Technics SL-QL5 repair

turning japanese
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ogg
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Technics SL-QL5 repair

Post by ogg » 04 Mar 2018 20:47

I recently had a run of bad luck in attempting to buy two Technics SL-QL5 linear turntables off of Ebay. The first one was shipped via Fedex in a single box packed primarily with only confetti :shock: :evil: Needless to say, Fedex handled the box with their customary violence and my anxiously awaited purchase, though very clean as expected, arrived deceased from the trauma. The death blow was a shattered tonearm bracket.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Miscellaneou ... 0844-S.jpg
https://photos.smugmug.com/Miscellaneou ... 0845-S.jpg

Rather than pursue a return through Ebay, I decided to hang on to the corpse, scavenge some its parts and purchase a second example that was less clean but would be shipped in original carton with assurances from the seller that it would be double boxed and well secured. My plan was to swap out the scratched up cover for the cleaner cover from the corpse. All seemed well, at first. The new turntable arrived in good health and played well enough aside from needing a tonearm start position adjustment. But then, to my horror, after I removed the cover to clean and lube the tonearm guide rails and swap out the cover, I discovered this:

https://photos.smugmug.com/Miscellaneou ... 0842-M.jpg

The second TT was dangerously close to dying the same death as the first. It appeared as if an attempt had already been made to glue some of the broken pieces of the bracket back and additional cracking had occurred at some later point, possibly during transit or possibly when I had first operated the deck. Looking back at it, it was probably unwise to play records without first cleaning and lubricating the tonearm guide rail. As I already own an earlier SL-5 model, I should have known that the problem of old sticky grease on the guide rail is nearly universal with these turntables. I suspect that attempting to operate one with old grease, after long periods of disuse, may lead to stress and cracking of the tonearm bracket where the brass bushing is held in place and that this may be very common with the Technics linear tonearms.

At first, my reaction was to give up on the whole thing and try to recover some of my costs by reselling both turntables on Ebay for parts. While my skills are up to the task of repairing such things- I used to work as an electronic technician years ago, and was once very into DIY audio (building amps and speakers, etc) before I got married- I'm getting older now and don't have the eye sight or patience I once had. Nonetheless, after some research on the internet, I decided I had a good shot at a simple repair and had little to lose.

So, how to repair the cracks? It seemed to me that filling the cracks was the answer. Using super glue and clamping the joint did not seem viable. I considered shaving some plastic pieces off of the donor turntable and mixing with model glue to make a slurry to fill the cracks with, but then ran across this product which seemed like it could be ideal:

https://photos.smugmug.com/Miscellaneou ... 0888-S.jpg

First, I brushed some of the fine, gray colored bonding powder into the cracks and then carefully applied a drop of the supplied glue (super glue, essentially) into the filled crack. Great care is needed here to avoid capillary action transporting the glue somewhere wear it isn't wanted, like into the brass bushing. I then spinkled some more powder over the wet glue and sanded everything lightly once dry, which was very quick.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Miscellaneou ... 0887-S.jpg

The results were not quite what I was expecting, but the repair so far seems to have been a success.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Miscellaneou ... 0900-S.jpg

trevortron
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Re: Technics SL-QL5 repair

Post by trevortron » 05 Mar 2018 18:36

Nice job, and I hope you enjoy the satisfaction of having mended it as much as you enjoy playing it. Did you give the speed pot's a spray when it was apart?

Imactheknife
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Joined: 27 May 2018 16:35

Re: Technics SL-QL5 repair

Post by Imactheknife » 27 May 2018 16:38

Hi there, I have the same table, but the tone arm always wants to play a 45. Is this an easy fix? and how would one go about doing proper maintenance on it? Thank-you for any info

trevortron
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Re: Technics SL-QL5 repair

Post by trevortron » 27 May 2018 18:39

I had a Hitachi-branded linear tracker that would intermittently select the wrong size, all it needed was the downward-facing infra-red LED behind the cartridge cleaned.

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