Question about Technics SL-1200MK2 Turntable

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Tech 1200 mk2 - really bad buzzing, VERY low sound from record

I bought this deck cheap, it had really bad buzzing (i already replaced the RCA's, the ground...i also had to replace the spindle) i've tried new cartrides, different channels on my mixer(every other deck i try it works great). I'm at a bit of a loss here, I was just wondering if there is a good trouble shooting manual around for these. I don't want to get into replacing the tone arm or something if thats not the problem. I've also tried different power outlets. Everything is pointing towards the deck, but i'm not too sure what is wrong. Any of you have any ideas?


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  • timgkelly Mar 05, 2009

    i used my ohm meter and checked continuity from the wires on the headshell to the ends of the RCA's. they all check out. I've tried each one to ground and none are shorted to ground. Is it possible another device in the deck is causing this? perhaps a bad motor ground?

  • timgkelly Mar 05, 2009

    i used my ohm meter and checked continuity from the wires on the
    headshell to the ends of the RCA's. they all check out. I've tried each
    one to ground and none are shorted to ground. Is it possible another
    device in the deck is causing this? perhaps a bad motor ground?


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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.

Posted on Mar 09, 2009

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Well, if you already replaced the RCA cables, the only other issue will be either your tonearm, or your cartridge.

If I was to guess, I would say you have a bad tonearm. Only because you've done everything else, and the issue still persists.
You will have to replace the tonearm, as there are no user serviceable parts for the tonearm. There is very thin ground wire that comes from the tonearm, which is inside the tube, but to get to this is extremely difficult, and not worth the time and effort. It's easier to replace.


Good Luck!

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Posted on Mar 04, 2009

    TERMiNAL OPTiC Mar 05, 2009

    Continuity only checks for a connection from 1 point to another. It will not detect interference. For that you'll need a oscilloscope. Trust me when I tell you it's the tonearm. I work on an average of 8-10 Technics 1200s/wk here @ the shop, for the past 15 years, and I am the only Authorized Technics Service Technician left in the U.S., so I know what I am talking about.

    If you are certain that the soldering work done on the RCA cables is correct, and you've ruled out the cartridge/stylus, there is nothing left but the tonearm.

    - OPTiC
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New RCAS on Technics 1200 Getting a Loud Buzzing Noise

It is not suggested that you remove the ground cable. Performing the mod for the ground by soldering a bridge on the circuit board doesn't really do anything either than remove that buzz/ground hum. You've essentially removed the wire that grounds the turntable cabinet to the earth. The buzz is gone, but now your turntable is no longer grounded properly.

I would suggest replacing the ground cable to it's original state, then attach the Monster cables.

If this does not work, then either there is an issue with the soldering to the board, or the board itself might be damaged. You might want to look at the trace paths to make sure none are lifted, or damaged in any way on the board. Another issue might be faulty tonearm wires or not properly soldered wires.

FYI, monster cables are not good for this purpose. I would suggest the following cables:



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If you've already replaced the RCA /Phono cables, then the only other item that would cause this kind of problem is your tonearm, and it will need to be replaced.

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