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I broke the needle of my Technics SL-23A.. :(

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I broke the needle of my Technics SL-23A.. :(

Postby bytestorm » 18 Jun 2017 20:37

Hello everyone, my name is Stefan!

I am new here (from Sweden)and also totally new to the TT/Vinyl scene.

They just started to sell vinyls at my local supermarket and I got bitten really bad when I saw some Iron Maiden vinyls, so now I need some speakers and a nice amp :).

I just got my fathers old Technics SL-23A TT and man it was REALLY dirty.. So I thought Id give it a good clean and what not.

Well, the wettex/cloth I used got stuck in the needle tip and broke it off.. man I am such an idiot :( (see the attachments)

Also, the belt is very loose.. Its not falling off but I have a hard time imagining it turning the table thou..

Anyhow, could anyone please recommend a replacement "needle" or whats it called?
Original is named Panasonic National EPC270C-II

And how "tight" should this belt really be? My father said he replaced it like 10 years ago and the one installed looks and feels good, but really loose.

Thanks for your time, and please, if you have any other tips as to things I might "need" to do with this TT when its been in a dirty storage for such a long time, then please let me know!

Thank you!
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Needle 2
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a.jpg
Needle 1
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Re: I broke the needle of my Technics SL-23A.. :(

Postby musicmn » 19 Jun 2017 03:31

Hi, a quick search found a bunch of sellers for that stylus both here in the USA and abroad. The Jico brand seems to be the most preferred one, I believe it's do to the shape and quality of the diamond and cantilever. The going price is around $50.00 US. Since the belt is 10yrs old or more then it's time to replace it. A Google search should fine the correct size and hopefully a seller near you. I would put a couple of drops of sewing machine oil on top of the motor where the rotor shaft exits the motor. Then give the pulley a couple of gentle spins by hand to work the oil into the bushing. Then put a couple of drops of oil around the spindle [ That's the piece the platter sits on]. This will help the platter spin easier. I hope this helps.
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Re: I broke the needle of my Technics SL-23A.. :(

Postby bytestorm » 19 Jun 2017 17:25

musicmn wrote:Hi, a quick search found a bunch of sellers for that stylus both here in the USA and abroad. The Jico brand seems to be the most preferred one, I believe it's do to the shape and quality of the diamond and cantilever. The going price is around $50.00 US. Since the belt is 10yrs old or more then it's time to replace it. A Google search should fine the correct size and hopefully a seller near you. I would put a couple of drops of sewing machine oil on top of the motor where the rotor shaft exits the motor. Then give the pulley a couple of gentle spins by hand to work the oil into the bushing. Then put a couple of drops of oil around the spindle [ That's the piece the platter sits on]. This will help the platter spin easier. I hope this helps.


Thanks alot! :) Didnt even know it was called a stylus.. I have some new terminology to learn here to find what I seek. I know that google has alot of answers, I just thought maybe there was a better/more preffered one than the original, thats why I asked here instead of getting thousands of random hits. Thanks for taking your time! :)

Sewing machine oil? Great, I do have a sewing machine shop close by actually, they might have what I need :). I am guessing any fine oil would do from that shop.

While I am at it I need to find some deoxidy or whats it called for all the pots and such. There should be some equivalent availible closeby to I think.

I realise that doing this kind of major overhaul will prolly end up quite expensive but it feels more "worth it" that buying some 100$ usb TT :). Will be fun to restore the old mans TT and put it to use since he saved it all these years.
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Re: I broke the needle of my Technics SL-23A.. :(

Postby Vinylrocks9 » 19 Jun 2017 21:11

I have a pretty decent Iron Maiden collection. Huge fan here.

Hope you can get your turntable sorted and enjoy some great Maiden vinyl!
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Re: I broke the needle of my Technics SL-23A.. :(

Postby musicmn » 19 Jun 2017 21:19

Hi, if you use the custom google search on this forum type in cleaning pitch controls. I know a bunch of post will come up showing how to clean both the pitch controls that are used externally and the two Variable resistors inside the turntable that should also be cleaned. The stuff you want for cleaning the controls is Deoxit contact cleaner, Caig D5 is a very good brand but it may or may not be available in your area. Caig F5 is a good lube for the contacts it prevents them from getting corroded again. These are great work horse turntables I have owned and serviced a bunch of Sl 23's over the yrs. So yes doing a little TLC will reap a lot of rewards on the turntable. Good luck and enjoy the Iron Maiden. :-D
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Re: I broke the needle of my Technics SL-23A.. :(

Postby cafe latte » 19 Jun 2017 22:19

Sewing machine oil is too thin (sae 5w) you need arround sae 20w, any synthetic machine oil or compressor oil will do. I agree that Jico are the best option for a stylus though.
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Re: I broke the needle of my Technics SL-23A.. :(

Postby ripblade » 19 Jun 2017 22:35

I had one of those decks when I began my audio journey many years ago. It was considered a value leader in it's day and did sound very good for what it cost. Well worth restoring, I'd say.

Have fun!
How boring it would be, this endeavor
If all we heard was "perfect sound forever"
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Re: I broke the needle of my Technics SL-23A.. :(

Postby bytestorm » 21 Jun 2017 17:48

Thanks for the tips all! :)

I have ordered a new "stylus" and belt now!
Will get some 7-78, oil, and new caps in the weekend :D.

Now I just need to buy a pair of speakers!.. Choosing between Monitor Audio Bronze 2 or Silver 2.
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Re: I broke the needle of my Technics SL-23A.. :(

Postby JDJX » 21 Jun 2017 18:16

bytestorm wrote:Thanks for the tips all! :)

I have ordered a new "stylus" and belt now!
Will get some 7-78, oil, and new caps in the weekend :D.

Now I just need to buy a pair of speakers!.. Choosing between Monitor Audio Bronze 2 or Silver 2.


FWIW...... nothing against the speakers you are considering as I know nothing about them......

The term "monitor" speakers was original used for smaller, (as opposed to large floor standing speakers) high quaky speakers that were used in a recording studio to "monitor' and to mix the sound.

One true monitor speaker that comes to mind is the legendary "JBL L-100" .

However, the term "monitor" has become largely just a marketing term and almost always meaningless... often meant to imply high quality, regardless if it is warranted or not.

This is not to say that there are not indeed good speakers that are marketed as "monitors".
Their justification is that in realty, all speakers allow you to "monitor" a sound.... even headphones do.

In the end, all that matters is how a speaker sounds, not what they are called. :)
Last edited by JDJX on 21 Jun 2017 19:02, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I broke the needle of my Technics SL-23A.. :(

Postby SpeakerMania » 21 Jun 2017 18:24

Welcome to the forum and the vinyl music experience. All good information sent your way so far, and would just like to add that the 270C is a quite good cartridge, and worthy of keeping. Likewise, would recommend using the table after cleaning and re-lubricating, and new belt and stylus for a while before delving into capacitor replacement, which is seldom necessary anyway, and which can introduce more problems (and seldom any benefit) if not done very precisely. Please post your results so we can share your pleasure, and journey into vinyl. Cheers! :D
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Re: I broke the needle of my Technics SL-23A.. :(

Postby Van_Isle » 21 Jun 2017 19:12

Hi Stefan .... welcome to VE!

A SL-23 is definitely more worth it than a $100 USB turntable. I don't think anyone has pointed it out yet (odd!), but your user and service manuals are here: https://www.vinylengine.com/library/tec ... l-23.shtml.

Couple things to note:

1. Speed Adjustment on page 3 of the service manual refers to the variable resistors (VR1 & VR2) located on the speed control board inside the turntable (not very clearly identified, but you can see them in the circuit diagram on pg 6). I'm not sure if there are holes in the base or bottom board to allow you access to these, but otherwise remove the bottom board and you should be able to locate them.

A warning ... remember when you adjust these you have the turntable powered-up and running. Be very careful!.

2. Clean the variable resistors, 33/45 speed switch and the pitch control pots (the ones with the external knobs) with contact cleaner as has been suggested. You have to get inside the pots and switches (look for small holes in the sides you can get the spray-straw into). The resistors are typically exposed so just spray from the top. Exercise the switches, pots and resistors 50+ times and then repeat spray and exercise again. Let dry. Many contact cleaners have lubricants added. Some (usually identified as 'zero residue' do not). For example, if I use Caig Deoxit to clean then I follow-up with Caig Faderlube to lubricate.

3. Then, with the new belt installed, set the external pitch control knobs to be close to the mid-point of their adjustment range and then adjust the variable resisters to set the speed correctly (using the strobe marks on the platter). This will give you the maximum +/- adjustment range once you have everything buttoned back up.

4. Sewing machine oil is just fine to use for lubricating the motor and center spindle. However, since you probably have the turntable bottom off I would pull the center spindle completely out and clean (isopropyl alcohol) and re-oil the spindle and the bearing well. After all this time the oil in the bottom is going to be black goo. There is a small set-screw in the side of the bearing well. Remove it and the spindle should pull out from above. Careful - there is a ball bearing in there as well. I've had to replace them on some turntables that have sat a long time ... look for replacements at a bike shop.

5. Also since you have things open, look at the auto-return mechanism (you have confirmed it works ... right?). It might need old dried lube cleaned off (alcohol) and new grease applied. Use a plastic-compatible grease (is there a hobby store near by? ... they often have good greases used for model trains, etc.). I use Labelle 106 ... but not sure if it is available to you or not. Only apply new grease where you see old grease was used.

6. Check the cueing. Does the tonearm drop slowly to the record and lift properly at the end? You can test this out as you are testing the auto-return. Install the cartridge, but not the stylus, and put the counterweight on so you are getting some downforce. Don't put a record on the platter. If the tonearm drops like a rock that's not going to be good for your new stylus (or records!). You'd need to replenish the silicone oil in the cueing mechanism. That's a bit more involved ... so check it and let us know if you have to do it.

Hope that helps!

By the way ... the use of 'vinyls' to many of us is like running your fingernails across a chalkboard. LPs, records, vinyl ... but not vinyls!.
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Re: I broke the needle of my Technics SL-23A.. :(

Postby ROBROY » 21 Jun 2017 19:19

You will get all the information you need here, but I also recommend going to Youtube and checking out turntable "how-to" videos. Some give amazing clarity to what are otherwise confusing issues. Try "how does a magnetic phono cartridge work" and see what you come up with.
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Re: I broke the needle of my Technics SL-23A.. :(

Postby cafe latte » 21 Jun 2017 23:19

Van_Isle wrote:Hi Stefan .... welcome to VE!

A SL-23 is definitely more worth it than a $100 USB turntable. I don't think anyone has pointed it out yet (odd!), but your user and service manuals are here: https://www.vinylengine.com/library/tec ... l-23.shtml.

Couple things to note:

1. Speed Adjustment on page 3 of the service manual refers to the variable resistors (VR1 & VR2) located on the speed control board inside the turntable (not very clearly identified, but you can see them in the circuit diagram on pg 6). I'm not sure if there are holes in the base or bottom board to allow you access to these, but otherwise remove the bottom board and you should be able to locate them.

A warning ... remember when you adjust these you have the turntable powered-up and running. Be very careful!.

2. Clean the variable resistors, 33/45 speed switch and the pitch control pots (the ones with the external knobs) with contact cleaner as has been suggested. You have to get inside the pots and switches (look for small holes in the sides you can get the spray-straw into). The resistors are typically exposed so just spray from the top. Exercise the switches, pots and resistors 50+ times and then repeat spray and exercise again. Let dry. Many contact cleaners have lubricants added. Some (usually identified as 'zero residue' do not). For example, if I use Caig Deoxit to clean then I follow-up with Caig Faderlube to lubricate.

3. Then, with the new belt installed, set the external pitch control knobs to be close to the mid-point of their adjustment range and then adjust the variable resisters to set the speed correctly (using the strobe marks on the platter). This will give you the maximum +/- adjustment range once you have everything buttoned back up.

4. Sewing machine oil is just fine to use for lubricating the motor and center spindle. However, since you probably have the turntable bottom off I would pull the center spindle completely out and clean (isopropyl alcohol) and re-oil the spindle and the bearing well. After all this time the oil in the bottom is going to be black goo. There is a small set-screw in the side of the bearing well. Remove it and the spindle should pull out from above. Careful - there is a ball bearing in there as well. I've had to replace them on some turntables that have sat a long time ... look for replacements at a bike shop.

5. Also since you have things open, look at the auto-return mechanism (you have confirmed it works ... right?). It might need old dried lube cleaned off (alcohol) and new grease applied. Use a plastic-compatible grease (is there a hobby store near by? ... they often have good greases used for model trains, etc.). I use Labelle 106 ... but not sure if it is available to you or not. Only apply new grease where you see old grease was used.

6. Check the cueing. Does the tonearm drop slowly to the record and lift properly at the end? You can test this out as you are testing the auto-return. Install the cartridge, but not the stylus, and put the counterweight on so you are getting some downforce. Don't put a record on the platter. If the tonearm drops like a rock that's not going to be good for your new stylus (or records!). You'd need to replenish the silicone oil in the cueing mechanism. That's a bit more involved ... so check it and let us know if you have to do it.

Hope that helps!

By the way ... the use of 'vinyls' to many of us is like running your fingernails across a chalkboard. LPs, records, vinyl ... but not vinyls!.

Sorry I strongly disagree Technics oil is synthetic and many times thicker, things will wear with sea5w. Kabusa sells the correct oil which is iso68 which is similar to sae30 not sae5 like sewing machine oil. Technics bearings need this viscosity to allow the film to not break down and maintain a layer up the bearing. If your car specified 15w 40 would you put a far thinner oil it?

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Re: I broke the needle of my Technics SL-23A.. :(

Postby Van_Isle » 22 Jun 2017 01:26

Well I may be wrong.

I do know that the bearings that use the 'Technics' oil (Technics part no. SFWO010 ... which is really Anderol 465) are different in design than the bearing that is in the SL-23. The SL-23 employs a standard spindle / spindle well with an oil-bath type design, like 95+% of belt drive turntables produced. The other Technics spindles, commonly found on the direct drive models, have a sleeve bearing and thrust plate with the bottom of the spindle open. The Technics oil, as I understand it, doesn't drain out of the sleeve bearing as easily as would a thinner oil.

I was always under the impression that you could use the Technics oil on the belt-drive platter spindle, but it isn't necessary. As far as I know the belt drive owners manuals and service manuals don't specify oiling as a routine maintenance item (for either platter or motor), whereas the manuals for even the more basic direct drive models do specify both oil type and oiling frequency. Although it's odd Technics doesn't mention oiling of the spindle for the belt drive models ... you'd think if specific oil was required they would mention it. Perhaps there's a service bulletin that we don't have access too.

Come to think of it ... I can't recall exactly but that motor may very well be sealed so oiling it wouldn't be possible.
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Re: I broke the needle of my Technics SL-23A.. :(

Postby Troc » 22 Jun 2017 08:15

JDJX wrote:
bytestorm wrote:Now I just need to buy a pair of speakers!.. Choosing between Monitor Audio Bronze 2 or Silver 2.


FWIW...... nothing against the speakers you are considering as I know nothing about them......

The term "monitor" speakers was original used for smaller, (as opposed to large floor standing speakers) high quaky speakers that were used in a recording studio to "monitor' and to mix the sound.

In the end, all that matters is how a speaker sounds, not what they are called. :)


"Monitor Audio" are a high-end British speaker manufacturer who make true monitor (in size and application) speakers as well as floor-standing and surround units in varying grades from the more basic bronze, up to platinum reference standards.

I'm a big fan and all my set-ups (except the Sonos stuff) have Monitor Audio speakers. As with all things, you get what you pay for and the Silvers will sound better than the bronze - it's all up to you and your budget as to which work best (and whether you will be upgrading things later on). If possible, try to listen to both with similar kit to what you have now (or even with your own if you can take it to the shop) and see if you can hear a difference.
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