Turntable Restoration




Introduction: Turntable Restoration

I picked up this turntable from an estate sale and I was assured it was in working order. I didn't find out until I arrived home that it wouldn't power on and the stylus had popped loose. It was still a good deal, but it needed work. After a little restoration I planned on putting it in my record cabinet.


Step 1: Disassemble

Remove the turntable platter, internal cover and bottom protective case.

Step 2: Inspect

Inspect the electronics for any potential problems. The power problem with this unit turned out to be with the on/off switched. I bypassed the on/off switch circuit with a piece of wire and the board powered on. I inspected the power switch wiring for any problems, but couldn't find anything. From then on the switch started to work.

Step 3: Replacing Electronics

Electrolytic capacitors can start to go bad after about 20 years so I decided to replace all of them. With basic soldering tools, I did a little practice soldering and desoldering on an old alarm clock circuit board. I found that 350 C was about the right temperature for both activities.

Step 4: Capacitors

Each capacitor has a corresponding number stamped on the circuit board. I made a list of these and I recorded the Voltage and Capacitance of each capacitor, which is labeled on their sides. I purchased new capacitors for a few dollars at DigiKey online.

Step 5: Desolder

To desolder you can either use a wick or solder sucker. You heat the solder on a component and then suck it up with the solder sucker, which is a kind of manual pump. You can also place the copper wick over the solder and heat it up. The wick will draw up all the solder. Sometimes old solder will not melt easily. A trick to getting it to melt is to add a little new solder, which helps break up the old. Once the solder is removed the joint can then be cleaned with concentrated isopropanol if desired.

Step 6: Replace

Remove the old capacitor and replace it with the new one. It is impotent to notice that the capacitor has a positive and negative end. This is labeled both on the circuit board and on the capacitor. Discharging the capacitors on this project wasn't necessary because they were all low voltage.

Step 7: Solder

Tin the tip of the soldering iron. This means melting some solder on it and wiping off any excess. Now place the tip of the soldering iron on the capacitor lead. Touch the solder to the lead and fill the joint. Do hot touch the solder to the soldering iron tip itself.

Step 8: Reference Designators

Notice that the circuit board is labelled on both sides with the capacitor number. In this case capacitor C203 has been removed and replaced. Place a piece of tape over the capacitor temporarily to hold it in place while soldering the other side.

Step 9: Trim

Trim the leads.

Step 10: Solder

Solder the joint.

Step 11: Tracking Weight

Test the weight of the tone arm with a gram scale. Adjust the counterweight until you achieve the correct tracking weight. The manufacturer tracking weight for this stylus is 1.25-1.75. I went with 1.50 grams. This step was done with the old broken stylus to prevent damage. Most turntables have a counterweight that can be adjusted accurately without a scale, but the counterweight on this turntable looked like an aftermarket addition.

Step 12: Anti-skating

Set the value on the dial the same as the tracking weight.

Step 13: Stylus Replacement

Pull the old stylus off the cartridge and slide the new one on.

Step 14: RCA Interconnects

If you wish you can also replace the RCA interconnects and solder them to the board. Make sure that the new cables are low capacitance, however.

Step 15: P.S.

Question for anyone who might know. Is the capacitor on the left 4.7uF or 47uF? Thanks

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    4 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Thanks, for all the comments. I went with 4.7µF. Just wanted to be sure I made the right choice.


    3 years ago

    It is 4.7µF. A small tip for non electronicians : When replacing
    electrolytic capacitors, of course the value must fit, but the voltage
    can be higher on the new item (and never lower). For example if you need
    a 10µF 16V, any 10µF with a minimum voltage of 16V will fit, a 10µF
    100V will work identically.


    3 years ago

    Try a meter on the cap. This may put you in the right ballpark.


    3 years ago

    Well, I see a decimal point, albeit somewhat lower than one expects to see it, so I'll say 4.7uF