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Technics SL-DL1 tracking problem

Posted: 26 May 2019 04:25
by brianb25
Goodwill find. Technics SL-DL1, missing feet, no cartridge, tonearm doesn't move when the table actually spins, no problem, so I thought.
I replaced the belt immediately from one of my Sony PS-FL7 inventory and plugged in a spare P-Mount cart from the same PS-FL7. basic cleaning of the pulleys and worm gear drive for the tonearm transport mechanism as well as cleaned the excess grease off the string / cable that assists the tracking of the tonearm.

Finally powered it up with a 12" LP on the platter, tested the tonearm back and forth, smooth as silk with the arm up. Okay, hit start to let it begin playing the LP. The tonearm went down and I was able to hear about two revolutions of the LP before silence. The tonearm transport appeared to be stuck because when I touched the Queing button the stylus, cartridge and tonearm jerked back to the right to about the spot where it landed initially, although up in the air now.

I slid the tonearm to the left, using the "fast forward" Start button, no problem. Queing button again to set the stylus back down on the desired track. Played for another two rotations or so and the same thing happened. The stylus travels as far as the tonearm will allow before it stops. I suppose there must be circuitry that kills the audio at the same time the tonearm travels to a point where a sensor is activated to move the whole tonearm transport just a smidge at a time.

I cannot be the ONLY one who has experienced this anomaly, can I? I read in another post where someone found a capacitor that was not solder by the factory and that solved a very similar problem such as this. Unfortunately that post was in 2015 and the specific cap was not stated, nor model of TT, just a Technics Linear Tracker.

If anyone has any help on this, I'd REALLY appreciate a post for resolution. Would be nice if there was someone in western Washington to take it to for assistance, repair, service as it is now getting beyond my experience level.

Thank you,

Re: Technics SL-DL1 tracking problem

Posted: 26 May 2019 18:56
by brianb25
I received the new belt from Turntable Needles for the SL-DL1! This solved the tracking problem. The tonearm tracks all the way across the LP now. I STILL have the problem of silence after only one revolution of the platter.

If I pickup the tonearm with the Queing button and move it to another inward groove and let the tonearm back down, I hear one revolution of music/audio, then silence the entire time the stylus is tracking in the groove to the end of the LP, where the tonearm then returns home. When I pickup the tonearm and I get a hint of audio at the moment the tonearm is lifted out of the groove. Drop the tonearm back down and I get another revolution of audio, then silence. Over and over, no matter where I drop the tonearm. One revolution of the LP, stylus in the groove, then silence for the rest of the play until the end, or when I use the Queing button to lift the tonearm. Not good.

Any thoughts from anyone please?

Thank you,

Re: Technics SL-DL1 tracking problem

Posted: 27 May 2019 02:59
by chgc
First and foremost: I have no experience with the problem you describe, but I’m guessing your problem could have something to do with the muting function. How to fix it? I haven’t a clue, but if the muting function could be defeated it might enable you to listen to records. Again, I’m just making a wild guess. I wouldn’t take any drastic action without doing more research.

Re: Technics SL-DL1 tracking problem

Posted: 27 May 2019 03:07
by Alec124c41
If you don't have it, there is a service manual here: ... -dl1.shtml
It might help you track down the problem.


Re: Technics SL-DL1 tracking problem

Posted: 27 May 2019 05:45
by brianb25
CHGC and Alec,

Thank you much! chgc for the "muting" diagnosis and Alec for pointing me in the right direction too. Shoulda been the first place to look, on the Vinylengine site for the manual. Now that I have it, I do find a "muting" section of the board, schematically. I will trace the audio outputs from cable backward and see if they lead me to the board or circuit. If not, I'll go from the tonearm cartridge and go backward. Probably just need to replace a cap, or as someone else mentioned, SOLDER it, as the factory failed to solder a cap, according to someone posting a similar problem back in 2015.

Worst case, I can jump / bypass the circuit altogether. Not really sure why they'd need muting on a linear tracker anyway... So, as everyone always promises, "I'll keep you posted" :-)

Thanks again folks,

Re: Technics SL-DL1 tracking problem

Posted: 31 May 2019 20:59
by brianb25
As promised, will post a resolution.
Against odds, I found a similar post from 2015 dealing with distortion on the SL-DL1. Turns out to have been of GREAT assistance to my relay issue. ... 1&p=672152
The muting relayjust doen't hold the contacts open for more than a second or two. They close and short the cartridge left and right channels. I tried cleaning with DeOxIt and a sliver of paper across the relay contacts thoroughly, Didn't change a thing. I'm guessing a Capacitor, transistor or diode in the circuit has gone partially bad.

Taking it apart again, for the third time, I simply said "this is enough" and slipped a clean piece of paper 1/2" long and 1/16" wide between the contacts, put it back together. All is working just fine. Case closed, for now.

Thank you ve7chk for your concise report on steps you had taken.

My call, South, across the water, is n7qdy, for those British Columbia hams out there. My callsign has been attached to one of your repeaters in Washington state.