The arm seems loose and twists a little. When I take it out of the tonearm rest, the whole thing twists so the bend is pointing downward. I can't seem to find anybody with the same problem anywhere on the internet.
It still plays fine and puts out a strong signal, but I am worried I am going to damage my records if I keep using it in this condition.
How can I fix this? I noticed there are 2 screws underneath right where it meets the rest of the tonearm assembly, If I remove the tonearm and tighten those could it fix it?
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The anti-skating control adds an outward pull to the arm to compensate for the inward pull exerted on the arm when a record is being played.
Setting the anti-skating control to "0" should virtually eliminate the drift you mention when the arm is in neutral balance. Also make sure that the whole unit is level as this may also affect the arm's tendency to drift.
"With the tonearm locked in place, put the anti‐skate
dial on "0" and push the counterweight onto the rear of
the tonearm. Make sure that the numbers face to the
front of the turntable. Turn the weight until you feel it
"click" into place.
Unlock the tonearm from the rest, and move it
toward the middle, about one inch from the edge of the
platter. Hold the arm off the surface with your right
hand on the finger lift. Begin turning the counterweight
one way or the other, until the arm seems to just
As seen in the picture, the arm, when properly
floating, will not face up nor down.. it will stay
with the platter. It may take a few tries to get
correct. Lock the tonearm back on it's rest.
Holding the rear, silver, section of the counterweight
with one hand, use your other hand to turn JUST the
number ring. It doesn't matter which direction you turn
it, but you will want "0" to face up when you are done.
Using just one hand, turn the entire counterweight
(the silver part) COUNTERCLOCKWISE until the
recommended tracking force is achieved. New
cartridges will tell what the ideal number is. As a rule of
thumb, however, most "hi‐fi" cartridges track between
1 and 2 grams, while most DJ cartridges track between
3 and 5 grams.
Set the anti‐skate dial to coincide with the tracking
force... in other words, if the tracking force is 2 grams,
set the anti‐skate dial to "2". The exception is for DJ's
who scratch and back‐cue. Your anti‐skate must be left
on "0". "
It's clearly a mechanical interference under the hood, so to speak. If you're comfortable with this, unplug the power and signal from the TT, remove platter and manually rotate the tonearm across its arc, listening or feeling for the drag. Maybe you will see the cause with the platter off.
If not, remove the headshell so it won't be damaged, remove the turntable from its base and lay it upside-down, being careful to keep the platter engaged so it doesn't fall off, on a thick soft fleece blanket supporting the whole thing by the platter so nothing stresses or interferes with the tonearm. Once again, rotate the tonearm and observe. I'm sure you'll hear or feel where the problem is. The next trick would be to resolve it.
I have an old Dual 1249 that had the same sympton as yours and it was a mechanical binding near the mechanical pivot area beneath the base. One of the links to the auto-eject mechanism was rubbing and you could see the wear on it. The tonearm assembly had come unseated in its cut-out and I just pressed down on it (from its normal top) and it popped back into place, about 1 mm. Voila! Fixed.
If you've had it open to replace the RCAs you're obviously alright with a screw driver. with some concentration the arm is not that hard to remove and reassemble etc.You might as well try to look at the state of the wiring in the one you already have, if you are going to consider replacing it. You have to pull out the old one anyway if you are going to replace it, and once it is out its not hard at all to unscrew the metal s part of the tonearm from the plastic part at the gimbal and then have a look at the state of the black earth wire screw connection. But before you go to all the trouble, check the state of the bearings in the gimball - if some idiot has overtightened them then you may be in some trouble because they are easily damaged that way. just have a careful wriggle to see if there is any play. beyond that, if the arm has really been abused then the silver plastic at the gimball can be cracked, but that maybe hard to see until you remove it. If all that is ok, then There is nothing apart from wiring that can be an issue here - and that is user servicable - corrosion at the earth screw connection in the arm, issues with the connections to the little circuit board where the wiring from the arm attatches to the rcas etc. You have very little to loose in trying to fix what you already have.
There is no trick to this. There is no easy way to repair that, unless you have the proper tools and experience. It sounds like your a novice, because of the questions you are asking.
Here is the issue you will come across...
You'll remove the collar, and find that there are 4 very thin wires soldered to the gold contacts. Those contacts have springs behind them. If they came off, or are damaged, that's it. Technics does not sell the parts for the tonearm individually. You will have to replace the entire tonearm. Soldering those thin wires back into their original position is extremely difficult. It's easier to replace the tonearm.
It's very hard to get those screws aligned and tightened correctly. They are machine calibrated with the precise amount of torque. Once they become loose, it's very hard to get them back to original factory settings. Also, those screws are conical screws, which means they have a cone shaped tip on them. That cone shaped section sits on 4 very small ball bearings which balance the tonearm. There is a very thin piece of sheet metal which protects the ball bearings and keeps them aligned, if any of these parts are damaged, or bent in any way, your tonearm is damaged.
Unfortunately, if you can't get the balance correct, you will have to replace the tonearm. You can buy a new TONEARM HERE, however, replacing it, is a whole other process and not recommended if you have no soldering experience, as you could damage your unit even more.
once you soldered to circuit board place - this might help
Advanced Tonearm stuff
Tightening the suspension on your tonearm
Some TT's have tonearms which seem to be loose. If you grab the tonearm and pull it gently back and forth and it seems loose you can tighten it. It shouldn't move at all. A loose suspension can severely affect it's performance - from jumping needles to binding.
It's pretty easy to tighten the suspension. You'll need a small flat screwdriver and a large one. Use the large one to loosen the outer locking screw on the top of the pivot point. Now use the smaller screwdriver to loosen up the smaller screw. Put a drop of oil where the bearings are (under that top support on the other end of the adjustment screw) so that it doesn't bind. Now tighten the small screw slowly until it just contacts the bearings. Adjust the tightness so the tonearm doesn't wiggle if you pull on it but leave it loose enough for the tonearm to pivot freely without binding. Adjust carefully and don't overtighten otherwise the bearings will be damaged! When done, tighten up the locking screw.
Tightening up the headshell locking ring
Have you put on your headshell, twisted that knurled tightener at the end of the tonearm as tight as possible and have found that the headshell still moves around? What will happen is that the headshell won't sit parallel to the record but may be tilted as a result of twisting of the headshell. This usually occurs when you change headshells a lot or if you've had your turntable for a while, and can contribute to needle jumping so here's what you do to fix it.
First read 3.2 on base disassembly. Remove the rubber base. There will be this big piece of hard black plastic covering almost everything. You'll need to remove it. To remove the tonearm assembly look for three screws (all formerly under that black plastic) and unscrew them. Be careful not to drop the tonearm when you remove that last screw!
Now, remove the tonearm assembly from the rest of the 1200, and look at the bottom of the tonearm where the headshell is put in. There will be two tiny philips screws there. Get a jewelers screwdriver of the CORRECT size and tighten those up. Put the headshell on and try wiggling it to make sure everything is right. Now put your tonearm back on and close everything back up.
hope this helps