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R200 dismantle?

Posted: 14 Aug 2012 19:54
by nickitson

First post having read much. I'm hoping, given the obvious expertise that exists on the forum, that someone can point me in the right direction please. I have an old Planar 2 with the R200 arm. Read a lot, found the protractors, fitted a new cartridge, read some more, looked at the VTA, read some more, thought I would listen with varying bias and......... the anti skate belt seems to have come apart in the process.

I know its a common problem but I have found what should be an ok replacement from the US and I'm happy to have a go at fitting it, but I don't know where to start. I'm not uncomfortable with small bits of engineering, basic watch adjustment etc and have built amplifier kits as well. I just don't know how much to take apart and in what order.

I have the arm off the deck, but could really do with a service diagram to understand what all fits together inside. Do I need to disconnect any wiring anywhere of should I be able to work a new belt into place over the interconnect cables and up to the arm? I've struggled to find any descriptions, photos, videos or tech drawings that would help me.

Most grateful to anyone who can get me started. Thanks in anticipation.

Re: R200 dismantle?

Posted: 14 Aug 2012 22:01
by aTALLasian
I don't have much assistance to give, but could you tell me where you sourced the band from? I'm in need of one too and can only find a replacement out of the UK for ~$50 shipped.

Re: R200 dismantle?

Posted: 14 Aug 2012 22:19
by Alec124c41

Re: R200 dismantle?

Posted: 14 Aug 2012 23:01
by nickitson
aTALLasian wrote:I don't have much assistance to give, but could you tell me where you sourced the band from? I'm in need of one too and can only find a replacement out of the UK for ~$50 shipped.
Hi. I ordered one of these: ... roupID=342

The belt was cheap enough, the packing and handling was double that and carriage to the UK was about one and a half times the handling :( Still, I now think I have what I need. I've examined the mesh of the belt with the bias dial under a loupe and it looks as good as perfect to me, as does the width and the height of the teeth. I can't check the length because I haven't yet worked out the best way to take the 'pillar' of the arm apart, hence my original post.

Once I get going I'll take some photos and post in case it helps someone else. If you manage to get ahead of me, I'd be grateful if you would share your experience?

Re: R200 dismantle?

Posted: 14 Aug 2012 23:08
by nickitson
Alec124c41 wrote:viewtopic.php?f=32&t=47703

Thanks Alec for a very speedy response. I think I must have come across the content of that thread via a different route as some of the 'numbers' look familiar to those I based my choice of belt on. It's nice to see the thread in context though, including the photos. If I have a problem with the belt, (too long or too short etc) I reckon I can make a stab at the string solution though. Much appreciated.

My current issue remains that I've still no real idea what to undo and in what order to be able to try the belt or the string and glue. :? I'm pinning my hopes on someone having a drawing (or perhaps a sketch) to get me started [-o<



Re: R200 dismantle?

Posted: 15 Aug 2012 00:10
by aTALLasian
Thanks for the link Nick. I'm interested to see how this ends up. You might have breathed new life into my tonearm [-o<

Re: R200 dismantle?

Posted: 15 Aug 2012 15:59
by Tarrant

Here's a link to some pictures of a dismantled R200 courtesy of the guru Johnnie at Audio Origarmi ... Rewire.htm. I know Johnnie will rebuild R200s but they take hours and his costs would be far more than the arm is worth.

Dismantling an R200 is a real labour of love and can take many hours, mainly because of the naff bearing housing which can be easily damaged.

When I managed to dismantle my R200 I rewired it at the same time, which was a piece of cake compared to reassembling the bearings.

The tool I used to get the thing apart was small CK round nosed pliers from their electronic range. These will engage the two lugs in the brass lock nut at the base of the arm. You will have first removed the wires from the arm lead right angles connector, which are soldered to removable pins. Make a note of wher they go before removing them.

Once you've got the lock nut undone the inside nut will undo. As I recall this allows the centre spindle and upper part of the arm to be taken out. This will allow access to the bearing housing. If you’re lucky the bearing will be intact and all ball bearings present. If you’re unlucky, as I was, most of the ball bearings will have gone and their housings looking worst for ware. I had to replace all the ball bearings. This I did with the help of super glue and lot of patience.

As I have said elsewhere don’t bother with trying to fix the belt issue. Once you have the arm apart you can get to the anti skate magnets and you simply glue the magnet (the one that moves as you rotate the mechanism) half way up. This will provide sufficient anti skate for most cartridges and is a lot easier to execute. It also has the advantage of removing another source of potential vibration.

Best of luck.



Re: R200 dismantle?

Posted: 15 Aug 2012 22:53
by nickitson

Thank you. You are a star. That's a heap of really helpful information. I had managed to come across the audio origami thread, but still wasn't sure where to start. The tip on using the small pliers as a locknut spanner is a good one. However, I'm still not so certain where to start. When I look at the arm I can't see any locknut to try to undo.

At the base of the arm is the black plastic plug with the connector leads exiting from it. It is plugged in to what looks like a collar, which has two small brass grub screws set into it. Above the collar is the tube housing for the bearings which appears to be one piece with the casting that covers the underside of the AS assembly. That housing appears to be held in place or located by a small grub screw set in to the arm base, to the rear. I'm not sure if the needs to be loosened to separate the housing from the base of the arm, which incorporates the AS mechanism.

Do I start with the black plastic plug or the collar at the base of the arm? Do I undo the grub screws to remove the collar? Does it unscrew or does it slide off? Is it keyed to index its angular position with the rest of the assembly? At what point does the wiring become exposed or vulnerable? How much slack can I expect in the wiring in the arm?

I'm not suggesting you can help me with answers to all those questions but its the first step I'm struggling with. I just don't want to go and loosen all the screws and threads I can see and end up with all the little bits sprinkled across the floor :oops:

Any and all thoughts from anyone gratefully received. If I manage to get going I will make a point of trying to document and share when I've finished.



Re: R200 dismantle?

Posted: 16 Aug 2012 12:27
by Tarrant
Hi Nick,

Thanks for the kind words.

I think the easiest thing would be to give me a call I'll try and talk you through it. PM me and I'll let you have my number. E-mail is I would also be happy for you to send me the arm and I can dismantle it for you. I still think you will need to consider a re-wire of some sort as this makes dismantling the arm so much easier.

Best regards


Re: R200 dismantle?

Posted: 02 Sep 2012 14:02
by nickitson

First, I apologize to those who may find this guide a bit basic, rough or incomplete, and those who may consider some of the things I describe as undesirable or misguided. Apologies also for any use of wrong vocabulary; I am a novice, but I hope the meaning is clear. I don't recommend you attempt this if you are unsure and I certainly don't suggest this is the 'proper' way to do anything. If you have any doubts, don't, take your equipment to a professional for assistance. I've used this as a learning process as much as anything.

Secondly, there are many who have advised simply presetting the AS on these arms to some middle value, which should be adequate for most applications. I'm not disputing that, my difficulty was that the AS belt broke with zero bias set, and so I have to get inside the arm to be able to do anything. All I can say is this worked for me.

With big thanks to Tarrant for his advice on how to start I've tackled the job and managed to replace the anti skate belt. Many thanks also to all those who guided me to additional material on the web, that has helped orientate my thinking and allowed be to proceed with more confidence than otherwise. Since I only wanted to replace the AS belt, I only took apart those components that were in the path of that objective. I was lucky in that I did not have to rebuild the bearings in any way, nor did I attempt to rewire the arm, although soldering up the connections on the external arm wire plug to complete the job was something of a challenge; partly because the wires were so short and partly because my eyesight is going the same way these days. I did say I would make an attempt to share the experience, so for those who may be interested, read on:

I needed, by the end of the exercise, to accumulate the following to be able to complete the job:
- A sq. metre of work surface
- Fine soldering iron & high silver content solder
- Good light
- Magnifying glass
- Jeweler's Loupe
- Round tipped pliers
- Standard pliers
- A file
- Fine (watchmaker's) tweezers
- Sticky tape
- Large adjustable spanner
- A collection of mugs!
- Jeweler's screwdrivers
- Epoxy adhesive


I removed the arm from the baseboard by undoing the large hex nut on the underside of the plinth. Before doing so, I stuck a six inch length of masking tape to the top side of the plinth with one edge aligned with the straight section of the curved arm, to allow me to put the arm back in the same position on completion. There was no washer of any sort under the hex nut, so the underside of the plinth was already marked by the rotated nut. The arm is then lifted from the plinth by threading the external cable off the nut, through the hole in the plinth and the arm spacer is then also removed from the cable.

I naively started by removing the three screws from under the anti skate (AS) housing, one of which holds the AS dial in place and instantly realized that more was required to take things apart. The three screw holes can be seen on the underside of part 4 in the following photo:


Part 1 is the plastic cable plug which fits into the collar (Part 2) and connects the external cable to the internal arm wiring. 3 & 4 are actually one piece and this is the housing that contains the bearings and the magnets that provide the AS bias (more later). Part 5 is the top of the AS housing that you look at when you view the arm in place on the plinth.

Start by removing the two grub screws in the collar that retains the cable plug.


As you remove the screws, be very careful not to let the plug twist or pull out, the arm wiring behind the plug is extremely fine and in my case, extremely short, so there is little slack to allow the plug to be removed and set down on the work surface. Note the earth tag fitted to the ground connection, which I presume is intended to earth the arm components. MAKE A CAREFUL NOTE of which wires go where. I had six wires, including two black (earth). One was commoned with the blue and the other ran to the pin with the earth tab. Un-soldering the leads was reasonably easy, but in my arm, it appeared someone had been here before.


Once the cable plug is disconnected, the lower bearing in the arm can be seen inside the collar and housing.


The collar can then be removed by unscrewing, and may need some effort in case the thread has had any locking compound applied to it.


I then marked the screw slots of the bearing adjustment on the end of the housing to give me a reference for re-assembly. Having completed the work it looks as though the inner ring is the lock ring and the outer ring is to adjust the bearing. These slots are where the tip of my round nosed pliers fit to help undo the bearing. If I'd had proper tools, doubtless undoing the locking ring would have been easy, but as I gently applied pressure to undo the ring, both rings turned together and unscrewed as one. I would be careful if you have this difficulty, because if the rings are locked together tightly, if may be possible to damage the thread on the vertical spindle of the arm. As the bearing is loosened, then parts 3 & 4 are able to move away from part 5.

I thought that I might be able to just loosen the bearing sufficiently to fit a new belt and tighten everything up again, but with hindsight, it did all need to come apart. Once undone, the housing can be lifted from the arm base. I recommend keeping the spindle of the arm vertical so that all the bearing components are still in the correct place respective to one and other until you can take a careful look inside at everything. You can see the bearing inner race still in place in the photo below:


If the inner race is carefully removed (tweezers) you can see the bearing cage, which has an 'open' and a 'closed' side (closed side uppermost here). Make a note to put it back the same way, although I had no real need to remove it.


Removed components below:


Left on the spindle of the arm next to the broken belt in the AS housing is the AS adjustment collar and magnets:


The collar may be carefully removed and you will notice a helical groove on it's inner surface:


This groove mates with the slanted dog on the ring magnet, which is able to slide up and down the spindle and vary the AS force. When the collar is mated with the ring, rotating the collar (via the belt, when replaced) raises the moving magnet closer to the fixed one and hence increases the bias.


I managed to get hold of a belt (based on suspected dimensions posted by others) here: ... roupID=342

You'll notice the small differences between the old belt and the new. The new belt is slightly narrower, and the height of the belt is less (back to tip of tooth). The new belt also turns out to be slightly too long and so some form of spacer is required to tension the belt slightly. This is also important, since the original belt filled the clearance between the teeth on the AS collar and the adjustment screw and the cast AS housing, and effectively prevented the belt from 'jumping' teeth.


A test fit of the belt showed good meshing of the teeth, but also demonstrates that there is some slack to be accommodated.


I made a 'spacer' by clipping a short length of wire coat hanger and folding it as shown. In practice, it is better to do the folding prior to cutting the short length off the wire, easier to handle. A bit of careful filing is then required to ensure that the spacer is the same height as the interior of the housing and there are no rough edges. The small spacer shown was too small, the larger one was almost too big, but it worked for me:


You need to test fit the spacer to find the right location inside the AS housing, where the belt is sufficiently tensioned, but the teeth don't interfere with any internal mouldings or lugs in the housing. The location shown here seemed to work best for me. Make sure that the contact points of where the belt will run on the spacer are 'true' i.e. vertical to the side of the housing to ensure the belt also runs true, although once re-assembled, there is not really any space for the belt to run anywhere else.


The spacer needs to be carefully glued into place ensuring that no adhesive migrates into the path of where the belt will be fitted. I bought some silicone grease to put a small wipe on the back of the belt when fitted, to help lubricate it over the spacer, but it didn't seem required in the end. The belt can then be fitted, but take care to make sure that the AS adjustment collar is turned to place the moving magnet furthest from the fixed magnet, and that the adjustment dial, when inserted through the AS housing (part 5) is effectively set to 'zero'. Careful inspection will show that there is a small lug on the housing that engages with a groove under the dial which contains a 'stop' to prevent the dial being turned to less than zero. The aim is to have the dial read zero when the magnets are furthest apart and hence the bias force is zero.


Check the operation of the belt and then it's just a case of putting it all back together :lol:

A few more tips that may be helpful:

I wrapped a small strip of paper around the arm wires to make it easier to thread them back through all the removed components.


I was able to re-install the bearing adjuster and locking collar as one again, although the firmness of adjustment was not as tight as when I took everything apart. I used the marks I had made on the housing as a reference but tested the adjustment by holding up the arm with the arm tube in a vertical position and giving it a small swing side to side. The bearing needs to be adjusted to the point where the arm tube swings very freely under gravity with no discernible damping from friction in the bearing due to it being too tight. Before replacing the cable plug collar, for my own peace of mind, I put a small dab of clear nail varnish on the bearing locking ring, next to the spindle, since I felt that the combined lock and adjusting rings moved a little too freely. I never did manage to separate the two while I had them removed.


Finally, the hardest bit of all for me was soldering up the arm leads to the cable plug. I can understand why many recommend rewiring at the same time. It would give you plenty of wire to determine your own arrangement for float in the wire length and would give you the chance to work on soldering new wires, always easier than working with old. Because my wires were so short I needed more hands than two people could provide to hold everything in place for soldering. I ended up taping all of the different components to a collection of mugs and using a magnifying glass to give me two free hands to make the solder joints. Good tinning of the connections is a must to allow acceptable joints to be made neatly and quickly without putting too much heat into the wire and burning off the insulation. help here if required: ... index.html

Here is my ramshackle arrangement:


Re-solder the wires according to the notes you made on dis-assembly and remember to include the earth tag to contact the plug collar on refitting. The final steps then are to refit the cable plug (be careful not to twist it as you fit to the arm or you might break some of the wires you have just soldered) and the grub screws to hold it in place, and to mount the arm back on the plinth using the tape applied to the top surface to get the alignment right, remembering to thread the spacer, plinth and lock nut in the right order.

Tada! I was lucky. I connected my deck up and everything worked fine first time. Now....... what am I going to do to test that sensitivity and adjustment of my VTA :roll:

Re: R200 dismantle?

Posted: 02 Sep 2012 19:18
by Blue Angel
Very good, nickitson. And excellent pics :D

This guide should become the standard to repair this model Lustre arm. I have one as well. Same colour toothed belt and I guess I've been lucky until now that mine's belt is still OK (touch wood).

I have re-wired mine some years ago and your pics reminded me of what I saw inside. Quite recently, I converted the sme-style headshell socket to accomodate an EMT-style headshell where the contact pins were turned through 90degrees. This was for a one-off job and will have to be put 'right' again as I am not likely to be using EMT headshells again soon.

With much admiration.


Re: R200 dismantle?

Posted: 03 Sep 2012 01:26
by Alec124c41
This should be a stickie.


Re: R200 dismantle?

Posted: 14 Sep 2012 23:49
by donieonekinobe
I did a lot of this without replacing my broken did well..the problem i had was the sound generated thru my speakers was 'muddy'... be advised regas are notorious for sounding 'weird/fuuny/muddy' depending on what they sit on...when i have mine on a light timber cabinet upstairs it sounds really good but when i set it up down stairs on a heavy wooden table on cut in half squash balls (when the wife is abroad!) and crank sound awesome
until today when a 5 year old french kid just ruined it and my cartridge...
no help...just a comment
i like the way it looks and i would not trade it for a different arm..i don't like the straight black arm even tho they are prob superior...sometimes its about how it all looks..if it sounds great om top, even better!

Re: R200 dismantle?

Posted: 28 Oct 2012 04:27
by Van_Isle
Wow ... great thread. Life intervened for me and I haven't gotten to installing the kit I picked up - but I sure do have a good reference to do so with now!

Re: R200 dismantle?

Posted: 31 Oct 2012 21:02
by bretski
Hey nickitson

Just wanted to sat big thank you, rebuilt my R200 thanks to you!!

Cheers, Brett