The Technics SL-1200 turntable, first introduced by Panasonic in 1972, is a true icon in the world of music. Revered by audiophiles and DJs alike for its high-fidelity sound reproduction, the SL-1200 has become a staple in nightclubs, radio stations, and home audio setups around the globe.
Its direct-drive motor design, which eliminates belts to provide a more stable rotation, coupled with its robust build, has earned it a reputation for reliability and superior sonic performance.
One key aspect of this legendary turntable that often goes unnoticed is the humble hinge. These small but vital components play a crucial role in the overall functionality of the turntable. Properly installed hinges ensure that the turntable’s dust cover can open and close smoothly, protecting the delicate stylus and platter from dust and other particles that can affect sound quality. Furthermore, since the dust cover also serves an aesthetic purpose, keeping your turntable looking its best, well-installed hinges contribute to maintaining the SL-1200’s sleek, professional appearance.
In this guide, we will walk you through the process of installing hinges on your Technics SL-1200 turntable, ensuring you can enjoy the full range of benefits this iconic piece of audio equipment has to offer.
Tools Needed for The Installation
Before you begin the process of installing new hinges on your Technics SL-1200 turntable, make sure you have the right tools at your disposal. Here’s a list of the necessary tools along with a brief description of each tool’s use:
- Philips Screwdriver: This is a must-have tool for this installation process. You’ll need it to unscrew the old hinges and secure the new ones in place.
- Flathead Screwdriver: While not as commonly used as the Philips screwdriver in this process, a flathead screwdriver can come in handy for prying off the old hinges if they’re particularly stubborn.
- Needle-Nose Pliers: These are useful for holding the screws while you’re working. They can also be used to remove the old hinges if they’re difficult to reach.
- Cotton Swabs: You’ll use these to clean the area where the old hinges were attached before installing the new ones. It’s important to remove any dust or debris that could interfere with the new installation.
- Isopropyl Alcohol: Used in conjunction with the cotton swabs, isopropyl alcohol will help clean the hinge area and ensure a smooth installation.
- New Hinges: Of course, you’ll need new hinges to replace the old ones. Make sure you purchase hinges that are specifically designed for the Technics SL-1200 turntable to ensure a perfect fit.
- Soft Cloth: This is for cleaning the dust cover and the area around the hinges after the installation is complete.
Purchasing the Right Hinges
Choosing the right hinges for your Technics SL-1200 turntable is crucial for the optimal operation and longevity of your equipment. Here are some reliable sources where you can buy the right hinges and some considerations to keep in mind when making your purchase:
Where to Buy:
- eBay: eBay offers a wide selection of Technics DJ Turntable Hinges, including specific models like the Technics Hinge for SL-1200 SL-1210 Dust Cover.
- 1200s.com: This site provides specialized kits for different Technics 1200 models, ensuring you get all components required to install a Dust Cover onto your specific model.
- Samurai Audio: They offer the Technics SL-1200/SL-1210 Hinge for Dust Cover Bracket Turntable Hinges at a competitive price.
- Hin Huat DJ: They sell an original replacement parts Made in Japan Technics Turntable Hinge Case for SL-1200/1210 series.
- Mix Foundation: You can find the Original OEM Technics Dust Cover Hinge for Technics SL-1200s (single) here.
Considerations When Purchasing Hinges:
- Quality: Ensure the hinges are made of sturdy and durable materials that can withstand frequent use.
- Price: While you may be tempted to go for the cheapest option, remember that you often get what you pay for. Investing in high-quality hinges can save you money in the long run as they’re likely to last longer.
- Brand: Choose hinges from reputable brands or suppliers who specialize in turntable components. This way, you can be confident in the quality of the product you’re purchasing.
- Compatibility: Make sure the hinges you buy are compatible with your specific Technics SL-1200 model. Some hinges are designed for specific models, so double-check this before making a purchase.
Before you start the process of installing new hinges on your Technics SL-1200 turntable, it’s important to prepare your workspace and take some safety measures. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Turn Off and Unplug Your Turntable: Before starting any work on your turntable, make sure it is turned off and unplugged. This will prevent any accidental damage to the turntable or risk of electric shock.
- Handle with Care: The Technics SL-1200 is a precision instrument. Handle it with care to avoid damaging any of its components.
- Clean Hands: Ensure your hands are clean before handling your turntable to prevent dirt and oils from your hands getting onto the components.
Preparing Your Workspace:
- Clear Space: Make sure you have a clean and clear workspace where you can lay out your tools and turntable without risk of anything getting knocked over or damaged.
- Soft Surface: Place a soft cloth or towel on your workspace before setting down your turntable. This will prevent scratches or damage to the turntable’s surface.
- Lighting: Ensure your workspace is well-lit so you can clearly see what you’re doing.
Removing the Old Hinges (If Applicable):
- Open the Dust Cover: Lift the dust cover to its open position.
- Unscrew the Hinges: Using your Philips screwdriver, unscrew the old hinges from the back of the turntable. Hold onto the screws – you’ll need them to install the new hinges.
- Remove the Hinges: Once unscrewed, remove the hinges from the dust cover. If they’re stuck, use your flathead screwdriver or needle-nose pliers to gently pry them off.
- Clean the Area: Use a cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol to clean the area where the old hinges were attached. This will remove any dust or debris and ensure a smooth installation of the new hinges.
Step-by-Step Guide to Installing the Hinges
Now that you’ve prepared your workspace and removed the old hinges, you’re ready to install the new ones. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:
- Prepare the New Hinges: Take your new hinges out of their packaging, and make sure you have all the necessary screws. They should come with the hinges, but if not, you can use the screws from your old hinges.
- Attach the Hinges to the Dust Cover: Position the hinge on the dust cover where the old hinge was attached. Ensure that the hinge opens and closes in the correct direction. Use your Philips screwdriver to secure the hinge to the dust cover with the provided screws. Don’t over-tighten the screws; just make sure they’re snug. Repeat this step for the other hinge. Tip: If the screws are hard to turn, try applying a small amount of cooking oil or WD-40 to the threads.
- Attach the Hinges to the Turntable: Now, position the dust cover (with the new hinges attached) onto the back of the turntable. The hinges should line up with the screw holes on the turntable. Use your Philips screwdriver to secure the hinges to the turntable. Again, don’t over-tighten the screws. Tip: If you’re having trouble aligning the screws with the holes, try moving the dust cover slightly until they line up.
- Test the Dust Cover: Open and close the dust cover several times to make sure the hinges are working correctly. The cover should open smoothly and stay open when lifted. Tip: If the cover doesn’t stay open, you may need to adjust the tension on the hinges. This can usually be done by turning a screw on the side of the hinge.
- Clean Up: Use your soft cloth to clean the dust cover and the area around the hinges. This will remove any fingerprints or smudges you may have left during the installation process.
After the installation of your new hinges, it’s important to check that they are installed correctly and functioning as they should. Here’s what you need to do:
- Check the Alignment: The dust cover should sit evenly on the turntable when closed. If it appears off-center or tilted, you may need to adjust the hinges.
- Test the Movement: Open and close the dust cover several times. It should move smoothly without any resistance or unusual noises. If it’s difficult to open or close, check whether the hinges are too tight and adjust accordingly.
- Stability Check: When the dust cover is fully opened, it should remain stable and not fall back down. If it doesn’t stay open, the tension in the hinges might need to be adjusted.
Troubleshooting Common Issues:
- Dust Cover Doesn’t Close Properly: If the dust cover doesn’t close completely or evenly, double-check the alignment of the hinges. They may need to be loosened, repositioned, and then tightened again.
- Dust Cover Doesn’t Stay Open: If the dust cover doesn’t stay open, the tension in the hinges may need to be increased. This can usually be done by turning a screw on the side of the hinge.
- Hinges are Too Stiff or Loose: If the hinges feel too stiff or too loose, adjust the tension using the screw on the side of the hinge. Turn the screw clockwise to increase tension (make the hinge stiffer) and counter-clockwise to decrease tension (make the hinge looser).
Maintaining Your Hinges
Proper maintenance is key to ensuring the longevity of your hinges. Here are some tips:
- Clean Regularly: Dust and dirt can build up on the hinges over time, causing them to become stiff or sticky. Use a soft cloth or a cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol to clean the hinges regularly.
- Lubricate Occasionally: If you notice that the hinges are becoming stiff or squeaky, apply a small amount of a suitable lubricant, such as WD-40 or silicone spray. This will keep them moving smoothly.
- Avoid Overuse: While the dust cover is designed to be opened and closed, excessive use can wear out the hinges faster. Only open the dust cover when necessary.
- Handle with Care: Be gentle when opening and closing the dust cover. Forceful or abrupt movements can damage the hinges.
When to Consider Replacing the Hinges:
While proper maintenance can prolong the life of your hinges, they won’t last forever. Consider replacing the hinges if:
- The dust cover no longer stays open on its own.
- The hinges become excessively stiff or loose, even after cleaning and lubricating.
- The dust cover doesn’t close properly, and adjusting the hinges doesn’t fix the issue.
- You notice visible signs of damage, such as rust or cracks in the hinges.
Properly installing and maintaining the hinges on your Technics SL-1200 turntable is crucial for its functionality and longevity. The hinges not only protect your turntable from dust but also provide easy access when you need to play your favorite vinyl records.
Throughout this guide, we’ve walked through the steps of installing new hinges, checking their functionality post-installation, troubleshooting common issues, and maintaining them to ensure their long-term performance.
Remember, a well-maintained turntable can provide you with years of enjoyment, and that includes taking care of even the smallest components like the hinges.
Don’t be afraid to try installing the hinges yourself. It may seem a bit daunting at first, but with patience and careful attention to detail, it’s a task you can certainly handle. Plus, there’s a sense of satisfaction in knowing you’ve personally taken steps to enhance your listening experience.
So go ahead, roll up your sleeves, and give it a try. Happy listening!
FAQs about “how to install hinges in a Technics SL-1200 turntable”
Do I need any special tools to install hinges in my Technics SL-1200?
Yes, you will likely need a small Phillips screwdriver, needle nose pliers, and possibly some masking tape or painter’s tape to help hold components in place while installing the hinges.
What type of hinges should I use for my Technics SL-1200 turntable?
Most hardware stores carry small specialty hinges perfect for electronics projects. Look for miniature butt hinges or small piano hinges that will fit the dimensions of your SL-1200.
How do I remove the old hinges from my Technics turntable?
Carefully unscrew the old hinges from the body, being cautious not to lose any tiny screws or hardware pieces during the process. You may need to use pliers to gently pry the old hinge pins out.
Where should the new hinges be installed on the SL-1200?
Refer to your owner’s manual or an authorized Technics repair guide for specifics, but generally there is one hinge on the front corner and another small hinge on the back of the turntable.
How can I test the newly installed hinges?
Gently open and close the turntable cover or body section with the new hinges several times, ensuring smooth motion without any binding or issues. Make any needed adjustments before reassembling the components.