Technics SL-1210MK2 repair and service. Wow!

First of all - wow! What a great machine this is.

This was the first time I had a chance to work on this brilliant Technics SL-1210MK2 turntable. And not just one but two!

A DJ customer brought two units which had multiple issues. Both of them needed new styluses and new RCA cables. One had a faulty pitch fader but it was decided that it is best to change both at the same time. One of them also needed a new light bulb.

So the work started as usual with a bit of cleaning and familiarising with how the device works. I was able to find a Service manual with full schematic online which always makes life much easier.

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It was fairly easy to open the whole thing and do a general inspection. You just have to be sure to safely remove the platter and turn the device over on a soft surface and keep the stylus arm safe. I used blankets folded many times and a thick book.

Once you remove the feet and the back cover, you are in and have instant access to the fader PCB. I was really lucky enough to be in the UK as there is a guy called Richard Talmage who bought the rights to the original fader design and is selling those faders brand new!

You can find them and a lot of other parts for these devices on his webpage:

Lightbulb assembly required a bit of fiddling and figuring out how it works. Some people change the original bulb with the LED but we thought it is best to keep it original as it would match the other unit and therefore keep the cost down. The challenge was to lubricate the assembly with high viscosity oil to keep the slow rising lightbulb assembly working well. This lead me through research to a 300 000 cSt silicone oil that is apparently used in shock absorbers in RC cars.

This restored the slow motion of the lightbulb beautifully.

Next part was to check all of the electrical points in the circuit and do the calibration. The calibration needs to be quite precise so you really need to have really good equipment in order to be able to do that properly. I had to use my 500 MHz oscilloscope as it had the most accurate frequency counter but a dedicated frequency counter would be the best tool for the job. The calibration procedure is described in the Service manual.

The last bit with changing parts was to swap the old RCA cables. Now, I know some people swear how the cables are super important and affect the sound and only the original cables should be used. After doing quite a bit of research and looking YouTube reviews of different RCA cables, I came to conclusion with the customer that we should put a replacement cable which was significantly cheaper and the difference of performance was negligible. Also, a new grounding wire with the new fork style crimp made the whole thing look and feel like new!

After the work has been done, lubrication of the main motor with the special oil and thorough clean, all that was necessary to do, was to install the new stylus and adjust the cartridge position and stylus weight.

The end result was to be seen and heard!

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