Question about Technics SL-1200 Turntable

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SL-1200 MK2 Tone Arm Oxidized and Height Adjust


Just received a couple of SL-1200s. One is in great condition no problems but the other is a mess, but the pitch control is kind of sticky near the top, I should note that they were in storage and there was quite a bit of 'dust-gunk' on them.

The biggest issue now is that the larger height adjust wheel under the tone arm doesn't move. It seems stuck, even after I tried moving the 'lock' control. The indicator is not on a number, but is actually past 6mm. Did someone overturn it? Is this something I could repair by taking it apart?

It also has a lot of 'oxidization' or at least, that's what I think it is, I'm wondering if anyone has a fix, or am I going to have to get a while new tonearm.

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  • Jake Sep 17, 2008

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    Someone suggested to me Dry-teflon lube and let and wipe away the access
    since it is better on electronic parts. It just doesn't want to move. There is a
    small rubber cap that when removed goes into the base, what is this for, oil

    The oxidation doesnt really wipe away, I might need something corse to remove
    it, like steel wool; but the idea of wiping the parts doesn't impress me anymore
    than replacing it.

    I also can't get the platter to lift off. Followed the directions found on some websites but it just won't pop up. Any ideas?

  • Jake Nov 14, 2008

    After some banging and some WD-40 (very small amount), it eventually popped. It was really tough.

    Thanks for the suggestion.

  • Jake Dec 30, 2008

    The tone arm is fine and moves correctly. And isn't bent so I wouldn't need to replace it.

    The base is still stuck, I removed it months ago and haven't purchased a new one. It's beyond a certain point and won't rethread itself.

    Banging on the knob for the platter is a common technique. It's all over the net, and was the suggestion from Panasonic tech I emailed. You don't whack on it with anything hard or with any real force.

    I really appreciate your reply after all this time but the issue is pretty much resolved.



  • furyonice Jan 21, 2009

    Yeah, I tried turning the lock on and off and it still isn't working!! :(



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Next time your height adjustment ring gets stuck dont bang on it or spray wd-40 anywhere near your gear, that will ruin things like you wouldent beleive. This happens to every 1200 and its perfectly normal, all you do is wiggle the lock lever on and off a few times until it frees itself gently.

and imo a new tone arm is a wise choice, shops charge around 50-60$ to fix it, and 70$ for the part i beleive. Once the tone arm is buggered there is little point in trying to fix it, replacement is inevitable.

Good luck

Posted on Dec 30, 2008

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EXCUSE ME! PLEASE FORGIVE YOURS TRULY!!. I mis stated something. Vinegar NOT mineral oil to clean the oxidation. You are correct in the type lubrication. A dry-teflon is best in this application. A minor adjustment in the balance of the arm may be needed. Any chemical used on electronic ckts other than the one that replaced the freon type could be harmfull but any lube used directly on the mechnanics is welcome. You may choose a syringe to apply the small amount in exactly the point of need. This is a well known procedure in the medical field on laboratory equipt.

Posted on Sep 18, 2008

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X1N may I suggest a few drops of mineral oil, the bottlels you find in the local grocer store. Once applied let soak for mabe 2 to 3 hours. Wipe or sponge away oxidation. The soaking may take longer. View the working one very closely to compare to the troubled one. The controls may accepte repositioning to the correct position now. If you got the guts study the assembley and make notes of you disassembley procedure, the problem may just need some realignment internally. I hope this helped.

Posted on Sep 16, 2008

  • Gene Pitts Nov 14, 2008

    X1N My Misstake, Vinegar


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Regarding the poor sound quality (and possibly the skipping):
check the needle condition, see if exchanging it with a needle (or the entire pickup head) from a working turntable does any good.

Check the pickup connection pins (contacts on the pickup head and on the end of the wires coming through the arm from the unit), see if there is any dirt or oxydation and clean the contacts if necessary, also check for any damage to the wires.

As for the skipping - a heavily worn needle may affect the sound quality and cause skipping as well - if cahnging the needle (or the pickup head) doesn't make a change, try to realign the weight on the tone arm so that the pickup head will become a bit heavier, this could help somewhat (before you actually try to realign the weight, try to put a small coin or a small weight of some kind on the pickup head while it is playing a record, if the skipping goes away, you need to realign the tone arm weight).

This could also be a problem with the tone arm lifting mechanism (may be obstructed by something or damaged so it won't let the tone arm sit properly onto the record and "grab" the groove).

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Sep 22, 2009 | Technics SL-1200 Turntable

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Hi, I have recently purchased a pair of technics 1200 mk2 turntables. One works fine but the other skips, even though I have tried adjusting the height of the arm and adjusting balance etc, no combination...

there may be a weight missing on the arm , look at the other one to see the parts on that arm and make sure they are exactly the same nothing missing , otherwise there may be something wrong with the armitures guide
try tape on a penny then put it on top of the arm and see if it still skips


Oct 31, 2008 | Technics Audio Players & Recorders

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What is the best way of cleaning your whole tone arm and hight adjustment on a technics 1200 mk2 as just brought second hand one and works great but very dirty thanks dj fluant-c

Use common sense when cleaning. Don' t use water. Instead I find Windex works well. Just spray enough to loosen up any dirt/grime build up. DO NOT OVERSOAK. And just wipe clean. There really is no real trick to cleaning these things.

Get yourself some cotton swabs, a can of air, and paper towels, and your all set.

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There should be a set screw that you can tighten in order to adjust the height return. If you do not have anything like this, perhaps your record is raised too much. How thick is your rubber mat? Do you have any other mats sitting on top of this?

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How old is my Technics SL 1210 Mk2

Here's some information for you. Since your unit is a SL1210MK2, it may be harder to determine the age of the unit:

It is possible to tell the year (and the month) when the SL-1200 was manufactured from the serial number on the back or bottom of the turntable. SL-1200 serial numbers are in two different formats, depending on the date of manufacture. It isn't exactly possible to determine the decade in which the SL-1200 in question was manufactured, as the serial number contains only the last digit of the year. If the year digit is 8, the turntable may have been manufactured in 1978, 1988 or 1998. If the year digit is 0, the turntable may have been manufactured in 1980, 1990 or 2000. One rule of thumb is that old-format serial numbers belong to SL-1200s manufactured during the 1970s and 1980s, while new-format serial numbers belong to SL-1200s manufactured during the 1990s and beyond.
Old-format serial number: NHOJF20765 (SL-1200 manufactured 1982)
The first digit shows the year when the SL-1200 was manufactured. These serial numbers contain no indication of the month of manufacture. It should be noted that serial numbers in this format contain no letters following digits.
New-format serial number: GE4FB001154 (SL-1200 manufactured June 2004)
The first digit shows the year when the SL-1200 was manufactured, while the month of manufacture is indicated by the letter following it. Months are coded as letters between A and L inclusive; A indicates January, B indicates February, and so on.
In addition to the above, all the SL-1200MK2s from the 70's and early 80's have a 4 inch diameter plate where the RCA and ground wires enter the chassis in the rubber base of the unit. The later models have a smaller hole through which the wires enter the unit.


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