from the late 70’s. I highly recommend the SL-23, ahead of early Rega, Dual and Thorens decks, for someone wanting a first ‘proper’ turntable.
Technics is of course best known for the SL-1200 range of direct-drive turntables, but they made a range of machines, at varying price-points.
The SL-23 is a quality, belt-driven turntable with a FG (frequency generator) servo-controlled DC motor with IC drive. It takes your basic belt-drive concept and adds Japanese engineering to take the quality and refinement to the next level.
The SL-23 features low rumble and wow & flutter. The S-shaped tonearm features automatic return/shut-off and has a moving magnet cartridge combined with the head-shell. This eliminates the need for cartridge alignment in two of the three axes.
It also somewhat limits the owner, unless of course he or she wishes to dispense with the integrated cartridge and head-shell. The deck also features a strobe and vernier adjustment of both 33 and 45 rpm speeds, a very nice touch. The SL-23 was also available as the SL-23K variant, with a black facia.
The images below show the various stages of disassembly and service involved in routine maintenance of the Technics SL-23. The deck is very easy to work on and doesn’t need much to keep it running well. If only all belt-drive decks were made like this little Technics!
Specifications courtesy of the Vinyl Engine:
Type: frequency generator servo turntable
Drive method: belt drive
Motor: DC motor
Turntable platter: aluminium die-cast
Speeds: 33 and 45rpm
Speed change: electronic
Pitch control: 6%
Wow and flutter: 0.05% WRMS
Tonearm: s-shaped tubular arm
Effective length: 220mm
Offset angle: 22 degrees
Stylus pressure range: 0 to 4g
Cartridge weight range: 3 to 8.5g
Dimensions: 135 x 428 x 348mm