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jimmiejaz
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problem with Technics turntable

When I use my turntable, there is a loud humming, and only one channel works, it sounds like crap to the point now where I can't listen to any of my 1000+ records. Should I just replace my cartridge, or do I need to replace the whole turntable. Equipment details follow:
Technics turntable, model SL-BD22 FG Servo (purchased circa 1995), Stanton L720 cartridge.
Any help would be MUCH appreciated. Thank you.

Jeff Wong
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Re: problem with Technics turntable

Well, I'm thinking the first thing to try is switch the leads going from the turntable to the phono input to try to narrow down if the problem lies with the turntable or phono section. If the same one channel works, it's the phono section. If it has changed, it'll be somewhere in the turntable, possibly the interconnects or the cartridge. You'd then have to try swapping the cartridge leads to further narrow down where the problem is, although your cartridge appears to be a P-Mount, in which case, that won't really be an option. Have you checked to make sure the stylus is seated correctly? It might not be plugged into the cartridge fully.

Buddha
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Re: problem with Technics turntable

I agree with Jeff. That's a good first step.

Keep us posted!

jimmiejaz
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Re: problem with Technics turntable

Thanks for your suggestions. By the leads, I'm assuming you mean the cords that connect the turntable to the receiver. I will try switching then later today and see what happens. Will let you know. Thanks again.
Jim

Scooter123
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Re: problem with Technics turntable

Your description sounds like a poor ground connection. On most turntables there are 3 seperate ground connections. One is a seperate wire coming out of the turntable. The other two are the outer ring of spades on each RCA connecter. Loss of any of these grounds can result in a pretty sever hum.

Check and make sure that your ground wire (usually black or green) is connected to the grounding post on your reciever. Then check that the grounding spades on the RCA connecters (the outer ring of chrome or gold) are clamping down properly. One way to test this is to wiggle each connecter at the reciever while your playing a record. If one of he RCA connecters isn't grounding properly wiggling it will temporarily restore the ground. The problem is caused by the spade ring "relaxing" and not clamping down properly on the terminal. If your careful, you can use some needle nose pliers to squeeze the spades inwards to gain some extra clamping force.

jimmiejaz
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Re: problem with Technics turntable

I have switched the cords and reattached the grounding wire to another location on the receiver and the humming has disappeared, and the both channels are now working. The sound is still very distorted, however, when I play a record. I'm thinking I need to replace the cartridge and/or stylus, maybe adjust the tracking? Any other suggestion would be appreciated. Thanks.

ohfourohnine
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Re: problem with Technics turntable

OK, Jimmiejaz, you've solved the grounding problem, but now you're getting some sort of distortion. Try to describe the distortion for us and give us some indication of when this problem (or set of problems) occurred. What I mean is, there must have been a time when records you played on this TT sounded OK to you. Now they don't. What happened between those two times? Did you disconnect the equipment and move it? What sort of distortion are you experiencing? Is it that which is typical of speed variation? The grounding hum problem was easy, we need a little more info to address distortion.

jimmiejaz
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Re: problem with Technics turntable

Thanks for the reply. I would describe the sound as static, like when you're listening to a radio station that is not coming in clearly. The turntable was working okay a couple of years ago, but then I moved and didn't use it for a while. When I put it back together last year, I had to change the broken belt, but I don't think it ever sounded right since then, so I haven't been using it. It is turning properly. I can't tell you when I've changed the needle or the cartridge (if ever).
Thanks.
Jim

Buddha
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Re: problem with Technics turntable

Well, in the almost too obvious to mention category, but I will anyway, would be to make sure the stylus (needle) is clean. If it's dirty, that can cause mistracking and distortion.

Along that line, dirty or yucky records can make this kind of sound.

In addition, it may be that your cartridge is fine but not aligned properly, or the cartridge has an old broken down suspension, worn out or damaged styuls, or other intrinsic defect that has developed - even if it was just sitting still, the butyl/rubber grommet(s) may have deteriorated, etc...

Any chance there is a local repair shop or Hi FI dealership where someone could take a look. It's cheap, and may get you to the root of the problem more quickly and more cheaply than working through a list of possibilities via this forum.

Best wishes.

JoeE SP9
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Re: problem with Technics turntable

Have you tried re-balancing and adjusting the arm. After re-balancing it you should set the stylus pressure correctly. A lot of your description sounds like mis-tracking caused by to little stylus pressure.

ohfourohnine
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Re: problem with Technics turntable

I have to buy in with JoeE. Rebalance the arm, and clean the heck out of the stylus and the records. See what happens to the distortion then, and let us know. If there isn't any improvement, you may be looking for a new cart.

Buddha
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Re: problem with Technics turntable

Jimmiejaz, tell us where you live.

Maybe one of us can come over and help with this.

Jeff Wong
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Re: problem with Technics turntable

Clifton might be able to help him...

jimmiejaz
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Re: problem with Technics turntable

Well, I went to Canterbury Records in Pasadena today and bought a new Shure cartridge and needle. A guy named Rusty was very helpful. I went home and plugged it in and everything seems to be playing fine now. The only thing I notice now is that when I walk near the stereo on my hardwood floors, the record might skip a little bit. He told me that I shouldn't have to adjust tracking on this turntable, though. Thanks for all your suggestions.

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