The Technics SL-1200MK2 is a turntable that needs no introduction – it’s been trusted by DJs and session listeners alike for over four decades because of it’s quality build and vibration dampening abilities.
I knew that I wanted to restore a SL-1200MK2 and I knew that I needed to get it at the right price to make the restoration viable — and then Phil showed up on Facebook Marketplace.
Phil, as I would later learn, was like a lot of the Technics SL-1200MK2s on resale marketplaces. He was last purchased by somebody in their late-20’s/early-30’s that had aspirations of being a DJ that never really played out. He was filthy dirty and his top cabinet was pretty beat up, but he was mechanically in very good shape with little wear on the bottom thrust plate.
Here’s what happened to Phil next:
* Stripped all components from the top cabinet and had the top cabinet sandblasted and powder coated to Prismatic Powders Black Jack
* Fully disassembled the tonearm base and thoroughly cleaned the vertical height adjustment threads. Greased threads with OEM Technics grease and properly recalibrated the vertical height adjustment.
* Cleaned the spindle bearing shaft and inspected bottom thrust plate. Lubricated spindle bearing shaft with OEM Technics spindle bearing oil.
* Replaced the pitch slider gauge and the bottom pitch slider gasket.
* Calibrated the pitch control gain to 2.7 kOhms per Technics specifications by adjusting the variable resistor VR302 on the backside of the pitch slider and taking readings with a multimeter.
* Calibrated the pitch control 0% to 262.1 kHz per Technics specifications by adjusting the variable resistor VR301 on the main turntable PCB and taking readings with a multimeter.
* Properly calibrated the platter break by adjusting variable resistor VR201 on the main turntable PCB per the proper Technics method.
* Replaced the headshell and headshell leads with Jelco OFC Litz cables with gold plated connectors.
* Purchased an authentic Technics 45 adapter.
* Designed a bottom tonearm plate with CAD software and 3D printed the plate to mount Switchcraft RCA jacks to the turntable. Removed existing RCA cables and grounding cable. Changed the tonearm grounding circuit on the tonearm PCB to ground out through the left channel ground and soldered Litz cable to left and right channel Switchcraft RCA jacks to complete the modification.
Phil has moved to New York City. He will be missed.