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 Post subject: Turntable kaputt
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 2:01 pm 
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Hawley Super-Groupie
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My computer broke down a few weeks ago. At last, I found a new hard drive last week (apparently, it's an old model that wasn't in stock anywhere), so I decided to install it and all the software this weekend while listening to a few vinyl records, since I've been buying a few by Richard lately. So yesterday, after lunch, I got down to work. I listened to two singles (twice to one of the B sides), to the whole of 'Lady's Bridge', and I was half-way through 'Time Will Bring You Winter' when the record player bust. It just stopped, the light went off and I could smell burning.

I'm no good at repairing things, so I'll take it to some workshop. But I'm not too confident. Nowadays, no one seems to be able to mend anything. They look at you as if you were an oddball for wanting to have something fixed instead of buying a new one.

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 Post subject: Re: Turntable kaputt
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:32 pm 
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It's just a motor and a belt though isn't it? Should be easy enough to get repaired somewhere. If there's a burning smell then it's probably a motor problem anyhow.

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 Post subject: Re: Turntable kaputt
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:26 am 
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Yes, I think so... Or at least I thought so when I opened it hoping to see a burnt cable, or the like, something I might even be able to fix myself. I only hope the guy at the workshop knows a little bit more about this than I (not sure, as I mentioned before). :cry:

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 Post subject: Re: Turntable kaputt
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:57 am 
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The guy at the workshop did exactly what I expected: when I went there (without the record player) to enquire about the possibility of having mine repaired he looked at me as if I were mad. He told me he might try to look what can be done (in a way that makes me think he'll tell me there's nothing to be done, instead of telling me there's nothing he knows how to do). But I suspect that, in case he mends something, it'll cost more than the same record player bought second-hand at eBay. So I'm starting to consider the idea of buying a new one.

Can anybody tell me to what I should pay attention when buying it? I have no idea about what one looks for in a record player (apart from its sounding as good as possible). I don't know whether I'd better buy the whole kit. So far I'm using the turntable with a home-made (somebody else's home!) preamplifier I connect to a mini hi-fi, but perhaps I should get something better. Any idea?

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 Post subject: Re: Turntable kaputt
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:01 pm 
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i just bought a linn axis on t'ebay for £200, about right inc arm & stylus (needle), but i have a halfway decent hi-fi.

if you ain't bothered about hi-fi just buy something you can easily afford, but change the needle so you don't damage your records.

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 Post subject: Re: Turntable kaputt
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:09 am 
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Being bothered about hi-fi or not... I like listening to vinyl records because I can definitely hear a difference. They sound better than the same CD played in the same mini hi-fi. Of course I'd love to listen to them with as good a sound quality as possible, but I don't really know how good my ear is. Perhaps I won't notice any difference between what I've got now and a £1000 sound system. In general, I'm the type that prefers waiting and saving some more money to buy something better, if it's worth it, than just going to the shop at the moment I can afford the cheapest item they've got (although I must say it's hard not to be able to listen to a vinyl record for this long).

I was thinking of getting a new pair of better speakers, to begin with. I think that will improve the sound quality in a more noticeable way than replacing the mini hi-fi. As for the record player itself, I haven't lost all hope of fixing it. I've found a burnt resistor under the 220V/125V switch, so I'll put a new one and hope that it wasn't a problem elsewhere which burnt it, but a voltage peak in the mains, or something like that. The only problem is that it's not easy to determine the colour of the three bands of the resistor (they all look brown, but different shades of brown, which makes me think they aren't all brown).

Thanks for the tip about changing the needle. I hadn't thought about that. I've always used the same one since I've got the record player. For how long do they usually last? How does one notice they must be changed?

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 Post subject: Re: Turntable kaputt
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:11 pm 
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You will notice distortions, if the needle is worn out. I would recommend changing it after roundabout 1000 hours - as a rule of thumb. But, of course, it depends, what kind of needle you use. Usually it's a diamond, but older (mostly crystal/ceramic) systems also use sapphires, which are consumed after ca. 100 Hours of use already. The system itself usually lasts much, much longer, so don't worry, because a needle alone is not that expensive. Goes without saying that a worn out needle damages your vinyls.
Your dealer should be able to check the stylus with a small microscope.

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 Post subject: Re: Turntable kaputt
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:37 am 
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Because i have loads of ancient vinyl i have in recent years used a technics deck cos it has a really savage weighting system but i recently got given one of these
http://www.amazon.co.uk/TDK-Standard-Be ... 370&sr=8-2

they are fucking awesome,i used to have a rega deck which got stolen but that was a boss deck too,if you buy a cheap deck they always skip all the time which drives me fuckin mental hope you got what you wanted :dj:

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 Post subject: Re: Turntable kaputt
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:16 am 
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Ignatz Wrobel wrote:
You will notice distortions, if the needle is worn out. I would recommend changing it after roundabout 1000 hours - as a rule of thumb. But, of course, it depends, what kind of needle you use. Usually it's a diamond, but older (mostly crystal/ceramic) systems also use sapphires, which are consumed after ca. 100 Hours of use already. The system itself usually lasts much, much longer, so don't worry, because a needle alone is not that expensive. Goes without saying that a worn out needle damages your vinyls.
Your dealer should be able to check the stylus with a small microscope.


Thanks a lot for your help, Ignatz. I must admit I'm a bit slack about these things, not being skillful at all. I've got the record player for three years, and since its previous owner told me he had just changed the needle before giving it to me, I haven't paid much attention to it. I've just assumed that if it sounded well, it didn't need changing. If I buy a second-hand deck or fix my own, I'll change the stylus first thing. If I buy a new one, I'll have more time to figure out how that's made :*:. And maybe I'll keep a log at the beginning, until I get a general idea of what 1000 hours of playing are in 'normal' time.


Richard Hawley wrote:
Because i have loads of ancient vinyl i have in recent years used a technics deck cos it has a really savage weighting system but i recently got given one of these
http://www.amazon.co.uk/TDK-Standard-Be ... 370&sr=8-2

they are fucking awesome,i used to have a rega deck which got stolen but that was a boss deck too,if you buy a cheap deck they always skip all the time which drives me fuckin mental hope you got what you wanted :dj:


Thnaks for your answer! Has the weighting system much importance when one doesn't have very old records? My semi-defunct deck had one of these systems (with what seemed to me to be weight scales for round and oval needles), but I never found out how I should use it, so I always had it mid-way. My vinyl collection is not very big, and the oldest ones are from the sixties, but I have a couple of singles that used to jump here and there, in spite of not having noticeable scratches. Might the weighting system solve that? That TDK deck looks great, but it doesn't seem to have this weighting system, does it? Or is it not very important after all?

(Apart from that, I've seen the TDK has a built-in preamp, which would be great, since my preamp, with its wooden cover, looks like the Flintstones'. But I've seen it works at 120 V and 60 Hz... Is it so? I thought electricity in England was like in Spain, 230 V and 50 Hz.)

Ranting again, since this is the forum for it: my attempt at buying a new resistor for the record player ended up in a conversation about daltonism. And in my buying several resistors, with different combinations of brown, red and purple, to try them all. There's no way to tell the original colours of the stripes!

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 Post subject: Re: Turntable kaputt
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:58 pm 
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Never did solder smell so well. The record player's working again, 'Some Candy Talking' is playing as I write, and next weekend will be a very musical one.

(Went to a much better shop in Madrid, where two experts, with the help of a magnifying glass, told me there was no way to know the colours of the burnt resistor bands, but that they'd go for 100 ohms. It cost me six cents, instead of the thirty euros I should have paid had I taken the deck to the workshop.)

By the way, I took a look at the TDK turntable the other day at a shop (though it was the version with a USB connection), and it looked great. I'll stick to mine, though, out of fondness and because it's not the best of moments to spend €399 (that's the TDK deck's price until Sunday, since taxes are increased here on Monday).

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