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  1. #1

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    Join Date
    May 2010
    Johnson City TN

    Default Sound out of both channels rca's for a turntable

    I'd been working on an Technics SL-23 which are notorious for speed issues. That is usually a simple fix only requiring removal of the bottom cover and cleaning the speed pots. Got that working right and then I started losing the left channel. Looking closely at the cables, I noticed a crimp near where they go into the body of the TT.

    Figured I could splice the cable without too much difficulty but really wanted a better more permanent fix so I decided to go for my 1st rca cable swap. Sodering is still a new skill for me and I have been hesitant in the past due to the very delicate tonearm cables, but I am a cheap bast.. and didn't want to pay someone else to fix it, so it was time to learn with hands on experience.

    It took me forever to get the cable tensioner thing a ma jig (plastic clamp around the cable so it can't be moved in and out of the body of the turntable) to open. I'd never dealt with that type of fastener so I was about to throw in the towel before I really got started. I doubt it's reusable now, but it is off. Next I removed a metal plate that covers the cables and the pcb they are attached to. Finally had to remove a plastic riser which holds the cables in place and was ready to desolder the cables. While removing the plastic piece which had to be turned upside down to get to the screw- a couple of the tonearm wires pulled loose from their termination points. Great more issues. At that point I was doubting my abilities and felt pretty overwhelmed.

    Removing the existing wires was not too difficult. Apply heat with the solder iron, liquify the solder and pull the wires off the board. Did I mention that liquid solder is quite warm? Old cables removed now I had no choice but to go for it.

    Since I was not very optimistic for a good result I cut the ends off a pretty basic rat shack rca to make the first attempt. I've never made my own cables, so the shielding inside the shielding was new to me. Inside the inner shield I found maybe 3 strands of copper wire that were no bigger than a flea's pecker during a prostate exam. My need for bifocal glasses was becoming quite apparent unfortunately. I went ahead and tinned the wire together and then routed it thru the back of the turntable and inside the plastic riser holding the ground wire.

    Thankfully I was able to reassemble the plastic riser without disconnecting more of the tonearm wires. As I was trying to line up the tiny wires near the required spot on the small wafer board I was cussing the 3 armed munchkins with dainty fingers that also possesed perfect vision who obviously designed and installed these cables originally. So while holding the solder iron between my teeth, a roll of solder in my right hand and the rca cable with bi wire aspirations in my left hand (kidding about the teeth part but not far from the truth) I was able to connect the new rca's.

    I then carefully reassembled the parts removed previously and turned the whole piece back onto it's feet. Put the platter and belt back on. Reinstalled the cart and set it's tracking force and anti- skate adjustment back to 1.5 grams. Took a few deep breaths to prepare myself for dissapointment if all the effort was wasted. Now it was the moment of truth. I placed a record on the mat and dropped the needle down.

    Sound. Glorious sound. Both speakers were singing Billy Joel's "Easy Money". Success! I was astonished. It actually worked. For alot of guys out there that have been doing this for years and have some electronics experience you may be unimpressed, but for myself I was elated. If I can then anyone with some patience can as well. I'd read a few threads about swapping cables before and even watched a YouTube video, but it's really gratifying to follow thru fixing something yourself.

    I took a few pics, but I'm too tired to post them tonight.

  2. #2
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    Jul 2001
    Polk Audio


    Well done! One of the more tricky repair jobs done successfully! Photos are in order.

  3. #3

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    May 2010
    Johnson City TN


    Here's a few pics....

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  4. #4

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    north georgia mountains


    Very nicely done, you have well and rightly lived up to the moniker hndyman.
    humpty dumpty was pushed

  5. #5

    Member Sales Rating: (12)

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Plainfield, Illinois


    Nice job! Good to see you used coax for the shielding properties. Another source of small coax is a good quality S Video cable you may have laying around. There will be two in there and usually are different colors. Some S Video cables just use small gauge wires with shield.
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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