Marantz SLT-12

Marantz SLT-12U

1 9 6 3 1963
1 9 7 0 c.1970

Not the first linear tracker (cutting lathes were) but the earliest remembered.

Development started when Saul Marantz still was at the helm of Marantz, during the finishing of the Model 10 tuner.
The launch happened just before Superscope took over in 1964 but the development of these two models cost a lot to the small New York brand Marantz still was.
As far as I can see, no japanese brand had in 1962/63 started to think about a linear-tracking turntable : the first serious attempt was Matsushita's 100P in early 1966.

No ICs in the SLT-12, of course : all mechanics !

The arm is horizontally activated by two teeth gear and articulated free-swinging arms ; vertical balancing is done with a symmetrical arm hanging below the articulated arms with a counterweight added.

Pivot points are all made with sixteen precision stainless steel miniature 7-ball bearings so that the arm's movement is solely initiated by the disc's groove - or so said (wished) the literature !

The total weight of the actual tonearm, cartridge and fulcrum ensemble makes 14 grams.
Its movement is done with the big knob placed next to the arm's casing : press it, turn it left or right, release it.
"Its operation is so simple a child may use the SLT-12 without fear of damage" - an argument used again by Technics for its SL-10 in 1979.

The shaft is a tall & thick post with a spiral groove which allows lubrication oil to continuously flow up and down ; it rests on a tungsten-carbide bearing and supports a massive 5,8kg platter.
The belt is driven by an hysteresis-synchronous motor and the belt itself is (was) made of uscothane ; platter mat is plastic polyurethane foam.

When reaching the end of a record's side, the counterweight enters the field of a magnet which makes it go downward... thus moving the tonearm up automatically - Auto Stop.
And a muting function cuts the signal in or out when the tonearm is lifted up or down, too.

The SLT-12 is the original model, fitted with a Shure cartridge made by Shure on Marantz specs ; the SLT-12U really is the same turntable but free of pre-installed cartridge.

There also is on both versions a bubble level next to the tonearm, hidden in the black casing.

All in all... plenty of goodies but too heavy an engineering for such a fine goal : we're here far from the musicality and reliability of a Sony PS-X800, Yamaha PX-2 or Pioneer PL-L1 but - hey... this was 1963 !

The oldest export mention I could find of the SLT-12 is dated winter 1965.
The production didn't stop before Saul Marantz' withdrawal in 1968 but a precise date is difficult to find. It seems over-stocks were available here and there until about 1971.

A color photograph right here, alongwith lots of very informative info on other tangential turntables ; a real-life SLT-12U at hifi-do's.

Marantz SLT-12, image 1 Marantz SLT-12, image 2 Marantz SLT-12, image 3
Marantz SLT-12 specifications
Title Value
Platter : 5,8kg, non-magnetic
Motor : hysteresis synchronous
Belt : rectified uscothane
Speeds : 33 1/3 & 45rpm
Wow & flutter : < 0,04%
Noise floor : -112dB (1,4 cm/s, 100Hz)
Base : single-piece 5mm thick
4 point spring-suspended
Rotor : 18mm steel
Speed switch : 2-step pulley
Tonearm : tangential, 1g. tracking force preset
Tracking error :
Skating force : none when properly leveled
Supplied cartridge : elliptical diamond MM (5µ & 22µ)
Elasticity : 30.10-6 cm/dyne
Sensibility : (1,2mV / cm/s, 1Khz)
Separation : 30dB (1Khz)
Frequency response : 20Hz...20Khz (± 2dB)
PC : 15W
List price : 295$ (1963)
Features : sliding counterweight for higher tracking force
level bubble under the arm's cover
walnut base
optional dust cover
Marantz SLT-12 : 0 topic
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page online since : june 2005
page updated : september 2010
page type : LGT / KNB
page weight : 186.64 Kb / 0 b

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