• When buying used Technics SL1200/1210 turntables guide

    Simple things to look out for...


    • Does the platter spin. Spin the platter manually and see if the platter spins continuously without any friction until it stops completely.

    • Check the strobe and move the pitch with small increments while checking the dots on the platter. See if the dots are glitching or not.

    • Press start and set the pitch control to zero. See if the strobe light flickers while the platter is spinning. If it does, then the drive IC needs to be checked, cleaned and/or replaced.


    • 1. Check the arm by pulling it back and fort holding it from the tip. Does it shake or vibrate? There shouldn't be any. If there are, then two things may cause it. Either the pivot screws aren't tightened and calibrated or the bearings are not good.

    • 2. Check the swivel of the arm. Remove the counter weight balance and place the tip of the arm on your finger. Then glide it from left to right and try to feel for any resistance. If there are, then either the pivot screws are too tight, the bearings are not good, or the anti-skate has been touched internally before and wasn't placed back properly.

    • 3. Check the height adjuster ring. Unlock it and turn the ring dial and see if the numbers coordinate with the marker as the tonearm raises up and vice versa.

    • 4. Check the tonearm contacts by using a multimeter with the RCA tip connectors. There are four pins inside the tonearm tip. Top left is left signal, top right is right signal, bottom left is left ground, bottom right is right ground. The tonearm casing itself is the body grounding.


    • Glide the pitch and read the dots. +3.3%, the first row of dots on the platter should be at zero meaning it should look static while the platter is spinning.

    • At +6%, the 2nd row of dots should be at zero.

    • At -3.3% the 4th row (bottom row) of dots should be at zero.

    • If these dots are not in line, then the pitch may be calibrated. But if the pitch makes big jumps with small increment of adjustments, then the pitch control unit needs to be replaced.

    RCA contacts:

    • Some signals may vary depending on the head shell, cartridge and needle used. You can either check the RCA by playing an actual vinyl on it and checking the meter on the mixer and sound output through your speakers or use a multimeter (please refer to tonearm check #4).

    If there are any questions, feel free to ask.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: When buying used Technics SL1200/1210 turntables guide started by Nicadraus View original post
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