several instructions like this on the net, all differing according to
the author(s). This is as far as possible based on the instructions in
the manuals. It should at least be interesting reading to any deck
owner, especially the part on general setup. For the mods and hacks, if
you're at all unsure about what you're doing, don't! Decks are too
expensive to learn on, find another subject for your first time
45 adapter: the standard included with the Technics is for
straight playback. The big hole in the 7" easily slips under the
adapter when working the small vinyls. If not, the adapter may stick to
the hole. It generally requires more attention than normal records and
is a bother. Conical adapters promise throw on/off ease of use. Some
suggests gluing up a 12" with guides to hold the 7" firmly in place.
There's some adapters out there that clips into the hole(picture), if you find one, you're in
luck. They're very handy, usually thrown in for free with an old 7" and
gives great scratchability!
On/off switch: Breaks off and goes off at the wrong time
when hands drags it off while backspinning. New models have a better
solution. Light is four 5mm red LED's, replaceable with any 5mm LED.
Start/stop switch: Startup time is specified to 0.7 seconds from
standstill to 33-1/3 rpm. Stop/brake force is adjustable on the vr201
trimpot, located on the motor PCB under the platter(picture).
It's normal for the stop time to vary a bit no matter how it's
it's consequently too little braking force or the platter goes
backwards instead of stopping, it's time to adjust it. Turn of the
table and disconnect the power cable if you want to be fail-safe. It's
important to never turn on a deck with the platter removed, it can be
destroyed. With the table off, remove the 2 kg platter. Remove the five
screws holding the plastic cover(picture),
locate the trimpot and make a tiny adjustment. Replace platter, turn
on, test brake force with slipmat and a regular vinyl, turn off and
make another adjustment. Repeat until you're satisfied. Manual says it
should stop within 90-120' angle (mk2 manual) or 30~210' angle (m3d
manual) after pressing the stop button. If you're very careful you can
access the trimpot through the holes in the platter, making small
adjustments a breeze without the hassle of removing the platter.
selector switches: Two 3mm red LED's replaceable with any 3mm LED.
target light: Incandescent lightbulb burns out, see replacement
instructions. Can also be replaced once and forever with a LED and
fader: A double circuit, one part is the normal fader and one is
the quartz lock and center click. At the center click a small spring
loaded ball slots into a hole in the fader, locking it physically in
place. At the same time two tracks in the fader short out. Those tracks
make the zero point a region where the fader is no longer active and
the clock runs at precise quartz lock no matter how bad the rest of the
fader can be. The LED is a 2x5mm square that can be replaced when you
find the right size in your desired color. It's got two adjustments.
See the pitch
center click removal instructions for general access and
zero point can be set by tweaking vr302 on the pitch fader PCB(picture). If it's wrong
it'll give a double zero spot on the fader, one on the fader it self
and one on the quartz lock center click. If you remove the zero region
by removing the wires from the quartz lock this will never happen but
it will probably still need adjustment.
The pitch gain control adjustment, vr301 on the motor PCB(picture) governs the
range of the pitch fader. Set the table at 6% and adjust until the dots
on the platter is still at 6%, then do 3%, -3% and so on until you
settle on a desired compromise between the results you'll get. Or wack
it open for bigger pitch range, an increase to 10-12% may be had.
Platter: 2kg of stable rotating matter moving by the
virtue of an indestructible magnetic force field. In other words, an
electric motor capable of sustaining just about any abuse you can throw
at it. The only moving part is the spindle bearing in the center. This
needs lube, three drops of light oil every 2000 hours according to the
the pitch center click removal guide. Lift it off using the holes
in the platter. If it doesn't work, very carefully try to tap the
center while someone lifts on the platter. Let me repeat, if you're at
all unsure about what you're doing, don't. Under the platter is the
110/230VAC mains switch and a plastic cover with five screws that hides
the main motor PCB.
Tone arm and pick up: probably the subject of most
confusion. There's a lot of personal opinions that may very well be
funded on good experience especially for particular situations like
heavy scratching. This I'll leave to you to explore if you care and
dare. What I'll present here is the way of doings things correct
according to the manufacturers. Technical information like height and
recommended stylus pressure for the needle/cartridge are usually found
in the manual or on the manufacturers website. Needles have a tendency
to bed into a given position, so these adjustments are best done on a
fresh needle. To make it as relevant to the real world as possible use
the height adjustment on the rubber feet and a level tool to set the
decks straight. A burst of canned air directed on the tonearm every
once in a while will keep it dust free and good looking.
arm height: adjustable by turning the big ring on the base of the
tone arm. Unlock the height adjustment by twisting the small lock on
the upper right hand side clockwise. The scale is graded to suit the
height of the cartridge, adjustable from 15mm to 21mm. Zero on the
scale is for 15mm pickups, up to six on the scale for 21mm. Example;
Shure m44-7 are 15.9mm so the scale should be set at 0.9.
Anti-skating: is provided in the tonearm to battle the
physical force that makes the S shaped tone arm connected to the
rotating disc, going in the direction it goes, want to go inwards. If
you reverse the direction of the disc you actually need exactly the
same sort of counterbalance system, working the opposite way. For
normal listening, Technics recommend it to be set at the same value as
the stulys pressure/weight. Most scales are unfortunately way off. To
get a coarse manual adjustment, find a record with a blank side so the
needle can float freely when it plays. Adjust the anti-skate so the
needle stays in the outer parts of the record. For scratching and
general back-cueing mixing where the needle goes both ways, leave it at
zero. The best and only way to set it properly is to play a record with
shrill treble, like a viola recording, and adjust the anti-skate for
equal treble distortion in both channels. The distortion will vary from
channel to channel as the skating or anti-skating puts more pressure on
one of the vinyl groove sidewalls than the other.
The weight scale: is useless unless it is balanced.
Different pick ups and headshells have different weight, so it must be
be set at proper zero before it can be used. Rotate the weight
backwards until the arm floats parallel to the record surface. Holding
the weight still, turn the number dial so the zero aligns with the dent
in the tonearm. Set the weight according to the needle manufacturers
recommendations. Don't reverse the weight or add coins, if you need
that much pressure something is very wrong either with the setup or
your technique. Watch out for the tiny extra weight that can be screwed
into the end of the tonearm. It'll make adjustment with normal needles
Tone arm bearings: adjustable on the four screws making
the up/down and back/forth movements of the arm possible. Take hold of
the arm and wiggle it, try to see if there's free play in the bearing.
Loosen the outer locking ring and very carefully tighten the tiny
screw. Locking the outer screw again will give more torque on the
bearing so it must be set slightly looser than it should be before
tightening up. Be patient and do not over torque! If you set the
bearing to tight they will be damaged and the only solution is a new
bearing in a new tonearm. This is an easy way to ruin decks, please do
not touch them unless absolutely necessary and do use utmost caution if
you must. Give it a tiny bit of oil while you're at it but do not
loosen the screws more than a tiny fraction. Careful is the word around
Cartridge mount: The screw lock on the end of the tonearm
that connects the cartridge to the audio wires inside the tonearm.
Needs occasional cleaning, but please do not lick it! It can be a handy
last resort in the battle field but leads to accelerated corrosion. The
contacts should be cleaned and deoxidized with some technical spirit or
general cleaning alcohol. Use a Q-tip to reach the inner contacts.
cartridge: should be mounted so the cartridge is almost parallel to
the headshell, see note below. The overhang is set to 52mm. That's the
distance from the needle tip to the headshell mount. New decks are
supplied with a strangle looking white tool(picture),
an overhang gauge that makes this adjustment easier. Screw off the
headshell and put it into the round hole in the tool. The needle should
be aligned to the small indent in front of the gauge. Dig out a ruler
if you don't have the device. Here's the note: If the cartridge is
totally parallel to the headshell it'll be slightly off when you put it
in the gauge(picture). A best fit
compromise to compensate for the changing angle of the needle as it
travels in an arc on the record. Thanx to the nice explanation at
turntabletech for the tip. Straight tone arms leaves the needle at 23'
angle outwards from the records. To emulate this set the cartridge at
23' outwards in the headshell. This will lead to special wear on the
records and they will probably be shaped by the uneven wear after a
while. A small article on the shortcommings of straight tone arms can
be found here.
Needle: is a mechanical device and needs break in time before
actual usage. A brand new needle will sound harsher and skip more than
it'll do in a few hours use. There's probably as many ways to set the
new needle up for use as there's Dj's. Here's the routine that seems to
be the most accepted: put the needle on the record, with the turntable
power turned off, leaving it there while you sleep through the night.
As simple as that! Give it a few hours of easy playing before you start
on the wild scratching.
Audio and grounding cables: needs replacement sooner or
later. Instructions with some suggestions to make them last longer here. If
using oversized cables you'll have to carve room in the cable strain
relief to make them fit.
A short selection of useful links:
is a good source for a lot of info, if you read Swedish..
There's some info at hyperreal,
most noticeably the classic
1200 FAQ that appears just about everywhere in slightly modified
versions and a general Dj
Another FAQ here.
Some stores that fixes and upgrades turntables, a lot of info
and some ideas of the possibilities: 1200s
cleaning instructions for plastic based faders here.
A quick look
inside the Penny & Giles and the Vestax PVC faders.
Some pictures of vinyl grooves at Recordtech
Pictures of the vinyl manufacturing process, cutterheads and more at Aardvark
The reverse mod's are easily available on the web as kits with
instructions included in the package. Watch out for the price as this
is wildly variable!
Use the search engines and know how to use them. Google for