I agree.. There are sooo many wood plinth with visible rubber belt designs. ..It's really hard to imagine that so long as the arms are reasonably free of play and friction that any one sounds or feels (operationally) all that different from the other But the SL1500 is something different. I hope it is built exactly like my SL-1210GR - metal top-plate, heavy composite base, same excellent arm - just lacking the strobe dots, speed slider, etc.. That would give it a fit/ finish and feel that none of the projects, regas and thorens that I've seen could match. AND speed accuracy and stability rivaling a cd-player. Wow.